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Life in Early Poverty Bay

Troubles of the Early Church

page 56

Troubles of the Early Church.

We now come to a time, 1871 to 1874, when there was no resident clergyman in Gisborne. It was in the former year that the late Wm. Dean Lysnar, father of Mr. W. D. Lysnar, M.P., took up his residence here. His diary for the period up to June 2, 1872, is not available but entries relating to later incidents make interesting reading in the light of the changed conditions of to-day. In the interval, until the establishment of a regular branch of the Anglican Church in 1874, with the Rev. J. Murphy, M.A., as resident clergyman, Mr. Lysnar, it would seem, was mainly responsible for the conduct of services. It is on record under date June 2, 1874, that owing to alterations in the Court-house, the church service was read in the school_house. Mr. Lysnar was appointed one of the church committee, which held its first meeting at Capt. Richardson's house. The harmonium was then removed from the Court-house to the school-house. On June 16 and June 23 Mr. Lysnar read the service and sermon but on the 30th he was taken ill with a bilious attack and Dr. Nesbitt and Capt. Richardson took charge of the evening service. The collection, it is noted, amounted to £1 6s 6d. The early infant local church was not without its troubles, for we read that on the first Sunday in July Mrs. Taylor, the first organist, objected to the children attending choir practice. Mr. Lysnar read the service. On the succeeding Wednesday, the first practice of the scholars was held, Mrs. Reid playing the harmonium.