In Week 5 Haydn Rawstron, an ex-chorister, school number 1804, returned to The Cathedral Grammar School to present a set of Godley Gifts to our Head Students to be placed in the School library for students to enjoy. The set contains three books, Essays by David McPhail; a facsimile of ‘Seadrift’; and a Watercolour Album drawn and compiled by J E FitzGerald. ‘Seadrift’ was written for Arthur and the collection of watercolours was painted for John to recall his great achievement in founding Canterbury and remind him of places, events, and happy times. 

On Monday Mr Rawstron shared this beautiful set of books with 8B. He shared the history of the books; showed pictures of James Edward FitzGerald, who wrote and illustrated ‘Seadrift’, and of John Godley, his wife, Charlotte, and young son, Arthur; and paintings of places around Christchurch and Canterbury. 

‘Seadrift’ is a fast-paced adventure yarn about a boat called ‘Seadrift’. It is also an allegory of the life and death of the immigrant, who suffered what was called ‘the New Zealand death’, drowning. 

Mr Rawstron read ‘Seadrift’ and kept all engaged in the story with the way he used FitzGerald’s technique of not finishing a page with a full stop to ensure it was a page-turner for all.

On Wednesday, Mr Rawstron shared Godley Gifts with 8G, and also had time to read ‘Seadrift’ to 4B.

On Tuesday Mr Rawstron formally presented set #47 to Head Students, Josh, Rose, Ada, and Conor. The Cathedral Grammar School is the first primary school to which ‘Godley Gifts’ is being gifted, so the Trustees decided that the school should receive #47 (of the Limited Edition of 100 book sets), marking the year in which ‘little’ Arthur Godley was born (June 1847).


This generous gift will be placed in the school library and will be available for anyone to read.

We thank Mr Rawstron for this lovely gift and for presenting it to us in person, and for spending time with 8B, 8G, and 4B.

#47 commemorates the year in which Arthur Godley (1st Lord Kilbracken) was born, 1847. The story and illustrations of ’Seadrift’ (vol. 2 of Godley Gifts) were written and drawn for ‘little Arthur’ by James Edward FitzGerald during the years 1851 and 1858.