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Article about George Moffat

probably written by Peter Moffat. Transcribed from photocopy of article obtained from Peter Moffat


GEORGE MOFFAT (1858 – 1938)

George was the oldest child of William and Ellen Moffat, born within a year of their arrival in Australia. Ellen moved to Collingwood, (now part of Melbourne), for his birth then rejoined William at Smeaton where later Alison and Robert were born.

Afterwards the family moved to New Zealand and settled in South Otago, and George attended the Balclutha Primary School. Both George and Robert were photographed at the School’s 60th Jubilee. He later sat on the Te Houka School Committee, and served a term as Chairman.

He worked at “Ellenslea” for a number of years, although in a Wises directory of the 1880s there is the entry “George Moffat, Te Houka: Mill Owner”. In 1891 George was married to Ann Susan Fahey of Four Mile Creek, who had previously been engaged to his younger brother Alexander, who died of T.B..

We presume the lived at what was to become “Blink Bonnie”. William had purchased 627 acres from Alex Cameron in 1884 and this was divided between George and Adam in 1904 to become “Blink Bonnie” and “Newfield”. The old “Blink Bonnie” house was originally a two roomed cottage, now over 100 years old. The original cottage is now the dining room and kitchen. No doubt the additions were made as the family grew to eleven children, ten growing to adulthood. Cousin Jim Fahey recalled seeing “Dad regularly shaking George by the hand to congratulate him on the birth of another child”.

George was a competent farmer. There is a cup won by him at the South Otago Ploughing Match and there are prize tickets for Clydesdales, fat sheep and grain. In 1913 he founded the “Blink Bonnie” Romney stud, still in the family. In addition to farming he was a keen orchardist growing berryfruits, plums, pears and many varieties of apple, some of which still bear good fruit.

He retired in 1920 to Queenstown and later moved to Oamaru where he remained a very enthusiastic gardener as all his grandchildren recall him taking them on a tour of inspection whenever they were visiting. He then moved to Timaru where he died in 1938. He is buried in the Balclutha Old Cemetery.



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