The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
Port Chalmers is situated nine miles north of Dunedin by railway, and about eight miles fom the ocean or head of the harbour; 229 miles from Lyttelton on the north, and 164 miles from the Bluff on the south. The first birth recorded in the town was that of a son born to Mr. and Mrs Lewthwaite, who came from Taranaki in 1844. Early in 1845 Mr. Alexander McKay opened the first public house, to which he gave the name of the Surveyor's Arms. It was on the same site as the later and present Port Chalmers Hotel.
The survey of Port Chalmers, difficult enough wing to its irregular surface, was completed by the middle of May, 1846. Mr. Charles Henry Kettle, who arrived in Otago in February, 1846, was one of the first surveyors of the town, and commenced his work shortly after his arrival. He had eleven surveyors under his direction, and he also took soundings of the harbour, with a view to buoying it for navigation.
At first it was intended to christen the town New Leith or New Musselburgh, as the early settlers disliked the Maori name Koputai, by which it was then known; but the Lay Association, when finally applying itself to the settlement of Otago, desired that the port might be named after Dr. Chalmers, the leader of the Free Church movement in Scotland, and this suggestion was adopted. The streets of the town carry the names of the first immigrant vessels; hence Wickliffe, Laing, Victory, Bernicia, Mary and Ajax Streets. Scotia Street was named after Mr. John Jones' favourite little schooner, which was always trading up and down the coast. Harrington Street was named in compliment to the Secretary of the New Zealand Company; this gentleman is also commemorated in Harrington Point, near the Heads. Currie Street perpetuates the name of one of the New Zealand Company's directors who took a special interest in the scheme. Burns Street was named after the Rev. Thomas Burns, the minister of the settlement; George and Grey Streets, after the Governor of New Zealand, Sir George Grey.
The first of the immigrant ships, the “John Wickliffe,” arrived at Port Chalmers on the 23rd of March, 1848, and was followed on the 15th of April, of the same year, by the “Philip Laing.” Work in abundance was waiting for the colonists, as at that time the place was nearly all bush; and the labour of clearing was commenced in earnest. The “Nelson” of 220 tons, was the first steamer to visit the Port, in 1854, and was subsequently engaged in the coastal trade.
On the 1st of January, 1854, the population numbered eighty souls. On the outbreak of Gabriel's Gully, a rush from Victoria and other Australian towns took place, and a quantity of bush in the vicinity of Grey Street was felled to make room for the erection of tents. Late in the fifties the Customhouse was robbed, and the safe, containing about £900, was carried down the bay, but was afterwards recovered in deep water, where the thieves had thrown it on finding that they were pursued. Mr. Colin Allan was the first master of the district school, and on his retirement he was apoipnted Immigration Agent. The attendance in September, 1857, was thirty-one; in September, 1861, thirty-five. Mr. Allan was succeeded, in 1861 by Mr. William Reid, who subsequently gave place to Mr. Chilton. During the latter gentleman's tenure of office there were 700 scholars on the roll. The induction of the Rev. William Johnstone, as minister of Port Chalmers and the north, took place in 1858, and was the first formal induction in Otago. In the page 426 early days all the land on the peninsula, mostly bush, was owned by the Provincial Government, which from time to time put it up for sale in large and small lots, thus encouraging settlers to take up their residence in the district.
The Bowen pier was the first wharf built; it was followed by the Export pier, and, later, the George Street wharf. At the present time (1904) ships of any tonnage can lie alongside the wharves, perfectly sheltered from the strongest winds, and uninfluenced by the tides. Before the dock was built, and in the old days, there was a depth of water sufficient to enable coasters to heave down at high water mark to repair, paint, etc.; a conveniences which few harbours could then boast of. In those days the Port was a noted whaling station, and a pilot crew had quarters at the Heads, where there was also a Maori settlement. Before a wharf or jetty was erected the ships used to anchor in the stream, and the cargo was transhipped to lighters, and taken up to Dunedin. The means of transit between the Port and Dunedin, before the railway was built, consisted in two paddle boats, the “Golden Age,” and “Peninsula.” On the 1st of January, 1873, the railway connecting the two towns was opened for traffic by the Governor, Sir George Bowen. This line was purchased by the General Government in March of the same year, for £177,500. The railway between Christchurch and Dunedin was finished in August, 1878.
The Port Chalmers of the present day is a thriving little town, with a population of over 2,000, and an annual municipal revenue of £4,000. There are two railway stations, an upper and lower, conspicuous for their cleanliness, and along the wharves there are laid lines of rails to facilitate the loading and unloading of large ocean cargo steamers. Two large Home steamers and two Union boats can be accommodated at the George Street pier; four light vessels at the Bowen pier; and a light Home steamer and several hulks at the Export pier. The Port Chalmers Graving Dock, controlled by the Otago Dock Trust, was built by the Provincial Government in 1872. Its dimensions are: Depth of water at dock sill, ordinary tides, 19 feet 6 inches: spring tides, 21 feet; neap tides, 17 feet 6 inches; length, 328 feet; width above, 68 feet; width below, 41 feet; width where the ship's bilge would be, 43 feet; width at dock gates, 50 feet. The dock cost £50,000. The Dock Trust controls a workshop with forge, and a seven-ton hammer; also sheer-legs capable of lifting eighty tons. The forge and worts hops have been leased to Messrs Stevenson and Cook. The Trust also controls the freezing works, which were established in 1899, with the object of freezing butter for export. Latterly, however, the operations have increased, and rabbits, poultry, eggs and fish are treated, as they are in demand, for the foreign trade. About 50,000 cases of rabbits were put through in 1903. Port Chalmers is the starting point for all intercolonial steamers on their return voyage, whilst the large Home liners make it a port of call for cargoes of frozen produce, and the facilities the Port possesses enable them to have rapid despatch.
About half a mile from the town, on the road leading to the Heads, is Mansford town, a small fishing village; while further on is the torpedo station, situated in a sheltered nook, known as Deborah Bay. There is a fairly level road round the north side of the harbour, suitable for cyclists in summer, but a little sandy near the Heads, though still suitable for horse and trap traffic. Two roads connect Port Chalmers with Dunedin, an upper and lower; but the former is too hilly and the latter too broken for cyclists. No-license was carried in 1902, and most of the hotels have been converted into boarding houses. The chief industry in the town is connected with the Union Steamship Company's workshops, where Hundreds of skilled artisans are employed in repairing and renewing the numerous steamers sailing under that company's flag. Fish-curing provides employment for a number of deep-sea fishermen. There is a good Presbyterian church on the hill, and there are Anglican, Congregational, Wesleyan, and Roman Catholic churches, and a Salvation Army hall. The town has a District High School, a Roman Catholic school, a new Technical School, and several private kindergartens. It has a company of the Permanent Artillery, and the Garrison Artillery Volunteers. There are two banks, a dairy factory, gas works, two cemeteries, a recreation reserve, two fire stations, a brass band, salt water bath, and a Mechanics' Institute; the latter is supported by subscriptions, and receives a small subsidy from the Government.
Port Chalmers is bounded on the north by the Beach road; on the west, by the county of Waikouaiti; and on the south and east, by the harbour.
Port Chalmers , which is in the county of Waikouaiti, was made a municipality on the 9th of April, 1866, and a borough in 1884. It is divided into four wards—High, East, Middle and South. The first mayor of the borough was Mr. Daniel Rolfe, and the following gentlemen have also occupied the mayoral chair: Messrs Thomas Taylor, E. G. Allen, M.H.R., J. Watson, junior, John Mill, H. McDermid, A. McKinnon, H. Dench, William Murray, M. M. Innes, John Thomson and David A. De Maus. The borough has an area of 335 acres; population, 2,235; dwellings, 495; ratepayers, 520; rateable properties 576. The rateable annual value is £12,262. There is a ganeral rate of 1s 3d in the £, struck on the 1st of April, 1904; sanitary rate, 6d in the £; water rate, 7 per cent. The assets on the 31st of March, 1903, amounted to £1,058 9s 10d; liabilities, £80 10s 5d. Mr. David Alexander De Mans is the present Mayor, and the councillors are Messrs G. Barker, W. Gibb, D. M. Mawson, G. Edgar, John McPherson Henry Grimsey, J. Tait, A. Cable, J. Shanks, junior, and Alex. Clark. Mr. Alex. Leck is Town Clerk.
His Worship The Mayor , Mr. David Alexander De Maus, J.P., has been a member of the Port Chalmers Borough Council since 1888, and was elected Mayor in 1899, and again in 1904. He was elected to a seat on the Harbour Board, in February, page 427 1904, and is a member of the Port Chalmers District High School committee, besides being president and vice-president of various rowing, cricket, football, and hockey clubs. Mr. De Maus came to New Zealand in 1867, by the ship “Caribou,” and is engaged in business as a photographer in Port Chalmers. He is also widely known in Otago as a singer and composer of Scotch humorous songs.
Councillor George Barker , was elected to the Port Chalmers Borough Council, in 1903, and is a member of the Works Committee. He was born in the west of England, in 1855, and came out to Nelson by the ship “Caroline,” in 1877. After two years spent with his brother at Wairarapa, he moved to Wellington. He is a member of Cargill Kilwinning Lodge of Freemasons, No. 632, Scottish Constitution, and has been connected with All Nations Lodge, 172, Ancient Order of Druids since 1892. Mr. Barker was married in Melbourne, in 1888, to a daughter of Mr. T. White, of Port Chalmers, and has one son and one daughter.
Councillor William Gibb was elected to the Port Chalmers Borough Council in 1903, and is a member of the Works, Lighting and Sanitary Committees. Mr. Gibb was born in Dysart, Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1874, and came out to New Zealand with his parents when taree years of age in the ship “Waipa.” He was educated at the Port Chalmers District High School, and subsequently served an apprenticeship to the painting trade with the Union Steamship Company. Mr. Gibb was for four years caretaker and treasurer of the Port Chalmers Presbyterian Church. He is an enthusiastic member of the Port Chalmers Bowling Club, and has also taken a prominent part in the temperance movement, being secretary of the Port Chalmers branch of the United Temperance Reform Council. Since 1891 Mr. Gibb has been a member of the All Nations Lodge, 172, Ancient Order of Druids. He was married, in 1897, to a daughter of Mr. W. Rouse, an old resident of Port Chalmers.
Councillor W. Gibb.
Councillor David Miller Mawson , who was elected to the Port Chalmers Borough Council in 1903, is a member of the Finance, Cemetery and Reserves Committees. Mr. Mawson is also a member of the committee of the Mechanic's Institute, and was for two years its secretary and treasurer.
Councillor George Edgar has served continuously on the Port Chalmers Borough Council since September, 1896, and is chairman of the Works, Lighting and Sanitary Committee. In former years Mr. Edgar took an active interest in volunteering, and was for a long time a member of the B Battery, New Zealand Artillery Volunteers, Dunedin, resigning with the rank of sergeant-major; and was subsequently a lieutenant in the Port Chalmers Naval Artillery volunteers. Mr. Edgar was born in Dunedin, in 1866, and was educated at the Albany Street school. He afterwards served an apprenticeship to the engineering trade with Messrs Reid and Gray. Since 1899, he has been in the employment of the Union Steamship Company as a mechanical engineer at the company's workshops in Port Chalmers. At the time of the Combined Trade Rowing Tournament, in 1886, Mr. Edgar was one of the winning crew, in the four-oar race, when twenty-eight crews competed for that championship. He has also been a member of the Zingari Football Club, and as a bowler won the Champion Cup for 1892–93, and the president's prize for 1883–4, at the Port Chalmers Bowling Club's rinks. Mr. Edgar was married, in 1892, to a daughter of Mr. H. Swinerd, of Dunedin.
Councillor G. Edgar.
Councillor John Mcpherson was first elected to a seat on the Port Chalmers Borough Council in 1890, and served for two years. On Mr. John Stevenson's retirement from the Council, in 1904, Mr. McPharson was elected to fill the vacancy. He is a member of the Works and Sanitary Committee. Mr. McPherson was born in the West of Scotland in 1859, and served an apprenticeship to the carpentering trade in Glasgow, with Messrs Napier and Son, builders and contractors. After a period of three years spent in a seafaring life, during which he saw a good deal of the world, Mr. McPherson arrived in New Zealand in 1882, and found employment at the Union Steamship Company's works, in Port Chalmers, where he has remained ever since. Mr. McPherson was married, in 1889, to a daughter of Mr. A. Muir, of Dunedin, and has three daughters and three sons.
Councillor Henry Grimsey was elected to the Port Chalmers Borough Council in 1903, and is a member of the Water, Baths and By-Laws Committee. He is a Past Grand officer of the Loyal Prince of Wales Lodge, 5254, Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, and was for a time a member of the District High School committee.
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Councillor J. Tait.
Councillor Alexander Cable , who has been a member of the Port Chalmers Borough Council since 1898, is chairman of the Water, Baths and By-Lams Committees. Mr. Cable is a member of the Otago Dock Trust, and secretary of the Port Chalmers Progressive League.
Councillor John Shanks , Junior, has been a member of the Port Chalmers Borough Council continuously since 1898, and is now (1904) chairman of the Finance and Reserves Committee. He has always taken a keen interest in the welfare of the borough. Mr. Shanks was born in Port Chalmers, in 1862, and comes of an old family of colonists, his grandmother, Mrs Mary Williams, having arrived in New Zealand in the ship “Philip Laing,” in 1848. He was educated at the Port Chalmers Grammar School, and served an apprenticeship with Messrs Thomson Brothers, ship chandlers and provision merchants, with whom he remained for twenty years. Mr. Shanks was subsequently foreman for the Otago Dock Trust and Freezing Company, and in 1892 accepted his present position as accountant with Messrs William Gardner and Co., engineers. As a Freemason, he is secretary of the Marine Lodge, 942, English Constitution, Port Chalmers. Mr. Shanks was married, in 1888, to a daughter of the late Mr. James Whitelaw, of Wishaw, Scotland, and has four sons and two daughters.
Councillor J. Shanks.
Councillor Alexander Clark was elected to the Port Chalmers Borough Council in 1903, and is a member of the Water, Baths, and By-Laws Committees. Mr. Clark was barn in Dunedin, in 1887, and was educated at the William Street and Arthur Street schools. After several years' apprenticeship to the plumbing trade, with Messrs Clark and Thomson, Ducedin, he removed to Port Chalmers, and entered the employment of the Union Steamship Company as a ship-joiner, an occupation which he still follows. Mr. Clark is a member of the Dunedin branch of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners, and was for many years an active member of the Alhambra Football Club. He is a Past Grand officer of the Loyal Prince of Wales Lodge, 5254, Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, Port Chalmers, and has been connected with that institution since 1893. Mr. Clark was married, in 1893, to a daughter of Mrs M. Osborn, an old resident of Port Chalmers, and has three sons and one daughter.
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Councillor A. Clark.
Mr. Alexander Leck has been Clerk to the Port Chalmers Borough Council since the 1st of January, 1879. Mr. Leck has long been a member of Court Robin Hood, 3391, Ancient Order of Foresters, and has passed through all the chairs of his court. He was born in Glasgow, and arrived at Port Chalmers in 1862, by the ship “Sevilla.”
Mr. John Mill , J.P., who was Mayor of Port Chalmers on three occasions, has been prominent in every movement for the advancement of the borough. He has for over thirty years been a Justice of the Peace, and was on the first executive of the Port Chalmers Mechanics' Institute. He has served on the local school committee for twenty-seven years, and has been several times its chairman. Mr. Mill was a member of the Otago Harbour Board for six years, and also served on the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board. He takes an interest in athletics, and is president of the Port Chalmers rowing, football, and tennis clubs. Mr. Mill has been an honorary member of the Order of Oddfellows for twenty years, been Junior Warden of the Port Chalmers Marine Lodge of Freemasons, and has been connected with the Ancient Order of Foresters since 1863. He is further referred to in connection with the business firm of John Mill and Co.
The Upper Port Chalmers Railway Station is situated on the main line, eight miles north of Dunedin. It is a wooden building, with two waiting rooms and an office. About nine trains, including the express from the north, stop at this terminus.
Mr. Ronald Griffith , Stationmaster at the Upper Port Chalmers Railway Station, was born in Waikaia, Southland, in 1882, and educated at public schools in Lumsden, Mosgiel, Outram, Balclutha and Dunedin. He was with the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co., at Balclutha for a year. In May, 1898, he entered page 429 the Government railway service, and remained for two years and a half in the goods office, Dunedin. For eight months he was cadet at Herbert, and a few months in a similar position at Hanmer, before returning to the goods office at Dunedin. Mr. Griffith was appointed to his present position in 1903.
The Port Chalmers District High School was established in 1873 to take the place of the Mechanics' Institute formerly used as a school house. It was originally known as the Port Chalmers Grammar School, but when the Government of New Zealand became centralised, the school was renamed. It is situated high up on the hill in a westerly direction from the town, and is a spacious stone building, of one storey, built in Gothic style, and surmounted by two battlemented towers. There are in all twelve rooms in the school, with accommodation for over 600 pupils. The walls inside are plastered, and are handsomely decorated with attractive and instructive maps and pictures. A brass plate, suitably inscribed and mounted on carved oak, has been placed in the senior classroom by old scholars, in memory of four former pupils of the school who fell in the South African war. The playground, though not extensive, is well asphalted, and conveniently appointed. A valuable technical school, situated about 100 yards from the main building, has two classrooms, each fitted up in a most elaborate and convenient manner. Port Chalmers is fortunate in possessing a school which affords instruction not only in primary and secondary school subjects, but also in shorthand, typewriting, and bookkeeping, and in such technical subjects as wood-work and cookery. At present (1904) the number on the school roll is 480, and the average attendance, about 430. The teaching staff consists of the Rector. Mr. James Kennie, B.A., B.Sc., two male assistants, five female assistants, and four pupil-teachers.
Mr. James Rennie , B.A., B.Sc., Rector of the Port Chalmers District High School, is a native of Meston, Cheshire, England. He was born in 1858, and was educated in Victoria, where, in 1873, he entered the teaching profession. After serving his apprenticeship he was trained under Mr F. J. Gladman, and subsequently taught in various parts of Victoria. In 1882 he came to Dunedin, was for two years and a half second assistant master of the Port Chalmers District High School, and for ten years first assistant of the Caversham school. During the latter period he attended the Otago University and graduated B.A. and B.Sc., and in 1895 he was appointed to his present post. Mr. Rennie identifies himself with almost every phase of active life, and takes an active part in matters of public interest.
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Mr. J. Rennie.
The Presbyterian Church At Port Chalmers dates from the days of the early settlement of Otago, in 1848, when the Rev. Thomas Burns conducted services as opportunity offered and held them in a room in the old Port Chalmers Hotel, which stood on the site of the present hotel of that name. As the population in those days was small, the services were attended by persons of all denominations. In 1851 some of the residents in Port Chalmers took steps to have a church built. Appeals were made in the surrounding districts and in Dunedin, and the First Church congregation generously contributed nearly £100. A contract for the building was let in 1852; Mr. Daniel Macandrew was the contractor, and the church was opened on the 17th of October, 1852, by the Rev. Thomas Burns. Most of the elders and deacons of First Church attended the opening services, and the collections taken at the door in aid of the building fund amounted to £18. The building was of wood; it had a shingled roof, a small square wooden tower above the entrance, and there was seating accommodation for 150 persons. At first the inside of the church was plain and unpretentious; the walls were innocent of lining, and the seats consisted of scantlings, and boards resting on bundles of shingles; a large packing case, covered with black merino, did duty for a pulpit. Although the church was built as a Presbyterian house of worship, it was freely given to ministers and laymen of other denominations, and the late Mr. Charles Logie, Collector of Customs, who arrived at the end of 1853, used to read the Church of England service and a sermon, when no minister of his church was able to visit Port Chalmers. At first services were conducted by Mr. Burns once in six weeks, and at other times, during his absence, by Mr. Colin Allen. At a meeting held in March, 1858, it was urged that the Port should be disjoined from Dunedin and formed into a separate charge, owing to the increase in the population of the town and district. The Presbytery cordially agreed to sanction the constitution of the district under the designation of the Church of Port Chalmers and The North. The Rev. William Johnstone was inducted as first minister of the new church in June, 1868; and of the first roll of membership Captain Thomson is now (1904) the only survivor. At first there was no manse at the Port, but in July, 1858, the managers bought the present glebe, and contracts were let for the improvement of the dwelling to be used as the minister's house. Unfortunately, shortly after the improvements were completed the house was destroyed by a bush fire. About 1871 the Church Court, feeling that sufficient support had been given by the congregation, promised to undertake the building of a new church in stone, with accommodation for 300 persons. The work was carried out at a cost of £1300, Mr. N. Y. A. Wales being the architect; and the new church was opened for worship in January, 1872. In 1876 a further addition in the shape of a gallery was built, in order to provide necessary accommodation. About that time the minister's health began to fail, and after a severe illness he passed to his rest in August, 1881. He was succeeded by the Rev. John Ryley in the same year. Again the matter of increasing seat accommodation engaged the attention of the office bearers, with the result that the foundations of the present church were laid, and the new building was opened for service by Dr. Salmond in November, 1883. The church is a handsome building, in blue stone with white facing, and capable of accommodating 750 persons. It cost about £7000. Mr. Ryley resigned in 1892, and was succeeded by the Rev. Henry Adamson, who also resigned three years later. The pastorate remained vacant until 1896, when the call was accepted by the Rev. E. C. Tennent, of Stawell. Victoria.
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Rev. E. C. Tennent.
The Church Of The Holy Trinity at Port Chalmers is a stone building with seating accommodation for 225 persons. A very handsome stained glass window, depicting the crucifixion, adds to the appearance of the interior of the church, and there is a good pipe organ. A Sunday school, with an attendance of about ninety scholars, adjoins the church. There is a good manse, but owing to its distance from the church, it is not now used by the vicar.
The Rev. Thomas Wilson Kewley , M.A., Vicar of the church of Holy Trinity at Port Chalmers, was born at Farnham Royal, Bucks, and educated at Marlborough College, and at New College, Oxford. He obtained his B.A. degree in 1872, and M.A. in 1876, and in 1873 was ordained by the Bishop of Ely. Mr. Kewley's first charge was North Hill, Bedfordshire, and he subsequently ministered for two years at Spezzia, Italy. For five years he was vicar at St. Mark's, Capetown, curate-in-charge and vicar of the Cathedral, Pretoria, for eight years; and was for two years curate of All Saints, Maritzburg. He arrived in New Zealand, in 1897, and has had charge of his present church since 1899.
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Rev. T. W. Kewley.
The Port Chalmers Wesleyan Church claims to be the oldest European Wesleyan Church in Otago. Mr. W. Morris, Welsh Methodist and local preacher, arrived in 1852 or 1853, and at once commenced services. In 1885 a site was purchased, on which a small building was erected, and the same year the first public school in the Port, was started in this building, and Church of England services were also occasionally held there. Subsequently the church was enlarged and improved, but the congregation outgrew it, and it was resolved to build a new one. This was successfully undertaken, and the present church, erected at a cost of £700, was opened in January, 1864. Twenty-eight years later improvements involving £385 were effected. The parsonage adjoins the church.
The Rev. T. E. Thomas , M.A., Minister in charge at Port Chalmers, is the son of a Methodist pioneer of South Australia. He was educated at Prince Alfred College, and at the Melbourne University, where he obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees. After twenty-two years' work in South Australia, he was transferred to New Zealand in 1897
Borrie, William Henry , M.B., C.M., Edin., Gray Street, Port Chalmers. Dr. Borrie is the second son of the late Mr. John Borrie, and was born in Dunedin in 1871. He was educated at the Southland Boys' High School, the Otago University, and the Edinburgh University, and graduated in 1894. For three years he practised in various parts of England, and in 1899 he returned to New Zealand to start his present practice.
Cook, John , Surgeon Dentist, corner of George and Mount Streets, Port Chalmers, Mr. Cook was born in Port Chalmers, in August, 1880, and is the eldest son of Mr. John Cook, sometime superintending engineer for the Union Steam Ship Company, and at present a partner in the firm of Messrs Stevenson and Cook, of the Maori Ironworks, Port Chalmers. He was educated at the Port Chalmers District High School. In October, 1895, he was apprenticed to Mr. J. P. Armstrong, surgeon dentist, of Dunedin, and four years later went to Timaru, where he spent some months under Mr. Scott. In March, 1902, Mr. Cook left for South Africa as a corporal in the medical staff of the Ninth Contingent, but returned in August of the same year. A few months later he qualified as a surgeon dentist, and in May, 1903, established his present practice. His surgery is situated on the second floor of a two storey wooden building in the heart of the town, and the surgery, waiting room, and a laboratory are well furnished throughout.
Mill, John and Co. , Stevedores and Shipping Agents, Beach Street, Port Chalmers; branches at the Bluff, Dunddin, Oamaru, Timaru, and Wellington. This is one of the largest businesses of its kind in New Zealand. Some times more than 500 men are employed by the firm; the stores and general equipment of the business could not be excelled, and the management is characterised by a thoroughness which guarantees consistent attentiveness to the interests of the firm's customers. In addition to its extensive stevedoring and shipping agency business, the firm is agent at Dunedin, Port Chalmers and Oamaru, for the Greymouth-Port Elizabeth Railway and Coal Company, and it also does a large trade in coal generally. Each branch of the business is under the control of a competent manager, and is so well supplied with all necessary appliances that the firm can compete with assured auccrsa with any other company of stevedores in New Zealand. The business at its headquarters and all its branches is under the general superintendence of Captain James Mill the eldest son of the owner. Captain Mill served his apprenticeship as a mariner in the City Line and with the New Zealand Shipping Company. He took his master's certificate when he was twenty-six years of age, and retired from the sea to take an important position in his father's linn.
Mr. John Mill , Principal of the firm of John Mill and Co., was born in Fifeshire, Scotland, and arrived at Port Chalmers, in 1862, by the ship “Sarah Anne.” At first he joined the pilot service, under Captain Thomson, but after three years of that employment he decided to enter business on his own account. Accordingly he brought from Messrs Robison and Co., the only stevedoring business then carried on at Port Chalmers. It was then a small concern, but with the increase of trade at the Port, and Mr. Mill's unvarying attention to the interest of his customers, the business has become one of the largest in the colony. Mr. Mill is elsewhere referred to as a former Mayor of Port Chalmers.
Thomson, John , Commission Agent, Port Chalmers. Mr. Thomson is one of the page 431 members of the Otago Harbour Board, and a sketch of his life appears amongst the biographies of the other members of that body.
Watson, John , General Draper, George Street, Port Chalmers; 159 George Street, and 24 Lower Rattray Street, Dunedin; private residence, Bellevue, Port Chalmers. Mr. Watson began business at Port Chalmers in 1875, and now employs about thirty assistants at Port Chalmers and at his branch shops in George Street and Lower Rattray Street, Dunedin. In addition to being thus extensively engaged as a general draper and outfitter, Mr. Watson is a large exporter of frozen rabbits. In this connection he trades as Cowan and Co., at Port Chalmers and Mataura, and keeps two first class graders employed in the important work of receiving, packing, and shipping. Mr. Watson is referred to in another article as a member of the Otago Harbour Board.
Manning, James , Cabinetmaker, Upholsterer, and Undertaker, George Street, Port Chalmers. This business, which was established in 1894, has continued to hold its own against all competition, and has increased yearly in all its branches. The two-storied premises are of wood, with workshops at the rear. In the showroom there is an excellent collection of turniture, representative of every kind of manufacture. In one place are suites, in another bedsteads, and in another chairs, tables, chests of drawers, etc. The woods used in the factory are principally rimu (red pine), white pine, kauri, honeysuckle, cedar from Australia, Huon pine from Tasmania, and American timbers. High class furniture is made on the premises, and all undertaking requisites, hearses, etc., are kept
Mr. Manning was born at Sawyers' Bay, in 1864, and educated at the Port Chalmers District High School, and at the Sawyers' Bay school. He served an apprenticeship with Messrs North and Scoullar, furniture and cabinetmakers, and after nine years in Melbourne, opened his present business in 1894. Mr. Manning has been a member of the All Nations Lodge, 172, United Ancient Order of Druids, since 1894. He was married, in 1885, to a daughter of Mr. William Grover, an old colonist of Sawyers' Bay, and has two sons and one daughter.
Shanks, James Benjamin , Plumber, Tinsmith, Ironmonger and Sanitary Engineer, Beach Street, Port Chalmers. This business was established in 1890, and has grown to considerable dimensions. A large stock of plumbers' requisites and general ironmongery is always kept on hand, and skilled workmen are employed in preparing the fittings, plumbing and tinsmith work which the shop turns out. The premises consist of a one-storey brick building with three workshops in the rear, fitted up with the latest tools, screwing machines, and all the plant necessary to carry on operations with efficiency and despatch.
Mr. Shanks , the Proprietor, was born in Port Chalmers, in 1866, and was educated at the District High School. He served an apprenticeship to the plumbing trade with Mr. John Connell, and in 1890 established himself in business in Grey Street, but in 1894 removed to his present premises. Mr. Shanks is agent at Port Chalmers for the Royal Insurance Company. He has been a member of Court Robin Hood, 3991. Ancient Order of Foresters, since 1889, and is at present (1904) a trustee of his Court. Mr. Shanks was married, in 1893, to a daughter of Mr. J. Bell, and has one son find one daughter.
Stevenson And Cook (Isaac Stevenson and John Cook). Marine Engineers, Boilermakers, and Shipbuilders. Beach Street, Port Chalmers. This business was established about 1870 by Messrs Morgan and Macgregor, and on the death of Mr. Macgregor, in 1878. Mr. John Cable became associated with the firm. In 1882, Mr. Isaac Stevenson joined, and the business was carried on under the name of Morgan, Cable and Co. In the meantime Mr. Morgan died and Mr. Cable retired from the firm, thus leaving Mr. Stevenson the sole proprietor; and in May, 1903, Mr. John Cook resigned his position as Superintendent Engineer of the Union Steamship Company, and entered into partnership with Mr. Stevenson an Stevenson and Cook. The firm's work is of a varied character, and during 1903–1904 it included the building of two new dredges (with engines and boilers complete) for Omeo and Innemungi, Australia; forgings for a new screw steamer built at Auckland for Mr. Seager, of Wellington; and a number of shafts and other work for the Union Steamship Company. The Morven Ferry and New Britannia dredges were bought by Messrs Stevenson and Cook, who took them adrift and sold them to an Australian mining company. At present (1904) the firm is making new boilers for the tug boat “Plucky,” and the s.s. “Invercargill, and also keeping the Port Chalmers forge running. Messrs Stevenson and Cook have the most modern machinery, and one of the best engineering plants in the colony.
The Port Chalmers Gas Company . Established, 1888. Directors: Messrs John Watson, junior (chairman), Andrew Thomson, John Campbell, D. C. Sharpe, and R. Bauchop. Manager and Secretary, Mr. Robert Curham. These gas works are situated at Mussel Bay, Port Chalmers, and the company has a capital of £6000 in £1 shares; 5060 shares are fully paid up. The works have a gasholder with a capacity of 12,000 cubic feet, and about 4,000,000 cubio feet of gas is used annually by the residents of Port Chalmers. Only Brunner coal is used, and the coke is sold in the town to private consumers.
Mr. R. Curham , Manager and Secretary of the Port Chalmers Gas Works, was appointed to his present position in 1901. He is a native of Kildare, Ireland, served an apprenticeship to the drapery trade in the city of Dublin, left Ireland in 1863, and landed in New York; served as a volunteer in the Federal Army to the close of the Civil War; followed the sea as a profession till 1873; joined the staff of the South Melbourne Gas Company, and in 1874 came to New Zealand under engagement to assist in erecting the Hokitika gas works. In 1882 he gave up the management of those works upon being appointed manager of the Wanganui gas works, where he remained till he accepted his present appointment. Mr. Curham has occupied no public position beyond serving on the Wanganui school committee. He was a member of the Order of Druids in Melbourse. In 1885 he was married to a daughter of Captain Daniel Macfarlane, of Troon, Scotland, and has a family of three sons and three daughters.