Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)

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On to Kaeo and the Joseph Hare Home

Among the very first in New Zealand to accept the third angel's message, as S. N. Haskell began work in Auckland in late 1885, were Edward Hare and his wife. As soon as he accepted the Sabbath he was eager that his father, Joseph Hare, who resided in Kaeo, should also hear. So Haskell made a visit to Kaeo, 160 miles north of Auckland. Of this visit he wrote: 4BIO 72.4

We became deeply interested in Father Hare and his family. For twenty years he had been a schoolmaster in the north of Ireland. By his present and his former marriage, and by the former marriage of his present wife, he has a family of twenty-four children. Sixteen of these are married and have children. Many of them are men of means, and hold honorable positions in society. They are persons of more than ordinary ability, and have an extensive influence. Father Hare himself is local preacher for the Methodists.—Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 103. 4BIO 72.5

Many members of the family accepted the third angel's message, including Father Hare. Now, eight years later, Ellen White was in New Zealand and was urged to visit Kaeo. She recorded: 4BIO 73.1

Here is a company of interesting people—a father, and his children and grandchildren. Father Hare is now in the seventies.... He is a man much respected. The community was so anxious to see us that we consented to take this trip from Auckland to Kaeo. 4BIO 73.2

They have a little chapel which was built by the Hare family. One son is in Auckland, one son obtained his education at our college in Healdsburg, California. We feel pleased that we can visit this church consisting mostly of the members of this one large family.—Letter 55, 1893. 4BIO 73.3

Kaeo was a twenty-four-hour journey from Auckland by coastal boat, which made several stops en route. There was just time to squeeze in comfortably a two-week visit to Kaeo before entering into preparations for the camp meeting scheduled to open in Napier on Thursday, March 23. 4BIO 73.4

So on Monday the White party, the same that had come from Australia, boarded the Clansman at Auckland for its weekly trip north. Once on shipboard Mrs. White soon discovered that it would be unwise for her to go into the cabin below. She reported, “It was close, and the berths in staterooms narrow and hard as a board.”—Manuscript 77, 1893. She described the journey in a letter written to her older sister Mary Foss, who resided in Maine. Ellen White was still suffering a good deal of pain in her hips and could walk but little. A comfortable chair had been purchased for her in Auckland; this, along with a folding spring bed, was brought on board. The chair, she said, suited her as if made especially for her. There was a stiff breeze as they started on their journey, and Ellen White was wrapped up “like a mummy” to shelter her from the wind. She continued: 4BIO 73.5

My chair was the easiest I ever had; but after about two hours my hip began to pain me, and I knew I must lie down. When Willie came to see if all was well with me, I told him I could not endure to sit up any longer. 4BIO 74.1

The only place open to me on deck was the smoking room, but all said if I could not do better they would empty that room and put my spring bed in there; but lo, the bed would not go in. Then the steward and W. C. White went off by themselves to get things fixed. After a while they came and helped me to the other side of the boat, where a shelter had been made with rugs, and I lay down on a good spring cot, oh, so grateful for the privilege.... 4BIO 74.2

The arrangement made for me on deck was a great comfort, and I felt so thankful for the change from chair to cot. Emily lay in a steamer chair next to me. Willie had a steamer chair on the other side of me. Brother and Sister Starr were below in a stateroom.—Letter 55, 1893. 4BIO 74.3

During the trip Ellen White had a long visit with the captain, who had suffered severely from rheumatism but had been cured, according to him, by spending some time at a hot sulfur spring near Auckland. The captain's wife urged Ellen White to visit these springs. She thought she might do so. As they made their way up the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, the scenery was exquisite. She wrote as they traveled: 4BIO 74.4

I think it is not possible for anyone who is not a Christian to understand and enjoy the works of God and the precious things in nature. When we behold the evidences of His matchless love, in the lofty trees, the shrubs and opening flowers, our minds are carried up from nature to nature's God, and our hearts overflow with gratitude to the great Master Artist who has given us all these beautiful things to delight our senses.—Ibid. 4BIO 74.5

When they arrived at their destination, Whangaroa Harbor, at seven in the evening, Joseph and Metcalfe Hare were there to meet them. The men had come three miles from Kaeo in their skiff. Travelers and baggage were transferred to the little boat, and they started on the two-hour trip to Kaeo. The water was smooth, the air was mild, and the new moon gave just enough light to outline the mountains (The Review and Herald, May 30, 1893). Ellen White describes the trip in her diary: 4BIO 74.6

Willie sat at the end of the boat at the helm, his back to my back to give me support and to guide the boat. Brethren Hare stood up in the boat, each with an oar, and were guided by word and motion of head when the boat should go veering to right and left in the narrow passage, shunning rocks and dangerous places. 4BIO 75.1

The view on this passage must be grand when it can be seen, but it was night and we were deprived of the privilege of viewing the scenery. The water was as smooth as a beautiful lake.... The landing place was close to Joseph Hare's backyard. We stepped, with help, on the embankment and passed through the gate, and a few steps brought us to the back piazza [porch]. We climbed the steps and entered the open door and were welcomed by Sister Hare.—Manuscript 77, 1893. 4BIO 75.2

In the morning Father Hare came with his carriage and took them the three miles to his home. As they traveled, Ellen White became ecstatic by what she saw: fern trees in abundance, mountains “closely linked one to another, rounded or sharp at the top, and precipicelike at the sides; then uniting with this was still another and another, peak after peak presenting itself like links uniting in a chain” (Ibid.). Father Hare's home was well located, close to a high, wooded mountain. A passing stream supplied pure water. There was a flourishing orchard of apples, pears, peaches, plums, and quince trees, and beyond, beautiful, fragrant pines. 4BIO 75.3

Wednesday, Ellen White spent in writing letters for the American mail. Early Thursday it began to rain, and how it did rain! By afternoon the little creek was a swollen roaring torrent, bringing down driftwood and logs. The lower part of the Kaeo Valley was flooded, houses were destroyed, horses and sheep were drowned, and hundreds of huge logs were floated over fields and orchards (Ibid., May 30, 1893). But the rain was soon over, and the weather improved. 4BIO 75.4

Sabbath morning Ellen White spoke in the little meetinghouse the Hare family had built. As she stood before her audience, she recognized faces she had previously seen in vision, as had happened to her many times. She was well aware of the experiences and attitudes of some present (Manuscript 77, 1893). Sunday afternoon she addressed about two hundred of the community folks at the Wesleyan church. George Starr spoke in the same church Sunday evening. Thus began a busy stay at Kaeo. 4BIO 75.5

Some members of the Hare family had not yet confessed Christ, and one had grown harsh and sharp in his dealings with neighbors and in his efforts to win people to the message. This left them with but little influence. Yet, Ellen White reported, the people in the community seemed anxious to hear the Word of God. Souls were asking, “What is truth?” Of the youth she wrote that “there are some in Kaeo whom God has been calling to fit themselves for labor in His vineyard, and we rejoice that several are preparing to go to the Bible school” in Australia (Ibid., May 30, 1893). Because of bad weather and irregular boat schedules, the visitors stayed an extra week in Kaeo. They filled the time with meetings, and in earnest visiting from family to family. Near the time for them to leave, Minnie and Susan Hare, ages 20 and 14, respectively, youngest daughters of Father Hare, were baptized. 4BIO 76.1

Thursday morning, March 16, the visiting group caught the steamer for Auckland. Ellen White and the Starrs were taken to Whangaroa Harbor on Wednesday afternoon so that Ellen White could speak in the town hall that evening. W. C. White and Emily Campbell came with the baggage early Thursday morning, and they were soon on the Clansman en route to Auckland. 4BIO 76.2

At Auckland they changed to the Wairarapa, bound for Napier. Here the first Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting in the Southern Hemisphere was scheduled to open on Thursday, March 23. Again the trip meant Sabbath travel, and while waiting for the two-o'clock (Friday) departure Ellen White wrote letters. In one she stated, “I am sorry, so sorry, that again we will travel on the Sabbath.”—Letter 32b, 1893. 4BIO 76.3

At Auckland, ten church members joined them on board, bound for the same meeting. There was a stop en route on Sabbath at Gisborne, where A. G. Daniells and Robert Hare had raised up a church (The Review and Herald, June 6, 1893). The ministers went ashore and met with the believers in their Sabbath service. 4BIO 76.4