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15 March 1843 - Father Petit-Jean to Father Claude Girard, Auckland


Fr Girard is novice-master of the Marists. Father Petit-Jean tells him of the successful importation into the Bay of Islands of the bees he had brought from Sydney. They will have, he thinks, enough wax to make an Easter candle. He then gives an account of how he and Brother Basile took a cow and some sheep to the Whangaroa station. Many difficulties overcome! He is then moved to Auckland, the then capital (near the end of October 1842). He finds devotion slackening among his people, but still has a high regard for the Irish. He gets involved in religious controversy, notably with Rev Henry Williams. He is happy to note that some of the Auckland Maori have called him “the man who brought down William”. He reports as highly likely that Father Borjon and Brother Deodat have been lost in a shipwreck. He ends his letter by giving the text of a long letter he sent to the editor of the Auckland Times defending the missionary work of the Catholic Church in New Zealand. (The letter was not published)

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