“Without a moment’s warning, while busy at his play, this bight and fun loving fair-haired boy, was quickly snatched away”.
On the day of the 22nd March 1882, 7 year old George Victor Moncks and friend were playing alongside the Avon Heathcote Estuary, not far from the Moncks’ Redcliffs home. The pair was trying to get their boat moored at a small jetty when poor George lost his grip and fell into the estuary. Unfortunately, the estuary was at high tide.
Horrified, George’s friend screamed for help, watching as George managed to break the surface a few times before disappearing under the water. No help came. It would be midnight before the boy’s body was recovered.
George’s father, John Stanley Moncks had emigrated to Lyttelton in 1862. In 1869, John and his wife Emma Tomes purchased the land that now makes up the most of Redcliffs. The family lived there for 60 years and are remembered in the naming of Moncks Bay/Spur.
George, ‘…a great favourite with all people…’ was the Monck’s second child. The accidental death was only briefly referred to in The Press on the 24th March 1882. He is buried in Woolston Cemetery.
*photo taken by Chris Bulovic*