Terrace Station was the home of Sir John and Rose, Lady Hall, and has remained with his descendants through to the present day. The current owners, Kate and Richard Foster, hosted our visit, together with Kate’s other three sisters, all of whom are directly descended from Sir John.

L-R: Kate Foster, Diana Wallingford, Jenny Speight and Gina Howarth

Over a good-sized, healthy picnic lunch on the main lawn, we were given a warm welcome, including an overview of the house and surrounding station property. Sir John was active in Canterbury local politics and after entering national politics became Premier of New Zealand (1879 -1882), but, more importantly, led the parliamentary campaign for women’s suffrage, which succeeded in 1893.

We were shown around the front rooms of the house, including the library, by one of Kate’s sisters, who was very knowledgeable about the house, furniture and artwork. In the wooden-panelled hallway, we saw gifts Sir John had received during his parliamentary career, including from Australia and around the Pacific.

After walking around the garden, Richard showed us around a shed containing various vintage vehicles he has restored. We were most impressed with the 1913 Type EE Minerva car, found as a dilapidated wreck in swamp, and now looking brand new.

An absolutely delightful afternoon was had by all!

Deirdre Kennerley
Member, Friends of Te Papa

Feature image: Photo by William Beale