Last French pioneer settler

Messrs Smith and party’s sluicing claim, near Wetherstones, Tuapeka. — Otago Witness, 18.11.1919.
Messrs Smith and party’s sluicing claim, near Wetherstones, Tuapeka. — Otago Witness, 18.11.1919.
The last of the old French settlers who arrived by the Comte de Paris, Mr Joseph Libeau, died at his residence, Duvauchelle, on Monday morning, at the age of 86. 

The deceased was born at Bordeaux, and came out with his parents in 1840, being then a lad of seven years.  Mr Libeau, sen., was the first Frenchman to go in for dairying in this country.  Young Libeau worked with his parents for some years and then went to Victoria when the gold rush was on. 

Not meeting with much success, he returned to New Zealand, and after a time he took up land at Duvauchelle.  He married Mdlle. Jeandre, who also came out with her parents in the Comte de Paris, and who died some years ago.  They had a large family. 

Mr Libeau came in to Akaroa last January to meet General Pau, who had a long conversation with him.  The deceased was a very old Oddfellow, and up to a year or so ago enjoyed very good health.

Post office salaries reduced

During the last few weeks (says the Napier Telegraph), postmasters in country towns, where the only post office is the country store, have been considerably perturbed at the action of the Government in reducing the salaries of all officers. 

At one place not a hundred miles from Napier, where the person sworn in as the postmaster has to work on an average of six hours daily to attend to the Government’s business, the salary has been cut down from £120 to £65 per annum.  At another country place it was proposed to reduce the payment from £60 to £50. 

The postmaster in this case immediately replied telling the department to either leave the salary as it was, increase it, or stop it altogether and get somebody else.  The business of the department is still being done at the same place and no reduction has been made.

Hall company at Wedderburn

A well attended meeting was held at Wedderburn on Monday night, when it was resolved to form a company for the purpose of erecting  a public hall.  Applications for shares to the value of £135 were received in the room.  Messrs J. Deveney, W. Lobb, and W. Reid were appointed to canvass the district for the purpose of placing shares. 

A committee was appointed to prepare a sketch plan of the building and an estimate of the probable cost.  Mr W. Shea was appointed secretary.  It was proposed to erect a building that will meet the requirements of the district for some years.

It is expected that ample funds will be forthcoming to enable a suitable building to be completed before next winter.

Profiteering in shoe trade

A woman’s susceptibility to a pretty pair of shoes is indicated in the report of the Profiteering Commission, presented to the Victorian Parliament (says the Melbourne Age). 

The report states that there is profiteering in the manufacture and sale of boots and shoes, and it gives figures to prove that retailers are alive to the weaknesses of women where elegant, but not necessarily sound, footwear is concerned. 

Some retailers, it is pointed out, make a uniform addition to the prices at which their goods are invoiced to them, but the majority increase the added percentage according to the quality of the boot or shoe.  The commission expresses no sympathy for those who are made the victims of profiteering in high-priced and fancy goods.

— ODT, 28.11.1919.



Since the passing of the last French settler, M Libeau, no one has known the correct pronunciation of "Duvauchelle".

They say it like 'Devotion'.

No, I'm not going to Devauchelle. I have my own beliefs.