Info 1h, Elsie catherine Campbell
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Elsie Catherine Campbell 26 July 1900 - 13 June 1921

  Born at Blue Spur Otago the eighth and youngest child of Charles and Isabella Paterson Campbell (nee Cousins)

In 1900 her father Charles was commissioned by The Board of the Takaka Sluicing Company in Wellington, to manage their gold sluicing operation at the Pupu Valley in Golden Bay. At the present it is not exactly known if Elsie had been born by then or if Isabella was pregnant with her when Charles left.

A photo of the family at Blue Spur taken in 1900 (according to the note on the back) doesnít include Elsie and Isabella appears either not to be, or in very early stages of pregnancy, suggesting the date of this photo could be late 1898 rather than 1899. Around 1901/2 her 2 eldest brothers Donald and Thomas had joined her Father in PuPu, whilst Elsie her mother and 4 siblings remained in the Blue Spur home, only leaving for Nelson in December 1908.
Elsie and Hilda last day school at Blue Spur recorded as December 1908, and were enrolled at Takaka School in January 1909.
A new family home at PuPu had been finished in February 1907 so a bit of a mystery why Charles didn't have his family join him in PuPu sooner.

Isabella and children no doubt sailed on a coastal vessel to Nelson and then on a paddle steamer to the Golden Bay port of Waitapu which was an excitind experience for them all. Elsie would have been age 8 at the time.

Elsie grew up in the beautiful manuka clad surroundings of the Pupu Valley with the family owned largest fresh water springs in the Southern Hemisphere, situated at the foot of the valley. (now called by its correct Maori name of Te Waikoropupu Springs. (place of the dancing sands)

Unfortunately on the 13th June 1921 at the tender age of almost 21yrs, like her sister Margaret Isabella some 6 years earlier, she passed away from pulmonary tuberculosis and exhaustion. She was buried in the unmarked grave at Rototai Cemetary which contained the remains of her brother James d 1915.

It is a mystery why Charles and Isabella chose not to mark this grave of 3 of their children when Charles would well have had sufficient funds to do so. Perhaps it was such a painful memory they didnít want to be reminded of it.


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Updated 7th July 2016