Alexander Bathgate was born on 4 August 1845 in Peebles, Peeblesshire, Scotland, the son of Anne Cairns Anderson and her husband, John Bathgate. His father, the local procurator fiscal, had had experience in banking, and had founded a newspaper, the Peeblesshire Monthly Advertiser. Alexander's mother died when he was five or six, and his father remarried.
After schooling in Peebles and Edinburgh and a period at the University of Edinburgh, Alexander, with his parents, brother, two sisters and six half-sisters, migrated to Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1863. John Bathgate was to shape his son's life to a remarkable degree. He became colonial manager of the Bank of Otago, and Alexander ... more »
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Fair crown of stars of purest ray,
Hung aloft on Mapau tree,
What floral beauties ye display,
Stars of snowy purity;
Around the dark-leaved mapau's head
Unsullied garlands ye have spread.
Concealed were all thy beauties rare
'Neath the dark umbrageous shade,
But still to gain the loftiest spray,
Thy weak stem its efforts made;
Now, every obstacle o'ercome,
Thou smilest from thy leafy home.
That home secure, 'mid sombre leaves
Yielded by thy ...