Illustrated Biographies of William
Sutherland (1838, Caithness, Scotland - 1895, Onehunga, New Zealand) and
his famous youngest son, Frank Emanuel Sutherland MBE
Birth: 13 Dec 1838 Pultneytown, Wick, Caithness, Scotland
Christening: 04 Jan 1839 Wick, Caithness
Marriage: 22 Jul 1868 Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand
Spouse: Mary Elizabeth Beavan
Death: 27 Sep 1895 Onehunga, Auckland 56y
Burial: St. Peters Church, Onehunga
William Sutherland was born at Pultneytown, Wick in the county of
Caithness, Scotland on 13 December 1838. He was the second son of
Alexander & Margaret Sutherland (nee Gunn).
John B. 11 Dec.1827 Never
Married D. 09 Aug.1868
Alexandrina B. 04 Aug. 1829 Married Gilbert Mitchell 1849 D. 28 Jan.
Barbara B. 02 May 1832 Married Adam McPherson 1853 D. 25 Feb. 1900
1841 Census Wick, Caithness, Scotland
Address Wick, Caithness
Alexr Head 41y B. Abt 1800 Halkirk Caithness
Margret Wife 42y B. Abt 1799 Dunbeath Caithness
John Son 14y B. Abt 1827 Wick Caithness
Alexandria Dau 12y B. Abt 1829 Wick Caithness
Barbra Dau 09y B. Abt 1832 Wick Caithness
William Son 03y B. Abt 1838 Wick Caithness
Census 1851 Navidale, Helmsdale (TA ref 202)
1851 Census Kildonan, Sutherland, Caithness, Scotland
Alex Head 51y B. Abt 1800 Halkirk Maltman
Alexandrine (Mitch.)Dau 22y B. Abt 1829 Enltruy? Assistant Malkmna?
Gilbert Mitchell Son-in-lw 24y B. Abt 1826 Helmsdale Assistant Maltman
Ann Polson Serv 40y
William Sutherland Serv 42y
No William who would have been 13y.
In reference to himself
William often quipped that he was the "son of a Gunn".
He was educated in his
native town and apprenticed to the carpenters trade.
It is not known whether
the historical Highland Clearances had any bearing on he & his brother's
decision to leave Caithness Scotland, but they occurred at the turn of
the century & may have influenced their decision. At the age of 19 he
left for New Zealand with his elder brother John. Before leaving home
the two brothers each planted a tree beside the distillery. William's
tree survived for many years but John's tree died.
Their barque, the
"William Watson" sailed from Gravesend on 21 October 1858, passed
through the Downs on the 22nd and took her departure from the Start on
23 Oct. She arrived in Auckland after a passage of 110 days (3 1/2
months) from port to port, on 8th February 1859. (For a detailed account
of their voyage see John's diary). The barque was of 480 tons, a small
vessel in which to sail the Southern Ocean.
William landed with the
proverbial shilling. Both brothers went straight from Auckland to
Otahuhu where there was considerable military activity, as the military
authorities feared an immediate outbreak of war with Waikato Maori.
William secured work as a carpenter and by 1863 had established himself
as a contracting builder. John returned to Scotland after one year as
the climate didn't suit him.
Among buildings William
erected in and about Otahuhu was the Public Hall in 1865. He was elected
a director of the Otahuhu Public Hall Company in that same year.
Grandpa William used to
sleep on the shores of Puketutu Island because the air was cleaner. (He
suffered from lung trouble) Source: Pat Bennett (Sutherland).
While working as a
builder in Otahuhu, a beautiful young lady passed by and William made
the remark, "She's the one for me." He obviously followed this up
because he married Mary Elizabeth Beavan at the home of her uncle and
aunt, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Gane on 22nd July 1868. Mary was just 17 years
old when she married William.
Hills Index Vol 3 NZ Herald 1863 - 1880
1868 25 July
On 22 July at Otahuhu, Wm. Sutherland married Mary Elizabeth Beavan
Family believe that her mother, Elizabeth Gane, came out to New Zealand
for their wedding but I can find no evidence of this & she wasn't a
witness at their wedding.
Meanwhile William had erected a house for himself on the Great South
Road, Otahuhu in 1867 to which he took his new bride. He built a joinery
factory to the east of his home and in 1868 he started business as a
fellmonger and woolstapler.
Mary & William had 7 sons
and 5 daughters.
William & Mary's first-born, Alexandrina Enid (known as Lexie) was born
on 10 July 1869.
Hills Index Vol 3 NZ Herald 1863 - 1880
1869 15 July
On 10 July at Otahuhu to Mrs. Sutherland, a daughter
1870-71 Electoral Roll Pensioner Settlements-Otahuhu, Auckland
Sutherland, William freehold, dwelling house and workshop in his
occupation (also listed in Franklin)
Kenneth William followed on 6 April 1871.
William was elected a member of the first School Committee of Otahuhu on
5 July 1872.
Leopold John was born the next year on 7 September1873.
Hills Index Vol 3 NZ Herald 1863 - 1880
1873 20th September
On 9th September at Otahuhu to William Sutherland, a son
Ernest was born on 3 November 1874.
Hills Index Vol. 4 Daily Southern Cross 1843 - 1876
1874 25th November
On 3 November at Otahuhu to Mr. Sutherland, a son
William then built the Presbyterian Church in 1874 at Mangere, where it
is still standing today, 125 years later. He was also an active member
of the Wesleyan Church at this time.
William went to Waitara
in 1873, where he erected a tannery for a Taranaki company. He took John
Jones of Otahuhu with him as a jobbing carpenter and his apprentice
James Hart, also of Otahuhu with him to the contract in Waitara. (Otahuhu
He entered into
partnership with William Dawson about 1873 or 1874, but did not actively
engage in this business until 1875 when he ceased his building
operations and gave his whole time to the fellmongery. (Refer to the
History of the Otahuhu Fellmongery).
1875-76 Electoral Roll
Sutherland, William freehold, dwelling house and workshop in his
By June 15 1877, he had 7 acres, 2 roods and 29 perches of land on the
northern side of Fairburn Road at its eastern boundary with a Tamaki
On 30 March 1876 Ira Joseph arrived, followed a year later by Bessie
Barbara on 26 July 1877.
1880-81 Electoral Roll Franklin & Franklin North
Sutherland, William Builder, dwelling house and workshop in his
Edwin Vivian was born on 26 November 1880. He was the last child to be
born in Otahuhu because the family moved to Onehunga as a result of
William setting up the Sutherland Tannery there. This would have been
between Edwin's birth, 26 Sep 1880, and the arrival of Mary on 28 May
Richard followed on 22
June 1883 and Laura Margaret on 11 May 1885. Sadly Laura died the
following year on 24 April 1886, not quite reaching her 1st birthday.
Ella Georgina was born on
28 April 1887 and last but not least of their 12 children, Emanuel Frank
on 10 July 1892. William had wanted each male born to be christened
Emanuel, (God with us) but Mary held out until the last son. However he
was always known as Frank (Emanuel).
Meanwhile Lexie had
married on 21 April 1891 so Frank had a brother-in-law the day he was
All the sons worked in
the Tannery except Frank who was too young. William sported a long beard
and wore a long smock over his overalls when at work in the Tannery. He
also wore a high hat like a Turk.
For information on the
Sutherland tannery see hard copy.
William died on 27
September 1895 aged 56, and was buried at St. Peters Church, Onehunga.
His headstone was moved to make way for a pathway & is now to the left
of the church as you face it.
There is a memorial to
him on his wife's grave in the Waikaraka Park Cemetery, Onehunga, near
the Rae Mausoleum. It has an angel on top which in 1991 was moving in
the wind. Beavan Sutherland & his son Ted reset it in a concrete base so
it should be preserved for some time to come.
M I: died 27-09-1895: aged 56
Area 1 Block G Lot No. 29
Inscription reads "In loving memory of William Sutherland died at
Onehunga 27 Sep 1895 aged 56 yrs (verse) In loving memory of Mary
Elizabeth wife of William Sutherland died at Onehunga on the eleventh
anniversary of her husband's death 27 Sept 1906 aged 54 yrs." (McNab &
Name Sutherland, William
Death Date 27 Sep 1895
Probate No. BBAE 1569 2144/95
Filed Date 29 Oct 1895
Held Auck. Archives
John Henderson on behalf of Frank's daughter
Heather (Sutherland) Burney writes ....
FRANK EMANUEL SUTHERLAND MBE
The New Zealand Roll of Honour
Sutherland, Major Frank Emanuel MBE 1946
Coronation Medal 1953
N.Z. Maori Pioneer Battalion, W.W.1
Mentioned in Despatches
Former General Manager, Auckland Savings Bank
Formerly of Takapuna
Frank was born to William Sutherland and
Mary Elizabeth (Beavan) Sutherland on 10 July 1892 in the house
originally erected by John Bycroft of the Flour Mill & Biscuit Factory,
in 1854, in Onehunga, Auckland.
Frank was the youngest of twelve children &
the seventh son. The family used to call him 'beautiful' but the closest
Frank could get to that was 'Buddu' which later became 'Budda', a
nickname used in certain circles for most of his life. Frank's name was
registered by his father as Emanuel Frank. Evidently William had wanted
each of his sons to be named Emanuel (God with us) but his wife Mary had
not agreed. So it came to be that when the last son Frank was born she
relented, but he was still known as Frank Emanuel all his life.
Apart from his prowess in Mathematics and
Science Frank was an all-round athlete, excelling in athletics and
rugby. He represented Auckland Grammar at rugby as a forward, centre-threequarter
and rover in the first fifteen in 1908, 1909 & 1910. In this last year
he was Vice-Captain. While at the Grammar he also distinguished himself
as a cricketer of no mean order, making the first eleven in 1908 and one
year won the cup as the best all-round athlete at the school sports.
While he was still in his teens he was appointed Choirmaster of the
Onehunga Methodist Church and shortly after conducted the Onehunga Glee
Club of 30 voices.
After leaving school he worked as a clerk in the Auckland Savings Bank,
in 1911. He also joined up with the College Rifles Rugby Club in 1912
and a year later played his way into the Auckland B representative side.
Frank was in the WWI 3rd Maori Contingent which departed on 5 Feb. 1916
for Suez. His rank was then Lieutenant of A Company which was made up of
Maoris from Northland (Ngapuhi) and the Waikato. This was known as the
Maori Pioneer Battalion. While overseas he encouraged Maori rugby and
played in their native team, which attained quite a reputation in the
Frank found the Maoris under his command
very resourceful in finding food and other commodities, but never
questioned where they obtained them! His service was mostly in the
trenches of France but there are photographs of him astride a camel in
the Egyptian desert prior to this. Frank spoke little of his war years.
Given Name: Frank Emanuel
Category: Nominal Roll Vol. 2
Regimental Number: 16/1327
Rank: Lieutenant [.... later, Major]
Next of Kin Title: Mrs. C.J.
Next of Kin Surname: SCHNAUER
Next of Kin Relationship: Sister
Next of Kin Address: Arthur St, Onehunga
Roll: Roll 25
Page: Page 1
When Frank went missing on the 17 Sep 1916, and was posted as "believed
killed in action". In actual fact he had been hit by flying shrapnel and
his dog-tags had been taken. Later when he recovered, the news was sent
home that he was injured. Meanwhile Dannevirke Primary School had placed
his name on their memorial and years later he was invited back to the
school to a ceremony at which his name was removed from this memorial.
This must have been a difficult task as it was engraved in granite
stone. He was introduced as the soldier who had 'risen from the dead'.
Mentioned in Despatches 16/1327 Major Frank Emanuel Sutherland .......
This appeared in the London Gazette of 11/07/19, p 8837, Record No.
3421. He was mentioned in despatches "for consistent good work and
devotion to duty during the period from 18th September 1918 up to the
cessation of hostilities on 11th November 1918."
He returned to New Zealand on April 6 1919 by S.S. Westmoreland and
received privilege leave from 7 April to 4 May 1919. His home address
was 'Beavan House' Arthur St, Onehunga. When he returned from the war he
began courting Doris Jones of Cheltenham, Devonport. He had been writing
to her during the War years. He married Doris Jones on November 20 1920
in the Methodist Church in Devonport. Ernest Sutherland, Frank's brother
and Ivy Hazel Jones Doris's sister were the witnesses. W.J. Elliot was
the officiating minister. Gladys Blayney (Ivy's friend) & Claud Schnauer
were the other attendants & Edna Schnauer & Jean Howe were the
flowergirls. Frank and Doris lived in Egremont St, Belmont to begin
with, but soon after moved to the corner of Lake Rd. & Napier Ave,
Takapuna. A steam tram used to run from Milford to a stop outside their
house and on to the Bayswater wharf. It used to whistle as it passed the
house and when Frank was asleep he used to leap out of bed to grab his
rifle. This was a left-over reaction to the sirens in W.W.1. At first
Doris used to grab him by the pyjama coat & later she took a length of
silk and tied it round his ankle & to the bed-end to remind him that he
was at home and no longer at the war. It eventually did the trick!
One of Frank's passions was the game of Rugby. He rejoined the College
Rifles rugby football team playing for their Volunteers team, as a
returning serviceman in 1919. This was the club's first winning team.
"Ten thousand people were attracted to the Domain for the match, for
which the curtain-raiser was Grammar and King's first XVs, also deciding
their championship. Grammar School won the early game, but the Old Boys
were never in the hunt in the big one. Without doing anything
spectacular, Rifles slowly established an advantage, Frank Sutherland
scoring an early try after Laxon had goaled from a penalty. Grammar had
their moments but were unable to register points before the break.
Shortly afterwards Grierson opened the Grammar defence up for Pooley to
score, and the nine point margin was looking good. It was looking better
only a minute or so later when Rifles poured through after a kick and a
fumble at the back allowed Laxon to send Sutherland away for his second
try of the day which the skipper converted & soon after the championship
was in the bag. The (1919) team was a mixture of young & old heads.
Toughness, especially up front, was supplied by the likes of Charlie
Fletcher and Frank Sutherland. Frank won his first representative cap in
1919. He toured with the Auckland team which played Taranaki and
Wellington. Wellington beat them, but, against Taranaki, Frank landed
He returned to his first job after the war, as clerk at the Auckland
Savings Bank. The following year he joined the Referees Association. He
refereed club matches, then Auckland matches, national fixtures, and
finally international atches. In those days, 1920s and 30s, N.Z. used to
play N.S.W., Queensland as well as Australia and Great Britain. Frank
refereed the only test between New South Wales and New Zealand in 1925,
and then in 1928 he carried the whistle in the first test, New Zealand
versus New South Wales, at Wellington, and also in the third test, New
Zealand versus New South Wales at Christchurch.
Frank was appointed Chief Clerk of the Auckland Savings Bank in 1925 and
Accountant in 1931. He became General Manager in 1935.
He rose to be Honorary Secretary of the
Trustee Savings Banks Association of New Zealand. In 1954 Frank attended
the International Savings Banks Conference in Germany representing the
New Zealand Associated Trustee Savings Banks. Later that year he went to
Sweden for the international summer school for savings bank managers.
During his 21 years as manager he implemented in the interests of home
owners and farmers the merciful mortguage policy of non-foreclosure
which the Trustees had laid down, embarked on a period of branch
expansion and introduced mechanised accounting. He retired as Manager at
the end of 1956 and he and Doris embarked on a world tour in 1957.
During this tour they both attended a Buckingham Palace Garden Party on
Frank was president of the Auckland Referees Association in 1927. In
1930 he officiated in the fourth test between the All Blacks and the
British team at Wellington. By 1942 he was on the N.Z. Rugby Council.
In 1931 Frank retired as a referee after 12 seasons. He was a selector
in 1932-33 and by 1942 he was on the N.Z. Rugby Council representing
Auckland. In 1946 he was awarded the M.B.E. and from 1946 to 1949 he was
on the Executive of the Auckland Rugby Union. 1947 and 1950 found Frank
in London, one of two representatives attending an Imperial Rugby
Conferences. From 1932-42 he had held the office of Vice President and
in 1952 he was made President. He also attended International Board
meetings in 1952 and 1957. He was further honoured when the Union made
him a Life Member in 1953. Frank was also a Life Member of the Takapuna
Rugby Club, a member of the Eden Park Board of Trustees and President of
the New Zealand Rugby Union, and a Vice-Patron of the Auckland Union.
Golf, bowls, music, gardening and, of course, watching his beloved
rugby, were also among Frank's recreational activities. Apart from these
he was an avid stamp-collector, a keen member of the Masonic Lodge and
was Master of the Takapuna Lodge. He also devoted as much time as he
could to his church giving freely of his time and talents. He was
Secretary of the Trust at Takapuna Methodist Church. Then, in 1958,
Frank wrote the story of the Takapuna Methodist Church during
three-quarters of a century 1883-1958 entitled "75 Years". After his
death in December, 1962, the family discovered that he was guardian and
benefactor to several deserving people in Takapuna.
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