William Golder
Hutt's first teacher



The Hutt News, Lower Hutt, New Zealand 4 May 2004

William Golder was born in Straven, Scotland in 1810 and arrived on Petone Beach with his wife and family on one of the first four ships, the Bengal Merchant in February 1840. The decision to emigrate was sparked by the fact he was no longer allowed to teach in a Scottish school because his wife Mary had become a Catholic.


He is acknowledged as the area's first teacher, holding first a "night school" in a thatched whare on the banks of the Hutt River in the area of Alicetown and then building himself a small weatherboard schoolroom near Melling. In 1854 he bought 75 acres in the Boulcott-Melling area and built "Mountain Home".


William died in 1876 while on a visit to family in Scotland and is buried there. His children were Margaret (died in infancy), Jessie (Sister M Aloysius), James (never married), Charles, Mary and John.


John is especially remembered in the Hutt Valley as his home in Upper Hutt "Straven" is now the Golder Homestead Museum at 707 Ferguson Drive.