Dunedin's Buried History
Reverend Michael Watt (Master of Arts, Doctor of Divinity) was a Presbyterian minister at Green Island for forty years. He also lectured in Greek, Latin and Hebrew at the Theological Hall.
Rev. Watt was born on 15th December 1835. He was a distinguished student at Aberdeen University and gained an M.A. in 1858. He attended the Free Church College in Edinburgh and was licensed by the Free Church Presbytery of Inverness in 1862.
Rev. Watt arrived in New Zealand as a Probationer in June 1864, and was ordained as minister by the Green Island Dunedin Presbytery on 1st June 1864. He was a tutor in the Theological Hall from its foundation and was Professor of Hebrew and Church History from 1887. He resigned from his charge at Green Island to devote all of his time to the Hall; he worked full time there from February 1903 and retired on 28th February 1921. He was also Moderator of the Assembly in 1903. From the foundation of the Hall in 1874 he served as a member of the staff, first as Tutor in Biblical Criticism and Sacred Languages, later as Professor of Hebrew and Church History.
Rev. Watt married Isabella Smith and they had a family of seven, three sons and four daughters. The sons included James Watt M.D., the eldest, who died on 22nd Nov 1926 aged 57, John who died in Lytton, British Columbia on 16th October 1914 aged 40, and Donald who died in Perth, Western Australia, on 23rd March 1919 aged 36. The daughters were Mary Shand, who died on 20th December 1944 aged 55, Alice who died on 28th December 1950 aged 70, Barbara Mary who died on 5th November 1951 aged 81, and Christiana Watt who died on 6th July 1956 aged 84.
'Profound and accurate scholarship, reverent loyalty to Christian ideals, unaffected piety, gentleness and humility characterised him throughout his long career'. Michael Watt died on 7th April 1922, aged 86.
(Additional information from the Presbyterian Archives website).
Information from Eddie Watt, 26/10/08
LOVING MEMORY OF
MICHAEL WATT D.D.
DIED 7TH APRIL 1922
HIS WIFE, ISABELLA
DIED 23RD FEB 1906
AND OF THEIR SON
DIED, LYTTON, B.C.
16TH OCT. 1914
DIED, PERTH, W.A.
23RD MARCH 1919
ALSO OF THEIR SON
JAMES WATT M.D.
DIED, 22ND NOV. 1926
AND OF THEIR DAUGHTERS
DIED 20TH DEC. 1944
DIED 28TH DEC. 1950
DIED 5TH NOV. 1951
DIED 6TH JULY 1956
WHAT DOTH THE LORD REQUIRE OF THEE,
BUT TO DO JUSTLY, AND TO LOVE MERCY,
AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH THY GOD