A bench protected from the weather by the Marseilles tile roof of this small, open-sided shelter is dedicated to the memory of Captain Jeremiah Hughes Thomas (1815-99). It was erected by his “many friends”.
Thomas was an early settler who had commanded coastal vessels which traded in and out of Akaroa. Later in his life he was responsible for maintaining the lights on Akaroa’s wharves. The structure which shelters the bench was probably built ten years after the bench was dedicated to Captain Thomas’s memory.
The structure stands on the point on the waterfront which was the base of the Church Street wharf. This wharf, built in 1858-59, had been superseded in 1888 by the new Town Wharf (see Town Wharf) but had continued in use, mainly by fishermen, until the 1930s. The building which stood on the site of the Fishermen’s Rest, Latter’s Store, had served also as the wharfinger’s office until 1910 when a new wharfinger’s office (see The Weighbridge) was built at the base of the Town Wharf. The Fishermen’s Rest and the new wharfinger’s office were probably built at about the same. They are built of the same materials and are similar in style.