Rich  man, poor man, environmentalist, thief

Biographies of Canterbury personalities written for the Millennium and for the 150th anniversary of the Canterbury settlement
by Richard L. N. Greenaway

Rich  man, poor man, environmentalist, thief

Rich man, poor man, environmentalist, thief.


In 1994 Canterbury Public Library (now Christchurch City Libraries) produced Unsung heroines as a contribution to Women’s Suffrage Year. In 2000, for the Millennium and the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Canterbury Settlement, the Library produced this book, Rich man, poor man, environmentalist, thief.

Both works endeavour to highlight the lives of interesting but forgotten city dwellers. Extensive information on sources has been included, in part to support the text, in part to give researchers, genealogical and otherwise, a good idea of what primary and secondary material is available.

Why the title? Pat Sargison looked at the occupations of those who appear in the text, took an old song and changed the lyrics to:

Teacher, tailor, taxidermist, printer,
Rich man, poor man, environmentalist, thief.

It was decided that, of the two lines, the second would make the more catchy title.


I thank Christchurch City Libraries' staff: Glenda Fulton and Margaret Clune who allowed me the time to do research; Microfiche and Microfilm Centre staff, Helen Brown, Tom Trevella, Hamish Gordon, Neil Fitzgerald, Kate Ogier and Ann McGrain who hunted out useful pieces of information; Enid Ellis, Jane Rodgers, Joanna Bellringer and, especially, Patricia Sargison who read the text and suggested improvements; and the production team, Jenny Drummond, John Lloyd and Sasha Bowers. Assistance came also from the staff at the Alexander Turnbull Library; Jane Teal and Jo-Anne Smith, archivists at Anglican Archives and the Canterbury Museum respectively; the Macmillan Brown Centre at the University of Canterbury; and Archives New Zealand, Christchurch, whose extensive primary resources do indeed constitute a national park of the historical imagination.

Genealogical friends, Rona Hayles and Margaret Reid, found overseas information at the Family History Centre of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Professional researchers Valerie Marshall in Christchurch and Jane Smallfield in Dunedin showed themselves skilled in the use of the archive holdings of Land Information New Zealand. In Wellington, Leonard Dangerfield was, as usual, diligent and resourceful. Dianne Snowden extracted Tasmanian convict material. As with Unsung heroines, my aunt, Gwendolene Agassiz and mother, Daisy Greenaway, provided information from their store of knowledge of Christchurch people and places.

Richard L N Greenaway
Aotearoa New Zealand Centre
Christchurch City Libraries
January 2004

View catalogue record

Get Adobe Reader