Jean-Baptiste (Br Florentin) Françon
From THE FIRST WAVE OF FRENCH MARISTS by Michael O'Meeghan SM, 2008, 13.
Born: 1 April 1816, Lyon, France
Professed as a Marist: 18 October 1836
Died: 23 July 1903,Sydney, Australia
Br FLORENTIN (Jean) FRANCON, aged 29 (on arrival in New Zealand in Group II on 14 Jun 1839).
- Initially he remained at Kororareka. With Frs Comte and Pezant on 31 July 1840 he sailed to Akaroa on the Aube, which arrived a few days before the Comte de Paris with its contingent of French settlers. Florentin returned to Kororareka when the Akaroa mission closed in 1842 and by 1844 was in Auckland. When the Marists moved to Wellington diocese in 1850, he was appointed to Hawkes Bay. He took from Fr Reignier the burden of managing mission properties, first at Pakowhai, then at Meeanee. At the latter he broke in swampy, unpromising land till it became a model farm supporting the mission. In 1869, problems arose [a dishonoured promissory note] that brought his transfer to the Procure in Sydney. He died there on 23 July 1903, aged 93 and was buried in the Procure's private cemetery. Because as farm manager at Meeanee, he signed documents etc with his family name, he was often called Br John. John's Road in Taradale is named after him.
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