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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]


Waikuku is about five miles from Kaiapoi, and nineteen miles from Christchurch, and little more than four miles from Rangiora. There are no hotels or stores in the settlement, and tradesmen from Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Woodend supply the needs of the inhabitants. The local industries consist of wool-scouring works, a flax mill, and a rope and twine factory, which is one of the very best of its kind in New Zealand. There is a public school and also a post office. The population of the settlement at the census of 1901 was eighty-six. Waikuku is in the Mandeville riding of the Ashley county.

Waikuku Public School was established in 1872. The building consists of one class room with a large porch, and there are forty pupils on the roll, with an average attendance of thirty-three. The land on which the school and schoolhouse stand is about one acre and a half in extent. The local post office is conducted in the schoolhouse, and mails are received and despatched daily.

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Mr. Thomas Ernest Tomlinson, Headmaster of the Waikuku Public School and Postmaster at Waikuku, was born in the city of York, England, in 1852. He was educated at St. Peter's School, York, and was brought up to mercantile life. Mr. Tomlinson served for six years in a bank in England, and after arriving in the colony he was for three years in the Union Bank at Christchurch and Ashburton. In 1879 he left the bank's service to enter that of the Board of Education, served for two years and a half at Mount Somers, and subsequently, he was a student at the Normal School, Christchurch, for one year. He was first appointed to Waikuku in 1882, but at the end of 1884 he was transferred to Springburn, near Mount Somers, where he remained till 1889. In that year he was re-appointed to Waikuku, where he has since been in charge. Mr. Tomlinson was married, in 1878, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Hick, an early Canterbury settler, and has four sons, two of whom have served in the South African war.

Tolputt and Clarke, photo. Mr. and Mrs T. E. Tomlinson.

Tolputt and Clarke, photo.
Mr. and Mrs T. E. Tomlinson.

The Wesleyan Methodist Church, Waikuku, was erected in 1900. It is of wood and iron, has accommodation for eighty adults, and stands on a section of a quarter of an acre. For nearly thirty years Methodists in the district worshipped in the Government schoolhouse. The Rev. A. Peters, of Rangiora, is in charge.

McDonald, Thomas, Woolscourer and Farmer, Waikuku Woolworks, Waikuku. These works were established in 1869, by Mr. W. Bailey, the present proprietor having acquired them in 1872. Mr. McDonald was born in Argyleshire, Scotland, in 1835, and arrived in Wellington with his parents in 1840, by the ship “Blenheim.” As soon as he was old enough he became a cadet on a station. Having qualified as a manager, Mr. McDonald was in charge of Horsley Downs estate for about eighteen years, and settled at Waikuku in 1872. He has for many years served on the Waikuku school committee, and for a long period held the position of chairman. Mr. McDonald is a member of the committee of the Northern Agricultural and Pastoral Association. He was married, in 1864, to the widow of the late Mr. T. K. Adams, and has four sons and four daughters.

Tolputt and Clarke, photo. Mr. and Mrs T. Mcdonald.

Tolputt and Clarke, photo.
Mr. and Mrs T. Mcdonald.

Waikuku Twine Mills (James Stewart Manager of the Flax Dressing Department), Waikuku. Mr. Stewart was born in 1863, in Scotland, and came with his parents to Lyttelton by the ship “British Empire,” when he was two years old. The family settled in the Kaiapoi district, and Stewart's Gully derived its name from the father of the subject of this notice. Mr. Stewart was brought up to country life, and gained his experience in flax dressing at his father's mill on the banks of the Waimakariri river, just about the site of the present railway bridge. In 1890 he settled at Waikuku, and was employed at the Waikuku mills till 1897. In that year he went to his employer's flax mill at Waiau, where he became manager in 1898, and occupied that position till 1901, when he returned to take charge of the flax dressing department at the Waikuku mill.
Waikuku Flax, Rope and Twine Mills.

Waikuku Flax, Rope and Twine Mills.

page 478 Mr. Stewart is a member of the Order of Foresters, and is attached to Court Woodford, Kaiapoi. He served for nine years in the Kaiapoi Rifles, and has been a member of the Amuri Mounted Rifles since 1899. Mr. Stewart was married, in 1890, to a daughter of Mr. A. Johnston, of Kaiapoi, and has one son.