The Shuker Family
The Shuker family originates from Shropshire and leased land from an aristocratic family, with no likelihood of ever owning their own farm.
George and Sarah Shuker had three sons and five daughters when they sailed from Tilbury docks in London bound for New Zealand aboard the RMS Corinthic, landing at Wellington on the 20th of January 1913, after a journey of six and a half weeks, via Cape Town and Hobart. They immediately travelled by train to Auckland where they rented a house while George looked for a suitable farm south of the city.
They purchased a property at Ararimu however the venture was not a success and after three years they sold and the family moved to Glenbrook Beach where George firstly worked for Mr. McLarin, then as a sharemilker for Mr. Claud Motion at Otaua.
Frank and Fred bought the Mangatangi property of 730 acres (292 hectares) in 1931.
The property was roughly grassed with a lot of scrub and blackberry which was tamed over a period of years. A dairy herd was established with elder brothers Frank and Fred operating the farm as a partnership. Due to the ill health of Fred’s wife the partnership was dissolved after two years with Fred’s family moving north to a smaller farm.
After the partnership was dissolved, two men were employed and Frank’s sister Nell, kept house, and Mangatangi school teachers Murray Barton and Gwen Frew became boarders.
After seven years milking the herd was sold and Frank went into dry stock. He also married Rita Fisher, a farmer’s daughter from Maramarua, in l938. They raised a family of one daughter and three boys over the next ten years.
Frank had an interest in local affairs and had only been in the district a short time before he was put on the school committee, which he served for a number of years. Mangatangi had its own rugby football team at that time. Frank played a good game and was selected for the reps. He was also very keen on tennis and was one of the instigators in getting the courts established. He was a valiant worker for the new hall built by the community in l96O and served as the chairman for the next 25 years.
Frank and Rita’s eldest son, Don with his son Mark, continues to farm part the land with a pedigree Angus herd, the youngest son Bryce farmed his part of the farm for a time then leased it to a local farmer. Eric, the middle son, has carved out his life in Darwin, Australia. Lois, the only daughter unfortunately met an untimely death from an accident. Mr. Shuker passed away in 1986 at 84 years of age followed by his wife Rita in December 2010.
They are survived by three sons and 12 grandchildren.