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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]



Page 169. Mr. James Howard Sheath, formerly Chief Postmaster and Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at Westport, entered the Public Service under the Canterbury Provincial Government at Christchurch in 1865, and in the same year opened the Post Office at Kaiapoi. He was afterwards in charge of the Blenheim and Nelson offices for a time, and then was removed to Balclutha. He was subsequently stationed at Featherston, and in 1868 was appointed Postmaster at Tauranga. Mr. Sheath was promoted to be Chief Postmaster at Westport in 1892; was afterwards for some time at Hokitika; and is now (1906) Chief Postmaster at Napier.

Page 176. The “Westport News” is a daily morning paper. It was founded about the year 1873 by Mr. Charles Wright, and issued as a tri-weekly, demy-folio in size. In April, 1889, the paper was bought by the late Mr. Robert Reid, who enlarged it to double-demy, and issued it as a morning daily. Mr. Reid successfully conducted the paper till his death in March, 1897, when it was bought by the late Mr. J. H. Boundy, who traded under the style of Boundy and Co. for twelve months. Then he, in turn, disposed of the paper on the 4th of April, 1898, to Mr. Walter Atkin, who in two years procured machinery and an engine, enlarged the size of the paper to double-royal, and was the first in Westport to reduce the price of the daily paper to one penny. There is a servicable news and jobbing plant in the office.

Mr. Walter Atkin , the Proprietor of the “Westport News,” was born in the County of Cork, Ireland, in the year 1848 At a very early age he arrived in Melbourne, Victoria with his parents, and served an apprenticeship in Abbott and Co.'s job printing office. He afterwards came to New Zealand, and was in the office of the “West Coast Times” for three or four years. Later on, he and three partners conducted a paper known as the “Grey Valley Times.” He served under Mr. Mirfin in the “Inangahua Herald” office for eleven years. After conducting the “Lyell Times” successfully for thirteen years, Mr. Atkin bought the “Westport News.”

Page 187. Captain S. A. Leech died on the evening of the 30th of November, 1905, at Westport.