I welcome you all here today.
My name is David Rutherford and my wife Fiz and I are the present custodians of Leslie Hills.
This weekend is a celebration of George and Isabel Rutherfords descendants having enjoyed the land of New Zealand for 150 years.
I would like to thank George and Isabel for choosing the long voyage to Australasia rather than the shorter one to Rhodesia.
For those of you who are not so familiar with Leslie Hills we are standing in front of the homestead designed by the England brothers and built by George and Isabel’s sixth son Duncan in 1900.
It was built on the site of the original wool shed and yards so it is not hard to imagine George Senior and sons Andrew, William, John, Robert, George, Duncan and Edmund working sheep in dusty conditions right where you stand. This is one of the many things we the descendants standing here, have in common.
Shortly we will be going through to the side lawn where the original House and Gardens were. The old House foundations are still visible and you are welcome to wander through the gate into the trees after the parade.
The weekend has been the effort of many people, particularly the committees or people in charge of registrations, cocktails, parade, gala dinner, photo displays, Montrose and the bus trip tomorrow. These committee members have come from many branches of the seven sons. They have had some strong discussions but everything was always resolved with a laugh. I wonder if the same applied amongst the seven sons! Thank you to all you dedicated toilers.
Finally to even start an event like this weekend you need a family tree so I would like to thank Adrienne Rutherford for the foresight to do the first one, then Di Rutherford, Bid Garters, Pip Rutherford and Fiz for the updates. Also special thanks to Jan Holm for all her sterling work in recording our early family history.
Finally thank you all for coming from far and wide, you will make the day so enjoy yourselves.
Now I would like to introduce my father John who will talk about some things from the past……..