Growing up, there was not a lot said about Grandad Abbott – aside from mum (Mary Patricia Kemp) saying that he died when she was a young girl. According to her account,m he was walking up the path towards the house when he stopped, clutched at the fence to support himself, and then fell to the ground. Given the subsequent family history of premature heart-related deaths, one might surmise that’s what occurred there too. – Ben Kemp
I believe the following is from an obituary notice but have been unable to identify the source as yet
Joseph Henry Abbott: His death occurred suddenly at Te Kinga on Saturday 9th May 1942. He was a well known saw mill worker. Aged 68 years, the late Mr Abbott, born in Oxford and was engaged in the saw milling industry in the North Island prior to coming to Te Kinga 32 years ago to take up a similar occupation. There he worked on the construction of the first mill to be built by the Midland Sawmilling Company and was employed at the mill until about a year ago when he retired through failing health. He was a member of the Ruahine Manchester Unity Lodge. He came to Te Kinga around 1910, with the Manson’s Siding sawmill. His wife and children followed some time later coming to Greymouth by ship. They stayed overnight at the Brian Boru hotel and traveled on to Te Kinga by rail. Joseph worked at the Hohonu driving the horse teams bringing logs to the lake side for eventual towing across to the sawmill at Te Kinga. He performed a similar job at Te Kinga, using the horse team to move the timber from the mill to the railway siding.
He was a good gardener, kept poultry and enjoyed duck and pigeon shooting and fishing, spending a lot of time in the dinghy on the lake.
One feat of note was bringing the draught horses home from the Hohonu at Christmas time. He brought them around to the mouth of the Orangipuku river and swam them across. From there to one tree bay, then another swim around the bluffs to Goat Creek and along the beach to home.