20 December 2017

The REAL Shepherds

The Mackenzie District seems to have a 'shepherd' theme. The Church of the Good Shepherd is in Lake Tekapo. The bronze memorial to working sheep dogs similar to the 1850's shepherd, James Mackenzie's sheep dog (Friday) proudly stands overlooking Lake Tekapo.

I think it's awesome that Mackenzie Country was named after James Mackenzie, a sheep rustler. In 1855, Mackenzie was caught after stealing 1000 sheep from 'Levels Station' a farm north of Timaru. After escaping his captors he walked 160 kms to Lyttleton where he was recaptured by police. He was sentenced to five years hard labour and managed to escape from prison on at least two occasions. 
Mackenzie was then placed in irons and closely watched. Then in September 1855, a Christchurch magistrate investigated Mackenzie's case and found serious flaws with the police trail and inquiry. James Mackenzie was given an unconditional pardon on 11 Jan 1856 after spending nine months in prison.

Once freed the infamous sheep drover sailed for Australia and nothing certain is known of his life after that.

But even better than the legendary shepherd, James Mackenzie, was our recent visit from three real-life shepherds. On Sunday our friends Trev, Julie and Emma Shepherd from Westport, drove eight and a half hours to surprise us. Wow! It was such a lovely surprise/shock!  We heard a young girl's voice talking to the dogs on Sunday night and thought a campervan must have pulled in without us noticing and their child had come to see the dogs.

When we went outside, there was Emma and her Mum and Dad, Julie & Trev! They said they'd come to hand deliver our Christmas present. 

They pitched their tent and we spent the evening catching up.

It was so lovely to see them and what a special thing for them to have done.

1 comment:

  1. It was lovely to see you both, glad our little surprise worked! Enjoying reading your blog and seeing your amazing photos - have visited some places during our trip that I look forward to you visiting and blogging about! Merry Christmas from us all!


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