Hansby Family Crest
Source: Sir Ralph Hansby, December 2006

Descendants of Tame Patete and Bernardine Hansby



Marilyn McDonald and Marewa (Patete) Dobson
Mother and Daughter
Marewa is a daughter of Tame Patete and Bernardine Hansby
Photo Taken on the Occasion of Marewa's 80th Birthday
Marilyn is the eldest child of Marewa and John Dudley Dobson.
Source: Marilyn McDonald

We are grateful to Marilyn (McDonald) and her brother, Dudley "John" Dobson [same name as his father, with first and middle names reversed], for the information and insights shown on this page. Kia ora to you both! You can reach Marilyn at Marilyn McDonald, and John can be reached at John Dobson. In 2006, Marilyn was living in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, but listed an address in Mayfield, Tasmania in late 2007. John lives in Manakau City, New Zealand, about fifteen miles [25 kilometers] south of Auckland.

An unusual marriage took place early in the twentieth century between the son of a Maori paramount chief and an aspiring opera singer born to a Welsh emigrant family in New Zealand. The couple was Tame Anini Haimona Patete * and Bernardine Hansby, respectively. Both were musicians, and perhaps that is how they came to know each other. She was known as the "Nightingale of New Zealand" in her career as an opera singer. According to Marilyn, Bernarndine particularly enjoyed Puccini. She had an "enormous voice" for such a small person. As a child, Marilyn recalls her "Nana" interrupting her and her siblings while they watched the Beverly Hillbillies on television. She might begin singing aloud or tapping her fingers on a wooden surface. On other occaisons, Aunt Bernie might faint in church or make some other demonstrative behavior that "embarrassed" her grandchildren. She had long graceful fingernails and played the piano.
* Editor's Note: Marilyn's brother John Dobson identifies his grandfather as "Tame Anini Turi Patete". Tame and Bernie, as she was called, had a home in Masterton, about one hour by drive northeast of Wellington in the Wairarapa district. You can read a brief synopsis of the history of this scenic part of New Zealand at Wairarapa History. A more detailed history that also includes substantial information on the Maori history of this area, as well as their interactions with the pakeha ("white man"), is accessible at the Masterton Library and Archive. site.

When Marilyn was growing up in Te Puke ("the hill" in Maori), Bernardine lived with her family for a while after Tame passed away. Te Puke, she describes, as an idyllic community on the Bay of Plenty on the northeast coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

Let's first meet Marilyn, her brothers and sisters, her partner and now her husband, Ian Davidson, and her own children. [Note for clarification that Marilyn is divorced from their father, Colin McDonald.] We will also see several photos taken at the beautiful wedding of Ian and Marilyn in July 2010. Then we will move on to the fascinating information provided to us by John Dobson.


Ian Davidson and Marilyn (Dobson) McDonald
Source: Marilyn McDonald


Dobson Siblings
Six Brothers and Sisters and Niece
L to r: John, Sue, Pat, Simon, Marilyn, Jude and Tess [daughter of Debbie, a seventh sibling]
All the siblings are children of the late John Dudley Dobson and Marewa (Patete) Dobson.
The photo was taken in May 2006 while enroute by boat to the favorite fishing spot of their late father. There, his ashes were dispersed.
Source: Marilyn McDonald

Editor's Note: In October 2007, we received the sad news that Debbie's husband, Anthony ("Tony") Cottrell, father of Tess and Kylie Cottrell, died from a heart attack on October 30, 2007, while on a business trip to Australia. The Cottrell family lived in Hamilton, New Zealand.


Tarah McDonald
Daughter of Colin and Marilyn (Dobson) McDonald
Source: Marilyn McDonald


Liam McDonald and Girlfriend Kate
Son of Colin and Marilyn (Dobson) McDonald
Source: Marilyn McDonald

Liam and Tarah reside in Cairns. Liam and Kate are now engaged (her family orginated from Norway). Tarah lives in Cairns with Ben her boyfriend of 5 years (his family is Canadian/Austrian).

In 2007, Marilyn's eldest son Quinn lived with his girlfriend, Natalia, in Beijing. They married in June 2008 [see photo below]. They did the formalities communist Chine style but will have a wedding celebration in Australia in September next year. Natasha is Russian; she and Quinn met in China six years ago while he was teaching. Quinn now works for a Canadian company called Golders - based in Shanghai.


Natalia "Tash" and Quinn McDonald
Son of Colin and Marilyn (Dobson) McDonald
Source: Marilyn McDonald

The 2010 Wedding

On July 5,2010, Ian and Marilyn were married at 4 p.m. in St Mary's by the Sea Church, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia. They picked that time of day so that they could see a lovely sandy beach with water through the church window. The wedding 'march' was the Handel aria Lascia ch'io Pianga recorded and sung by Marilyn and Angela Zammataro, a friend of hers with a fine voice. The reception was held at Rydges Sabaya resort, Port Douglas. The reception area was ablaze with candles and flaming torches. Thirty-two of the bride and groom's musician friends entertained. The music included jazz; country; folk; blues; Latin; rock. The bride sang her speech A Ship Called Love, by Eric Bibb. All the bride's family who were able to attend, including her mother, Marewa, performed "Pokarekare Ana" a traditional Maori love song composed about 1914. Here is a link to the version sung by Hayley Westenra: Pokarekare Ana.

Here are also several photos taken at the wedding with supporting captions, all courtesy of Marilyn:


Wedding of Captain Ian and Marilyn (Dobson) McDonald Davison
Bridal Party
Tarah McDonald (Marilyn's daughter), Frank Krone, Ian, Marilyn, Captain Greg Bennett,
Nova Gleeson (Marilyn's niece by her sister Sue)
July 5, 2010


Quinn McDonald Wearing Korowai
Oldest Son of Marilyn
The korowai, a traditional Maori family cloak, is made from feathers.
In this case, Marilyn made it herself.
July 5, 2010


Family Members of Marilyn
Marewa (Patete) Dobson (Marilyn's mother), Natalia (Quinn's wife), Sue Gleeson and Jude Clement (Marilyn's sisters)
Luke Gleeson, Sue's husband, is sitting behind her.
July 5, 2010


Wedding Party
Sue Gleeson, Jude Clement, Paris Gleeson, Luke Gleeson (Sue's husband--just a peek), Quinn and Natalia McDonald (baby due in two weeks),
Ben Kersche (Tarah's boyfriend), Tarah McDonald, Chris Simmons (Nova's fiance), Nova Gleeson
Foreground: Marewa Patete Dobson, Ian, Marilyn
Outside St. Mary's By the Sea Church
July 5, 2010


"You May Now Kiss the Bride"
July 5, 2010


Just Married
July 5, 2010


Wedding Couple with Family
Tarah, Ian, Marilyn, Nova
July 5, 2010

The Dobson Relationship

Through the efforts of John Dobson, we are honored to have the following information on the entire Dobson, Hansby and Patete lineages. According to John, the Dobsons were heavily involved in the surveying and opening up of the South Island of New Zealand. Edward Dobson and one of his sons, Sir Arthur Dudley, are listed in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Edward was actually John and Marilyn's great great grandfather. You can view the extended family lineage at The Dobsons of New Zealand. The bolded links represent the direct ancestors of John, Marilyn and their siblings.

John is married to Annemarie Graham and they have two children, Logan Turi and Erana Oriwia Dobson. John tells us that the Maori word for genealogy is whakapapa, and that such family history is held to be sacred by the Maoris. The genealogies may stretch back 50-60, or even to 100, generations. The Patete family also has what is called a whanau trust. The word "whanau" means family and the trust is formed to take care of the family's interests in Maori land in New Zealand. This land was passed down through the family and, as the holdings were getting smaller each generation, family members started a whanau trust to look after the land. There is a National Maori Land Court that monitors and adjudicates issues related to Maori land issues. Here is the Patete whakapapa [genealogy] as prepared by John Dobson:


Whakapapa of Haimona Patete
Father of Tame Anini Haimona Patete
Source: John Dobson

John tells us that Tame was the grandson of the paramount chief of Ngati Koata of d'Urville island--Turi Patete. This island is now a wilderness resort in Marlborough Sound off the north coast of the South Island. Tame's father was Haimona ["Simon" to the English community], a chief and leader (political and religious) of both the Ngati Kuia and Ngati Koata peoples. There are not many photos of Tame and Alice together at an early age. Alice was instrumental in our family retaining its Maori land interests and she made sure of confirming many of our land titles in the courts. In this way, her descendants were lucky as a lot of Maori land was lost by their owners through government actions both local and central. The Patete-Hansby family themselves lost land claimed for public works or taken by the government appointed Maori trustee and sold - in these cases there were few avenues for protest.

Here is what Anthony Patete created for the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography to go with the Whakapapa shown above:

Patete, Haimona 1863/1864? - 1921
Ngati Koata and Ngati Kuia leader, religious founder

Haimona (Simon) Patete (also known as Haimona Turi) was born on Rangitoto (D'Urville Island), in the Marlborough Sounds probably in 1863 or 1864. Te Putu, his grandfather, and Turi Te Patete, his father, were among the Ngati Koata leaders who accompanied their Ngati Toa relatives on the original migration from Kawhia under Te Rauparaha in 1822. At the battle of Whakapaeiti in 1824, Tutepourangi, the paramount Ngati Kuia leader, was captured. He then ceded D'Urville Island and surrounding lands to Ngati Koata in return for the safety of his people. In 1840 Turi Te Patete was one of the signatories to the Treaty of Waitangi. Haimona's mother, Oriwa, Turi's third wife, was the daughter of Ngati Kuia leader Kereopa Ngarangi and his wife Kerenapu.

Coincidental with the recurring interest in our collective family history, Marilyn McDonald and her sister Jude recently made a pilgrimage to the South Island of New Zealand, where they retraced the steps of the Dobsons and walked on tribal lands for the first time. This was a profoundly moving experience and took Marilyn "by surprise". In late 2008, Marilyn told us of plans for construction of an "urupa", for consecration of the ashes of family Maori ancestors on Marlborough Sound. This event was to take place in early 2009.

Copyright 2006 Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors. All Rights Reserved. Prior written permission is required from Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors before this material can be printed or otherwise copied, displayed or distributed in any form. This is a FREE genealogy site sponsored through PAGenWeb and can be reached directly at ~Sullivan County Genealogy Project (http://www.rootsweb.com/~pasulliv)