‘Away we went from the East India Dock’: The Story of the Jack Family

portrait-john-jackIn late October 1883, the Jack family, John, Helen, and their two sons John Hill Hunter and James Whitson, left their home in Edinburgh for the port of Leith. Their luggage had already been packed and was delivered, ahead of the family, to the SS Iona anchored in Leith harbour, the vessel which was to take them to London. From there, the Jacks were to embark on a three-month journey to New Zealand. The departure in Edinburgh was a sad event. Aware of the fi nality of the Jacks’ decision to emigrate, Peter Gardner, a family friend, observed how unlikely it was that they would see each other again ‘in the flesh’. Perhaps Gardner was among those gathered in front of the Iona for the farewell; befitting the occasion, someone …