Given names: 
Mary Dora
Given address: 
Upr Riccarton
Sheet No: 226

Biographical information provided by Canterbury Museum for the He Tohu exhibition:

Mary Dora Ballantyne (nee Deakin) was born in 1844 or 45 in Shrewsbury, England and married Thomas Ballantyne in Adelaide at the age of 21. They had eight children. Thomas Ballantyne had emigrated to Adelaide in 1859. He was a successful businessman and on arrival in New Zealand in 1883 he bought ‘Canowie’, a 60 acre farm in Upper Riccarton. Just a year later, in 1884, he was killed in an accident while trying out a new buggy.

Dora and her children lived on at Canowie, and were actively involved in the Upper Riccarton Methodist Church. Methodist garden parties and picnics were often held at Canowie. Dora also became a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and in 1894 was elected President of the Christchurch Branch. She was an extremely capable and practical woman who often convened the committees that ran the Union's tea and coffee rooms, and their annual temperance booth at the Agricultural and Pastoral Show.

After the 1986 Agricultural and Pastoral Show, a WCTU report commented on Mrs Ballantyne's leadership. She had been in charge of about 80 helpers on the last day at the Show: ‘At the head of this indefatigable band, who worked steadily and skilfully, was Mrs Ballantyne, our hard-working President… We believe that had Mrs Ballantyne the providing of an army with stores, she would be equal to such an undertaking: and with all the boasted superiority of men in the matter of finance, there cannot be many who would surpass her in that department.’

In later life Mrs Ballantyne lived in Clyde Road, Christchurch. She died at her home in July 1914.

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

Community contributions

No comments have been posted about Mary Dora Ballantyne

What do you know?