"John Ryley-His Life and Legacy" a family history by Diana Findlay; Diana Findl...


"John Ryley-His Life and Legacy" a family history by Diana Findlay

About this object

"John Ryley-His Life and Legacy" a family history by Diana Findlay. John Ryley (1835-1928) was a well-regarded minister in the Presbyterian Church in North Otago and at Port Chalmers but resigned in 1892 to pursue business interests. One of these was to purchase a block of land in the Catlins known as Quakerfield. He understood the Catlins River Branch Railway was going to pass through this land and believed that once a Railway Station was built it would become the new site of Owaka. He sub-divided Quakerfield into quarter-acre sections and the village did re-locate to this new site. He donated sections to each of the local churches. He went gold mining in Central Otago but was not successful and eventually returned to the Ministry and was based in Wanaka (then called Pembroke). He died in Owaka in December 1928. Ryley Street in Owaka is named after him. The origin of the name Quakerfield is not known but this block was originally owned by Captain William Thompson, the Otago Harbourmaster who had explored the Catlins Harbour in 1862. Capt. Thompson was a senior elder in the Port Chalmers Church when he sold to John Ryley.


Diana Findlay

Maker Role


Date Made



21st Century

Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, Blenheim

Medium and Materials




Subject and Association Keywords

human settlements. communities, mental and moral life

Credit Line

Owaka Museum

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved