Saturday, March 31, 2018

Fr John Riordan

Again, I am in debt to the Papers Past website for information about my family's past. This time I am grateful for more things I have been able to learn about my great-uncle, John Riordan, who died in 1925 while serving as Parish Priest in Ross on the West Coast.

In the early 1990s when I was starting to collect genealogy information about my family, I wrote to the Christchurch Diocesan Archives to find out more about Fr John Riordan. A lovely kind priest, Fr K J Clark, was interested to find out more about some of these former priests himself. He contacted the priest in Hokitika to see if someone could check The Guardian, the Hokitika newspaper, and I was sent notes taken from that paper about Fr John's dying and funeral, as well as his obituary.

Time has moved on since then, and a lot more from past newspapers can be easily retrieved online, (though still not from The Guardian in Hokitika it seems.) Some of these old newspaper treasures give such an intimate look at a person from the past. And so it has been with Fr John Riordan.

When he was ordained he served first in Ahaura parish, and though he was not there for long before  he went to Ross, it seems that fond memories of him were still held. This account - Ahaura Notes- appeared in the NZ Tablet on 6 May 1925.

May he rest in peace.

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