Sunday, 30 December 2007

McKerrow Memorial Cup -Ice Hockey

McKerrow Memorial Cup

By Graeme Glass

The McKerrow Memorial Cup was presented in 1957 by the Mt Harper Ice Hockey Team for South Canterbury inter club ice hockey competition. For many years it sat on a mantelpiece in South Canterbury. The trophy was uncovered and presented to the Southern Ice Hockey League as a Senior trophy in 1997. The story of the McKerrow Memorial Cup is very interesting and needs to be told and preserved for the future. Some of this story has been handed down but it was also partly retold by Claire Allison in the Timaru Herald on July 12th 2001.

Graham McKerrow was a keen member of the Mt Harper Ice Hockey Team based in Timaru. 1957 was a severe winter in South Canterbury, cold enough to freeze over Saltwater Creek then known as Otipua Creek. Saltwater Creek is the small stream on the southern boundary of Timaru crossed by State Highway 1. One frosty July morning Graham McKerrow and his friend Ron Wilson decided to go down to Saltwater Creek and get in some skating practise before the weekends ice hockey competitions. Only one survived. The ice collapsed under the weight of the two skaters when they got to a soft patch by some willow trees. Ron Wilson miraculously survived but Graham McKerrow went under the ice and drowned.

Ron Wilson was very lucky. When the ice gave way and the two men went into the water, his stick spanned the hole and he was able to keep his head above the water. Graham McKerrow disappeared in a matter of seconds when the cold got to him. Ron Wilson called and called for help. Fortunately a couple nearby, whose horse had become agitated came to investigate, heard him and came to the rescue.

The couple, Paul and Betty Northover, got a rope and dragged the frozen and exhausted man from the creek. Unfortunately they were too late for Graham McKerrow whose body was recovered 3 hours later.

The Mt Harper Ice Hockey Team was a regular competitor in the ice hockey competitions in South Canterbury in those days along with several other now defunct clubs such as Opawa, Fairlie, Irishman Creek, Tekapo and more recently, Albury. The Mt Harper rink has long been closed and was on the shady side of Mt Harper up on the northern side of the Rangitata Gorge area of South Canterbury.

Winners of the McKerrow Cup over the years are:

1958 Mt Harper

1959 Opawa

1960 - 1966 Tekapo

1968 - 1972 Albury

1997 - Queenstown

1998 - Dunedin Loch Monsters

1999 - Dunedin Penguins

2000 - Queenstown

2001 - Dunedin Penguins

2002 - Queenstown

2003 - Queenstown

Friday, 28 December 2007

Mt McKerrow (706 m), in the Rimutaka Forest Park, is named after James McKerrow, Surveyor General of New Zealand. I was told by an Uncle, Robert Thomas McKerrow, that when James McKerrow was Surveyor General in Wellington, he could see this the unnamed peak out his office window on a fine day. In the winter he used to admire its snow capped peak.A budding young surveyor, trying to curry favour with his mentor and boss, named the peak after him.

A DOC guide book gives thisd information about the peak.
It is not your typical maunga (mountain). You know you've scaled its peak when the uphill slog along a ridge in the Orongorongo Valley becomes a descent. Trees obscure the views at the top, but there are panoramic peeks of Wainuiomata and the Hutt Valley at vantage points en route.

You can start the trip to Mt McKerrow from Wainuiomata or the Catchpool Valley in the Rimutaka Forest Park. From Hine Road and the end of Sunny Grove in Wainuiomata you can reach the Whakanui Track. At the top of the hill turn right at the signpost to follow the ridge south along the eastern side of the Wainuiomata Valley until you reach the top.

Just below the summit the track splits and you can go right to follow the Clay Ridge/Old Five Mile Track down to the Catchpool car park. (This trip takes around six hours to complete.) Or you can turn left and descend, coming out on the Orongorongo Valley Track to the car park. (This option will add about an hour to your tramp.)

From the Catchpool car park end of the track you'll venture through regenerating podocarp hardwood scrub before encountering gnarly old podocarp hardwood and black and hard beech trees.

You pass through an area of windthrow — from where you get spectacular views of Wellington on a fine day — before reaching the summit and its cloak of silver beech.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

James McKerrow. Five ascents of Mt. Pisgah.

Mt. Pisgah (taken by Burton Bros. Dunedin)

After the posting yesterday stating that James McKerrow did the first ascent of Mount Pisgah on 3 January 1863, on futther research this morning I discovered I was wrong. He did the fifth, not the first ascent of Mount Pisgah on that day. On 30, 31 December 1862, and, 1 and 2 January 1863, he climbed Mount Pisgah, but had poor visibility. It was on 3 January he got the visibility he required. On each ascent he was accompanied by John Goldie. At this stage he was quite desperate to find a route to the West Coast so he decided to secure a sight of Casswell Sound, and to fix on any route to the coast. which might be cut through with probability of success. It was decided that an attempt should be made on the only peak handy and that was Mount Pisgah. Goldie and McKLerrow blazed a trail through the bush, and zigzagged their way up onto a spur leading to the summit. A disappointment was in store. On all sides was a dismal and confused array of peaks, shrouded in fog, but of Caswell Sound there was no sign. Drenched with rain, and smeared with wet moss they slithered down the mountain side and spent a miserable night without a fire, and suffering from the unwelcome attention of swarms of sandflies.

On three consecutive days they ascended this same peak, but each time a climb of four hours had for its reward nothing but the tantalising sight of snow and black rocks looming through the mist. Damper was again low, the meat "had come to life" once more, and the sandflied were keeping up a persistent attack. They decided on a final attempt. To their delight the fog gradually lifted during the ascent, and there, lying to the west, was Caswell Sound, with the island at its mouth and the surf beating on the rocks fringing it clearly visible through the telescope. George Sound was not in view, as a mountain peak obscured it from sight. "We wave our caps, give three cheers, and down we hurry to the tent, glad to have verified our position and glad to get away from our blood thirsty tormetors the sandflies." wrote McKerrow.

" There was a good deal of public interest at the time as to who should be the first to sight the West Coast from the interior of Otago. I am not aware that anyone did before the third day of January 1863 the date of the fifth and last ascent. I named the mountain 'Pisgah' in recollection of a moumtain of that name in another and distant country from which a long expected and promised land was seen on a much more important occasion.

From the summit of Mt. Pisgah it appeared that the wooded saddle separating Caswell Sound from Te Anau might yeild to determined bushwhackers, but the paucity of his supplies, and the realisation that a permanent route could only be calved out at a prohibitive initial cost and yearly maintenance, dissuaded McKerrow from making the attempt.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

McKerrow, the Honeymoon Suite - Wanaka

In the early 1860's James Mckerrow spent a lot of time surveying Lake Wanaka. If he were alive today, I am sure he would have been delighted to know there is a honeymoon suite named after him.

The Home of Luxury Accommodation in Wanaka

With just seven luxury lodge rooms we pride ourselves on offering you a totally personalised accommodation experience during your stay in beautiful Wanaka.

Feel at one with the natural beauty of Wanaka in a room adorned in native, warm colours that draw your eyes out across the garden towards the mountain ranges beyond. Experience all the comforts and up-to date facilites of a modern hotel with the pleasure of feeling 'at home'.

Spread yourself out on the luxurious superking beds or enjoy a freshly brewed coffee and cakes out on your verandah. If you prefer more privacy we also offer a separate loft room. And for real luxury try 'McKerrow', our honeymoon suite, complete with a candle-lit spa bath.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Mount McKerrow - Antarctica

I have finally, precisely located Mount McKerrow in Antarctica, named after James McKerrow

Mount McKerrow

Australian Gazetteer

Feature Types Mountain (details of this feature type)
Location Latitude: 81° 45' 00.0" S (-81.75°)
Longitude: 159° 48' 00.0" E (159.8°)
Confidence in position:

Region Antarctica
Date Created 01-Jan-2000
Named for

Narrative A peak in the Surveyors Range, 6 km south-west of Mount Hotine. Discovered by the New Zealand Geological and Survey Antarctic Expedition (1960-61). Named after J. McKerrow, a former Surveyor-General of New Zealand.

James McKerrow the namer.

James McKerrow was a prolific namer of places. A number of placenames were named after scientiests.

Here is an article from The Rutherford Journal.

Science on the Map: Places in New Zealand named after scientists

James McKerrow

James McKerrow (1834–1919) studied mathematics at Glasgow University, and in 1859 he became deputy-surveyor for Otago province. In his explorations of the Otago lakes district from 1861 to 1864, he named many places in Otago after scientists.25

Mt Ansted (44° 30' 166° 37' 2344m) was named after the Scottish geologist David Thomas Ansted F.R.S. (1814–1880)
Dana Peak (45° 13' 167° 36' 1722m) was named after the American geologist James Dwight Dana F.R.S. (1813–1895)
A second Mt Forbes (43° 30' 170° 35' 2591m) was named after the Scottish geologist James David Forbes F.R.S. (1809–1868)
The Hector Mountains (45° 16' 168° 50') were named after James Hector F.R.S. (1834–1907)
The Humboldt Mountains (44° 44' 168° 16') and Humboldt Tower (44° 29' 168° 33' 2222m) were named after Alexander von Humboldt F.R.S. (1769–1859)
Cosmos Peak (44° 34' 169° 18' 2260m) was named after Humboldt's major work of scientific synthesis Cosmos
Mt Bonpland (44° 50' 168° 17' 2348m) was named after Humboldt's colleague the French botanist Aimé Bonpland (1773–1858)
The Kepler Mountains (45° 22' 167° 25' ), west of Lake Te Anau, commemorate the great German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571–1630). In 1991, Pathfinders Publications (1974) in Christchurch published a map Pathfinders New Zealand on one folding sheet, which names those mountains as KELPER MTS!

A second Mt Lyall (45° 17' 167° 32' 1905m) was named after the surgeon–naturalist David Lyall
Mt Maury (45° 20' 167° 30' 1570m) was named after the American oceanographer Matthew Maury (1806–1873)
The Scottish geologist Hugh Miller (1802–1856) was commemorated by Miller Peak (45° 10' 167° 35' 1503m)
The Murchison Mountains (45° 15' 167° 32') were named after the geologist Roderick Impey Murchison F.R.S. (1792–1871)
Lake Thomas (45° 28' 167° 57') was (later) named after Algernon Phillips Withiel Thomas (1857–1937), the foundation Professor of Natural Sciences at Auckland University College
Tyndall Peak (44° 32 168° 32' 2457m) was named after the Irish physicist John Tyndall F.R.S. (1820–1893).

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Mount McKerrow - Antarctica

When I was in Antarctica in 1969-70 I came across a map with a Mount McKerrow, situated somewhere in Victoria Land.

Today I saw this reference on where Mount McKerrow is:

Farmer Glacier 8147S, 15948E. A glacier flowing north-west into Starshot Glacier, and located between Mount McKerrow at north and Thompson Mountain at south, at the southern end of Surveyors Range.

'''Farmer Glacier''' ({{coor dm|81|47|S|159|48|E|}}) is a [[glacier]] flowing north west into [[Starshot Glacier]], and located between [[Mount McKerrow]] at north and [[Thompson Mountain]] at south, at the southern end of [[Surveyors Range]]. Named in honor of [[D. W. Farmer]], a member of the 1960 [[Cape Hallett]] winter-over team, working as a technician on the geomagnetic project.