Old white man of the day

I thought I may come unstuck on the alphabetical appreciation of old white men when it was time for Q, but Barzillai Quaife, who was born at Lenham, Kent, England, on 29 December 1798, seemed like an interesting chap. Quote:

MG outside Lenham Sports Cars

[…] Quaife was educated at Hoxton Academy, London, and worked as a teacher and Congregational minister before emigrating with his wife and son to South Australia in 1839. There he ran a religious bookshop in Adelaide and was leader writer for the Southern Australian newspaper, until its publisher persuaded him to establish a paper in New Zealand.

Quaife arrived with his family at Kororareka (Russell) on the Agenoria in May 1840. On 15 June the first issue of the New Zealand Advertiser and Bay of Islands Gazette, the colony’s second newspaper, appeared. Although it carried government proclamations, this did not stop Quaife exercising a fiercely independent and critical editorial policy. A trenchant supporter of Maori rights and critic of erring public servants, he focused on Maori interests, particularly the issue of land, and criminal justice. Arguably New Zealand’s first public anti-racist, he defended the right of the Maori to ownership of their land: ‘when…the Governor…lays it down as an axiom…that the natives have no independent right over their own property…we see no end – looking at the Cape as an example – of the catalogue of miseries which may be entailed on this inoffensive people.’ He argued that Governor George Gipps’s land act of August 1840, empowering the New South Wales governor to appoint commissioners to investigate land claims in New Zealand, was unenforceable and would lead to conflict.

Quaife was destined for a clash with authority. His liberal nonconformist education, and experience of a free colony and an unfettered, anti-government press, conflicted with the experience of the chief police magistrate and acting colonial secretary, Willoughby Shortland, recently arrived from New South Wales, a convict colony where the press was controlled. In December 1840 Shortland, recalling an old New South Wales ordinance, ordered Quaife to post several hundred pounds surety and pay a fine or face transportation should he publish ‘expressions tending to bring the Government into hatred or contempt.’ The last edition of the Advertiser appeared on 10 December 1840.

Quaife, however, was undeterred. On 24 February 1842 he launched the Bay of Islands Observer. Again he belaboured an inefficient and corrupt government, until he foolishly printed gossip about the Prime Minister’s live in lover former colonial treasurer, George Cooper. Although Quaife apologised publicly, he was dismissed by the paper’s proprietors. Thereafter he devoted himself to the Kororareka Congregational Church, which he had founded in 1840, the first Congregational church in New Zealand, and to teaching and running a bookshop.

In May 1844, financially exhausted, he set out to return to England. Instead, however, he settled in New South Wales. […] He died at Woollahra, Sydney, on 3 March 1873. Although his time in New Zealand was brief, Barzillai Quaife holds an honoured place in the history of the press and of race relations in New Zealand as an outspoken opponent of government injustice and an early advocate of Maori rights. End of quote.


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In solidarity with the those in the world’s most despised demographic, WH has decided to ‘come out’ as an old white male. WH enjoys exercising the white-male privilege that Whaleoil provides for him by writing the occasional post challenging climate change consensus; looking at random tech issues that tweak his interest, as a bit of a tech nerd; or generally poking the borax at anyone in public life who goes on record revealing their stupidity. WH never excelled on the sports field because his coaches never allowed him to play in his preferred position on the right-wing. WH also enjoys his MG.

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