Edward Hare and his wife, Elizabeth, were the first known Seventh-day Adventists in New Zealand. The Hares were pioneers who gave a life-time of support to the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in New Zealand.
Edward Hare was born on September 28, 1847 in Lurgan, Armagh, Ireland and died in Auckland, New Zealand on the 4th of July, 1948, in his 101st year.1 He was the second son of Joseph and Margaret (Maggie) Hare and migrated with them to New Zealand (NZ) aboard the Lancashire Witch, arriving in Auckland on June 3, 1865.2 With other members of his family, Edward lived in Kaeo, 130 miles north of Auckland, where he engaged in road works for the government before taking up the timber and boat-building industries.3
Edward Hare and Elizabeth Howarth were married in Auckland on July 13, 1874 by the Rev. Alexander Reed, a Wesleyan clergyman and settled to life Auckland.4 Elizabeth's life came to an end in 1940 after sixty-five years of marriage. Seven children were born to the marriage: Edith (1875), Arnold (1876), Amy (1879), Horace (date unknown), Lillie (1885), Ada (1891), and Theodore (1893).
Contact with the Seventh-day Adventist Church
In Auckland Edward Hare established himself in business as a Herbalist, Masseur, and Phrenologist, operating from his home in Turner Street.5 It was to this address that Pastor Stephen Haskell was referred when in search of accommodation while visiting Auckland in 1885.6 Edward was somewhat of an independent thinker on religious issues and after discussions with Pastor Haskell, introduced him to two religious groups in the city where the visitor spoke on the Second Advent and the Sabbath.7 Convicted of the Biblical fidelity of Haskell's teaching, Edward and Elizabeth accepted the Adventist faith and urged Pastor Haskell to meet with family members at Kaeo.8 Thus Edward and Elizabeth Hare became the first known Seventh-day Adventists in New Zealand. Twenty of the Hare family embraced the Sabbath as a result of Pastor Stephen Haskell's ministry in Kaeo and Auckland.
On accepting the Sabbath, Edward Hare became the General Agent in Auckland for the New Zealand Branch of the International Tract and Missionary Society. He placed large advertisements in the Auckland Star: a popular newspaper of the 1880’s.9 Apart from setting up a network of agents, he and Elizabeth devoted much personal time and means in the selling and distribution of Adventist literature and were successful in selling over four hundred copies of The Great Controversy in a little over three months.10 He also discovered that many ships’ captains were willing to accept packages of Adventist literature to be distributed in the various ports of call throughout the Pacific Islands.11
Edward and Elizabeth Hare were the first Seventh-day Adventist literature evangelists in New Zealand. Like many of the members of the Hare family living at Kaeo, Edward held a deep concern for the spiritual development of the Maori population and set in motion plans to print Adventist literature in the Maori language.
Local Church Leadership
From the very first days of what was first known as the Surrey Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Auckland (later known as the Ponsonby Church), Edward and Elizabeth Hare demonstrated strong leadership and support. They welcomed Pastor and Mrs Arthur Daniells on arrival from America.12 Each day of the Auckland evangelistic series: they would join the Daniells in their tent-home to pray for the success of the meetings. The first Sabbath School services were held in the Hare family home until the numbers grew to the point where it was impossible to house everybody. When the Surrey Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church was formally organised on October 15, 1887, Edward and Elizabeth Hare, together with Arthur Daniells and his wife, became foundation members.13 When Ellen White and her accompanying party arrived in Auckland, en route to Australia on December 3, 1891, Edward and Elizabeth Hare were waiting on the wharf to welcome them and share hospitality with them prior to re-embarking for Australia. 14
Both Edward and Elizabeth Hare held leading roles in the Church. He was elder and organist for many years. She was Sabbath School Superintendent and a member of the Dorcas Society for over twenty-five years and president for eighteen of those years. Their sixty-five years of marriage and service to their church and wider community did not pass unnoticed: the New Zealand Herald printed a photograph of the couple in an article entitled, “Wed 65 Years – Rare Anniversary.”15 Elizabeth’s life ended on December 22, 1940.16
Edward Hare spent the major part of his working life as a Herbalist, Masseur, and Phrenologist, operating out of Turner Street, just off Queen Street, Auckland. It was a successful business until he retired at the age of eighty-five. His interest in phrenology, however, brought him into conflict with Ellen White and other speakers at the first camp meeting in the Southern Hemisphere, held in Napier, NZ, in March, 1893.17 At this convention Ellen White and others spoke publicly against phrenology. In spite of this, Edward Hare retained his interest in phrenology even after his retirement in 1932. He was a proponent of healthful living, having never smoked or consumed alcohol throughout his long life. Death came peacefully at the home of Mrs. Hallamore (nee Lillie Hare) on the 4th of July, 1948.18
From the earliest contact with Pastor Stephen Haskell until their death Edward and Elizabeth Hare did all in their power, both with their means and personal influence, to enhance the effectiveness of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in New Zealand, with particular emphasis to Adventism in Auckland city. At their deaths there was widespread sorrow among the members of the Church in New Zealand.
“Arrival of Lancashire Witch.” The Daily Southern Cross. Auckland, New Zealand. June 3, 1865.
Battye, W. E. “Edward Hare obituary.” Australasian Record, August 8, 1948.
Certified Copy of Entry of Death Certificate in the Registrar-General’s Office, New Zealand. No. 14840. Personal collection of the author.
Chamberlain, Michael. Cooranbong, First Town in Lake Macquarie: 1826 – 1996. Cooranbong, NSW, Australia: The Cooranbong Times, 1997.
Clapham, Noel, editor. Seventh-day Adventists in the South Pacific, 1885 – 1985. Warburton, Victoria, Australia: Signs Publishing Company, 1885.
De Vaynes Jones, Florence M. “Golden Jubilee of Our First Church in Auckland, NZ.” Australian Record, November 29, 1937.
De Vaynes Jones, Florence M. “Golden Jubilee of Our First Church in Auckland, NZ, Concluded.” Australian Record, December 6, 1937.
“Elizabeth Hare.” The Auckland Star. December 23, 1940.
Fortin, Denis and Jerry Moon. The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia. 2nd Edition. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2013.
Goldstone, S. Ross. The Angel Said Australia. Warburton, Victoria, Australia: Signs publishing Company, 1980.
Hare, Edward. “The Work in New Zealand.” Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January, 1887.
Hare, Eric B. An Irish Boy and God. Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1965.
Haskell, S. N. “The Australian Mission.” In Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists. Basel, Switzerland: Imprimerie Polygltte, 1886.
Johnson, Jill. “Descendants of Edward Hare.” Unpublished manuscript. Ellen G. White Research Centre, Avondale College of Higher Education, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia, 2003.
“Mr Hare - Herbalist.” [Advertisement]. The Waikato Times, September 12, 1881.
“New Zealand Branch of the International Tract and Missionary Society.” [Advertisement], The Auckland Star, May 14, 1886.
“Wed 65 years - Rare Anniversary.” The New Zealand Herald. July 13, 1939.
White, Arthur L. Ellen G White; The Australian Years 1891 – 1900. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1983.
Certified Copy of Entry of Death Certificate in the Registrar-General’s Office, New Zealand, no. 14840; Copy obtained and held in the personal collection of the author; W.E. Battye, “Edward Hare,” Australasian Record, August 9, 1948, 7.↩
“Arrival of Lancashire Witch,” The Daily Southern Cross, Auckland, New Zealand, June 3, 1865, 4.↩
S. N. Haskell, “The Australian Mission,” Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, (Basel, Switzerland: Imprimerie Polyglotte, 1886, 103.↩
Jill Johnson, “Descendants of Edward Hare,” unpublished manuscript, Ellen G White Research Centre, Avondale College of Higher Education, Cooranbong, NSW, Australia, 1. ↩
“Mr Hare - Herbalist….” [Advertisement,] Waikato Times, September 12, 1881, 4.↩
Florence M. De Vaynes Jones, “Golden Jubilee of Our First Church in Auckland,” Australian Record, November 29, 1937, 1-2.↩
Haskell, “The Australian Mission,” 103.↩
“New Zealand Branch of the International Tract and Missionary Society,” [Advertisement], The Auckland Star, May 14, 1886, 1.↩
Haskell, "The Australian Mission,” 108.↩
Edward Hare, “The Work in New Zealand,” Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January, 1887, 11.↩
Florence M. De Vaynes Jones, “Golden Jubilee of Our First Church in Auckland,” Australasian Record, November 29, 1937, 1-2.↩
Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Australian Years (Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1983), 21.↩
"Wed 65 Years - Rare Anniversary,” The New Zealand Herald, July 13, 1939, 5.↩
“Elizabeth Hare,” The Auckland Star, December 23, 1940, 1.↩
Arthur White, Ellen G. White: The Australian Years, 78.↩
W. E. Battye, "Edward Hare obituary,” Australasian Record, August 8, 1948, 7.↩