Catherine Wintrup (nee Smaill) (88) returns to Glencairn
Homestead (Tautuku Fishing Club), where she grew up, as
part of the Smaill family reunion yesterday. Photo by Peter
As 88-year-old Catherine Wintrup took a seat in the front
room of the Tautuku Fishing Club, her finger pointed as she
explained: ''There used to be a fireplace there, some beautiful
chairs over there and velvet curtains on the windows.''
Mrs Wintrup (nee Smaill, of Christchurch) is the
great-granddaughter of Charles Smaill, who came to Dunedin on
the ship Strathallan to settle, and granddaughter of
Alexander Smaill, the builder and original occupant of the
1870s two-storey stone house, previously called Glencairn
For her, the return to her childhood home, for a Smaill
family reunion, was special and brought back a flood of
She recalled with family members the large chandelier in the
hallway and the brass railings around the fireplaces.
''I loved it here, I always loved it. Something stirs in the
blood - all the good memories.
''The only thing I didn't like was the brass railings around
the fire because it was my job to clean them.''
She had to leave the homestead in her late teens, when her
father, William Smaill, died and the farm was sold. She said
he was a great fisherman and hunter, and it was no surprise
the house was now used by a fishing club.
In the late 1800s, the Smaill family was the centre of the
small farming community in the Tomahawk/Smaills Beach area,
known for their community involvement and progressive farming
To recognise the family's historic connection with the area,
a plaque with the homestead's history was unveiled, and a
trophy was donated to the Tautuku Fishing Club to be
presented in a fishing competition.
About 30 descendants of the Smaill family attended the