West Window, Old St Paul's Wellington

Stained glass window in silhouette.

The great West Window, best viewed from the centre of the main aisle, depicts St Paul's conversion, on the left, and the incident at Lystra when the inhabitants, seeing a crippled man cured, concluded that St Paul and St Barnabas were Mercury and Jupiter, on the right.

Early in 1867, a newspaper reported that the firm of Lavers & Barraud of London were working on the design for a west window for the Thorndon cathedral. The window cost an estimated £85. It was supposed that parishioners would subscribe this sum and have the window erected. The hoped-for subscriptions, however, seemed to have been long in coming and nothing happened until the end of 1868.

On 7 September 1868 government forces suffered one of their worst defeats in Taranaki, in an attack on Tītokowaru at Te Ngutu o te Manu. Among the dead were two Wellington officers, Captain George Buck of the Wellington Rifles, and Lieutenant Henry Charles Holland Hastings of the Wellington Rangers. Both had been professional soldiers. Their comrades and friends, members of the Wellington Veteran Volunteer Corps, No. 1 Wellington Rifle Volunteers, the Porirua, and Patea rifle companies, opened a memorial fund which raised about £100. Early in 1869, a meeting of the subscribers unanimously agreed to spend this on the west window in memory of Captain George Buck and Lieutenant Henry Charles Holland Hastings. The window may have been installed that year.

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Stories from the New Zealand Wars – Old St Paul's Wellington

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