Topic: Lilian Marie Elise de la Barca Macmillan (1883-1969)

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Lily lent money to the Roads Board in 1914 to purchase and erect Black Wattle posts for a telephone system for the Katikati district. This is her story as told by her great niece Ellen McCormack.

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Lilian was the youngest child born to Donald and Marie Macmillan (neé Barca).
Her parents and three other siblings arrived on the May Queen in 1881 as part of the George Vesey Stewart Special Settlement to Te Puke. However, her father Donald could not see the sea from his allocated land in Te Puke so he purchased Castle Grace from Fitzgibbon Louch in Katikati and the family moved there instead.
Lily, as she was known, was the only child born in New Zealand and was born at her parents’ home Castle Grace, Kauri Point, Katikati on 26 February 1883 (reg. 1883/2173).
In the early years there was a school fairly close to the Macmillans’ home, but when Lily was about seven years old she arrived at school one morning to find that it had burned down during the night. 
To continue her schooling she now had a long walk from the house, then down a very steep bank to the Uretara River where one of her brothers would row her across to the end of Park Road and then another long walk of over a mile to the No. 2 school in Beach Road, Katikati. 
After school the process was repeated in reverse and Lily told of having to walk through the pa to get to the Uretara river, and if one of her brothers had not arrived to collect her she said one of the Maori would get out their big canoe and paddle her across the river to Kauri Point.
In the meantime it was decided that the replacement school would be built nearer to the main Tauranga highway as it would service more children. This now meant another change of school for Lily and an eight-mile trek in a different direction. At one stage she had a bike, but was not impressed when it burst a tyre, so on her own initiative she bought a horse for 15 pounds from a neighbour who happened to be passing, leading a spare horse. From that day on Lily never looked at a bike again and became a great horse rider with her mare Penny.
Lily became a schoolteacher and her appointments were in some very remote places where she was mainly the sole teacher. She rode her horse to these country areas all over New Zealand and it has been recorded that one weekend she even rode from Auckland to Katikati.
At one time when Lily was living in Tauranga she left a small boy holding her horse while she went in to a shop. She said she heard a clip-clop and there was Penny leading the poor boy in to the shop.
Lily was the person who loaned the money to the Katikati Roads Board for the first telegraph poles to be erected in the Katikati district. The poles were to be black wattle posts, the amount was 180 pounds and the year 1914. The documentation regarding this loan covers many pages, as this really was an incredible achievement for any woman, let alone a single woman working for a pittance as a schoolteacher.
This remarkable woman was also a very fine needlewoman and was involved with community affairs wherever she lived. At one of the schools where Lily was stationed she is recorded as being the coach for the rugby team.
In later life Lily retired to live in 8th  Avenue in Tauranga, where she was a great supporter of Holy Trinity Church and was involved with many local organisations.
I remember Lily as a versatile and incredible lady. She died on 19 June 1969 aged 84 and is buried in the Katikati Cemetery.

The obituary of Lilian Marie Elise De la Barca Macmillan appeared in the Tauranga Historical Society Journal in August 1969 (No. 37, p. 2):

Miss Lilian Elise Macmillan, who died on 20th June, was the younger daughter of Captain and Mrs. Donald Macmillan, two of the pioneers of George Vesey Stewart's settlement, Katikati. Miss Macmillan's parents, two brothers, and elder sister, came to Tauranga in the "May Queen" in 1881, intending to settle at Te Puke, the earlier Vesey Stewart settlement; but Captain Macmillan preferred Katikati with its sea access and purchased "Castle Grace" on Kauri Point. There Miss Macmillan was born. She became a keen horsewoman and her diary of 1920 lists about 80 horses that she had known or ridden or driven. From 1912 onwards she taught in mnay relatively inaccessible schools; in this, her ability to ride great distances on rough tracks was invaluable. From 1913 to 1916, she was assistant to Mr. C. C. Southey at Paengaroa School; together they made this almost a model school. Later she was "sole charge" teacher in two schools, which she taught on alternate days. A keen churchwoman, Miss Macmillan did much fine work for Holy Trinity Anglican Guild, Tauranga. Miss Lilian Macmillan was an aunt of Miss E. U. Macmillan, a member of this Society, and of Miss V. A. Macmillan, the Society's Acting Hon. Secretary.

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Lilian Marie Elise de la Barca Macmillan (1883-1969)

First Names:Lilian Marie Elise de la Barca Macmillan (1883-1969)
Last Name:Macmillan
Date of Birth:1883
Place of Birth:Castle Grace, Katikati, New Zealand
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:20 June 1969
Place of death:Tokanui, New Zealand
Place of burial:Katikati Cemetery, Katikati
Family Surname:Macmillan
Fathers name:Donald Theodore Macmillan
Fathers date of birth:1833
Fathers place of birth:Scotland
Fathers date of death:24 May 1896
Fathers place of death:Castle Grace, Katikati, New Zealand
Mothers name:Maria Elise Barca
Mothers date of birth:1841
Mothers place of birth:Holstein, Germany
Mothers date of death:20 April 1927
Mothers place of death:Tauranga, New Zealand
Name of sibilings:Robert John Cumming Macmillan, Charles Edward Duncan Angus Evan Ewan Macmillan, Hugh Cumming Stanhope Macmillan, Hugh Stanhope Cumming Macmillan, and Evangeline (Daisy) Julia Macmillan
Member of Society:Holy Trinity Anglican Guild (Tauranga)
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Lilian Marie Elise de la Barca Macmillan (1883-1969) by Debbie McCauley (Tauranga City Libraries) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License