by Peter Petterson
A year ago I was sixty nine years old and apprehensively approaching seventy years. This year I have passed it and now approaching seventy one. How have I done? Quite well.
In recent years I researched my ancestry and have discovered my strong Banks Peninsula/ Akaroa roots which are connected to my Swedish ancestry: Gotland in the Baltic Sea. I wish I knew about this when I was young; and would undoubtably have spent some time there and maybe even lived there. I was born and raised over the Port Hills in Christchurch City. I have a daughter and two grandsons in Christchurch now and they are slowly and quietly learning this part of my past. My daughter discovered the location of my father’s final resting place. He is no longer estranged from his family. In time we will have a stone raised for him.
When I’m able I will take time out in a future visit to Christchurch to do some closer family research. My paternal great-uncle was a leading blacksmith in the Banks Peninsula area a few decades ago, shoeing standard-bred race horses – pacers and trotters. I recently read an old article about him. My family had been involved in farming on the peninsula. A trip to Akaroa will undoubtably provide me with some education on the family past. The Pettersons arrived in 1873 on the Cardigan Castle, after emigrating from Sweden.
I will write some more here later. Let’s have a couple of drinks for 2015. I have a feeling it will prove to be a good year.