Mathias Eriksen /WIIG/
- Født: 19 Jun. 1865, Fredrikshald, Østfold
- Døpt: 28 Juli 1865, Fredrikshald, Østfold
- Ekteskap (1): Emma /KENNEDY/ den 29 Aug. 1893 i Waipawa, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
- Død: 19 Feb. 1936, Bluff, New Zealand 70 år gammel
Mathias was born in Fredrikshald (Halden), but later on he lived in Fredrikstad where he went to school. He called himself a native of Fredrikstad.
He was 21 in 1886 when he left Norway.
He stayed in Canada for a while before he went to New Zealand.
He arrived in New Zealand in 1889 onboard the scooner Kenilworth and worked for some years onboard coastal trading vessels before he settled down in Napier.
Here i started business as a sail and tent-maker.
The application for Naturalisation for Mathias was approved and was noted in the Daly Telegraph dated 21. aug. 1893, one week before his brother Jørgen's.
He was involved in the Napier Fire Brigade as a foreman until 10. april 1896.
He was a committee member of the local school for a number of years. He also became a vice-captain of the Napier Sailing Club.
In february 1898 his sail and tent-business burned down and in 1901 he suffered a further set-back and filed a petition for bankruptcy.
As the norwegian vice-Consul of New Zealand Mathias Eriksen Wiig took part in the Silver Jubilee 24 th of september 1897 to celebrate the arrival of the first immigrants on sept 24 1872. Mr. Wiig gave a a short history of the norwegian flag. He then handed it to Mr. Ole Eriksen to be held in trust.
He was appointed as Norwegian Consul in 1910.
From the "Norwegian Whalers", page 68, we can read the following:
By 1 st March the "South Times" was reporting the delivery of timber by the ketch Kekeno and the manufacture of collision mats for placing over the holes. The previous day (29. of Feb) a nautical inquiry was held in Halfmoon Bay by the norwegian Vice Consul Mr. Wiig. The press was not permitted.
Ref. Mathias Daybook from his trip to Norway in 1925:
Although he was born i Halden, he settled later on i Fredrikstad and went to school there. The 17th of May is described as follows: "Today is Norways Liberty day and it were keep in a splendid way. children prosescion in the afternoon every one carried a flag it was a great sight I saw my old school pass by with the same old Banner that we used when I was a pupil there. It took the procession 25 minutes to pass where I stood with my sister and her Daughters, in the evening there were Fireworks, Dances e.t.c I only wish that I had some of my own family here with me to see and enjoy the sights."
During his trip in 1925 he had two audiences with King Haakon VII who personally decorated him the Order of St. Olav, First Class for services rendered to Norway over the past thirty years. In 1928 King Haakon VII conferred upon him the decoration of Knight of the First Order of St. Olav.
This is the highest honour that can be attained in Norway and was the same at that awarded to Roald Amundsen on his return from the North Pole.
Ref. Mathias Daybook, 25 th June 1925:
" This day is a memorable day in my life as I paid my respects to my King (Haakon 7th) at the Palace today. He was most gracious and kind to me asked several questions about N.Z. and was greatly interested about what I told, spent nearly an hour with him and talked about N.Z. all the time, when leaving he gave me a message to the Norwegians in N.Z. to give them his greetings and that he wishes them the best of Luck replied I shall have great pleasure of bringing his to N.Z."
Daybook, 30 th July 1925 visit to Halden his birth place:
"Left for Fredrikstad by the 7-30 am train arrived at Suusters (sisters?) place 9-30 found here in fairly good health we left there in the afternoon for our birthplace arrived there at 7-30 book in and stayed at Halden Hotel to bed at 10-30---"
Daybook, 30 th July 1925:
"Out and about the town at 9.am went and saw my fathers ship building yard fit is still used for boat building '96 and contains two slips for heaving up steamers for repairs and painting- also called at the house where I was born - the owner of the house I found were an old friend of my sisters '96 took photo of house and surroundings '96 it started raining just before dinner called on my Cousin Mrs Karlmark '96 who is a widow and who keeps a nice fruit and Confectionary business in the main street '96 had coffee & cakes with her and her son in the Afternoon"
Mathias left Norway 15 th aug 1925 and he never forgot his feelings to Norway:
"Can you forget old Norway? I cannot forget it, with that proud rock Borge; it is and remains the land of my birth."
He arrived back in New Zealand Sunday 18 th Oct 1925.
Daybook written by M E Wiig
From Sandefjord Norway to N.Z. Aug 1925
G Th Diesen
Hendelser i hans liv:
• Dåp, 1865. Ref. Halden 1857-1865, side 187, pos. 84
• Konfirmasjon, 6 Okt. 1878. Vestre Fredrikstad 1878-1907
• Yrke: Norwegian Concule of New Zealand.
Mathias giftet seg med Emma /KENNEDY/ den 29 Aug. 1893 i Waipawa, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. (Emma /KENNEDY/ ble født den 19 Aug. 1869 i Kaikora North, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand og døde den 15 Juli 1953 i New Zealand.)