Trusler descendants celebrate

Altogether. . . The descendents of James and Mary-Ann Trusler who immigrated to New Zealand in 1873 held a family union earlier this month to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the couple arriving. PHOTO: GEOFF HORRELL

The descendants of James and Mary-Ann Trusler gathered to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the couple coming to New Zealand.
Ninety people travelled from as far away as Australia to take part in the reunion, including Graeme Trusler who came from Brisbane.
Mr Trusler said it was a very enjoyable event, organised by Dianne Honan, of Queensland.
‘‘Coming over from Brisbane, it was a wonderful experience to see so many relatives assembled and the tremendous friendship that there was between everybody.’’
The last family reunion had been held in 1998.
In 1873 James and Mary-Ann, his great-grandparents, arrived in New Zealand with their five children, who ranged in age from 18 to 3 years old.
He was descended from Samuel, who was the youngest.
He did not know much about the couple and always wondered why they came and how they supported themselves when they arrived, he said.
The oldest son, Charles, won a ballot for land at Waipahi not long after the family settled at Taieri.
About four years later the family moved to the land and farmed it.
‘‘Charles and Samuel had a milling business and they used to go around all the farms and do all the milling for them with their traction engines.’’
Mr Trusler’s father Robert worked for New Zealand Railways.
Mr Trusler was born in Invercargill and lived in many places because his father was transferred throughout the South Island.
When Mr Trusler left school he joined the Bank of New South Wales and eventually moved to Australia.
Mr Trusler, 90, and Gladys (nee Young) Davidson, 94, were the oldest family members at the reunion and cut the anniversary cake at the two-day celebration.
He was writing a book about his life, Mr Trusler said.
He also read The Ensign online every week to keep up with the news in the area, he said.