The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
The word “cyclopedia”—a circle of knowledge—has been adopted by the compilers as the name of this work, it being in their opinion the most suitable to express succinctly the character of the publication, of which this is the first issue. In dealing with the Colony of New Zealand, historically, professionally, commercially, and industrially, giving facts and figures, it was essential that numerous biographical notices should be collated. The proprietors found at an early stage of their labours that it was impossible, even had they so desired, to give any conception of the foundation of the various settlements—many of which have now become important boroughs and towns—without making some reference to the pioneers or their descendants. Most of the founders having passed away, it was not practicable, except in a few instances, to obtain data on which to base notices of the earlier New Zealand settlers, with some reference to the struggles and difficulties with which they had to contend. The names of many of them, however, will be recognised among those of the members, past and present, of the Houses of Legislature and of the various local governing bodies—appropriately mentioned in these pages.
To gather such a mass of information of places, institutions, people, and things, it has been necessary for the representatives of the Cyclopedia Of New Zealand to travel many thousands of miles by railway, steamer, coach, buggy, or horseback, afoot, and on the epoch-making cycle. And they have not confined their attentions to the more closely occupied parts of the district merely, where the roads are good, and journeying pleasant and easy, but have traversed bush tracks, swam rivers, and visited the back blocks, where pioneering is still in progress. In all their wanderings they have been received with the utmost courtesy, and in completing the first volume of the Cyclopedia Of New Zealand, the publishers desire to place on record their appreciation of the kindly consideration with which their representatives have been almost uniformly received in all parts of the Wellington Provincial District, of which Volume I. treats. Particularly is this true of the more distant settlers, who have repeatedly made our agents welcome at their homesteads, where they have often received royal hospitality, and again and again have been sheltered from wind and storm.page break
Without the aid of their numerous patrons the Company would have been unable to have completed the herculean task, already accomplished, of compiling, printing, and publishing a volume of over 1500 pages—in fact, the very success of the work has entirely contributed to prolong its preparation. When the promoters commenced their labours they had no idea of the developments that awaited their enterprise, which has already extended to fully eight times the size originally intended, nor could they have imagined that their efforts to place on record plain facts regarding the settlement and progress of the Colony would have been heartily welcomed by all classes of the community, in all parts of the Provincial District, in the manner evidenced by the following pages.
As a considerable portion of the work is composed of biography, it may be remembered that the compilers have recognised the advisability of representing the various subjects of notice as they individually appeared to themselves and to their friends, in their best and happiest moments, rather than as they might have appeared to their enemies, at their worst. Without laying themselves open to a charge of egotism, the publishers think they may fairly claim that the Cyclopedia Of New Zealand is unique in itself, that it supplies information which will be increasingly valued as time rolls along, and that it will take its place with other standard works of reference.
Not a few of those who were numbered with the subscribers to the Cyclopedia have joined “the great majority” since revising the proofs of articles which find a place in these pages. In many instances the biographical sketches appearing herein are the last, if not the only, authentic notices that have found their way into print respecting the gentlemen to whom reference is made.
The aim and desire of the compilers has been to pourtray the rise, development, and progress of the various settlements, through its public-spirited citizens, who have borne the burden and heat of the day, with the result that local institutions have been inaugurated and established on all hands, to the manifest advantage of the general body of Colonists. As far as they possibly could, the proprietors have endeavoured to amass concise information respecting the leading councils, boards, and committees, which are doing the work of the rate-payers in most cases without remuneration, and in the majority of instances in a most self-denying manner.
Nearly the whole of the first 200 pages of this volume are really Colonial in their character, treating as they do of the early settlement of Port Nicholson, and of the system of representative government which obtains in the Colony, with interesting personal notices of each page v New Zealand Governor, and of the various politicians, who have in turn occupied seats on the treasury benches of the Houses of Legislature. The numerous and growing departments of the State are also referred to in proper order, and biographical sketches appear respecting the principal officials, who are in charge of the work of the country.
The interests of the commercial, industrial, and professional classes, who are located in the centres of population, are closely bound up with those of the agriculturalists and pastoralists, who live at places more or less remote. In fact, the interests of the entire population are one, and, as there is no such thing as absolute independence, it would ill-become the compilers of a great national work, by their neglect, to be-little those who are engaged in any industry or commercial pursuit, no matter whether large or small, and for the same reason the professions have likewise been allotted due space in these pages, the desire being to afford to every firm the opportunity of securing a suitable place in the work. In cases, therefore, where the particulars recorded herein appear meagre, readers are asked to acquit the publishers of blame, as in most instances the parties interested have, for reasons best known to themselves, either neglected or declined to supply the particulars, or have supplied such information as obviously could not be accepted for publication.
The proprietors desire to thank all those who have rendered invaluable assistance either by supplying information or literary contributions, and particularly those who have loaned valuable photographs of places and persons for the purpose of reproduction. It may fairly be claimed for the Cyclopedia Of New Zealand that it is the most voluminously illustrated work ever published in the Colony.
The value of the Cyclopedia Of New Zealand is not confined to Colonists themselves, but it will be found most suitable as a presentation volume for friends across the sea. To the British, Continental, and Colonial merchant, manufacturer, or shipper, it will afford valuable information concerning New Zealand firms, while tourists and travellers will find much to interest them, and many hints as to the best way to spend the holiday period devoted to the Colony.
In conclusion, it may be well to state that this volume is but the first of a set of six; the remaining five volumes will deal with the other Provincial Districts of the Colony, and the proprietors are making the most complete arrangements to produce the work with greatly accelerated dispatch.
The Cyclopedia Company, Limited.