Comte de Paris Descendants Group

Preserving the heritage of the French and German families who landed at Akaroa from the ship
Comte de Paris in August 1840.

As a group we aim to encourage the preservation and knowledge of the heritage of the Akaroa
families. We celebrate the National days of both France and Germany as well as participate in the celebration of the Akaroa French Fest.

We are striving to establish and maintain an archive of information, family certificates and other
documents of significance to our members. We are also developing links between different family groups in France and Germany and also a relationship with the community of Akaroa, and those interested in the heritage of the area.

Are YOU part of our family?     Do you have any of these names in your family history?

Benoit  -   Bernard  -   Bouriaud  -   Breitmeyer   -  Cebert   -  Chardin  -   David  -   Dulac  -   Dupas  -   Eteveneaux  -   Fleuret   -  Francois   -  Gendrot   -  Guindon     Gurtner   -  Hahn  -   Haulme  -   Hettich  -  Jotereau  -   Jouy     Le Duc   -  LeLievre  -   Libeau   -  De Malmanche  -   Masse  -   Michel  -   Pigoulet  -   Rousselot  -   Veron  -   Vidal  -   Waeckerle  -   Walter  -   Wooll

If so, we would love to hear from you. for a membership enquirie please click the link in the top right hand corner of this page.


Important Notices Comte de Paris Descendants Group Inc. 
Landing Day Luncheon: 
Sunday 16 August 2015 12.30pm

Akaroa Area School Gymnasium 

Cost: $30 p.p. Bully Hayes Caterer 
Speaker: Peter Tremewan 
ALL WELCOME Friends and non-members. 
For Tickets contact Linda Sunderland. No door sales. 
Phone: 03 337 5045 
Merchandise for sale: 
Updated LeLievre book with index, French jams, Polo shirts, raffle. Ladies please wear shoes that will not damage gymnasium floor! 

Sunday 23rd August Fr. Shanahan St.Patrick’sChurch
invited interested members of our group to Mass at 9.30 to recall first Mass on the foreshore in 1840. This will be led by the Bishop. 

 French Fest: 9, 10, 11 October 2015 at Akaroa 
175 anniversary of the landing of the French and German Settlers at Akaroa in 1840 
There will be a re-enactment of the landing on the Saturday morning 10 October 2015. There are a few spaces on the cutters for financial members who are direct descendants and would like to take part in this event. Room for 11 adults and 4 children. Period costume must be worn for this. 
If interested contact: Linda Sunderland 
Phone: 03 337 5045 
Further Information: 
Further information regarding the French Fest will be sent to members closer to the time. Meanwhile hurry to purchase tickets for the luncheon. to purchase tickets for the luncheon.

Comte de Paris Families social events for 2015

16 August  - Comte De Paris Landing Day Lunch at the Akaroa school gymnasium

9 - 11 October - French Fest at Akaroa 

Comte de Paris Descendants Group Unisex Sports Polo Shirts



Embossed with our ship Logo on the front top chest and list of descendants (33) on middle back section. Approximate cost $60.00

If you haven’t already ordered with Donna Thomsen please place your order soon as there are only a few left, by replying to her email below,with name, contact phone, sizing type and quantities. 

Polo colour and style has been decided and we are taking orders for those members who wish to purchase one of these stylish garments for wear at one of our numerous functions, festivals, meetings etc. Or even just to wear as a reminder and discussion point to anyone interested in the history and bloodline.

The main colour of the polo is navy, made of lightweight highly breathable anti bacterial treated 165 GSM 100% polyester with contrast piping in a red and white insert along the bottom of the short sleeves and up the side and with red and white contrast up the side trunk underarms, which gives the polo a bit of shape.

Sizings will tend to be more on the fitting size so allow a little room for the croissants! Please measure your half chest from underarm to underarm. You can measure this also by using an existing comfy polo shirt and laying it on the ground.


Ladies 10/mens XS        half chest (cm) 47                     length(cm) 69

Ladies12/mens small      half chest 49                            length 71

Ladies 14/mens M          half chest 52                            length 73

Ladies 16/Mens L          half chest 55                            length 75

Mens XL                        half chest 58                            length 77

Mens 2XL                      half chest 62                            length 79

Mens 3XL                      half chest 65                            length 81

Mens 5XL                      half chest 70                            length 81

Thank you

Donna Thomsen: email:

 Or phone 0274354552

The Comte de Paris Group

Popular annual Landing Day Luncheon, Sunday August 16, 2015

Exciting News!

As this year will mark175 years since the landing of the Comte de Paris-with our ancestors aboard- on the shores of Akaroa, we wish to celebrate this very special anniversary by holding this 2015 luncheon in Akaroa itself.

As, sadly, the Gaiety theatre will not have structural repairs completed before August 16th, the Comte de Paris Group have secured the use of Akaroa Area School's gymnasium space. The school is situated at 141 Rue Jolie.

For extra interest there will be , as well as our well known guest speaker, family information, photo boards and merchandising available.

Total event cost is $27.00 pp (payable on application). Catering will be by our favourite Bully Hayes restaurant.

Come and join with your friends and relatives in celebrating the "once in a lifetime" informative, relaxing and enjoyable event with us.

Don't miss out: book early.

Enquiries (information, internet banking etc)

Linda Sunderland: 13 Kiteroa Place, Cashmere, Chch. Tele: 03 3375045: email:

Leone Fuller: 25 Hamel Lane Kaipoi 7630: Tele: 03 327 2829: Email


Heartfelt pleas from the community have led Christchurch City councillors to unanimously endorse plans to restore and strengthen Akaroa's historic Gaiety Theatre. City councillors have agreed to spend up to $624,000 on the 134-year-old theatre with the aim of bringing it up to 67 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS).

The money for the repair and strengthening work will come from the council's multimillion-dollar Building and Infrastructure Improvement Allowance. Akaroa-Wairewa Community Board deputy chairman Lyndon Graham told councillors the Gaiety was an important public historic building and one of only two buildings in Akaroa that could accommodate gatherings of more than 100 people. It was used for meetings, shows, concerts, community functions and weddings.

"It is essential to the well being of our community and I cannot stress strongly enough its importance to the people of Akaroa, I plead with you today to favourably heed our request... to restore to us this most loved and frequently used building."





Dates to keep clear so you can attend this event. 

French Fest October 11, 12 & 13, 2013.

The French fest will be held 11, 12 &13 October 2013. Programme as follows.

11 October: Street Party, entertainers and Fireworks

12 October: Re-enactment of the landing by descendants 10am and street parade, Mardi Gras

6.00 – midnight Marque, dancing and entertainment.

13 October: French cricket on the domain, barbeque

Here is a link to the Christchurch city council site with all the information you need


Akaroa 175

Programme of Events

Akaroa Area School Production-Friday 19 June


‘’Kotahitanga" (‘as one’) is the title of Akaroa Area School's bi-annual production. 
To coincide with the 175 Year anniversary of the arrival of the French and English and the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi, school students will present a multi-media show based around the theme of Heritage. 
There will be a matinee/dress rehearsal at 11:00am in the school gymnasium and an evening show at 7:00pm on Friday 19 June.  Tickets will be for sale from the school office from June 1st.  Gold coin donation for the matinee.  Evening show will be $10 for adults and $5 for children.


Akaroa Museum: An Evening of readings from 1840- Friday 14 August & Friday 16 or 23 October

Historical Notes:

1840 was an eventful year in the history of Akaroa – not only was British sovereignty declared at Green’s Point, but 57 French and German settlers arrived and the Treaty of Waitangi was signed at Onuku.  Akaroa was on the map and growing.

During the year there was a succession of travellers arriving in the harbour - whalers, explorers and people on official business.  There were people living at established shore whaling stations in the southern bays and others scattered around the inner bays. Some of these people recorded their experiences in journals and letters, and some of these writings have survived for us to discover them, 175 years later.


Akaroa Museum: The Explorer, the Whaler, the Doctor and the Priest - an evening of readings from 1840.

Over two evenings, a collaboration between Akaroa Museum staff and the Friends of Akaroa Museum, will present a sample of thoughts and observations on the fledging settlement of Akaroa, brought to life by talented local readers. 

Ticket: (cost TBA) will include light refreshments.

Dates:  Friday 14 August/Friday 16 or 23 October

Venue: TBA.


Compte de Paris Group Luncheon-Sunday 16 August

Historical Notes:
On the 16th of August 1840 the Comte de Paris entered Akaroa harbour and made it as far as Onuku. On the 17th of August they anchored in Paka-ariki (French) Bay – bad weather for the next day prevented settlers from disembarking. On the 18th of August, tents are put up on the beach for the settlers, but they're still on board, and on the 19th of August 53 French and German colonists disembark – Landing Day.


For this historic event the Compte de Paris group will organise a Sunday lunch at the Akaroa Area School gym on this day to celebrate August 19th. Bully Hayes will do the catering. Peter Tremewan will do a historic talk and photos will be on display plus merchandise for sale.


Commemorative Mass at St Patrick’s-Sunday 23 August

Historical Notes:
The l’ Aube arrived at Akaroa on 15th of August 1840 and two priests and a brother were on board. The first Mass on shore was celebrated on the 23rd of August. This was recorded by Captain Lavaud in the ship’s log.


(Fr) Paul Shannahan will be holding a commemorative Mass at St Patrick’s (or another site if that was felt preferable. Church holds 100 only).  (Fr) Paul Shannahan will be dressed (with two others) as Marist Priests and a Brother to ‘welcome the first arrivals of the 19th August 1840.


Garden of Tane: Commemorative Tree Planting-Date to be confirmed


The Garden of Tane Management Committee will plant a walnut tree to commemorate the occasion with a plinth & a bronze plaque. Most likely to take place in August. The walnut will commemorate the walnuts brought to Akaroa by the French and German settlers in 1840.

This will be in the vicinity of the playground area and with a plaque in conformity with the other historical plaques nearby.

Descendants would take part in planting specimens in the entrance garden as part of their celebrations. As this commemorates people who were part of the French naval presence in Akaroa (d’Urville, Raoul and others) and the Nanto-Bordelaise company (Belligny) it would be appropriate to inform the French Ambassador in Wellington, and the French Consul in Christchurch of the plans. It would also be relevant to inform the Canterbury Botanical Society as Akaroa is an important locality for type specimens of NZ native plants.  


Heritage Week. 9-26 October

Beca Heritage Week is from 9 - 26 October 2015.

French Festival and Heritage Week will collaborate together in 2015. Beca Heritage Week will be incorporating the French Festival into its programme this year. 

Events still to be decided.


French Festival. 9-11 October

French Fest was first held in Akaroa in 1997 and the festival is now produced by the Christchurch City Council on behalf of the Akaroa Heritage Festival Society.

A celebration of all things Gallic, the festival embraces the unique beauty, culture and heritage of New Zealand’s sole French settlement and boutique destination right on our doorstep. Visitors can delve into Akaroa’s 19th Century history while revelling in all the contemporary colour and fun that the 2015 French Fest brings to this harbour-side village.


Historical Notes-The Landing:

15 Aug-The Aube, French naval escort for Comte de Paris, enters Akaroa Harbour and anchors off Onuku

16 Aug-Comte de Paris enters the harbour and makes it as far as Onuku

17 Aug-Comte de Paris anchors in Paka-ariki (French) Bay – bad weather for the next day prevented settlers from disembarking.

18 Aug-Tents are put up on the beach for the settlers, but they're still on board

19 Aug-53 French and German colonists disembark – Landing Day


The Landing:

The Landing is a re-enactment of the settlers coming ashore on August 19th and will be made as authentic as possible. The Compte de Paris Group are working on this and it will take place from 10am-11am Saturday morning.
The boat which will carry the descendants from the main wharf to the unloading point off the beach is the Manutara, captained by Ray Shoebridge plus three cutters.

All the people on the boat will be direct descendants of the original passengers of the Compte de Paris ship. There will be a mixture of adults and children as per the original landing and all will be in period costume.

When arriving at the beach the descendant's will wade ashore or the women gallantly carried.

While the cutters are being rowed ashore and unloaded the commentary will begin, it explains what originally happened and some of the conditions and hardships of the journey. Commentary will be provided by Suky Thompson.

There will be a Maori welcome on the beach.

This year a ‘scroll’ is being produced which will be handed out to the public and will have a list of the descendants’ family names on it.


The Parade:

A band will lead the CDP descendants group, made up of the people who arrived on shore from the cutters, and the balance of descendants in period costume. At the head of the group will be the flag carriers and two descendants carrying the large CDP banner. The rest will be carrying placards for each of the family names of the original passengers.


The Posters:

There will be 2 posters for French Festival. One from 1840 and one modern one.


The Fireworks:

Humphry Rolleston will be sponsoring the fireworks display. Timing-9pm-9.30pm on the Saturday night. ‘The 175th Anniversary Fireworks display’.


Heritage Area:

Alliance Francaise & the Comte de Paris will have a Heritage area at the Festival with historical information.   


French Games:

Paul Newport is helping build traditional French games as a new element of FF.

Heritage New Zealand Magazine Editorial

Spring (September) or summer issue story on Akaroa 175 scheduled under domestic travel stories.

Hollie to send through images & stories post event.

Sonia Barrett

Advertising Coordinator

Heritage New Zealand

P.O.Box 2629,Wellington 6140 

DDI: 04 4948034   Mobile : 027 214 1672  Fax: 04 4990669










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