A BRITISH ex-pat has helped Kendal Town Council develop a historical connection with one of the town’s distinguished sons.

The son of a builder, Charles Rooking Carter was born in Kendal in 1822.

He emigrated to New Zealand, where he achieved fame as a politician and philanthropist.

Working there as a builder, contractor and architect, he became a foremost contributor to the development of harbour reclamation and public building in a Wellington town that would come to be named after him.

The town and broader district of Carterton in New Zealand’s North Island both take their name from the Kendalian - as does an astronomical observatory, which is also in Wellington.

Carter eventually became a political representative for Wairarapa in the Wellington Provincial Council and in New Zealand’s General Assembly.

He was educated in Kendal and worked in the Eagle and Child pub, in Staveley.

In 2018, a biography of his life, written by parliamentary historian John E Martin, was published.

London-born Adele Pentony-Graham, who now lives in Carterton, wrote to the current Kendal mayor, Alvin Finch, to make the town council aware of the historical connection.

Ms Pentony-Graham has sent a copy of the work chronicling Carter’s life, entitled ‘A Colonists’ Gaze’, to the Town Council.

She encouraged town residents to read up on the story of his life - much of which was spent between England and New Zealand.

Commenting on Charles Carter’s legacy and Ms Pentony-Graham’s work to bring John Martin’s biography to the town hall’s attention, Mr Finch said: “That a town and district were both named after Mr Carter in New Zealand is, obviously, a measure of the eminence he achieved and the high regard he was held in there.

“This is another thread adding to the rich tapestry of the town’s history.

“It’s incredible to think someone from here achieved everything he did at the opposite end of the world. And I’m sure plenty of Kendalians will be interested to read Mr Martin’s account of Carter’s life.”

“I’m very grateful Adele got in touch and sent the book over. It was a lovely idea and gesture.”