United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, France
June 18th, 1899
Masonic Hotel, Napier. Lord's Day
My Beloved Angee,
We had a beautiful passage down the west coast to New Plymouth last Monday – our steamer was moored alongside the wharf at midnight so I did not go to the town which is about 2 miles until the early morning – this was a good town for me on my last visit and was even better this time. I spent a pleasant evening with Mr Pridham and his daughter – Mrs P. was in the country so I did not see her – called also upon Miss Buchannan formerly of Newton Abbott who was glad to see me. Next visited a place called Wanganui where I remained a night and again did a good business – in the carriage were also a gentleman and a very smartly dressed lady who talked volumes especially about Irish aristocracy – after 3 or 4 hours he asked me a question and then I had a little talk – the lady was called Miss Murphy a cookery instructor in public schools – he is a stipendiary magistrate residing at Wanganui at the same Hotel I was staying where his lady was. He invited me to sit at his private table at the Hotel and introduced Mrs Kenny and his wife who was a very nice person – subsequently I was invited to their private room and sat with them for an hour or more – all his family and his wife are connected with the army. He spoke very highly of Mr Lowe at Wellington and said the Government were very sorry to lose his services and had offered him a sensible increase of his salary to remain.
The next day I came to a place called Palmerston North where I had not previously stopped – did a nice business and reached this place last night about 7.30. Not having any information about the meetings here I started off to ascertain if there were any I could have fellowship with and found none, but was glad to hear of two persons who were once connected with it and upon these I called and purpose spending the evening with them for a reading. They were well acquainted with the two young ladies I met on my last visit who were going to India as missionaries – you may remember they came and breakfasted with me at Christchurch just before they left. A few weeks after this they sailed for Bombay, but one of them turned back on reaching Adelaide but since then went to Bombay during the plague and was engaged in the Hospital as a nurse – this had been her occupation – she has been very happy with the work and used of the Lord too.
They had often written to these people I called upon this morning and spoken of me so that my name was well known when I called as I thought upon a stranger.
This afternoon I called upon one of Julia's sons who keeps a hotel in this place – he is a widower with 6 daughters – word was sent to the older son who lives a little distance and he soon came in – he has four daughters and two sons – when I looked upon these men I could hardly realise that they were the children of one I had known in my youthful days before her marriage – they look middle aged men who had passed the meridian of life – both have had a wonderful experience in their early days but are good sound common sensed men now having done well in Napier – spent a little time with them this afternoon and had tea at their hotel – at 7 I went to the friends I called upon this morning and we have had a refreshing time over the word for which we were all thankful. There is a mail out in the morning so I must close this tonight – we have had a lovely day and am thankful to have seen dear Julia's children and grandchildren and I dare say she will be pleased when she hears of it.
I was thinking yesterday what a distance I had travelled since March 22 – nearly 3 months – about 12 thousand miles – it seems incredible and to have done business in so many places and countries and have been preserved in the sovereign mercy and goodness of God – I see the Arcadia leaves Australia in the early part of October for England and I shall try to return on her unless ordered to go via the Cape – what a long time it is since I received a letter from you – the last was in California – hope to get a batch of them soon. Trust you are keeping well and now enjoying the beautiful weather. The gracious Lord minister his consolations and grace to you continually my dearest Angee and with much love to your dear self and all our loved ones believe me ever.
Your very affectionate Husband