John Hardie - Concerning his Arrival in Australia and New Zealand
(Completely re-written, 20th February 1982)
It has been said that about 52 workers came over from the U.K. in early 1900. They sailed to South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States.
In 1903, The first workers arrived in New York on 14 Sept. 1903: George Walker, Irvine Weir, Jack Carroll, William Irvine, Sarah Rogers, Jean Weir.
In May 1904 the following workers sailed from Liverpool and arrived in New York: Jack Jackson, Frank Scott, Jim Jardine Willie Weir, Dave Lyness.
In 1904, John Hardie and Sandy Alexander arrived on the 24th July in Melbourne on the ship MEDIC.
In 1905, Fanny Carroll and Annie Smith arrived in Melbourne on 11th October by ship GEELONG, also John Fraser and Jim Hodgins.
On the 18th of October 1905, Francis Hodgins, Maggie McDougall, Adam Hutchinson and Joe Williamson, arrived in South Africa. They went later on to Australia and New Zealand.
*In 1905 Alec Pearce, Barbara Baxter, Joe Kerr, Wilson Reid, Lily Reid, John Cavanagh, Mary Moodie, Martha Skerritt arrived in South Africa on the ship GELONG.
In 1906, on the 4th January, James McCreight, Laura Falkiner, Thomas Turner and Aggie Hughes arrived in [Freemantle] Western Australia on the ship OROYA.
In 1906, the following workers went to South Africa: Fred Alder, Jack Godding, Hugh McKay, Jean Allen, Jim Dunlop,
Edith Easy, Cissie Maughan, and Nellie Taylor.
In 1908, The ship ORONTES, sailed on the 27th December from London and arrived in Melbourne in February, with on board: Bob Bashford, Sam Jones, Sandy Hines (sic Hinds) and Sam McMullen.
JOHN Hardie was born in Scotland in 1870 and went in the work in 1900. On the 24th July 1904, John and Sandy Alexander arrived in Melbourne from the U.K. per ship "Medic". Not long before sailing for Australia, John was in a mission in Ireland. John and his companion assisted by the friends, built a portable hall and erected it for the mission. They announced the opening meeting, but when the time came, John and his companion were not able to get near for the crowd. Finally, when they were able to get near, they saw that their hall was on fire and burning down. No scapegoat could be found, so according the law, the County paid the damages. That money so received, said John, paid the fare for some of the first workers who went to Australia.
On arrival in Melbourne 24th July 1904, John and Sandy had a tent mission in Oakleigh. One night a storm damaged their tent and Sandy deserted John. It seems that at that time John also was sorely tempted to give up. In particular, so John related.. One cold dark night when passing by, John looked into the lighted room in a house and saw the family sitting cosily around the fire. As for John, he was out in the cold, all alone. However John refused to yield.
John left Melbourne, and went to Wellington in New Zealand, to visit an old friend, Tom Hastings and wife, who had gone out to New Zealand from Ireland in 1901. John arrived in Wellington on the 25th September 1904 according to Charlie Hastings, the son of Tom. This is barely two months from John and Sandy's arrival in Melbourne. However, it is reported that Sandy also arrived in Wellington some time later. After some months John returned to Melbourne and Sandy with him. During John Hardie's first stay in New Zealand, it appears he held some meetings in Wellington, staying with Tom Hastings and family.
May Duncan of Waimate related that when a friend of hers was only four years old, his parents professed through John Hardie…in 1904. Florrie Blade (nee Hodgins, sister to Francis, Polly and Jim Hodgins), wrote that John Hardie first arrived in New Zealand in 1904. Olive Dixon related to Anne Billings as follows…"in 1904 John Hardie and Sandy called in at Wellington on their way to Sydney. John wished to visit Tom Hastings, who had been with John in Ireland and who had with his wife settled in Wellington."
John Hardie apparently returned to Melbourne with Sandy from New Zealand at the end of 1904 or early 1905, and these two evidently continued on in Melbourne until approximately the end of October 1905.
In the meantime, in 1905, the following workers arrived in New Zealand: Adam Hutchison, Joe Williamson, John Fraser, Jim Hodgins, Annie Smith, Fanny Carroll, Maggie McDougall, Francis Hodgins.
Adam Hutchinson and Joe Williamson went to Canterbury, Annie Smith and Fanny Carroll to Otago, Maggie McDougall and Francis Hodgins, stayed in Wellington, the Hutt Valley and the Manawatu. John Fraser came North alone, because Jim Hodgins was in hospital, where he died.
They faced hardship, but had some good missions and some hundred made their choice in that year. Of these, 20 went into the work in the 1- 3 year, except Ada Cederman, who because of poor health, did not go until 1915.
Jack Lowe and his wife Dot came from Ireland, to live near Pukekohe East (Buckland) and had a little farm there. It was the only open home in that part, they were a great help to us all. After a number of years they returned to Ireland and were faithful to the end.
In March 1908, a Convention was held in Christchurch, after that convention several workers went on to Australia.
The Wix family professed at Purakanui (near Dunedin), in a very short time George, Lottie and Mabel Wix were in the work. Alice the youngest went out in 1914.
In 1910 Convention were held at Berrymans in Woodville (North Island) and Christchurch.
John left a second time in Melbourne, and went to Wellington for a further visit with Tom Hastings. However, John Hardie was planning to go on to Sydney, this time Sandy was with John. It does seem as if John and Sandy arrived in Wellington the second time, immediately after the arrival of Maggie McDougall and Francis Hodgins, who had arrived in Wellington from Sydney on the 18th October per ship Warrimoo. The two sisters were soon holding meetings in Epuni on the Hutt Valley Road not far out from Wellington.
Reta Steel (nee Berryman) wrote regarding this mission as follows…"My mother and Nellie Fake, who became the mother of Olive Reeve, professed through Maggie McDougall and Francis Hodgins in 1905. My father, Mr. and Mrs. Lawson, Ernie and Amy Lawson, professed soon after my mother and Nellie Fake. At that time, John Hardie and Sandy Alexander came over from Australia and helped Francis and Maggie to establish those who professed. Mr. and Mrs. Berryman were Plymouth Brethren and came out from them and were faithful to the end. However, Mr. Lawson never got free from the Brethren and stuck to their doctrine. He influenced Sandy, who forsook John, and became a preacher for the Brethren. So, for the second time Sandy forsook John."
On the 30th January 1907, Dick McClure, W. J. Hughes, Charlie Dubman, Duncan McLachlan, George Harvey, Jim Corcoran, Ida Davis and Sarah Kelly arrived in Wellington on the ship Ostwestry Grange.
In February, John Hardie, with Dick McClure, sailed for Sydney. Willie Hughes with Charlie Dubman sailed to Melbourne, arriving there on the 16th March 1907 per ship Moeraki.
John Hardie and Dick McClure were the pioneers in Sydney, and during that same year of 1907, Ruth and Ethel Harrison professed and later went in the work. It is recorded that John Hardie visited Queensland late in 1907 and baptised Queensland's first fruits in the Gospel in the creek at Enoggera, near Hornibrooks.
John Sullivan and Jack Little arrived in Brisbane from the U.K. on 19th January 1906. Throughout that year, they saw nothing done. Polly Hodgins and Lizzie Sargeant arrived in Brisbane on the 2nd January 1907 per ship ORTONA, having sailed from the Port of London on the 16th November 1906. They were responsible for Queensland's first converts who professed some time in 1907.
The Northcote Convention took place in Victoria in 1908, being the FIRST EVER in Australia. Twenty six workers representing four Australian states and some from New Zealand attended.
John Sullivan returned to Queensland from Northcote Convention, bringing with him, Charlie Morgan from New Zealand as his companion. Lizzie Sargent and Polly Hodgins also came back from Northcote, bringing with them Ethel Harrison and Flora Finch from Sydney.
Annie Smith and Fanny Carroll came from New Zealand and went with the FIRST workers over TO TASMANIA. Adam Hutchison and Jim McCreight went to South Australia, being pioneers in that state.
From the time of John Hardie's arrival in Sydney in March 1907, John continued in the state until he passed away on the 26th April 1961. From time to time, John attended conventions in other of the Australian states. In December 1925, John attended Chelan Convention, Washington, USA. In 1948, he visited Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
John was present one wet night in a tent mission at the corner of Ampang Rd. and Campbell Rd. A number of Chinese were present. John preached from Acts 17... to the unknown God whom ye ignorantly worship. During the course of John's sermon, he declared, "If you have not got a testimony to give, you have nothing to give". John finished his course with honour, a man truly born of God, a lover of souls to the end.
Sandy Alexander...Now the last the New Zealand friends heard of Sandy was in 1908, when Polly Hodgins, a sister worker, met him and said "Hello Sandy". He replied, "Mr. Alexander, please". Polly made the reply, "You will always be Sandy to us".
Francis Hodgins professed through John Hardie in Ireland. She was a sister to Polly and Jim. The latter was among 17 workers who sailed from the U.K. for South Africa and Australia about the 1st of September 1905. Nine of those disembarked in South Africa, the remaining eight sailed on to Melbourne and Sydney respectively and then crossed to New Zealand by other ships.
*Jim Hodgins sickened with tuberculosis in 1906 and passed away in the Greytown hospital on the 14th May 1907. His grave is to be found in the Greytown Public Cemetery.
On the 8th April 1908, Sam Jones and Bob Bashford sailed from Melbourne for Fremantle in Western Australia and joined in the work of the Gospel in that state.
John Fraser came North and stayed with Mr. & Mrs. Lowe at Buckland while waiting for another companion and held the mission about two miles up the road near Rundles on Jericho Road and later at Glen Murray the other side of Tuakau and Pukekawa.
Added by TTT: Queenie Higgins wrote that her home address was: "Tigroney Mines" Ovoca, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. "I sailed from Dublin the 13th of October 1908 for New Zealand with Mr. & Mrs. McClung and Hannah Alexander. Spent two months in South Africa and one in Sydney for some meetings. Arrived in New Zealand March 4th, worked there for nearly 4 years.....I left there for N.S.Wales last Feburary  and have been working on the Southern line since." (Source: Queenie Higgins Testimony Letter-Sept. 3, 1913) Hannah Alexander wrote Sept 6, 1913 that she left NZ in March, 1913 for N.S.W.
*Spellings of names corrected by Cherie Kropp March 21, 2017
*removed thse names out of group who left in 1906.