Lancelot McCaskill

Category Three: Nationally Recognised Notable New Zealanders


Date of birth

8 May 1900 at Winchester


9 August 1985 at Christchurch


  • Winchester Primary School
  • Timaru Boys’ High School
  • Lincoln College (Dip Ag Sc) 1920
  • Canterbury University (B Ag Sc) 1923
  • Otago University (M Ag Sc) 1929


Isobel Murray (daughter of Alexander Aitken) August 1925


Two sons and one daughter


  • Instructor in Agriculture, Auckland Education Board 1923-27
  • Agricultural Teacher, Timaru Boys’ High School 1927-28
  • Lecturer in Nature Study and Agriculture, Dunedin Teachers College 1928-32 and at Christchurch Teachers’ College 1933-44
  • Senior Lecturer in rural education at Canterbury Agricultural College (now Lincoln University) 1944-49
  • Associate Professor 1949-60
  • Foundation Director Tussock Grasslands and Mountain Lands Institute 1961-65
  • Member Board of Governors Lincoln College 1943

Community service

  • Foundation member Royal New Zealand Forest and Bird Society – lectured widely
  • Foundation member North Canterbury Catchment Board 1944-56, 1959-60, 1965-71
  • Member Riccarton Bush Board 1948-57
  • Arthurs Pass National Park Board 1948-67
  • National Parks Authority 1953-68 and surveyed and catalogued 960 scenic reserves from 1965-72
  • In 1956 invited to help set up faculty of agriculture at new university in Indonesia (Colombo Plan)
  • Canterbury Progress League (Chairman of Conservation Committee for some years)
  • NZ Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Council 1952-57
  • Fellow of the NZ Institute of Agricultural Science 1968


  • In 1939 Carnegie Travelling Scholarship to study rural education and soil conservation in Canada, USA and Great Britain
  • Canterbury Agricultural College’s Bledisloe Medal for contribution to farming (1944) – the highest award granted to former students for outstanding contributions to New Zealand in the broad agricultural area
  • Awarded Loder Cup by Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (NZ) 1951
  • Associate of Honour of Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture (NZ) 1954
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science from Lincoln College 1978
  • Commander of the British Empire 1969
  • Sir Peter Scott Award for Conservation Merit 1984
  • Life membership of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources 1981


After retirement in 1965, wrote four books, including:

  • “Molesworth” the rehabilitation of Molesworth Station 1969
  • “Hold this Land” - a history of soil conservation in New Zealand 1973
  • “Colourful New Zealand” 1974

Last updated: 16 Sep 2021