Topic: William Katterns (1837-1923)

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Reverend William Katterns took care of the birth, death and marriage needs of the Katikati pioneers. He also established an ostrich farm at Katikati.

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William Katterns was born in 1837 in Reigate, Surrey, England. He married Rebecca Knight in 1866 in Solihull, Warwickshire, England. Rebecca was born in Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, in 1848. They had one child together:

  1. William James Katterns was born c1867. He died, aged 75, on 26 October 1943 and was buried in Katikati Cemetery.

Reverend W. Kattern's house at Katikati, 1899

Reverend William Katterns' House at Katikati (c1899).

Reverend William Katters was Vicar of St Peters Anglican Church in Katikati from 1882 to 1915.

 St Peter's Anglican Church (Katikati) 1898

St Peter's Anglican Church at Katikati (1898).

During his time at St Peter's, Reverend Katterns established an ostrich farm as reported by the Bay of Plenty Times on 17 November 1897:


[Contributed.] While enjoying the rejuvenescence of Spring, as our charming settlement now does, a feeling of benevolence towards those not so happily situated prompts me to impart some of our beings and doings to the outer world through the kindly medium of the Bay of Plenty Times.

It is recorded of a French Bishop that on going the rounds of his diocese almost all the clergy complained of lack of income. He came, however, to one comfortable and contented cure, of whom the bishop sought for an explanation of the difference between him and his brethren. The cure took the bishop round the glebe and showed him a large assortment of beehives, the denizens of which were busy at work. 'These, said the priest, supply the deficiencies of my income.' Ever after, when a parish priest complained of lack of fees from his parishioners, the bishop's advice was comprised in two words 'Keep bees.' Now at Katikati we have a vicar, the Rev. W Katterns, who in conjunction with his clerical work, keeps a very successful ostrich farm. It was at the suggestion of Mr Katterns that Mr L. D. Nathan, of Auckland, imported ostriches from the Cape of Good Hope, and a year or two ago Mr Katterns was allowed to purchase from Mr Nathan a single pair of birds. This season is the first in which a family of little ostriches has appeared at Katikati. Fourteen birds were hatched, of which thirteen still survive and thrive. A good many feathers have been taken from the parent birds, but it has been found that the work of incubating damages the feathers, so that for the future it is intended by the reverend farmer to pay more attention to the production of feathers than of young birds. I am sure every one in Katikati is proud of the success hitherto attained by Mr Katterns in this new and interesting industry. (Bay Of Plenty Times, 17 November 1897, p. 2)

Reverend Kattern's Ostrich's, 1900

Rev William Katterns' Ostriches (1900).

Rev William Katterns died in Katikati in 1923. He was buried in Katikati Cemetery.

Rebecca died in 1929. She was also buried in Katikati Cemetery.



Bay of Plenty Times (17 November 1897, p. 2).

Ellen McCormack (personal communication, 2013).

This page was archived at Perma cc May 2017

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William Katterns (1837-1923)

First Names:William
Last Name:Katterns
Date of Birth:1837
Place of Birth:Reigate, Surrey
Country of birth:England
Date of death:1923
Place of death:Katikati
Place of burial:Katikati Cemetery
First settled:Katikati
Spouses name:Rebecca Knight
Spouses date of birth:1848
Spouses place of birth:Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Spouses date of death:1929
Spouses place of burial:Katikati Cemetery
Date of marriage:1866
Place of marriage:Solihull, Warwickshire
Name of the children:William James Katterns