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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]

The New Zealand Bible, Tract And Book Society

The New Zealand Bible, Tract And Book Society has its headquarters in large and handsome premises at 48 Princes Street, Dunedin, near the Octagon, with
N.Z. Bible And Tract Depot.

N.Z. Bible And Tract Depot.

branches occupying prominent positions in Willis Street, Wellington, and in Dee Street, Invercargill. The society was founded in 1873, and the object of the institution is to promote, as far as possible, the distribution of Christian literature of an evangelical character, and thus prove an efficient helper of the cause of the Gospel. It has been incorporated by an Act of the New Zealand Parliament under the distinct understanding that none of its promoters shall derive any pecuniary benefit whatever from the business, except that the manager, if a member, shall be entitled to a salary. The whole of the proceeds are thus devoted to the furtherance of the work in hand. For eighteen years a well-fitted and stocked colporteur's van visited the more distant parts of Otago and Southland at a heavy financial loss annually, and another itinerating salesman travelled by rail, opening out his books near every station from Ashburton to Riverton, while a third travelled by sea, visiting annually most of the New Zealand ports. All these have had to be discontinued on account of the heavy losses incurred by the travelling agencies, which could not be recouped in other ways, as well as a local branch at Wanganui; but the society still continues to do good work in the circulation of the Scriptures and Christian literature, although in these days of active trade competition, the necessity is not nearly so urgent as formerly. About 7000 copies of the Holy Scriptures are annually issued from the depots, and an exceedingly large number of religious periodicals are scattered abroad. Invaluable as is the work of Christian ministers and Home missionaries, Sunday school teachers and Endeavourers, these cannot take the place, nor can their work succeed, without the help of good Christian reading, which this society has so largely contributed to bring within the reach of all. The staff of workers are all devoted Christian men, who realise that their work is a work for God and humanity. The manager at Dunedin, Mr. Walter L. Logie, has held his position since March, 1900. He had had over seventeen years' previous experience with the society. Mr. John Reith, of the late bookselling firm of Reith and Wilkie, is in charge at Wellington. Mr. Ernest Rosevear is the society's accountant.