(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)
Between the north and south islands of New Zealand is a very rough body of water known as Cook Strait. Out of this rough water are many small and beautiful islands, one of which is D'Urville Island, where lived a large group of wonderful Maori people, mostly members of the Church. They comprised an excellent branch of the Church and lived the gospel well. All were related to one another and were mainly professional fishermen.
The missionaries were allowed to visit the island once a year during the Christmas holidays, but two of my companions and I were unable to go. Some months later, however, President Matthew Cowley gave me that opportunity, while he and I were on a trip to perform a rather distasteful duty [interviewing and disciplining a wayward missionary that had to be sent home]. When we had finished our work in the city of Wellington, both of us felt spiritually down. He said to me, "Let's go fishing!" I immediately agreed. I had never had the chance to go fishing as a young boy because of my bad headaches which came when least expected.
We left Wellington on the inter-island steamer that sailed between the north and south islands. The only way to get off the ship anywhere near D'Urville Island was to climb down a rope ladder lowered from the side of the ship at about two o'clock in the morning, when it was the calmest. This little maneuver didn't frighten me too much until the time to perform it approached.