News Letter 2007

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Here we are entering into a new year. Time just flies and this seems to be what everybody I speak to thinks. In no time at all it will be Christmas again.

Last year’s AGM, held in Dunedin at Labour Weekend was notable for its lack of support from the Clan with only members from Canterbury, Dunedin and two members from Southland attending. I realise that travelling from the north of the South Island or the North Island is an expensive exercise and so it is understandable.

The AGM weekend is the main Clan gathering for the year and is known well in advance and so it is puzzling why so many other members who live closer to the venue fail to attend. However, I do realise that a lot of people go away at Labour Weekend and so this time, to be fair, we have voted to have the AGM at Waimate on 27th/28th October 2007, which is the weekend after Labour Weekend.

Waimate is a central point between Christchurch and Dunedin. The accommodation is really good and is in a lovely country setting. You will only be there for one night this year arriving Saturday 27th and leaving Sunday 28th, after the AGM. You now have the dates. Details will be provided in due course regarding the structure for the weekend. I do know that we intend to make it a lot of fun on Saturday with the AGM following on the Sunday. So, come on folks, save a couple of dollars each week and let’s make it a really good weekend with lots of support from everybody. It will be a lot of fun and hopefully a lot cheaper. Please make a note of it on your social calendar.

The other thing I would particularly like to mention is that at the last AGM it was discussed and passed that the way forward for our Clan is that anybody who upholds the principles and aims of Clan Gunn and supports the Clan may now join as a full member. They need not be connected by blood. This opens the way for a lot of scope in recruiting more Clan members. So if you have friends who would like to become members of the Clan then please let Marie Gunn or myself know in order that we may send them the necessary recruiting kit. The more members we have the stronger we become. The stronger we become the longer we survive as a Clan.

In conclusion I would like to give my condolences to all those who have lost loved ones last year and also to thank all those who put so much effort into keeping the Clan alive and kicking. If it wasn’t for your support then it would simply fizzle out. Every little bit that Clan folk do, contribute or attend counts. In the meantime I would like to wish you all a Happy and prosperous New Year.

Yours Aye,

Todd Wall


August 2006 – December 2006

This part of the year was a particularly busy time for the Clan here in Dunedin.

Our local gathering was on 10th September at Todd and Sheila’s house in Brighton where Viggo, Bonny and Margaret Campbell kept us entertained with stories of their respective trips to Europe during July/August. Viggo attended the International Clan Gunn Gathering and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Bonny and her husband headed off to Ireland to see their daughter who now lives there and Margaret Campbell went to Edinburgh on a Dunedin/Edinburgh Sister City delegation.

This Gathering was followed soon afterwards on 23rd September by the Dunedin Scottish Festival with which both Todd and Sheila were heavily involved. If it hadn’t been for the Clan members here in Dunedin it wouldn’t have been the success it was. I’m sorry to say that apart from two people there wasn’t much help from either the Scottish Heritage Council or its members whose committee were organising it.

At Labour weekend we had the AGM. On the Saturday most of us visited the Wylde Willows gardens for a tour and morning tea. There just happened to be a train buff’s meeting in Dunedin at the same time and a couple of the train enthusiasts among us decided to go there instead. We all met up later on at Julie and Ray Ferguson’s house for a barbeque lunch. The weather had turned a bit cold but otherwise it was a successful lunch. A big thank you to Julie and Bill for organising that. In the evening we gathered at Viggo Nielsen’s house for more food and chat.

On Sunday morning some people attended church before arriving at Glenfalloch for Lunch and the AGM. The buffet lunch was great and the AGM followed immediately afterwards where it was decided that the next AGM would be held in Waimate, at Gunn’s Bush Camp, which has great accommodation and is in a lovely setting. It is also halfway between Christchurch and Dunedin. Following the AGM we all retired to gather round Charmaine Flynn’s house for the rest of the afternoon where more food was consumed amid a lot of convivial chat and banter. It was a very pleasant weekend and it was great having the Christchurch folk down here with us. We thank them for making the effort. A big thanks go to Viggo and Charmaine as well for letting us all into their respective residences.

Our Christmas gathering in Dunedin went off very well with only three members unable to make it. It was held at the Mosgiel Railway Station which has been turned into a restaurant. The food was excellent and the venue was ideal for our gathering. We had a lot of fun and there were 24 of us in all.

After I had announced that we now had an open policy for anybody wishing to join the Clan one man accompanying Alecia Ferguson, Dave, decided to sign on immediately. We also have two others keen to join, although they do have a Clan Gunn blood line. All have been given the necessary joining kits. A great time was had by all. We look forward to increasing our membership in 2007.

Todd Wall

A Day of Celebration for Clan Gunn

Monday February 19th was a special day for members of Clan Gunn NZ and one member in particular.

Our esteemed member Jane Campbell is in her 100th year. Some months earlier members of the Council had discussed how best to mark and celebrate this special occasion. At the same time we heard from Alan Robson, the President of Clan Gunn UK Soc, that he and his wife Sally would be visiting New Zealand in February. What a splendid opportunity to make the occasion even more spcial, to have Alan and Sally join in our celebrations.

So it was that on a beautiful sunny Monday morning we made our way to Jane`s home at Windermere, Papanui, Christchurch to be welcomed by Jane`s son Tom and daughters Margaret and Dorothy. We also had the great pleasure of our first meeting with Alan and Sally Robson.

Jane expressed such delight to see all her ‘Gunn’ friends and to meet with Alan and Sally and looked extremely surprised and delighted at the number of people gathered there to share her special day.

Tom welcomed Alan and Sally and the rest of the members and explained the reason for the gathering. Chris Gunn then spoke on behalf of the Canterbury members of Clan Gunn saying that it was a privilege and a pleasure to organise such an auspicious gathering in honour of Jane; he also offered a very warm welcome to Alan and Sally Robson.

Todd Wall, President of Clan Gunn NZ spoke on behalf of all members in welcoming Alan and Sally and expressing the love and admiration we all feel for Jane. Todd then presented Jane with a framed Certificate of Life Membership of Clan Gunn Soc of NZ.

Alan addressed the gathering on behalf of Clan Gunn UK Soc and spoke of the strong ties of friendship felt by Clan members throughout the world. He thanked members of Clan Gunn for their warm welcome. Alan then presented Jane with a beautiful silk Stole in the Ancient Gunn Tartan a gift from the Clan Gunn Society of UK. He also presented Jane with a letter written by our Commander Iain Gunn of Banniskirk congratulating Jane on achieving her 100th year. Sally was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a brooch as a memento of the visit to Christchurch.

Members were invited to express their personal experiences and association with Jane to which several members responded. Jane’s ancestral links with Ramscraigs, Dunbeath, Caithness were explained – a framed photograph of the Croft at Ramscraigs was on display along with a superbly crafted Gunn Tartan Rug crocheted by Jane’s sister.

Jane, who was rather overcome with all the attention and expressions of love, spoke of her gratitude for the beautiful gifts, the letter from the Commander, the presence of so many ‘friends’ and the whole occasion - ‘all these things I will treasure in my heart’.

A splendid morning tea followed which was accompanied by the usual buzz of conversation which happens whenever friends get together.

In the evening we all made our way to Banksia Home and Garden where we were welcomed by the owners Lawrence and Rosalie Dixon. Lawrence showed us round the beautiful Garden and the home before we all sat down to a delicious meal, accompanied by chatter and laughter. We all felt as if we had known Alan and Sally for some time – such is the immediate bond of friendship felt whenever Gunns get together.

Following the meal a Kauri platter which had been made by Ben Gunn was presented to Alan and Sally as a memento of their visit to Christchurch.

A splendid day came to an end – a day in which the Gunn bonds of love and kinship were strengthened, and a day in which a gracious lady was honoured by her many friends.

Marie Gunn





The President, Todd Wall welcomed everyone to the meeting.

PRESENT. Todd and Sheila Wall, Chris and Susan Gunn, Ben and Marie Gunn, Bill Jamieson, Viggo Nielsen, Doris and John Thomson, Joyce Shield, Susan and Barrie Greenwood, Margaret Godfrey, Margaret Campbell, Wilson Daniel, Graham and Sandra Frazer, Bonnie and Charmaine Flynn, Peter and Isabel Patterson, Julie Ferguson.

APOLOGIES. Tom and Shirley Campbell, Ian and Lexie Gunn, Val Donald, John and Heather Gunn, Jan Wyllie, Gerald and Val Wilson, Jessie Nelson, Grace Henderson, Beatrice Kenrick, Alecia Ferguson, Olva Manson, Elsie Blondell, Stuart and Elizabeth Gunn, James and Jane Wilson, Dianne Gunn Giles, Richard Rawstron, David Gunn, Duncan and Sandra Wall.

MINUTES. It was moved, seconded and agreed that the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 15th October 2005 which had previously been circulated be accepted as a true and correct record.

PRESIDENT`S REPORT. The President, Todd Wall presented his report referring first to the sad loss of a few of our members during the last year. We remembered with respect and affection, John (Mac) Gunn, John McL. Gunn, Ian Henderson and Kirk MacAllister Grieve as well as Vic Campbell.

Todd reported on a good and busy year of activities notably the visit he and Sheila made to Australia as guests of honour at the Brigadoon Games. They had also had the pleasure of meeting up with Geoffrey Gunn in Brisbane who has been attempting to set up a Clan Gunn Society in Australia. Todd also reported that our membership is climbing steadily and now stands at 140. Chris Gunn commented on the difficulty in keeping in touch with some of our members because of the scattered nature of our membership and the difficulties of travelling between the Islands. Chris expressed the thanks of members to Todd and Sheila for their continuing hard work for the Society. It was moved, seconded and agreed that the report be received.

FINANCIAL REPORT. Copies of the Income and Expenditure Statement, the Balance Sheet and the Financial Statement prepared by Ian Gunn our Treasurer were distributed and considered.

It was moved, seconded and agreed that the sum of 50 pounds sterling should be sent as a donation to the Gunn Heritage Centre at Latheron, Caithness.

It was moved, seconded and agreed that the annual subscriptions should remain the same.

It was moved, seconded and agreed that the President and Secretary be appointed Reviewers for the Annual Accounts.

Ben Gunn stated that we are indebted to Ian Gunn for the financial work he does for the Society and for the clear and professional Financial Reports. Ben proposed a vote of thanks to Ian which was carried with acclamation.

It was moved, seconded and agreed that the Report be received.


1. Genealogist. Marie Gunn explained that Margaret Godfrey had been of great assistance to a number of members and was prepared to continue this assistance in the field of genealogy. It was therefore moved, seconded and agreed that Margaret Godfrey should be appointed as the Clan Gunn Society of New Zealand Genealogist. In accordance with this move Marie Gunn suggested it would be helpful in Margaret`s work to be a member of the Caithness Family History Society. It was therefore moved, seconded and agreed that the Society should pay a subscription for Margaret to be a member.

2. Scottish Banner. It was explained that our Society had been a subscriber to the Scottish Banner recently. However we had received no enquiries through this medium and it was decided to cease the subscription. It was felt that it would be more beneficial to concentrate on our website. It was therefore moved, seconded and agreed that we cease subscribing to the Scottish Banner.

  1. Clan website. Chris Gunn explained the difficulties of getting our website included in the `Google` search engine. A variety of ways of improving the website were discussed. Chris stressed the importance of contributions from members. The possibility of linking in with other websites with similar interests will be considered.

  2. Burns Contest Sponsorship. Marie Gunn reported on this contest which is held annually in Christchurch, and the publicity given to Clan Gunn both during the contest and in the brochure handed out to the audience due

to the Clan`s sponsorship of one of the events in this contest in the past year. Ben Gunn asked whether members would be prepared to continue this donation on an annual basis. It was moved, seconded and agreed to donate the sum of $50 annually to the Christchurch Burns Song Contest.

5. Gatherings for Clan members. Whilst there were regular meetings of our membership in both Christchurch and Dunedin, concern was expressed at the lack of such gatherings in other areas, particularly in the North Island. Marie Gunn suggested that part of the reason was the members were not aware of the presence of other members in their district as this information was only held by two or three of the Council members. There was discussion on the possibility of overcoming this hurdle with an article and form in the next Newsletter. Members who did not wish their names and details given to anyone else would then have the right to say so and this would be honoured. Members were agreed that this should be done.

6. A.G.M. 2007. After discussion it was moved, seconded and agreed that the 2007 Annual General Meeting should be held at Gunn`s Bush Camp, Waimate, South Canterbury in October 2007. Marie Gunn will make enquiries in this regard.

7. Appreciation. Warm thanks were expressed to all the Dunedin members of Clan Gunn for their hard work in organising such a varied and interesting weekend and AGM. Thanks were also expressed to Marie Gunn for her work as Secretary.

Marie Gunn



The next Annual General Meeting will be held at Gunn`s Bush Camp, near Waimate, South Canterbury.  We have booked the Camp for the night of Saturday 27th October.  We plan to be there from late morning on the Saturday and leaving after lunch on the Sunday. 

Further details will be in the August Newsletter.  In the meantime please make plans to be there.  Our last gathering at Gunn`s Bush was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Contact me if you need any further information about the Camp.

Marie Gunn - 03-323-6608


As most of you will be aware by now almost all the ‘gatherings’ of Gunn Clan members in New Zealand are held in the South Island – mostly in Christchurch or Dunedin. That is very helpful and enjoyable for members in those districts. But what about those members in other areas of New Zealand – other than receiving the Newsletter, what do they get out of being a member? I am aware that many members are in isolated districts many miles from any other Clan Gunn member. Another obstacle to meeting up with other members is simply that the membership list is held by a few members of Council only, so you may have a member of Clan Gunn a few miles down the road from you and be unaware of the fact.

As a Council we need to be aware of the ramifications of the Privacy Act.

So it has been decided to ask you if you would like to have a copy of this membership list.

Before sending out such a list we would of course remove the names and details of anyone who informs us of their objection to having their details included.

This is therefore to inform you that we will send out a list of members with the August Newsletter to all members.

If you wish your details removed from the list to be sent out make sure you fill in the form below and return it NO LATER THAN 30TH JUNE 2007 to me at 121 B Johns Road, Belfast, Christchurch 8051. Your details will of course remain on the list held by those Council members who need it.

Marie Gunn.

Please remove my name, address and any other details, from the list of members of Clan Gunn Soc of NZ to be sent out to all members.



Phone No………………………………………………………………….

e-mail address………………………………………………….……….


The Editor would accept brief enquiries from member seeking information from other branches of the Clan. Two or three pages of the Newsletter could be devoted to requests which would be along the lines of:

“My (gg..) grandfather or mother (or other relative), was born in XX in the year XXXX and arrived in NZ in XXXX on (the name of the ship if known). If anyone is related to this person or came on the same ship please contact (name, address, phone number and/or email.”

Requests can be sent to the Editor:

Susan Greenwood, 22A Camrose Place, Christchurch 8041

Responses to information sought would be directed to the enquirer—not to the Editor!!

[The Editor has been pondering the above idea for some time and the following two requests have highlighted a need for communication amongst Clan Gunn members. BUT PLEASE, follow the guidelines given above.]


A request from LORNA CLAUSON

14 Gills Avenue, Papakura, South Auckland,

Phone 09 298 3536.

Henry Mordaunt CRAMMOND (later known as GUNN) m.  Ellen Maria Fowles  b. London 17 Nov 1862, at Feilding, on 17 Feb. 1878, aged 16. The M/ Cert. lists Henry as born Edinburgh, now aged 25 (no birth date is given).

Parents were James Crammond GUNN, and Eliza MORDAUNT Courtney SHAIRP (repeat: SHAIRP) and we have a lot of information as the Cramond/Gunn/Shairp families date back many years.

Their daughter Eleanor (Nell) was born 5 July 1879 in Feilding.

Henry is next found in Newcastle, married to Miney Hope BOOTH, in October 1881. We know his siblings (all born in the UK) as

Eleanor Constance Cramond GUNN, b 1856

Egerton GUNN, b 1859

Florence GUNN, b 1861.

However we cannot find Henry's birth certificate, although the rest of his family is well documented; and we cannot find his death certificate anywhere in Australia. After Miney died in 1886, he married again—to Phoebe Donnelly in 1890. We are somewhat suspicious he may have had another 'marriage' during this time also!!

He had a habit of changing his name and profession on a regular basis!

I have spent quite a lot of money on research in Australia and as a result came up with the above information.

HOWEVER we cannot find his death anywhere;  it is possible he may have returned to NZ but that search hasn't yielded anything either.  I think it unlikely he came back here as he left under a cloud (hence his desertion of my grandmother)  I was hoping to find WHEN he left NZ and on what boat, but it is obvious that he was in Australia by Oct 1881 when he married Miney.

If we could find Henry Crammond/Gunn's arrival in NZ which is obviously prior to his marriage to Ellen in 1878, that might be helpful in tracing his movements. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a complete index of shipping arrivals here. He probably came in at Wellington, but of course nothing is certain.  He was a remittance man but as his identity seems to be established by the other family associations, we are assuming he came out under that name.  I realise there is a possibility that he took this name, which may explain WHY his birth certificate is not found, but we have photos sent from his sister Eleanor addressed to him, as from his sister, so we are stuck with that at the moment.

Lorna Clauson

(If anyone has any information about this family, please contact Lorna at the above address, or by phone. Ed.)

Do you have any connections with anyone in this Family Tree?

A new member, Lyall Adamson from Westport has asked for our help in furthering his research. If you know of any connections or can offer any advice, please e mail Lyall at The details he has supplied are as follows:

Robert ADAMSON married Janet PATERSON in Latheron 1810.

They had a son James who was born in Latheron on 19.11.1822.

James married Elizabeth ANDERSON of Sarclet in 1850.

James and Elizabeth had a son Robert born 1851 (Lyall`s G. Grandfather) and Johan born 18.08.1860 (she married Alexander GUNN in Latheron on 10.3.1882). Alexander`s parents were Donald and Catherine GUNN.

Alexander and Johan`s children were:

Jamesina b. 1881 Bella b. 1883 Johan b. 23.7.1890 and John b. 20.1.1894

Daughter Johan GUNN m. John Allan MacKAY on 14.6.1912 and daughter Jamesina m. David CHRISTIAN on 22.12.1911.

Marie Gunn.


Scott J WILSON, Gore

Ian WILSON, Moerewa


…. to Lexie Gunn, Auckland, on the loss of her mother, Myra M Yarrall.


John Murray Gunn and Marianne Sutcliffe (known to all Clan members as Ben and Marie) celebrated their....

The Clan Gunn Gathering at Orkney and

Caithness in July 2006.


It was a balmy Saturday on 22nd of July, when I went by Scandinavian Airlines from Copenhagen to Aberdeen and then onwards by Loganair to Kirkwall the capital of the Orkney Islands. I came with great expectations and some misgiving as well. Would I be able to understand the language spoken in this outpost of the British Isles? Luck was with me as I procured the one and only taxi to transport me from the airport to the Orkney Hotel. The driver, when informed that I came from New Zealand, kept up a running commentary in a dialect that I understood perfectly well. My apprehension was eased. 

The hotel turned out to be treasure throve of old world charm, with elaborately carved furniture and decorative stairways. I was warmly welcomed by a receptionist with an engaging smile.

My next move was to register at the Ayre Hotel for the Clan Gunn Gathering. Walking out into the street I asked directions of an elderly man, who then proceeded to accompany me all the way to my destination. A journey of approximately half a mile. At the Ayre hotel I was greeted kindly by Sarah Gunn, the gathering coordinator and the Commander’s wife Bunty. I was also introduced to several clan members from the United States and Canada. Later during the supper I delivered the message from our esteemed president Todd Wall to the gathering.

Sunday 23rd of July began with a service in the magnificent Saint Magnus Cathedral.  The multifarious impressions received in this ancient temple of worship overwhelmed me to such a degree, that the sermon was completely lost on me. I just sat there admiring the superb craftsmanship executed by those masons long past.  A photo was taken of the Gathering outside the entrance after the service.

The West Mainland tour began with a visit to the Highland Park Distillery where we imbibed the golden beverage for which Scotland is so justly famous. We were in high spirits as we rolled onwards in our two buses to the Corrigal Farm Museum. Finally to the highlight of our excursion, Skara Brae the Neolithic village. This is Orkney’s most visited archaeological site and it is truly impressive. We ended the day by listening to local folklore related by a lady of  pleasant demeanor. She then led the drinking of hot cog, a mixture of potent alcoholic drinks served in a wooden vessel passed from mouth to mouth. A quaint Orcadian ceremonial custom where modern hygiene was temporarily suspended.

We left early for a tour of the island of Hoy on Monday 24th. Our first stop was at the ruins of Orphirs unique round church, where a group photo was taken and later published in the Orcadian, the local paper. There was plenty of  room for both buses on the ferry as we crossed the Scapa Flow. The mysterious Dwarfie Stone was baffling and the Rackwick crofting township looked enchanting in its natural beauty.

Tuesday 25th we inspected the Italian Chapel which had been built by Italian prisoners of  war. This is a real work of art. The dedication that inspired those men fills one with admiration. I felt a tinge of sadness as we finally left this charming archipelago of islands behind. We sailed across to John O’Groats by ferry and drove on to the Castle of Mey where we acquired knowledge of the late Queen mother’s favourite tipple, Gin and tonic plus champagne. It was a sobering thought to be informed of  the Royal couple, Camilla and Prince Charles imminent sojourn to this exquisite castle. Sadly we just missed them by two days. The Pentland Hotel at Thurso was our final destination; there we indulged in a much-favoured meal by the nobility known as High Tea.

Wednesday 26th we visited Castle Gunn, Halberry Castle and the Clan Gunn Center, then on to Badbea the Clearance cliff-top village and the Timespan Heritage Center at Helmsdale. This was a day when history was brought to life. I was waiting on the landing to let what turned out to be two short-sighted ancient ladies climb the stairs. They told me that they thought I was part of  a static display. In other words a dummy. I was deeply hurt. When I told my friend Dave Taylor, insult was added to injury. He suggested that I apply for a job there.

On Thursday 27th. A friend of a friend, Betty Coghill and her two neighbours Jean and Tom picked me up in their car for a delicious lunch of  Poached Finnan Haddock at the Commercial Hotel in Halkirk. We were later sightseeing around the countryside ending up at Betty’s house on the family farm. Back with the clan, we moved on to the Commanders Reception at Swiney House where Pimms were served. This was followed by a Dinner Dance at the Portland Arms Hotel at Lybster. This is where I mustered enough courage to attempt Highland Dancing with the adorable Carol, the buxom lady from Melbourne. I later invited her outside to meet a delightful young local couple whom I had spoken to earlier. 

Friday 28th We visited a castle ruin, where I assisted some of the older clan members through a steep slippery passage. While doing so I inadvertently leaned against a gate, which resulted in stripes across my back like a zebra. Back at the Pentland Hotel in Thurso I sought help from the receptionist. She managed to get my jersey perfectly clean, so it wasn’t paint after all. On the hotels evaluation card I commended her for her awesome achievement. After a buffet supper there was a quiz featuring Clan Gunn and a Scottish theme.

Saturday 29th we were first at  the AGM and then the Halkirk Highland Games. We marched to the field led by Pipe Bands. At first I helped the officials in the parking area where tempers were getting heated due to the many late arrivals. The Clan Gunn had their own marquee which was stocked with snacks and liquid refreshments. Watching the tossing of the Caper I doubled up with laughter as one of the contestants upended in the process. The day finished on a sad note, when the Commander’s wife Bunty fell and dislocated her hip as she tried to make her way through the crowd with a poodle on a leash. Wailing sirens from the ambulance signalled her departure to the nearest hospital. A formal dinner with many  long speeches were held at the Weigh Inn Hotel in Thurso that night.

On Sunday 30th I had to get up early to catch the bus to Inverness where the Loganair plane was to take me to Edinburgh. It meant that I missed the final Gathering function, the service at the Kildonan Kirk. We arrived late at Edinburgh and no more planes were scheduled for Copenhagen that day. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was advised of a luxurious Victorian Guest House close to the Murrayfield

Stadium. The vivacious lady proprietor was very attentive to my needs, I was her only guest on that marvellous Sunday. My last day in Scotland was like the summit of  a week full of fond memories.



President:     Todd Wall

Vice-President: Chris Gunn


Past President: Val Donald Ph: 03 366 4476

Treasurer:         Ian Gunn

Secretary:        Marie Gunn


Secretary Susan Greenwood

Committee: John G Gunn Ph: 03 318 8153

Ben Gunn

                       Dianne Gunn Giles

                       Sheila Wall

                       Stuart Gunn

                       Mervyn Gunn

Editor: Susan Greenwood


Clan Gunn Society of New Zealand Inc.

121B Johns Road