One of the great things about running a business like Kokohuia Lodge is that we get to meet some really interesting people. None more so than our recent guests, Leigh and Nickie Overton from Wanaka. Leigh is the great great grandson of Mary Bumby, the sister of John Bumby, who was the Wesleyan Superintendent at The Mangungu Mission House at the time of the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi.
Both John and Mary were present (and hosted some 2000 to 3000 guests) at the second signing of The Treaty at Mangungu on February 12th 1840. It is interesting to note that more Rangatira signed The Treaty at Mangungu, than had signed it six days previously at Waitangi.
Another interesting fact about Mary is that, in 1838, on her way out to NZ, she earned her own place in New Zealand history, by being the first person to import honey bees into New Zealand. She purchased two hives from a beekeeper in Sydney, apparently because her brother liked honey on his toast. (These facts gleaned from Smales’ Trail by John Steele, which Leigh and Nickie lent me while they were here). We particularly like this story here at Kokohuia Lodge, because as beekeepers, it is more than possible that some of our bees are descendants of Mary’s original hives!