George King 1850 – 1922

George King was born in 1850 to Irish immigrant parents at Richmond, Sydney. Around 1872 he arrived in Christchurch and started the auctioneering firm Geo. King and Co.

After buying a piece of swampy waste land in Lake Terrace Road, Mr King worked it into fertile farmland and built a magnificent house which was noted for it’s wonderful lawns and garden. His home was called ’Burwood’ after Burwood in Sydney, a suburb that he had once lived in. Eventually the name of the house became that of the district. Mr King was a large well-built man and liked to be involved in local affairs. He was an All Saints vestryman, Chairman of the Avon Road Board, on the Burwood School Committee and Burwood Drainage Board.

Around 1910 he left the area and he died in New Plymouth in 1922. His body was bought back to Christchurch and was laid to rest at All Saints.

Ostrich farming is what Mr King was most well known for and ostrich farming didn’t always run smoothly. During the reproducing season when it rained, many nests became flooded and the birds drowned due to the retentive land the farm was on. Containing the birds was also a problem as most fences failed to hold them and they often ran amuck onto the roads. Mr King was a good rider who kept horses and would set off after them. When a bird made a break for freedom it took a fast horse to catch up with it.

In 1907 Mr King took the birds to the International Exhibition in Hagley Park. The ostriches were sold in 1908.

Elizabeth Clifton King (1867 - 1939) was George’s wife and she remained in Burwood after burial of her husband and ran tearooms on the corner of Lake Terrace and Burwood Roads.


Print this page