Go to the Wesley Historical Society Home Page

Go to Wesley Historical Society Publications






The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Dublin Street Church is an appropriate time to publish something of the early history of the Church, for the occasion is important in that it commemorates not only the commencement of this Church, but also the establishment of the Primitive Methodist cause in the Wanganui district.

From an introductory note written in the first minute book by the Rev. Jas. Cocker concerning the commencement of the mission, the following is an extract:-

"For many years there had been a desire on the part of the Connexion to commence services in Wanganui, but year after year the matter was indefinitely postponed. During those years members of our Church had come to the town and joined other Churches, thus being lost to the Connexion. Had services been commenced some 1 5 years ago or more we should probably have had a strong Church in this town at the present time."


The name "Taita" means a piece of wood lodged in the bed of a river, a snag, and is pronounced correctly with the second "a" lengthened, hence Tytar, not Tyta, with
a - short second syllable. This correct pronunciation would account for the pakeha mis-spelling and mis-pronounciation Taitai, still so named by many f the older folk.

After the original Hutt River settlement of Britannia had dispersed, and the people settled at Thorndon (Pipitea Point), Aglionby and Richmond, the task of opening up the hinterland was undertaken in earnest. The road reached as far as Taita in 1843, Stokes Valley in December 1843, Upper Flutt in August 1844, and the Wairarapa in 1847. Native troubles developed in the district, there being a Taita Stockade near Mr. Thomas Mason's original house, and near what was then the southern boundary of Taita, Boulcott's Farm Stockade, where the famous battle took place in 1846. Taita then was merely a clearing in the bush some few miles from Hutt. In 1845 an Anglican church was built there, a church which is still in use to-day.