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

[West Coast Districts and Towns]


Brunnerton is situated eight miles north-east of Greymouth, occupies an important position on the West Coast, and is second only to Westport as a coal-mining centre. It was formed into a borough in the year 1887, and, as the scene of the oldest coalfield in New Zealand, it has played an important part in the coal industry of the colony. The Brunner coal seam was discovered by Mr. Thomas Brunner, a surveyor in the employment of the New Zealand Company. In 1844–5, in company with two Maoris, Mr. Brunner travelled from Nelson to Westland along the Buller river. From Westport he voyaged to Grey and up the Grey river, and discovered the celebrated coal seam on his way. His trip was a very arduous one, and, in fact, so dangerous that the Royal Geographical Society gave him its medal in acknowledgment of his services. Work at the mine was first commenced in the year 1864 by Matthew Batty and party, who were the first to lease it from the Nelson Provincial Government. Subsequently, a compauy from Ballarat, in Victoria, worked the mine for about four years, when its lease was cancelled. The property was then worked for some years by the Provincial Government itself, and in 1874 a lease was granted for twenty-one years to a Melbourne firm, on the usual rent and royalty, and with a stipulation that for the first few years there should be an annual output of 12,000 tons, until the maximum reached 30,000 tons a year. However, in six months the syndicate sold out to Messrs Kennedy Brothers, of Greymouth, and these gentlemen disposed of three-fourths of their interest to the Westport Coal Company and Union Steamship Company. The mine is worked by means of a tunnel driven into the face of the Paparoa range. The system of working is what is known as the “board and pillar” principle. The plant is ot the latest type in the world, and it is estimated that over 2000 tons of coal per week could, if required, be brought to the surface. For many years the men in the Brunner mine had been accustomed to work with naked lights, as the mine was regarded as being perfectly safe in that respect, but the appalling explosion which took place at 9.15 a.m. on the 26th of March, 1896, when sixty-five men and boys were entombed, proved the contrary, with a tragical emphasis still remembered throughout New Zealand. Since then new methods have been introduced. It is expected that the Wallsend mine, which has been idle for some time, may shortly (1905) be opened up again. Of late the borough of Brunnerton has passed through troublous times owing to the competition of Westport; a factor which has done much to stagnate local trade, and reduce property values. The borough of Brunnerton is divided by the Grey river, and connected by a fine bridge. The south side of the river is in the provincial district of Westland, while the portion on the northern side is in the provincial district of Nelson, but the entire borough is in the electorate of Grey. Brunner, Walsend, Dobson, and Stillwater are included within the boundaries of the borough. There are four churches; namely, Anglican and Presbyterian, with resident clergymen, and Methodist and Roman Catholic; and there are three State schools—one at Dobson, one at Taylorville, and one at Stillwater. The nuns connected with the Catholic church conduct a private school, which is well attended. Mails arrive from different parts of the coast four times daily, and the post office is rated page 582
Grave of the Victims of the Brunner Disaster.

Grave of the Victims of the Brunner Disaster.

third class. Brunnerton has a Masonic Lodge—Lodge Advance, New Zealand Constitution—and a lodge of the Order of Druids. Brunnerton is connected by railway with Greymouth and with Reefton, about thirty-eight miles distant. At the census of 1901 it had a population of 1572 souls.

The Brunnerton Post Office was established about the year 1878. A fair amount of work is transacted in money orders, Savings Bank, and in Government Life Insurance business. Mails close daily at 8 a.m., 12.45 p.m. and 4.55 p.m., and arrive at 8.15 a.m. 12.55 p.m., and 4.55 p.m.

The Brunner Railway Station is, on account of its intimate connection with the coal trade, one of the most important on the West Coast. It is seven miles from Greymouth, to which it despatches enormous quantities of coal. The station buildings contain the stationmaster's and clerk's offices, waitingrooms, and luggage office. There is also a large goods shed, and three passenger trains arrive and depart daily.

The Taylorville Public School is a substantial wooden building, capable of accommodating 300 or 400 scholars. The class rooms are lofty and well ventilated, and there is also a large well-fenced playground. The school is the principal one in the district, and the building is one of the best under the supervision of the Crey Education Board.

Mr. Edward A. Scott , Headmaster of the Taylorville school, was born in Northumberland, England, in the year 1864, came to New Zealand in 1874, and received his primary education in the school of which he now has charge. Mr. Scott's first appointment was that of teacher in charge of the No Town school, and he was afterwards second assistant at the Greymouth District High School. In 1887, he was appointed first headmaster of the Dobson school. He held that position for over nine years, and gained excellent results at each annual examination. In 1896, Mr. Scott was promoted to be headmaster of the Taylorville school—the second largest under the Grey Education Board. He holds a Dl certificate. Since the institution of scholarships by the Grey Education Board, Mr. Scott's pupils have been almost invariably successful in winning the coveted honour, and though he has now been more than twenty years in the Board's service not a single bad report has been recorded against him. Mr. Scott takes a keen interest in all that pertains to the welfare of his profession; he was president of the local branch of the New Zealand Educational Institute in 1897, and represented the district at the annual conference of teachers at Dunedin in the same year.

The Brunner Mines Sick and Accident Fund is maintained by a contribution of one half-penny on every ton of coal taken from the Brunner mine. It is paid by the company, and in case of any of the mine employees meeting with an accident, a weekly allowance of twelve shillings and sixpence is made from the fund, which was inaugurated in 1892. The Sick and Accident Fund and Grey Valley Accident Relief Fund are separate funds, and there is also the Grey Valley Medical Association, by means of which members paying one shilling and three pence fortnightly obtain medical relief for themselves and families.

The Grey Valley Accident Relief Fund , Brunerton. There are 260 members who pay a weekly subscription of sixpence each. When a member who has paid his dues meets with an accident, which unfits him for work, he receives an allowance of twenty shillings a week.

The Grey Valley Workers' Union . Registered address, Buck's Head Hotel. Taylorville, Brunnerton. The Union is managed by a president, delegates, and a committee of twelve. It was formed in the year 1896, immediately after the Brunner mine disaster, and is affiliated with all the trade and labour unions on the West Coast. Its objects are to raise funds for the protection of labour, and, as far as the light of science can make provision, to prevent loss of life and health amongst the workers. The subscription is one shilling a month. Half-yearly meetings are held on the first Monday in May and the first Monday in November.

page 583

McIlroy, Alexander , M.B.C.M., Edin., Physician and Surgeon, formerly of Brunnerton. Dr. Mcllroy is now (1906) practising his profession at Lumsden, in Southland.

Buck's Head Hotel (Robert Russell, proprietor), Taylorville, Brunnerton. This fine two-storied building contains fourteen rooms, eight of which are bedrooms. The dining room is well appointed and capable of seating over thirty people, and the spacious billiard room contains one of Alcock's best full-sized billiard tables in excellent order. The proprietor, Mr. Robert Russell, is referred to in another article as chairman of the Greymouth Harbour Board.

Mr. A. F. Bruhn , who was formerly manager at Brunnerton for Hildebrand and Co., was born at Rutherglen, Greymouth. After leaving school, he entered the employment of Mr. Russell, butcher, Greymouth, and remained with him for nearly three years. He entered the service of Messrs Hildebrand and Co. in the year 1896, and was appointed to the management of the firm's Brunnerton branch (now closed) in the year 1898. Mr. Bruhn is now (1906) in business as a butcher at his native place, Rutherglen.

Armstrong Brothers (David Armstrong and George Armstrong), General Storekeepers and Bakers, Taylorville, Brunnerton. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand, Greymouth. This firm's business was founded in the year 1886, and was taken over by Messrs Armstrong Brothers in 1895. The premises are conveniently situated, almost immediately opposite the Wallsend-Taylorville bridge. Besides doing a good business as general storekeepers throughout the country districts, Messrs Armstrong Brothers claim pre-eminence for their bakery.

Mr. David Armstrong , the Senior Partner, takes the general management of the store, and attends to the buying and financial portion of the trade. He was born in Dumbartonshire, Scotland, in 1859. In 1874, he landed in Wellington, by the ship “Alexandria,” and followed various pursuits before going to the West Coast. For ten years, he engaged in mining at Westport and Brunnerton. During the existence of the Brunner volunteers Mr. Armstrong was captain of the corps.

Mr. George Armstrong , the Junior Partner, was born in Dumbartonshire in 1872, and came to New Zealand with his family two years later. He learned his trade of baker in Westland, and, later on, joined his brother in partnership. Mr. Armstrong is a member of the Order of Druids. Though he is still interested in the firm of Armstrong Brothers, he is now (1906) also engaged in business as a storekeeper at Cobden, and is mentioned in that connection at page 274 of this volume. His portrait appears at page 286.

Mr. Richard Johnston was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1862, and came when a child with his parents to New Zealand. He was employed in the butchering trade at an early age, and has successfully continued in it. He was the principal butcher on the first Midland Railway works, and afterwards owned the leading business in Brunnerton, with a branch in Greymouth. Mr. Johnston takes a great interest in municipal and other matters. After the division of the Brunner Borough into wards, he stood for election for the east ward, against three well-known residents and was returned at the head of the poll by a large majority; and he was re-elected, unopposed, on three subsequent occasions. For some years he took an active part in volunteering; and is a Past Master in the Order of Freemasons. He afterwards removed from Brunnerton to Cobden.
Mr. Robert Alison , Manager of the Tyneside Coal Mines at Brunner, was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, educated in England and Germany, and served his time in the well known firm of Messrs Simpson and Wilson, of Glasgow, with whom he remained eight years. As an experienced mining engineer his knowledge was gained from Messrs Archibald Russell, of Lanarkshire, among the largest coalmasters in Scotland. Mr. Alison was assistant general manager at Hamilton, the firm's headquarters, and had charge of the sinking of three shafts, besides doing a considerable amount of work in opening up and developing the firm's numerous properties. He was engaged
Mr. R. Alison.

Mr. R. Alison.

in England by the London directors of the Greymouth-Point Elizabeth Railway Coal Company, Limited, to act as the Company's mining engineer at Brunnerton, where much that was profitable to the Company was done under his direction. The whole of the work of bridging the Grey river, laying the railway to Point Elizabeth, and developing the coal mine was carried out under his superintendence. The mine is now (1906) the property of the Government of New Zealand, and Mr. Alison is manager at the Tyneside mines in the Brunner district.


Stillwater , or, as it is sometimes called, Stillwater Junction, is nine miles distant from Greymouth, on the Grey-Reefton section of the New Zealand railways, and is at the junction of the Christchurch line, which is (1905) open to Otira. The railway station, which stands at an altitude of ninety-six feet above the level of the sea, is one mile distant from Brunnerton. The settlement is in the county of Grey, in the electorate of Grey, and in the provincial district of Westland. page 584 The Arnold river, which rises in Lake Brunner, joins the Grey at Stillwater. Sawmilling is carried on along the Otira line of railway, not far from the settlement, which has an hotel, a store, a post and telegraph office, and a public school with accommodation for one hundred pupils. At the census of 1901 there was no separate return of the population.

Stillwater Junction Railway Station . At Stillwater Junetion the Christchurch line (running as far as Otira in 1905) conjoins with the Grey-Reefton line. The buildings are substantial and commodious, and have a large goods shed and engine shed; and the station building contains a vestibule, a public office, a stationmaster's office, a storeroom, and a ladies' waiting room; and there is also a stationmaster's residence of six rooms. There is a tablet signal connection with Ngahere on the one side, and with Brunnerton on the other. The staff consists of a stationmaster and porter.

Mr. Edward Thomas Malloch , Stationmaster at Stillwater Junction, was born at Grangemouth, Firth of Forth, Scotland,
Ring, photo. Mr. E. T. Malloch.

Ring, photo. Mr. E. T. Malloch.

in the year 1875. He came to New Zealand at an early age, and was educated in Christchurch. Mr. Malloch entered the railway service as a cadet, and after serving at Addington, was for five years at Timaru, and for two years and six months at Christchurch. In December, 1904, he was appointed to Stillwater. Mr. Malloch is married, and has three children.

Stillwater Public School is situated two miles from Taylorville. The school was opened in the year 1888, with an attendance of eighty scholars, but at that time the Midland Railway headquarters were at Stillwater, and that accounted no doubt for the large attendance. Since the taking over of the line by the Government, and the removal of all the permanent staff to Greymouth, the school attendance has decreased, and now numbers only fifty pupils. There is accommodation for 100 scholars, and the school is under the jurisdiction of the Grey Education Board.

Mr. Charles Curtis , formerly Manager of the Victory Extended Gold Mining Company, at Brunnerton, was
Mr. and Mrs C. Curtis.

Mr. and Mrs C. Curtis.

born at Collingwood, Nelson, in 1861, and received his education at Greymouth. After leaying school, he was engaged in looking after the ferry at the Arnold Junction for many years. Mr. Curtis started mining when sixteen years of age, and worked at different places on the Buller, where he was fairly successful for twelve months. On leaving the West Coast, he engaged in prospecting in the North Island, but with no success. He accordingly returned to Greymouth and almost immediately commenced prospecting the Paparoa ranges, where he eventually discovered the now famous “Victory.” Mr. Curtis, who is married and has six children, now (1906) resides at Stillwater.


Baxter's is the name given to a ralway siding on the Greymouth-Christchurch line; it is distant thirteen miles from Greymouth, four miles from Stillwater Junction and thirtynine miles from Otira, and is in the Red Jack's riding of the county of Grey, in the electorate of Grey, and in the provincial district of Westland. There are three sawmills in active operation in the vicinity, and a small amount of farming is also carried on in the district. The railway station stands 129 feet above the level of the sea. At the census of 1901 there was no separate enumeration of the population.

Roberts' Mill (Proprietor, Mr. D. H. Roberts, Greymouth), Baxter's Siding. This mill has been working in its present position since the year 1902, and has many years' work ahead of it. Power is derived from two portable engines, of twelve Lorsepower and eight horse-power respectively. The mill is completely equipped with a good plant.

Mr. George Thomas Bates , Manager of Roberts' Mill, was born at Scott's Gap, Southland, in the year
Mr. G. T. Bates and Daughter.

Mr. G. T. Bates and Daughter.

1881, educated at Clifton, and brought up to sawmilling. He began work at a mill at Woodend, Canterbury, where he worked for a number of years, and afterwards went to Bush Siding, on the Seaward Bush line. When quite a youth, Mr. Bates had charge of a page 585 mill for McCallum and Company at Preservation Inlet, and managed it for fourteen months. He subsequently removed to the West Coast, and was for some time contracting a mill at Craig's Siding. In the year 1904 he took charge of Roberts's mill. Mr. Bates, when in Southland, competed with success as a long distance runner. He is a member of the Order of Druids, and as a Freemason, is a member of Lodge Mawhera, Greymouth.


Kokiri is on the Greymouth-Christchurch line of railway, fourteen miles from Greymouth, and thirty-seven miles from Otira, the terminus of the line; it is also five miles from Stillwater Junction, and the railway station stands at an altitude of 179 feet above sea level. The settlement is on the western bank of the Arnold river, in the Maori Creek riding of the county of Grey, in the electorate of Grey, in the provincial district of Westland. Kokiri is one of the principal seats of the sawmilling industry, and many thousands of feet of timber and white pine sleepers are sent annually to Greymouth for export. The sawmills of Messrs Baxter Brothers and of Messrs Stratford, Blair, and Company give employment to a considerable number of men. There is a railway flag station at the township, a post and telephone office, a State school and an hotel. A few small farms in the vicinity are held by some of the workers at the sawmills. At Maori Gully, close by, there are several good goldmining claims. The bush around the township concists chiefly of silver pine, white and red pine, and beech, commonly called birch. There is game in the neighbourhood, and fishing in the river. At the census of 1901 the population was 103.

The Kokiri Public School has been established for about nine years. It is situated on a rising piece of ground, less than a quarter of a mile from the railway line. The rapid increase of the timber trade necessitated a new school, and the old building is now used for the infant school, and the two together contain two large classrooms with a verandah. There is accommodation for about 100 pupils, and the number on the roll is about sixty-five. There are two teachers, a headmaster and an assistant.

Mr. Albert Henry Seebeck , Headmaster of the Kokiri school, was born at Paroa in the year 1875. He was educated at Kumara, where he served a course of six years as a pupil teacher. Mr. Seebeck then went to Canterbury College for a year. He was afterwards appointed assistant at Kumara, where he served for three years, and, later on, was headmaster at Goldsborough for five years. Mr. Seebeck received his present appointment in July, 1903. He holds a Dl certificate. Mr. Seebeck is married and has three children.

Baxter Brothers (James Baxter. Thomas Baxter and William Baxter), Sawmillers and Timber Merchants, Kokiri, near Greymouth. Bankers, Bank of New South Wales. Messrs Baxter Brothers entered into partnership as sawmillers in the year 1895, and though they had but little capital they have built up a connection second to none in New Zealand. The plant is capable of turning out 40,000 feet of sawn timber per week, independently of several hundred sleepers. It has been stated that for railway sleepers, silver pine has no superior, and of late years very large orders for such sleepers have been placed with millers by the Government. The machinery owned by Messrs Baxter Brothers is of a modern type, and includes a fourteen horse-power portable engine and boiler built by Marshall, of Lincoln, England; twin breakingdown steel saws capable of cutting the largest tree; many minor saws, and breast bench and planing machines, Some years ago, this firm bought Messrs Feary Brothers' mill at Stillwater, with 800 acres of excellent silverpine. This property has been connected—by means of a tramway over two miles in extent—with bush at Kokiri. With few exceptions, the employees of Messrs Baxter Brothers live in their own houses, or in huts on the property, and there are roomy stables with accommodation for twelve horses. The principal trade is done within New Zealand, although large shipments are from time to time forwarded to Melbourne. The timber industry has of late years developed with marvellous rapidity, and amongst those who have been instrumental in facilitating its progress, Messrs Baxter Brothers hold a prominent position. The individual members of the firm are extremely popular with all classes, and were mainly instrumental in organising local sawing and chopping contests, which are attended by competitors from all parts of the district. Visitors to the West Coast, who take an interest in colonial industry, will be amply repaid by inspecting the mills at Kokiri.

Mr. James Baxter , Senior Partner in the firm of Baxter Brothers, was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in the year 1861, and came to New Zealand with his parents in the following year, in the ship “Robert Henderson.” He went to school at Hokitika, and afterwards entered the “West Coast Times” office under the late Mr. Cline. However, he shrewdly reasoned with himself that much more money might be made in opening up a new industry than by wielding an average country editor's pen, or in “setting
Pioneering on the Coast.

Pioneering on the Coast.

page 586 up” editorials and current news. Accordingly, he went to Greymouth in 1885, and after some years of contracting, etc., he commenced business with his brothers in 1895. He is the father of the firm, and although a strict disciplinarian, he has at all times enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his employees.

Mr. Thomas Baxter was born at Hokitika in 1867 and went to school in his native place. He obtained his first employment at a sawmill. Mr. Baxter takes a real live interest in local affairs. It was he who was the prime promoter of the sawing and chopping competitions, which have done much to improve that class of work. Like his brothers, he has a practical knowledge of the timber trade, and is popular with the firm's employees.

Mr. William Baxter , the Junior Member of the firm, was born in the year 1869 at Hokitika. After leaving school he went to Westport and obtained the contract for the delivery of timber for the Westport harbour works, then under construction. He then worked for Messrs Wilkie Brothers, at Cape Foulwind. In 1896, he entered the employment of Messrs Butler Brothers, as a sawyer, and was afterwards with Messrs Stratford, Blair, and Co., of Greymouth, with whom he remained until he entered into partnership with his brothers. In 1897 Mr. Baxter married a daughter of Mr. Robert Cherrie of Brunnerton.

Butler Brothers (William Butler and Joseph Butler), Sawmillers and Timber Merchants, formerly of Kokiri. This well-known firm, which was one of the largest in Westland, and ranked amongst the leading sawmill businesses in the South Island, was established in the year 1892. The plant was a very complete one, capable of turning out 40,000 feet of timber per week, and the mill was kept working full time, to supply a brisk trade in New Zealand and Australia. In the sister colonies the name of Butler Brothers has long been familiar to all users of New Zealand timbers. The firm's bush in Westland covered an area of 2000 acres, and consisted principally of red, white and silver pine. It shipped white pine in large quantities direct to Melbourne, where it was used in the manufacture of butter boxes. The machinery was of the latest pattern, and had been imported from England and America. Messrs Butler Brothers were the first to introduce into Westland the steam hauler, which results in great economy in hauling heavy logs from the bush. In fact, so powerful is the steam hauler that timber, which at one time had to be left in the bush, is now taken out with but little trouble. Acting on the advice of Mr. Freyberg, the Government expert, the firm at one time exported, with other merchants, large quantities of timber to London, but the results were not encouraging. Between thirty and forty men were constantly employed in connection with the mills of Messrs Butler, who, while in Westland, gained a high reputation for bridge building. Several large bridges in the province bear witness to the substantial character of their work, and reflect great credit upon them as contractors. The brothers were born in Leamington, Warwickshire, England, and first settled in 1871, in North Canterbury, where they undertook several bush contracts. Three years later they went to Southland and engaged in farming for ten years, and then they removed to the West Coast. They now (1906) have a sawmill in the Auckland district, at Naumai, ninety-one miles from the city of Auckland.

Mr. William Butler , the Senior Partner in the firm, is a Justice of
Mr. W. Butler.

Mr. W. Butler.

the Peace for New Zealand. He married a daughter of Mr. McKenny, in 1898.

Mr. Joseph Butler , the Junior Partner, has been known as a keen cyclist and long distance road rider.

Mr. J. Butler.

Mr. J. Butler.


Aratika is a flag railway station, nineteen miles from Greymouth, on the Christchurch-Greymouth line, ten miles from Stillwater, and thirty-two from Otira. It stands at an altitude of 269 feet above the level of the sea, and was previously known as Craig's Siding. Aratika serves the district of Kotuku, and is in the Red Jack's riding of the county of Grey, in the electorate of Grey, and in the provincial district of Westland. The Kotuku public school serves the settlement. No separate return of the population was recorded at the census of 1901.

The Kotuku Public School was established in the year 1899, and serves the districts of Kotuku, and Aratika. It is a wood and iron building, and contains one classroom and a porch. The school has accommodation for about thirty pupils, the roll number is twenty, and the average attendance is sixteen.

Miss Isabella Barnett was appointed sole teacher of the Kotuku public school in the year 1903. She was born at Balclutha, Otago, where she was educated, and afterwards removed to the West Coast with her parents. Miss Barnett was pupil teacher at the Dobson school before she received her present appointment.

page 587
Ring, photo. Miss I. Barnett.

Ring, photo. Miss I. Barnett.

Kotuku Sawmilling Company (John Waller and Son, and R. W. England, Christchurch, proprietors), Aratika. This mill was long known as Craig's Siding mill, but owing to the alteration of the name of the siding it was changed to Kotuku. The mill has been working for about ten years. Timber is obtained from private property and from Government timber reservations. The mill is well fitted up, and the machinery includes a boiler by Luke and Son, a stationary engine of thirty horse-power, twin saws with a large Bullock's patent bench, an American planer, and a hauling engine, etc. It is capable of turning out 10,000 feet per day. Twenty-two persons are employed.

Mr. Arthur John Lloyd , Manager of the Kotuku Sawmill, was born in Dunedin in the year 1873, and began sawmilling at an early age. He worked in various capacities in several Southland mills, and served ten years with the Pine Company, and with Mr. Massey, a well-known Southland sawmiller. In December, 1903, Mr. Lloyd went to the West Coast, and took charge of the Kotuku Sawmilling Company's mill. When in Southland, he was a member of the Colac Bay Rifles. He is married, and has two children.


Kotuku is a small settlement on the Greymouth-Jackson line, and is twenty-one miles from Greymouth, twelve miles from Stillwater, and thirty-one from Otira. It is in the Red Jack's riding of the county of Grey, and in the provincial district of Westland. Two sawmills are actively at work in the neighbourhood, and one of these is a very large one. There are indications of petroleum near Kotuku, and boring operations have been undertaken on an extensive scale. The local railway station stands at an altitude of 287 feet above the level of the sea. The nearest post office is at Moana, two miles distant. The population was returned as eighteen at the census of 1901.

Messrs Jack Brothers (William Jack, Thomas John Jack, and James Francis Jack), Sawmillers, Kotuku. The mill of Messrs Jack Brothers is one of the largest on the West Coast, and is situated about a mile from the
Ring, photo. Mr. J. F. Jack.

Ring, photo. Mr. J. F. Jack.

Kotuku Siding, to which timber is conveyed by a tramway. There is a boiler and engine, each of thirty-five horse-power, and two breast benches; the steel breaking-down bench, with wire rope attachment, was the first of that description fitted up on the Coast. The output from the mill is large. Messrs Jack Brothers have the command over some good timber country, and a large amount of white pine is shipped to Australia. In addition to the ordinary timber-sawing, a good deal of silver pine sleeper-cutting is also carried on.

Mr. William Jack , of the firm of Jack Brothers, is a son of the late Mr. Jack, of Winton, Southland, who was for thirty years a sawmiller. He was born in Tasmania in the year 1860, came to New Zealand with his parents about 1864, and was educated in Invercargill. Practically, his whole life has been spent in sawmilling work, with his father, and later on in partnership with his brothers. The present mill was established in the year 1902.

Mr. Thomas John Jack , of the firm of Messrs Jack Brothers, was born in Tasmania, and came to New Zealand in the year 1864. He has had a life-long experience in the sawmilling industry. Mr. Jack is married and has six children.

Mr. James Francis Jack , of the firm of Messrs Jack Brothers, was born in Tasmania. He came to New Zealand in the year 1864, was brought up to sawmilling, and has since continued in the trade in partnership with his brothers.

Marshall and Company (John Marshall), Sawmillers, Kotuku. The sawmill of Messrs Marshall and Company lies about four miles from the Kotuku siding, and is connected with it by tramway. The mill is devoted practically to the cutting of silver pine sleepers, and a large area of good silver pine bush is controlled by the firm. A ten horse-power portable engine supplies the power, and there is a breaking-down and a breast bench. The output of the mill averages about 130 sleepers per day, and a large amount of squaring is also done.

Mr. John Marshall , the principal owner and the manager of the
Ring, photo. Mr. J. Marshall.

Ring, photo. Mr. J. Marshall.

page 588 mill, was born in Stirling, Scotland, in the year 1861, came to New Zealand with his parents in 1863, and started sawmill work at eleven years of age. For about eleven years he was in the Catlins river district, and, later on, went to Southland for eight years. Mr. Marshall afterwards went to the North Island for a year, and in 1890 removed to the West Coast, where he worked at sawmilling. He started his present mill in 1904. For many years Mr. Marshall competed with success as a long-distance runner in the Otago and Southland districts. He holds a number of medals for his running at the Invercargill Caledonian games, and at the sports held at Kaitangata, Balclutha, Gore, Mataura, and other places. Mr. Marshall is married, and resides at Kotuku.


Moana is a pretty little settlement situated on the shores of the beautiful Lake Brunner, on the Greymouth-Christchurch line, and is twenty-three miles from Greymouth, fourteen miles from Stillwater, and twenty-eight from Otira. It is in the Red Jack's riding of the county of Grey, and in the provincial district of Westland The scenery is magnificent, and the surrounding country is entirely covered with bush. There are several large sawmills in the immediate neighbourhood, and flaxmilling is also carried on. The business of the post office is conducted at the railway station, which is 301 feet above the level of the sea. The settlement also has a good hotel and a store, and the public school is attended by about thirty children. There is plenty of game in the neighbourhood, and excellent fish abound in the lake and streams of the district. The population was returned at 106 at the census taken in the year 1901.

The Moana Railway Station and Post Office is situated on the shores of Lake Brunner, It is a substantial building, containing a vestibule, a stationmaster's room, waiting-rooms, and a post office lobby. Money orders are issued, and Post Office Savings Bank business attended to, in addition to the general postal work.

Mr. James John Rowe , Stationmaster and Postmaster at Moana, was born at Southbridge, Canterbury, in the year 1875. He entered the railway department at Lyttelton, and served successively at Christchurch, Papanui, Dunsandel and Southbridge, and was appointed to Moana in April, 1905.

The Moana Public School is a wood and iron building, erected in May 1904. It contains one classroom and a porch, and is lined with a kind of linoleum or oilcloth, which gives it a very cheerful ppearance. The average attendance is thirty.

Mrs Annie E. Abram , Sole Teacher of the Moana Public School, was born in Charleston, and was educated in Greymouth. She was for three years, in charge of the State school at Kotuku, and received her present appointment in 1904. Mrs Abram married Mr. J. R. Abram, of the Union Steamship Company's service, in the year 1902. He was accidentally drowned in the year 1903. Mrs Abram has an E3 certificate.

Moana Sawmilling Company (Richard E. Stratford, Moana, and William Goss, Christchurch). The mill of the company is situated twenty-four miles from Greymouth, and near to the Moana railway station, on the north shore of Lake Brunner, across which logs for the mill are rafted. A steamer of fifteen horsepower, thirty-four feet in length by eight feet six inches beam, is used for rowing the rafts of logs, which are hauled to the different skids by two powerful steam haulers. There is also a five horse-power oil launch, which is used for conveying the men to and from their work. The Company has a large holding of private and leased bush, consisting of white and red pine; the white pine is shipped direct to Melbourne and Sydney, and the red pine to Christchurch, where it is handled by Mr. Goss. The boiler of the mill is of forty horse-power, with an engine of twenty-two horse-power, and there is a nine horse-power portable engine for driving an extra breast hench. The breaking-down bench is fitted with twin saws, and a steel bench with wire rope attachment.

Mr. Richard E. Stratford , the resident partner of the firm of the Moana Sawmilling Company, was born in Wellington in the year 1847. His father was one of the earliest settlers, who landed by the barque “Cuba,” in the year 1839. Mr. Stratford was brought up on his father's farm at the Hutt Valley, and educated in Wellington. He took part in the Maori war of 1864–67, as a volunteer and dispatch rider, in the Wanganui and Patea districts. Mr. Stratford afterwards became connected with the timber industry in various parts of
Ring, photo. Mr. R. E. Stratford.

Ring, photo. Mr. R. E. Stratford.

New Zealand. He was one of the pioneer millers of Catlins river, Otago, and, later on, went to Stewart Island, and remained there for five years, as manager for McCallum and Company. Mr. Stratford then crossed over to Southland, where at Longbush he was manager of, and afterwards contractor for, two large mills, owned by Messrs Tapper and Lee. Subsequently he removed to the West Coast, where he has since been a leading spirit in the West Coast timber industry. Mr. Stratford, who has been settled in the Lake Brunner district for ten years, is chairman of the Moana school and Lake Brunner regatta committees. He is page 589 married, and has a grown-up family of one son and three daughters.

Lake Brunner.

Lake Brunner is the largest of the Westland lakes, and is remarkable for its beautiful scenery. It is situated partly in the Hohonu riding of the county of Grey, and partly in the Maori Creek riding of the same county, and is in the electorate of Grey. Lake Brunner is twenty-four miles from Greymouth, fifteen from Stillwater Junction, and twenty-seven from Otira. The railway station, which is named in the railway guide “Sawmill Company's Siding,” stands at an altitude of 303 feet above the level of the sea. The settlement on the shores of Lake Brunner is known as the Swede's Mill Settlement, and is named after a large sawmill, at which about thirty-five persons are employed. The homes of the men form quite a little village. Postal business is conducted at the residence of Mr. Emil Nyberg, and the local public school is known as the “Swedes” school. At the census of 1901, the population in the Hohonu riding was twenty-five, and in the Maori Creek riding eleven.

The Lake Brunner Siding School is known as the Swede's school, and was built by the residents of the district, who are practically employees of the Lake Brunner Sawmill ing Company. It has one classroom and a porch, and there is an average attendance of about twenty children.

Miss Terese Cecilia Tansey, Teacher of the Lake Brunner Siding school, was born at Cape Terrace, near Kumara, and was educated at Kumara, Westbrook, and Reefton. Miss Tansey has been teaching since the year 1902, and took charge of the Lake Brunner Siding school when it was opened. She is a member of the Teachers' Institute.

Lake Brunner Sawmilling Company (John Nyberg, Emil Nyberg, Anton Larssen, Lake Brunner Siding; Thomas Hindmarsh Kerr and John Brownlee, Christchurch). Lake Brunner Siding. The mill of this company is situated close to the Lake Brunner railway siding, with which it is connected by a private siding: the offices are in Christchurch, and the West Coast shipping business is attended to by Mr. E. A. Wickes, of Greymouth. The mill was started in the year 1894 by Messrs Nyberg and Larssen, who were joined later on by Messrs Kerr and Brownlee. It is probably the largest on the West Coast, and is fitted up on the most complete scale. The boiler is twenty feet by six feet, and the stationary engine is of twenty-four horse-power. The large breaking-down bench has twin saws and there are two breast benches, an American planer, a large engineer's turning lathe for repair work, and a saw sharpening machine. Logs are taken into the mill by a locomotive, which has four and a-half miles of a steel rail track. The timer cut is chiefly red pine, of which the company has an almost unlimited command. Twenty-five persons are employed, and the monthly output is about 300,000 feet.

Mr. John Nyberg , of the Lake Brunner Sawmilling Company, acts as mill manager and engineer of the Company. He was born in the year 1866
Ring, photo. Mr. and Mrs J. Nyberg.

Ring, photo. Mr. and Mrs J. Nyberg.

in Norrland, Sweden, where his father was a Crown lands ranger. Mr. Nyberg was brought up to farming. He came to New Zealand in 1887, and for a few years was engaged in various occupations, such as railway work, goldmining, etc. In 1894, in conjunction with his brother and Mr. Anton Larssen, he started sawmilling. Mr. Nyberg is the holder of a second-class competency certificate as a driver of a stationary engine. He is chairman of the local school committee, and as a Freemason is a member of Lodge Mawhera. New Zealand Constitution, Greymouth. Mr. Nyberg is married, and has four children.

Mr. Emil Nyberg , one of the partners in the Lake Brunner Sawmilling Company, is in charge of the work in the bush. He was born in the year 1869 in Norrland, Sweden, where he was educated. Mr. Nyberg came to New Zealand in the year 1890, and was engaged in bridge work and bush work for some time. In conjunction with his brother and Mr. Larssen, he started sawmilling at Lake Brunner Siding in 1894. Mr. Nyberg is the local postmaster, and is married.

Mr. Anton Larssen , one of the partners in the Lake Brunner Sawmilling Company, was born in Norrland, Sweden, in the year 1869, and was brought up to farming on his father's farm. About 1890, Mr. Larssen came to New Zealand with Mr. E. Nyberg, with whom he worked for some time at bridge and bush work. In conjunction with the Messrs Nyberg he started sawmilling in 1894. Mr. Larssen has recently (1905) been on a trip to Sweden.

Poerua Settlement.

Poerua was thrown open as a settlement by the Government in the year 1896. It consists of an area of over 3000 acres of very fair bush and swamp land, and is in the Hohonu riding of the county of Grey, in the electorate of Grey, and in the provincial district of Westland. The railway station which serves the settlement is known as Roto Mana, and is situated on the Grey-Christchurch line; it is twenty-two miles from Otira, twenty from Stillwater, and twenty-nine from Greymouth. Good metalled roads have been made through the settlement, in which there is a creamery owned by the Fresh Food and Ice Company of Greymouth. Dairying and grazing are the chief industries in the district. The business of the post and telephone bureau is conducted by Mrs Woods near the railway station at Roto Mana, near which there is a flaxmill. There is a public school at Poerua, near the creamery, and services in connection with the Anglican Church are held once a month in the school house. Several small lakes add to the beauty and attractiveness of the district, and provide fishing and shooting for sportsmen. At the census of 1901 the population was returned as being thirty-four at Poerua, and nineteen at Poerua Lake.

Feary, Thomas, Farmer, Poerua Settlement. Mr. Feary owns 264 acres of good land, on which he has a comfortable page 590 homestead, with all necessary farm buildings. Dairying and grazing are carried on. Mr. Feary was born in Nelson in the year 1853, and is a son of one of the early settlers. He learned blacksmithing, but subsequently engaged in sawmilling. Mr. Feary owned and conducted two sawmills for sixteen years in the Oxford district in Canterbury; he was also sawmilling
Ring, photo. Mr. T. Feary.

Ring, photo. Mr. T. Feary.

for nine months in the North Island, and for some time owned two mills in the Arnold district on the West Coast. He then sold out his milling interests, and bought his present farm. Mr. Feary has been a member of various school committees. He is married and has four children. Mrs Feary is a granddaughter of the late Mr. George Holland who came to Nelson by the ship “Bolton” in 1842, and started (at Stoke) the first hop garden in Nelson.

Haste, James, Farmer, Mount Howe Farm, Poerua Settlement; Postal address Roto Mana. Mr. Haste was one of the original selectors in the Poerua Settlement when thrown open, and secured a good section near Mount Howe, from which his place derives its name. His farm consists of 226 acres of freehold land, and dairying and grazing are carried on. Mr. Haste was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, in the year 1853. He was educated at East Keswick College, and afterwards learned farming and malting. In 1880, Mr. Haste came to New Zealand, landed at the Bluff, and engaged for some years in farm work, contract ploughing and carting in Otago and Canterbury. He was afterwards engaged for some time in contract work, bridge building, etc., on the Midland railway. Mr. Haste was for some time a member of the local school committee. He is married, and has eight children.


Inchbonnie is a flag station not far from the railway bridge that crosses the Teremakau river at Jackson's, and serves the district of Inchbonnie. It is on the Greymouth-Christchurch line, stands at an elevation of 474 feet above sea level, and is thirty-six miles from Greymouth, twenty-seven from Stillwater, and fifteen from Otira. Inchbonnie is in the Hohonu riding of the county of Grey, in the electorate of Grey, and in the provincial district of Westland. There is a large amount of fine bush in the neighbourhood, as well as a fair quantity of flax. There is a sawmill near the railway station, and the flax cut in the district is conveyed to the mill at Roto Mana. Practically the whole of the agricultural land in the Inchbonnie district is included in the run of Mr. T. W. Bruce. The postal business of the district is conducted at the residence of Mr. W. Youngman. Good game and fish abound in the neighbourhood. Inchbonnie had a population of nineteen at the census taken in the year 1901.

Inchbonnie Station , the property of Mr. T. W. Bruce, is a fine freehold estate of 6000 acres, and adjoins the railway siding of Inchbonnie. It is situated on the Teremakau river, and Lakes Brunner and Poerua, and is traversed for four miles by the railway. There are about 1,200 acres of good agricultural country in a total area of 3,000 acres of open land; and 3,000 acres are covered with bush. The bush land contains timber of good quality, and two sawmills have been erected. Both sheep and cattle are depastured. Another run of 13,000 acres at the Otira, held by Mr. Bruce, is used as summer country. Excellent fishing and shooting are obtainable on Mr. Bruce's property.

Mr. Thomas Whillians Bruce . J.P., was born in the year 1832, at Jedburgh, Scotland, where he was educated and brought up as a farmer. In 1859, he came to New Zealand by the ship “Indiana,” and for about eight years managed the Motunau run in North Canterbury. He afterwards took over the Cora Lynn and Riversdale stations, which carried about 17,000 sheep. In 1893, Mr. Bruce disposed of these runs, and returned to Inchbonnie, which he had acquired in 1868. When at Cora Lynn he was for many years chairman of the Upper Waimakariri Road Board. During his term of office
Ring, photo, Mr. T. W. Bruce.

Ring, photo, Mr. T. W. Bruce.

a large bridge was constructed over the Upper Waimakariri, and another over the Poulter river. Mr. Bruce was appointed to the Commission of the Peace by the Stout-Vogel Government.