Catherin Servant

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From THE FIRST WAVE OF FRENCH MARISTS by Michael O'Meeghan SM, 2008, 9.

Fr CATHERIN SERVANT, aged 30 (on arrival in New Zealand in Group I on 10 Jan 1838).

Apart from occasional visits to the Bay of Islands he remained in the Hokianga for four years becoming an accomplished Maori speaker and an acute observer and recorder of Maori custom. In April 1842 he left on the Sancta Maria on the first stage of his voyage to Ponape where he had been transferred. But at Wallis, Pompallier (visiting there) diverted him to Futuna to replace the murdered Chanel. Except for two years in Samoa, the rest of his life was spent on Futuna where he died 8 January, 1860, aged 52. Shortly before his death he completed formal affidavits from eye-witnesses to Chanel's “murder" these being vital to the Church's judgement on whether Chanel could be regarded as a martyr. His observations sent to France from the Hokianga were edited and published as Customs and Habits of the New Zealanders 1838-1842; (Reed, Wellington, 1973).

Research by Elizabeth Charlton:

Louis Catherin Servant

Born 25/10/1808 Grézieu-le-Marché, Rhône
Died 8/01/1860 Island of Futuna

Profession 24/09/1836
Ordination 22/12/1832

  • 18330104-11 thereabouts at Valbenoite OM doc 262
  • 183301-183608 Hermitage OM Doc 757
  • 18360920 Belley retreat
  • 18361224 departed for Oceania
  • 1838 Hokianga
    • 183805 already hearing problems LRO doc 24
    • 18400205 at Treaty meeting with Pompallier LRO doc 52
    • 18400514 helping Pompallier to write small brochures LRO doc 58 / 59
  • 18420402 left NZ for Futuna LRO doc 107 / 138
  • 18420529-185505 Futuna Island LRO doc 153 / Poupinel doc 416 / Physionomie Mariste
  • 18550704 arrive Sydney on Dragon from Fiji (Feejee)
  • 18561127 arrive Apia, Samoa APM Diary
    • 185810 state of health ("partly returned to childhood" Poupinel doc 428)
  • 185911 Futuna to collect evidence re Peter Chanel Poupinel doc 599

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