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William Samuel Hill Creamer (1882 - )


William Creamer was born November 16, 1882.  22

Arrived in ???, New Zealand in ????, aboard ???. ??

Joined the Lighthouse Service 1902 at Cape Maria van Diemen as a Provisional Keeper.  On October 18, 1904 he was earning 80 pounds per annum. He was promoted to Assistant Keeper on July 18, 1906 and earned 100 pounds per annum. cc

He married, Eliza Louisa White in 1906. cc


Eric Creamer, born June 11, 1907 at Cape Maria van Diemen.

Charlotte May Creamer, born January 17, 1909 at Tiritiri Matangi lighthouse. 

John White Creamer, born April 27, 1912 at Cape Brett

Joel Creamer  born January 3, 1914 at Cape Brett.

Dorothy Iris Creamer, born July 14, 1916 at Cape Campbell

Thelma Currie Creamer, born January 1, 1921 at Castlepoint??



He was then at Manukau Assistant keeper,his wages rising to 120.00pounds at 18.7.08

They then went to Cape Campbell. William was Principal keeper at Cape Campbell. 1915-1916 earning 170pounds per annum, then 175pounds per annum from 1917-1919.



S. William Creamer Rank: First Assistant Keeper. Work Period: 26-07-12 to 31-12-14. Family: Wife ~ Name Unknown. Children (2) ~ 2 sons, Eric and John (aka Joel). William Creamer replaced Frank Lee as the first assistant keeper at the end of September 1912 taking over the residence of the second house. He had a comprehensive career as a lighthouse keeper. Before being moved to Cape Brett he was stationed at Cape Maria Van Diemen (North Cape); Manukau South Heads and Tiri Tiri Matangi Island (both in Auckland); and afterwards was moved to Cape Campbell (in Marlborough), Castlepoint (in the Wairarapa) and finally Cuvier Island (Auckland/Coromandel).185 

Williams’ oldest son Eric wrote a biography based on recollections from his childhood, covering 1907-1922 and including most of his father’s lighthouse career.186 

Most of his recollections are a child’s view but he did visit many of the stations again during his later life, and while most were still operational as manned stations.187 

Some of his recollections of Cape Brett have been used throughout this text. More personal recollections include the family’s personal belongings, including the piano, being offloaded by sailors, and keepers using the crane. The piano was then hand winched on the tram trolley up to the second house.188 

Eric also remembers heading up to the ‘dobbin’ (the whim) with his father and pretending to help pull the tram trolley up the track using the wire; though on one occasion this proved to be an extremely bad idea (for story see health care page 145).189 

The Creamers’ youngest son was born at Cape Brett with his mother choosing to stay at the station for the birth.190 

The Creamers had a good friend, Nurse Currie, who came to stay and assist Mrs Creamer during the birth.191 

This is the earliest record of a baby being born at the station and is likely to have been the first birth at the station. Eric was apparently known for his practical jokes and he one day tricked both his father and Mr Harvey (the principal keeper). While both men were at the top of the tower Eric, ages about nine, stayed on the ground floor and successfully made a noise like a steamer. For the next 20 minutes, both the keepers searched the horizon for the mystery steamer.192 

William appears to have been a great music fan – he could play the accordion, the family had their piano and he is said to have had a large record collection containing a variety of ‘accordion pop, piano and urban’.193 

It is likely that after George Thwaites was taken to Kawakawa Hospital, William would have become the keeper in charge/acting principal keeper as he was next in the chain of command. It is also probable that a relieving keeper was brought in as soon as possible to cover his shifts as at this time the shift structure required three men.

13aDOC. Cape Brett, Keepers Stories


Cape Maria van Diemen  191 Probationary Keeper  191 1902  191    January 18, 1904  22  July 18, 1906  191
Cape Maria van Diemen  191 Assistant Keeper  191 July 18, 1906  191 1908  191    June 16, 1907  22 
Manukai South Head  191  82  87 Assistant Keeper  191  82  87 July 17, 1907  82   87   1908  191        June 16, 1907  22  September 15, 1910  82  87  22
Tiritiri Matangi  191  82 Assistant Keeper  191  82 September 24, 1910  82  22  1909  191 July 23, 1912  82
Cape Brett  191 Assistant Keeper  191 July 26, 1912  13a  191 December 31, 1914  13a   
Cape Campbell  191 Principal Keeper  191 1915  191 1915  191
Castlepoint  191 Principal Keeper  191 1915  191 1923  191
Cuvier Island  191 Principal Keeper  191 1923  191


Additional Sources:


13a. DOC, Cape Brett, Keepers Stories.



191. William Creamer (Noeline Fairchild (daughter of Charlotte May Creamer, eldest daughter of W & E Creamer), April 7, 2013)


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Text and photographs. Copyright © 1999-2013 Mark Phillips. All rights reserved.

If anyone has any information on these people please contact me.

Last Updated: October 1, 2013.