The Guard Family of Kakapo Bay

This is the second contribution received regarding past life in Port Underwood. I am sure it will be of interest to everybody. Thank you John Guard for the following contribution.

The Guard Family of Kakapo Bay

184years ago my great grandfather John (Jacky) Guard 1792-1857 came to Port Underwood and in 1830 he set up the first shore whaling station at Kakapo Bay. Other whalers followed to Ocean Bay, Tom Canes Bay, Coles Bay and Cutters Bay.

In 1815 John Guard, aged 22yrs, was transported from England to Sydney NSW as a Convict on a 7 year sentence for stealing a 5/- (50 cents) bed cover…he did his time. In 1820 he joined a whaling/sealing venture on the sailing ship the Lynx to the southern seas for 2 years and wintered over on the Falkland Islands. On a return trip from another sealing adventure, while passing through Cook Strait in a storm, they were blown into Tory Channel. They were amazed to find both sheltered bays and so many whales.

About 1827 he gathered up his friends in Sydney and started the first shore whaling station in the South Island at Te Awaiti, Tory Channel. His wife Betty joined him in 1830 and their son John was born in 1831.-.the first European boy to be born in the South Island..Then in 1833 Louisa was born – the first European girl in the South Island. About 1833 they permanently moved to Kakapo Bay, Port Underwood. In 1834 on a trip back from Sydney on the barque Harriet they were wrecked on the coast of Taranaki and several crew were killed and captured by the Ngati Ruanui Maori. Five months later the HMS Alligator and Government schooner Isabella were called to rescue 8 seamen, Betty and her 2 children. This was successful. In 1836 The Guards returned full time to Kakapo Bay and experienced the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on.June 17, Horahora Kakahu Island. The whaling continued until 1848 and then they fished, farmed cattle, goats, pigs and grew fruit, to sell in Wellington and Nelson. Jacky died in 1857 aged 65yrs..Betty died 1870 aged 56yrs..4 of their children pre-deceased her. Seventeen of the Guard Family are buried in the Family cemetery at the back of the bay.

The land first went to their son John, then to my Grandfather Edward Guard 1850-1922 who married Emma Baldick 1864-1935 she was the granddaughter of Mary-Anne Baldick-Daken-Register-Flood (last Newsletter story) The land then went to my Father Albert Guard 1902-1995 and his brother Walter Guard 1908-1972. In 1995 my brother Edward and I inherited the land. We were Commercial Fisherman, and hobby farmers. Edward on sold his share in 1996.

Until 1974 for 135yrs the Guards owned from Ocean Bay north ridge to Oyster Bay north ridge. The land was cleared by hand and farmed with sheep and cattle. As family changed and moved on, the land was sold and now we own 10hectares- half of Kakapo Bay and all of Waipuna Bay. I am the 4th generation Guard to live at Kakapo Bay, and wouldn’t live anywhere else.

John Guard

Contributions from members of historical items of interest to Port Underwood are most welcome.

10 Responses to The Guard Family of Kakapo Bay

  1. I am a great great granddaughter of Michael Aldridge. My grandmother was Bertha Aldridge (daughter) of William Aldridge (son) of Michael Aldridge. A group of cousins are planning a weekend in Picton early 2017 so am doing a bit of research for our weekend. I would like to know if it is possible to visit where Michael Aldridge is buried in Ocean Bay and also the location of his homestead.
    Regards Lynette Shanks

    My mother is Lila Robinson one of the 13 children that Bertha & Charles Robinson had

    • Hi Lynette Shanks, my name is Katrina. I am the great great great granddaughter of Michael Aldridge. My great grandfather is James Aldridge son of William Aldridge. If be very interested in connecting with you.

    • Hi Lynette

      My husband is a direct descendant of Michael Aldridge. I would absolutely love any information you have on Michael and his family. Do you have any pictures of where he is buried at Ocean Bay and of his homestead?

      There are so many bits to the puzzle for this family, so I would be forever grateful for what you can share.

      Kind regards,

    • I am a great grandson of William I have a little bit of information I am interested in what you have Warren Mudford

    • Hi. I am also a descendent of Michael Aldridge and have only recently found out. Would love to talk to anyone who could help me with any information about him and his family. I’m descended from Henry (Harry) Aldridge. Thanks. Karen

  2. Hello.
    I am the grand daughter of Eileen Laura Baldick. My grand mother lived on Blumine Island until the age of 19. Her father was Edwin Baldick. She lived with her Uncle Bill Baldick and his sister Ada. I am visiting Picton from 19 to 24 April 2016. I am wanting to take the mailboat trip that travels passed Blumine Island on one of the days. I realise that Blumine Island is no longer easily accessed and that it is a DOC santuary. The Baldicks farmed on the Island and also had a mailboat launch. I can remember my grandmother clearly talking about the Guards, Kennys, Peranos and Jacksons as well as the many fishing adventures in the Tory Channnel and Port Underwood. My mother and her siblings returned to the Sounds many times as children and they talked about the cherry trees on Blumine Island. We have numerous photos taken back then. My grandmother always knew what the weather would be as she only had to look at the cloud formations… a skill learnt from her early days on the water.

  3. I had just read the Fiona Kidman’s Boon «  The captive wife  » about the Life of Jacky Guard and Betty.
    I am happy to Know they really lived and they have still a family in New Zetland !

  4. Hi ..I am a descendant of Dan Dougherty who had a whaling station in Cutters Bay…..I would like to know if I could visit the Guard’s property on Thursday 8th Feb. Thanks in advance. Chris OFlaherty

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