The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
It cannot fairly be said that Eketahuna strikes the stranger as one of the earth's beauty spots, and yet on a closer acquaintance it is not difficult to find really beautiful natural scenery. Quite close to the town winds the Makakahi River, and the great basin it has scooped out for itself, though picturesque, is quite sufficient to prevent the spread of the town in that direction. The flat within this basin is being cultivated, and is, of course, most fruitful ground, the soil being a rich alluvial deposit with a substratum of shingle. The road from Eketahuna to Mauriceville and Masterton dips into this basin within a hundred yards of the Eketahuna Hotel, and follows pretty closely the course of the river. Visitors arriving at Eketahuna by train can form no idea of the picturesque character of this road.
The lands around Eketahuna have, in many cases, been taken up within the last few years, and a great deal of hard work has been done in the way of preparation. The settlers are now beginning to reap the returns from their labour, and there is little doubt that Eketahuna will advance with the surrounding country. The Alfredton, Parkville, and other roads converge at Eketahuna, and no doubt the town will be greatly benefited by the progress of these districts. The railway station is fairly handy to the town, which is endeavouring to spread in that direction.
Eketahuna is not lacking in social and mercantile institutions. It is true that the bank opens only twice a week, and that the newspaper is published only on Wednesdays and Saturdays; but there are branches of the Masonic, Oddfellows', and Foresters' Orders; and of the Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan Churches; and there is a farmers' club. There are no resident lawyers, but Mr. G. Harold Smith, the well-known solicitor of Pahiatua, has a branch in Eketahuna; and there is a resident physician, Dr. Murray-Aynsley, and a resident minister, the Rev. Mr. Ryan, of the Wesleyan denomination.
As in Pahiatua, a great many of the business premises are the property of Mr. T. C. Williams, of Wellington, whose picture and notice appear on page 773 of this volume.
The Eketahuna Road Board was established in 1886 through the instrumentality of Mr. Anderson, who is the present chairman of that body. The jurisdiction of the Board extends throughout the Eketahuna district, and many miles of formed roads are under its control.
Mr. Alexander Anderson, J. P., Chairman of the Eketahuna Road Board, has been a member of the Board since its inception. Born in Dumbarton in 1833, and educated there, Mr. Anderson, on leaving school, worked for some years on his father's farm. When nineteen years old he went to America, but returned to Scotland in 1855, and remained there for about twenty years Having decided to come to New Zealand, he set sail in 1875 in the good ship “Kinbanns Castle,” and landed in Wellington in the same year. For about six years after his arrival he was in the employ of Mr. Nathan. In 1880 he took up land in Eketahuna, whither he removed in the same year. The property consists of 800 acres, and was, when Mr. Anderson settled there, all dense bush. It has, however, been cleared, and now carries a large flock of sheep and a number of cattle. Mr. Anderson was a member of the school committee for seven years, for five of which he was chairman, and was also for many years chairman of the licensing committee. Mr. Anderson's homestead is pleasantly situated on the side of the valley, and is about two miles from Eketahuna. In 1885 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace by the Stout-Vogel Government. Mr. Anderson, whose wife died some time ago, has one child surviving.page 996
Mr. Thomas Bayliss, who is a member of the Eketahuna Road Board, was born near Birmingham England, in 1840, and was educated at the Sutton Coldfield Blue Coat School. Before coming to Wellington in 1879 he was engaged in farming in Staffordshire. On landing Mr. Bayliss came to the Wairarapa,-taking up the land on which he now resides, he being the first Englishman to settle in Eketahuna after the arrival of the Scandinavians. The district was at that time a solid block of bush from Eketahuna to Alfredtown. Mr. Bayliss was elected chairman of the local Road Board at its inception in 1886, and has been continually a member with the exception of one term. In church matters he is attached to the Wesleyan Church, in which he holds the office of circuit steward. Mr. Bayliss is married and has two sons and three daughters. His brother, Mr. William Bayliss, who has been in the district for some years, took a prominent part in public affairs till 1895, and is a local preacher in connection with the same church.
Eketahuna Post-Office. Mails for Wellington close at Eketahuna daily at 1.30 p.m., arriving at Wellington at 7.50 p.m. On Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday an extra mail leaves Eketahuna at 5.35 a.m., arriving at Wellington at 11.50 a.m. Mails for Eketahuna close daily at Wellington at 6.45 a.m., arriving at Eketahuna at 1 p.m. On Saturday an extra mail closes at Wellington at 2.50 p.m., arriving at Eketahuna at 9.10 p.m. Mr. Thomas Lewis is the postmaster.
The Eketahuna Police Station is a building of the usual design, and is situated near the centre of the town. The constable in charge is Mr. Chas. Grey.
The Eketahuna Railway Station, eighty-eight miles from Wellington, which is situated on the fringe of the town of Eketahuna, is the present terminus of the Wellington-Woodvile line of railway, so far as traffic is concerned, although the line is completed for some distance further north. This station, which was opened in 1889, is constructed of wood and iron, the stationmaster being assisted by two clerks, three porters, one guard, and a telegraph messenger; three engine-drivers, two firemen and a cleaner are also located in Eketahuna. In the season the traffic is very heavy, the principal freight being timber, wool, and butter. The business of the post, telegraph and money order offices is conducted at the station, and is under the charge of the stationmaster. Eketahuna is also in telephonic communication with Masterton, Pahiatua, and Alfredton.
Mr. Thomas Lewis, the Stationmaster and Officer in charge of the Post and Telegraph Office at Eketahuna, was born at the village of Colwinstone, Cowbridge, Glamorganshire, South Wales, in 1855. Educated at the Bridgend Grammar School and afterwards at the Normal College, Swansea, South Wales, Mr. Lewis came to New South Wales in 1877, arriving in New Zealand in 1879. He joined the railway service in 1880 as porter at St. Andrews, Canterbury, was promoted to the position of guard in 1880, and to that of stationmaster at Rangitata in 1885. He was transferred to the Upper Hutt in 1890, and after remaining there three years, to Eketahuna. Mr. Lewis, who is a member of the Eketahuua Masonic Lodge, takes a great interest in church matters, having acted as lay reader of the Anglican Church since 1894. Gardening is his favourite hobby, Mr. Lewis is one of those who, on this section, started the desirable oractice of cultivating flowers around the railway station. In 1886 Mr. Lewis married the eldest daughter of Mr. E. Tipler an old and respected settler of North Canterbury, and has four children. Uniformly courteous and obliging to all who come into contact with him, it is no wonder that the public are satisfied with the way in which their interests are considered.
The Eketahuna Public School is situate in the heart of the township, near to the public library. The number of pupils on the roll is 172, while the average attendance is 150. The school was, till August, 1896, under the control of Mr. Joseph Harrison Worboys, who exchanged places with Mr. George S. M. McDermid, of the Kilbirnie School, and whose career is referred to on page 800 of this volume. Mr. McDermid is assisted in the working of the school by four assistants and pupil teachers. The building has four rooms, and a very good corridor, the head master's residence being adjacent to the school.
The Wesleyan Church, Eketahuna, occupies a good site about midway between the railway station and the main business centre of the town. The cause was started in 1880, but it was not until eight years later that the church was erected. The size of the building is forty feet by twenty feet, and the seating accommodation is sufficient for 130. It is well filled in fine weather, and a new church to hold 250 is shortly to be erected at a cost of £350. The Sunday school is composed of about sixty scholars, four teachers and a superintendent—Mr. Jones, the well-known storekeeper.
The Rev. Lawrence John Ryan, the Resident Wesleyan Minister of Eketahuna, was born in Jersey, Channel Islands, in 1870, and is the son of Mr. Lawrence Ryan, of Christchurch, who came to the Colony in 1870. The reverend gentleman was educated at the Normal School, Christchurch, and at Way College, Adelaide, S.A. His first circuit was the lake district of Central Otago, where he remained for a year, when he was called to Eketahuna, in April, 1896. He is now in his last year of probation, two years being allowed in consideration of his special work during his college term.
The Eketahuna Masonic Lodge, No. 92, which was founded in 1893, meets every month in the Masonic Hall, Eketahuna, at 7.30 p.m. on the Friday nearest full moon. The installation of officers takes place in December. The officers for 1896 are: W.M., Bro. W. B. Abbott; S.W., Bro. H. Johnson; J.W., Bro. J. R. Juggins.
Eketahuna Lodge, M.U., I.O.O.F., No. 6795, meets in the Oddfellows' Hall, Eketahuna, fortnightly. The Juvenile Lodge also meets fortnightly. Mr. J. Carter is the secretary of the Lodge.
Court Makakahi, A.O.F., No. 8382, holds regular meetings at Eketahuna. Mr. J. R. Juggins is the secretary.
The Eketahuna Minstrel and Dramatic Society was formed in 1896, with the object of promoting entertainments in aid of local charities. There page 998 are thirty-one members on the roll, the first officers being: Dr Murray-Aynsley (president), Messrs. R. J. McLean (general manager), and J. Hollow (honorary secretary and treasurer). The orchestra of six instruments is conducted by Mr. McLean, who has had considerable experience as a bandmaster.
Pelling's Hall, Eketahuna, is the principal hall in the township. It adjoins the Eketahuna Hotel, and is constantly in use for concerts, balls, theatrical performances, and political and other meetings. It is used also by churches, three distinct sects holding services there. Mr. Pelling's charges are reasonable, and applications by post or wire receive prompt attention. The sitting accommodation is sufficient for about 300; and the stage is well provided with scenery.
The Eketahuna Express is the only paper published in the district. It was established in August, 1894, is published twice a week, and consists of four pages, each containing seven columns of nearly two feet in length. It is well advertised, and in politics maintains an independent course. Mr. T. W. Sparks is the enterprising proprietor and editor.
Smith, G. Harold, Solicitor, Eketahuna. Mr. Smith is referred to at greater length in the Pahiatua section, his head office being in that town.
Murray-Aynsley, J. H., L.R.C.P., London; M.R.C.S., England, etc., Alfredton Road, Eketahuna. Dr. Murray-Aynsley is the son of Mr. Hugh Percy Murray-Aynsley, of Canterbury, an ex-M.H.R. for Lyttelton, who was for many years the senior partner in the Colony of the well-known firm of Miles and Co. merchants, of Lyttelton. The doctor was born in Lyttelton in 1860, and was educated at Twyford School, near Winchester, England, and at the Rev. C. Turrell's school, near Christchurch, completing at Christ's College, Canterbury. Studying at St. George's Hospital, London, he successfully passed all examinations and became a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians in January, 1889, and a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in the following May, and was appointed House Surgeon of Belgrave Hospital for Children, London. Dr. Murray-Aynsley was then appointed surgeon to the R.M.S. “Kaikoura” on her outward trip to this Colony. This was in 1890, and on reaching his native province, the doctor entered upon private practice at Opawa, Christchurch. A year or so later he was appointed superintendent of Christchurch Hospital, which position he retained until May, 1896, and in the following month established himself as above in Eketahuna. Both here and in the Old Land Dr. Murray-Aynsley has been prominent in all matters connected with his profession, and has also taken more than a passing interest in outside affairs. As an officer of militia in 1882, he held the position of subaltern in the Seventh Battalion Rifle Brigade, rising to the office of captain prior to his resignation in 1888. In this Colony he was surgeon of Christ's College Rifles. Among a number of important positions held in connection with the medical profession may be mentioned the secretaryship and subsequently the presidency of the Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Medical Association, and the general secretaryship of the Association. Dr. Murray-Aynsley was also general secretary of the New Zealand Branch of the British Medical Association, and joint-secretary with Dr. Brown, of Dunedin, to the surgical section of the Intercolonial Medical Congress held in the southern city. He was a member of the Philosophical Institute and of the Savage Club in Canterbury, and of the Caledonian Society. He was a member also of the Bowling and Golf Clubs of Christchurch and vice-president of the Canterbury Association Football Club. The doctor's removal to Eketahuna necessitated his resignation from many of these positions, but he still has a good deal of extra work besides his private practice. He is examiner in pathology to the University of New Zealand, and medical referee to the Australian Mutual Provident Society, the Government Life Insurance Department and the National Mutual Life Association. He is public vaccinator for the Eketahuna district and medical officer for the Oddfellows and Foresters. In 1891 Dr. Murray-Aynsley was married to Miss Key, daughter of Dr. Key, of Montrose, Scotland.
The Bank of New Zealand, Eketahuna, has been established for some time, and is open on Tuesday and Friday of each week.
Pictures of Messrs. Kibblewhite and Wilson appear on the following page. Both gentlemen are well known. Mr. Wilson's father and brothers have long resided in Wellington, where he himself has many friends, who will readily recognise his portrait.
Craighead and Morrison (Duncan Morrison, managing partner), Tailors, Eketahuna. This is a branch of the firm of Plenderleith and Co., of Willis Street, Wellington, particulars relating to which will be found on pp. 642–3 of this volume.
Marenzi, Simeon, Hairdresser, Tobacconist and Confectioner, High Street, Eketahuna. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Mr. Marenzi's business, which was established two years ago, is the only one of this kind in the township. He keeps a very nice assorted stock of pipes, tobaccos and fancy goods. The saloon is kept in splendid order, and is under his personal supervision, the confectionery and the shop trade being supervised by his wife. A Freemason and an Forester, he is also a good violinist, and takes an interest in local sports, occasionally presenting a trophy for competition.
Carter's Temperance Hotel (John Carter, proprietor), High Street, Eketahuna. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. The Eketahuna Temperance Hotel has been prominent among the hostelries of Eketahuna for many years. It was established in 1883, and Mr. Carter became proprietor some ten years later. It occupies a position in the very centre of the town, and has a good frontage to the main street. The property is Mr. Carter's freehold, and the hotel contains upwards of forty rooms. Commercial-rooms, sample-rooms, sitting-rooms and private drawing-rooms are provided for patrons and all are neatly furnished and well-kept. From thirty to forty visitors can be comfortably accommodated. The hotel is well patronised, and ladies and gentlemen who have stayed there are loud in their praises. It has the name throughout the Wairarapa, and also in the capital city, of being a very great improvement on the ordinary run of temperance hotels. Notwithstanding the first-class table kept and the excellent style of the establishment the tariff is very low, six shillings per day being the charge for visitors and one pound per week for permanent boarders. The proprietor, Mr. Carter, was born at Netherseal, Leicestershire, England, and was educated at Measham, in Derbyshire. He came to the Colony in 1879 per ship “Bebbington,” landing at Wellington. After some three or four years of market gardening in the Hutt Valley, Mr. Carter removed to Eketahuna and took up land in the Mangaone Valley. He greatly improved the property, and after ten years' occupation sold out and purchased the above hotel. In his present position Mr. Carter finds his experience as a market-gardener most useful; and the table delicacies he is enabled to provide are greatly appreciated by his numerous patrons. In the management of his hotel, Mr. Carter is most ably assisted by his wife, and every effort is made which can in any way promote the comfort of visitors and patrons. The writer has every confidence in recommending Mr. Carter's Temperance Hotel as a clean, well-kept and quiet house.
Railway Hotel (Mrs. E. J. Lowe, proprietress), Eketahuna. The Railway Hotel is so named from its nearness to the station, it being the first building met with on the way into the town, and but only a few yards from the station property. The Railway Hotel was burnt down in September, 1895, and was re-built in April, 1896. It is a fine hotel, and commands a good site. The rooms are all splendidly furnished and well kept. There are eighteen bedrooms all well ventilated, and four or five sitting-rooms, besides drawing and dining-rooms. All appurtenances such as kitchen, pantry, sculleries, etc., are in good style and particularly convenient and clean. Mrs. Lowe, the proprietress, is well known, having previously kept the “Crown” at Norsewood, the “Star” at Master-ton, and others. Visitors and permanent boarders are made exceedingly comfortable at the Railway Hotel.
Club Hotel (M. Kelliher, proprietor), Eketahuna.
Universal Hotel (Henry Timins, proprietor), Eketahuna. This house has been up about ten years, and the present occupier has been there a few months.
Tonkin, Frederick John, Tinmith, Plumber, Bellhanger, Sheet Iron and Zine Worker, Eketahuna. Mr. Tonkin began business in 1892, and has a firm hold of the crade of the district. It was uphill work at first, and there were those who thought he would not succeed; but he has proved that there was room for a good plumber in Eketahuna. His shop is conveniently fitted and supplied with such machinery and tools as is needed for the manufacture of tanks, dairy utensils, hot water fittings, etc., and for general house plumbing. Mr. Tonkin has set a good example by erecting one of the prettiest little houses in the township. Mr. Tonkin was born in Liskeard, Cornwall, and served his time in Auckland with Mr. George McCaul, of Wellesley Street West. Prior to removing to Eketahuna, Mr. Tonkin was in business in Reefton for two years. He takes an interest in musical matters, and holds the position of secretary of the Eketahuna Brass Band, of which he was a promoter. He is also a member of the Eketahuna Minstrels. In Oddfellowship he is the elective secretary. He certainly deserves the support of the district.
Steer, Walter, Boot and Shoemaker, High Street, Eketahuna. This is the principal boot and shoe shop in the town, and was established in 1894 by the present proprietor. Mr. Steer does a very good business in the manufacture of boots and shoes, as well as in repairing and soleing and heeling. He has a couple of first-class machines for the manufacture and sewing of uppers. He learned the trade with his father, who had long conducted business in the same line at Greymouth. Mr. Steer came to the Wairarapa in 1893, and worked for twelve months with Mr. Peters, of Carterton. He came to Eketahuna in the early part of 1894, and lost no time in starting in business on his own account. As a member of the local band he plays the euphonium, and he also takes an active part as a member of the Eketahuna Minstrel and Dramatic Society
Hansen, Hans, Bootmaker and Importer, High Street, Eketahuna. Established 1889.
Turnor, Francis, Butcher, High Street, Eketahuna. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, Wiwaka. The above business is the principal butchering establishment in Eketahuna, and was established in 1886 by Mr. Turnor in conjunction with Mr. A. Selby, who retired from the firm in 1893. The subject of this notice was born at Dartmouth, Devonshire, England, in 1865, and received his education at All Hallows School, Honiton. After twelve months in the office of Messrs. Scrutton and Sons, the well-known shippers, he went to America, where for three years he was farming in Kansas. Coming to New Zealand in 1886 by the s.s. “Tongariro,” he founded the business as above. His farm at Wiwaka consists of 900 acres, where he breeds sheep and cattle. In social and athletic circles he is prominent as a member of the Masterton Masonic Lodge and of the local Lodge of Oddfellows, as president of the Eketahuna Football and Cricket Clubs, of the Eketahuna Minstrel and Dramatic Society, and as one of the vice-presidents of the Wairarapa Rugby Union. Mr. Turnor is married and has two children.
Mr. F. Turnor.
Harrison, John, Butcher, High Street, Eketahuna.
Jones and Co. (James Jones), General Storekeepers Eketahuna Store, High Street, Eketahuna. Telegraphic address, “Jones, Eketahuna.” Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, Carter Street. This business was established in 1881. The town was then in its incipient stage, and Mr. Jones's trade has extended with the district. The premises have been enlarged three times, and now present quite a handsome appearance. Behind the front shop is a large store, and here corn-crushing and chaff-cutting are carried on, the machinery for these purposes being driven by a six-horse-power steam-engine. The departments of this business include grocery, drapery, ironmongery, crockery and glassware, boots and shoes, and produce. Among the agencies held by the firm may be mentioned that of the New Zealand Insurance Company. Mr. Jones is ably assisted in the management of this business by his wife, who is recognised as an exceedingly capable business woman, and by his son, Mr. Leonard Walter Jones, who, having been brought up in the business, is well acquainted with it in all its many branches.
Aulin, H., J.P., Storekeeper, Eketahuna.
Herbert, A. H. and Co. (Alfred Hanry Herbert and Frank Cowla'n), General Storekeepers, Eketahuna.
Crone, Gerrard, Sail, Flag, Tent and Cover Maker, Eketahuna. Mr. Crone was born in Denmark in 1832, and was educated in Copenhagen. In 1858 he passed the London Board of Trade examination and sailed for Queensland as chief mate of the “Rita.” Three years later he became captain of the “Flying Squirrel,” and though she was the smallest craft that was ever known to cross the Tasman Sea, Captain Crone made what was then a record trip—thirteen days. Since then he was captain of the “Undine” and others, and has spent ten years of his life as a lighthouse-keeper. Before establishing himself in Eketahuna in 1894 he had been in the same line of business for several years in other parts of the Colony.
Iggulden, William, Livery Stable Proprietor, The Eketahuna Stables, High Street, Eketahuna. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. These well-known and popular stables have only recently been taken over by Mr. Iggulden. Established in 1883, they are the principal livery and bait stables in the township. There are fourteen stalls besides a large loose-box, the building being large and lofty. Fourteen horses are kept on the premises for the use of customers, among them being some very fine animals. There is also a good choice of vehicles. A coach from the establishment plies regularly to and from the station, meeting every train. Mr. Iggulden keeps a spacious and roomy drag which may be used for picnics and excursions, the ribbons being generally handled by the owner, who in well known as an expert whip. The stables are situated in the centre of the township adjoining the establishment of Messrs. Jones and Co., merchants and storekeepers. Mr. Iggulden considers it a part of his duty to see that his patrons are well looked after; and visitors to Eketahuna who wish to see something of the surrounding districts cannot do better than call in at the stables and have one of the proprietor's comfortable vehicles. The cost will be found most reasonable, and the outlay will well re-pay the tourist, as there are some delightful drives within a short distance of the township. The saddle hacks are a specialty at the Eketahuna Stables, where a competent staff are always in attendance. Mr. Iggulden, who was born at Wellington in 1860, is the youngest son of the late Mr. Edward Iggulden, one of the early Part Nicholson settlers, who was in business as a draper in Lambton Quay, Wellington, in the fifties. Mr. Iggulden was educated in the capital, and, having learnt his business, engaged in the carrying line for three years in Masterton. In 1893 he removed to Eketahuna and bought a carrying business, and in 1896 bought his present business. In athletics he made a name for himself in the district while playing with the Red Star Football Club of Masterton, having for some years been picked to represent the Wairarapa in representative matches. On the occasion of his leaving Masterton to take up his present business at Eketahuna, he was presented by the members of his old club—the Red Stars—with a handsome marble clock in recognition of the services rendered to the club. Mr. Iggulden is married and has three children.
Reeve, C., Watchmaker and Jeweller, Eketahuna. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Mr. Reeve served his time with Mr. G. T. Shilton, of Christchurch, and began business in Eketahuna in 1893. He is agent for the Dresden Piano Company and the Standard Insurance Company.
Kelso, Hugh Andrew, Chemist, Eketahuna. Established 1895. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand.
Brenmuhl, Ernest Charles, Baker, Grocer, and Restaurant Keeper. Eketahuna.
Hunter, Thomas Gilman, Baker and Confectioner, Eketahuna.
Peterson, George, Baker and Confectioner, High Street, Eketahuna.
Benjamin, J., Dealer, Eketahuna.
Wright, Arthur Herbert, Blacksmith, Coachbuilder and Wheelwright, Eketahuna Coach Factory, Eketahuna.