A descendant of former Governor of New Zealand Thomas Robert Gore Browne, Penelope Daly, visited the town named after him last week.
The great-great-granddaughter of Thomas Gore Browne was impressed with Gore.
Mrs Daly, from Dubai, became interested in Gore and New Zealand when she found the diaries of Governor Browne and his wife, Harriet, she said.
“I went up into the attic one day and found an old leather trunk with a rusty lock and key.”
In the trunk she found documents from Governor Browne’s days on active service in Afghanistan and India and his time serving as the fourth Governor of New Zealand [1855-1861], she said.
After finding these, she decided to take them to New Zealand so they could be archived and protected, she said.
“They are important not only to my family history but also to New Zealand history,” she said.
When she got to Gore, she was welcomed by Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks.
Mrs Daly wanted a better understanding of New Zealand and what Harriet Browne went through when she originally came to the country.
She also wanted to know more about Gore.
She was impressed by what she had seen, Mrs Daly said.
“I am so impressed by the vibrancy and by the sense of community.”
Gore High School and St Peter’s College pupils performed at Mrs Daly’s welcome ceremony, at the Civic Building.
Primary schoolchildren also made presentations on what Gore meant to them.
“Harriet would have been proud of the young people of Gore,” she said.
“There is an enforced sense of community there.”
Another member of the Browne family, Mrs Daly’s grandfather Stewart Gore Browne, had also travelled to Gore, before she was born.
“He spoke very highly of not only New Zealand but of his visit to Gore.”
He often showed Mrs Daly a photo album he was given when he was in Gore, she said.
Mrs Daly said she would spend the rest of the three weeks travelling throughout New Zealand with her husband, Michael, who is following the tour by the British and Irish Lions.