is a prosperous borough fifty-four miles south-west from Dunedin, and is built on the banks of the Matau branch of the river Clutha, near its confluence with the sea. The town is connected with the lower part of Inchclutha by means of a bridge, and the Coal Company's branch line connects it with the main trunk line at Stirling, close to Balclutha. Kaitangata is in the county of Bruce, and is the centre of a district full of interest on account of its scenery and industrial enterprise. The Clutha river, Inchclutha, and all the country to the south-west are within view; so are two fine lakes, and the sea can be seen from the top of the hills. Coalmining is the chief local industry, but flax abounds in the district, and there is a good local mill for turning it to account. Agriculture is successfully carried on in the district. The town of Kaitangata has a post, telegraph, telephone, and money-order office, churches of the Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist, and Roman Catholic denominations, and a branch of the Salvation Army. A fine Athenæum, with a good library, up-to-date magazines, and general literature, is well patronised by the residents. There are also two hotels and a public hall suitable for
dancing and entertainments. Council for 1904: Mr. F. Poole (Mayor), and Messrs William Wilson, James Campbell, Peter Souness, Charles Yates, George MacDonnell, Joseph Hollows, Henry Hitchon, Joseph Jackson, and Arthur J. Hawke, Councillors. Mr. D. P. C. Clements is Town Clerk.
Kaitangata Borough Council
. Kaitangata was proclaimed a borough in September, 1887, and the first members of the council were Messrs A. N. Hislop, William Aitcheson, Matthew Carson, Henry Kerr, W. T. Smith, and W. Middlemass. The borough, which has an area of 1158 acres, contains 549 ratable properties, and has a population of 1500 persons. There is a general rate of 1s 3d in the £, and a special rate of 6d in the £ over a limited portion of the borough, on account of £280 spent in providing, jointly with the County Council, for the drainage of the lakes. There are several reserves. The Victoria Park is well laid out with shrubs, and there is a town domain, where the annual athletic sports are held, and which is largely used for cricket, football, etc.
His Worship The Mayor, Mr. Frederick Thomas Poole
, J.P., is a native of Stirling, Scotland, where he was born in 1857. He was educated at the High
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Mr. F. T. Poole, Mayor of Kaitangata.
School, Bedford, and afterwards went to the Highlands of Scotland, where he served an apprenticeship as a nurseryman, under the gardener of Sir James Matheson, Bart., of Lewis. In 1877 Mr. Poole came to New Zealand in the ship “Timaru.” and went to Kaitangata, where he managed Mr. Gray's nursery business for four years. He then went to Milton, where he carried on business as a nurseryman for several years. In 1893 Mr. Poole started in business in Kaitangata as a draper, and five years later he bought the drapery business of Messrs W. H. Mackenzie and Co., of the same town, and carried it on with marked success until he sold it. In 1898 Mr. Poole was elected a member of the Borough Council by a large majority, and in November, 1899, he contested the mayoralty against Mr. W. H. Mackenzie and Mr. John McCorley, and was returned by a majority of twenty-five votes. Mr. Poole is still (1904) Mayor of Kaitangata. He has also been a member of the Kaitangata school committee, and has taken an active part in political affairs, being a strong supporter of the Seddon Government. Mr. Poole was the first secretary of the Kaitangata Miners' Union, and is a member of the Otago Coal Miners' Association. While he had his large drapery business in Water Street, Mr. Poole had the agencies for the Anglo-Special Bicycles, the London and Lancashire Fire Insurance Company, and the Victory Sewing Machines. His business premises covered an area of 2700 square feet, and there was a large room attached where Mr. Poole permitted the Kaitangata branch of the Coal Miners' Association to hold its meetings free of charge. As a Freemason Mr. Poole is a member of Lodge St. Thomas Kilwinning, No. 84, New Zealand Constitution, and he is also a member of the Loyal Pride of Kaitangata Lodge of Oddfellows. In 1879 Mr. Poole married a daughter of Mr. James Blaney, of Kaitangata. Mrs Poole died on the 1st of June, 1898, leaving a family of two sons and five daughters.
Councillor Arthur James Hawke
, who was elected to the Kaitangata Borough Council, in April, 1903, serves on the works committee. He is also a member of the school committee, and of the committee of the local Horticultural Society. Mr. Hawke was born at Geraldine, Canterbury, in 1876, and educated at the Geraldine public school. He served a five years' apprenticeship to the blacksmithing trade, with Mr. W. Barrett, of Winchester, and subsequently was in business on his own account at Hampden, Otago, for a year before removing to Kaitangata, where he has already built up a large connection as a wheelwright and blacksmith. Mr. Hawke is vice-president of the Kaitangata Cricket Club, and has been captain of the local football club. He is also a member of the vestry committee of the Anglican Church. Mr. Hawke was married in February, 1993, to a daughter of Mr.
D. Dunbar, of Hampden, and has one daughter.
Councillor William Wilson
, J.P., who was elected to the Kaitangata Borough Council in April, 1904, is chairman of the works comittee. Mr. Wilson was Mayor of the borough for the year 1903–04. He is a member of the local Athenæum committee, and has been chairman of the school committee. Mr. Wilson was born in Nottinghamshire, England, in 1852, and came out to New Zealand in 1874, by the ship “Auckland.” After a year spent at Mosgiel, he settled at Kaitangata, where he carries on business as a coal merchant; he also leases a dairy farm of ninety acres, close to the township. Mr. Wilson was married, in 1872, to a daughter of Mr. William Lewitt, of Nottingham, England, and has a family of five sons and six daughters.
Lord Ranfurly's Farewell Visit To Kaitangata. Mr. William Wilson, Who Was Mayor At That Time, Is Standing On Lord Ranfurly's Left.
Mr. William Martin Shore
, J.P., ometime Mayor of Kaitangata, and for some time Mining Engineer and Mine Manager of the Kaitangata Coal Company, was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shore, formerly of Ayrshire, and was born in 1847. Mr. Shore was educated at the Kilmarnock Mining School, and came to Port Chalmers in 1877 by the ship “Parsee.” He obtained employment in connection with the construction of the Deborah Bay tunnel, but next year commenced coal mining operations at Kaitangata. In conjunction with Messrs Winter, James Smith (Greenfield), and W. Moore, he sank the “deep shaft,” and worked the coal mine until June, 1879, when the property was sold to the company. Mr. Shore was appointed deputy manager, and in 1883 he received his appointment as mining engineer and mine manager. He was elected one of the first members of the Kaitangata Town Board, which was eventually merged into the Borough
Kaitangata, Looking South-West.
Council, and except during 1890, when he was suffering from ill-health, Mr. Shore had, until about 1898, been Mayor of Kaitangata from the creation of the borough. Mr. Shore was made a Justice of the Peace many years ago, and after the passing of the “Coal Mines Act of 1886,” he had been a member of the Board of Examiners for the Colony. In 1868 he was married to Margaret Thomson, daughter of Mr. Robert Culley, of Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, and had a family of nine children. His eldest son, Mr. William Shore, junior, was a general merchant, at Kaitangata, and his second daughter occupies the position of mistress of the Waiwera public school. Mr. Shore died on the 30th of March, 1902.
Hitchon, Henry Stewart
, General Merchant, Agent for the Liverpool and London and Globe Fire Insurance Company, Ocean, Accident and Guarantee Corporation, Limited, Standard Brand boots and shoes, H. E. Shacklock's “Orion” ranges, Nimmo and Blair's “Standard” seeds, corner of Exmouth and Water Streets, Kaitangata. Telephone 5. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. The owner of this establishment is the third son of the late Mr. Henry Hitchon, storekeeper, Adam's Flat, who arrived in New Zealand during the fifties. Mr. H. S. Hitchon was brought up to business with his father, and in 1887 he began on his own account at Kaitangata. He has built a new store 40 feet by 38 feet, and divided it into two compartments, one stocked with drapery and boots, and the other with groceries, ironmongery and crockery. There are two offices, one for the use of the staff, and the other a private one, which is also used for the reception of the numerous customers, who patronise the establishment. The natural lighting of the store has been ingeniously effected by a skylight and lantern light, which imparts a cheerful appearance to the premises. Acetylene gas has been installed, and is generated in a gasometer with a cubic capacity of 28 feet, and will supply ten lights for five hours at a cost of about two shillings for that time. The gasometer is about 15 feet from the main building, to which gas is conveyed through a main to the thirteen jets, distributed throughout the premises. The gas is generated in water from lime and coke, called calcium
carbide, and the risk is comparatively trifling, as the Underwriters' Association has allowed Mr. Hitchon to erect and introduce the plant without paying an extra premium. The premises
were ingeniously planned by the owner, whose plans were carried out by the architects and contractors, Messrs Rodger and Son, of Forth Street, Dunedin, and their workmanship was approved of by Mr. Hollick, contractor and builder, of Milton. At the rear of the premises, there are stables, an express shed, store-rooms and other appointments for carrying on Mr. Hitchon's large country trade. Mr. Hitchon has long been a member of the Borough Council. It is to him that Kaitangata is indebted for its telephone exchange, which is a great boon, as it keeps the town in touch with Dunedin, about fifty-five miles distant. He has it on to his private residence, and is privileged to have his house and shop connected (by telephone direct) from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. without any extra cost. Mr. Hitchon is an enthusiastic bowler and tennis player. He was married, in 1887, to Jane, daughter of Mr. James White, Gabriel's Gully, Lawrence.
Mr. William Shore
, Junior, sometime General Merchant, Financial, Commission, and Insurance Agent, Exmouth Street, Kaitangata, was the eldest son of Mr. William Shore, sometime Mayor of Kaitangata, and was born in Ayreshire, in 1873, and educated at the district school, Kaitangata. He learned his trade in
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
The Late Mr. W. Shore, Junior.
connection with the late firm of Messrs W. H. McKenzie and Co., of Kaitangata, but in 1896, he entered into business on his own account, and for years he carried on an extensive trade, with numerous branches. In 1898, Mr. Shore was married to the eldest daughter of Mr. A. Blackie, of Castle Hill estate, Kaitangata. He died at Balclutha on the 23rd of July, 1902.
Mr. William Aitchison
, Of Kaitangata, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1832, and arrived in New Zealand on Boxing Day, 1849, by the ship “Mooltan.” He was first employed by Mr. F. S. Pillans, at Inchclutha, with whom he remained for
three years. On the outbreak of the goldfields in Australia, he went to the Bendigo diggings, where he was very successful. Eighteen months later Mr. Aitchison returned to New Zealand, and for two years was engaged in pit-sawing in the bush near Wellington. On his return to the South Island, he followed the same occupation, and in 1856 bought some hilly land at Kaitangata, which showed prospects of coal. This proved to be a most valuable property, and for many years the land has been leased to the Kaitangata Coal Company, whose coal has
Kaitangata, Looking West.
become a household word throughout Otago; and the Company pays Mr. Aitchison a royalty on each ton of coal turned out. In the early days Mr. Aitchison was the means of starting the first school in the district. He engaged part of a store, secured the services of a schoolmaster, and started the school on a good financial footing, before the management was taken over by the
Otago Education Board. During the days of the Provincial Government Mr. Aitchison was a member of the Matau Road Board, and one of the wardens of the Kaitangata hundreds; later on he served on the local borough council, was chairman and one of the trustees of the Athenæum, and also a member of the Kaitangata Domain Board. In the early seventies he bought property in the township and erected a residence, which he has since added to and improved, and where he now resides. Mr. Aitchison was married, at Wellington, on the 16th of August, 1855, to a daughter of Mr. David Smith, of Silverstream, the Hutt, Wellington, and has a surviving family of five sons and one daughter, all of whom are grown up and married. The fourth son is engineer of the Burnside Freezing Works, and is referred to as such in another section of this volume. Mrs Aitchison was born in Forfarshire, Scotland, in 1837, and came out to New Zealand in 1841, by the ship “Arab.”