Edward Jollie (1825 – 1894)

I’m sure after Edward Jollie had finished surveying (driving pegs into the ground to mark out the roads and sections) the areas of Canterbury that would become Christchurch, Lyttelton and Sumner, he was quite over tussock, flax, cabbage trees and slipping up to his thighs in the swamp that was the Canterbury Plains in 1849.

As a young cadet surveyor in 1842, he was baptized by fire and brimstone when he began his career in the wilderness of the mountainous and rugged Port Nicholson (Wellington) by his employers, The New Zealand Company. In 1845 he found himself without a job as The New Zealand Company was cutting costs.

Crossing the Cook Strait, Edward moved his life to Wakapuaka (Marlborough) where his brother Francis had set up a farm. There isn’t much about Edward over the next four years but in 1849, he was employed by the Canterbury Association as a surveyor and he headed to Canterbury.

Here he worked alongside Captain Joseph Thomas, Charles Torlesse and Thomas Cass. These men shaped Christchurch, Sumner and Lyttelton, giving the townships and streets the names we take for granted today.

Poor Edward found himself out of work again when the Canterbury Association ran out of funds. He managed to stay afloat by taking odd jobs. In 1852, Edward was back with Francis in Wakapuaka and he made the very first cattle drive from Nelson to Canterbury. The naming of Jollie’s Pass (North of Hanmer Springs) now acknowledges this achievement. Francis settled down in Peel Forest, South Canterbury – where he remained for the rest of his life – and Edward disappeared from history until 1859. I am sure he spent these quiet years helping set up Francis’ land.

So, in 1859, we find Edward living in Cheviot where he has a very brief career as a Member of Parliament for the area. In 1861 Edward married Caroline Orsmond and the pair set up in Southbridge. They would go on and have 6 daughters and 2 sons.

In 1865, Edward became an active member of the Canterbury Provincial Council and remained there until 1876 when the provinces were abolished. During his time there he served as Secretary of the Public Works and was Provincial Treasurer.

To give their children the best start to life, the Jollie’s spent the 1870’s living in Europe for the children to attend the best schools.

Edward and Caroline returned to New Zealand alone in 1884 and they settle down on a fine estate in Patea on the North Island.

When Edward died in 1894, Caroline returned to Europe to live amongst her children. By the time of her death in 1919, she had settled down in Wellington.

In 1942, Jollie Street, a block over from Thomas Street off Linwood Ave was opened and named after the two surveyors.  Jollie’s Bush, in Sumner is also named in his memory.

*image courtesy of the http://canterburyheritage.blogspot.co.nz/ *
*Other photos taken by Annette Bulovic*

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