The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
The Hastings Freezing Works are a branch of the well-known firm of Messrs Thomas Borthwick and Son, Limited, and are situated at Paki Paki, on the railway line, five miles south from Hastings, The works stand on a site of 300 acres, to which there are entrances from Maraekakaho road and the Havelock road. The buildings consist of freezing rooms and stores, slaughterhouses, cooling-rooms, fellmongery, tallow works, and a manure factory, all the floors of which are laid down in Neuchatel asphalt. A feature in the construction is that the buildings are designed so as to dispense, as far as possible, with handling, and, with this object in view, the slaughtering is done on the upper floor. The sheep are driven up an inclined plane from the yards to this chamber, which measures 115 feet by thirty-five feet, and has accommodation for twenty-eight butchers. The slaughtering capacity is 2,800 sheep per day. In this department carcases are hung on dressing rails, and, after remaining suspended for a time, are forwarded, still suspended from parallel rails, to a chilling room, fitted with refrigerating coils, from which the carcases are separated by a false roof, so designed as to prevent damage to the meat by moisture. There are three freezing chambers for mutton, each measuring 105 feet by twenty-one feet, and each capable of storing 2,000 carcases; and five beef rooms, each measuring thirty feet by sixteen feet, and having carrying capacity for thirty bullocks. From 1,200 to 1,500 feet of tubing are built along the ceilings of each freezing room, and the tubes are arranged in coils of seven, and distributed so as to maintain an even temperature. The cold store is situated on the ground floor, and is capable of stocking 40,000 carcases. The fellmongery is conveniently situated, and sufficiently large to deal with the whole of the skins in the works. Its plant is of a modern description, and includes six large “dollies,” a fleshing plant, and a hydro-extractor, driven by electricity. In the tallow department four digesters deal with the offal, and separate the refuse from the fat, which then passes into refiners, is manufactured into tallow, and casked for shipment. The cooling chamber is a large compartment on the second floor, ventilated on three sides by adjustable louvres, and is capable of accommodating 6,000 carcases. The clean, water overflow from the works is allowed to escape into the adjoining creek, but the washings of the premises are irrigated on about one hundred acres of pumice land, forming a portion of the property, with the object of fertilising the soil. The freezing system employed at the works is that of ammonia expanded direct into the tubes by means of a Frick and Company's Eclipse machine, driven by a 100 horse-power Corless engine, the first machine of its kind to be erected in the colony. The works are lit throughout with electric light, which is supplied by a generator, driven by a Bellis-Morcom engine, and the same generator supplies the current for driving the electric motors used in connection with the various departments. The boiler-house is fitted up with two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, each of 160 horsepower. The offices are conveniently arranged, and adjacent to the works are the chief engineer's residence and the workmen's cottages. Everything has been done to ensure the comfort of employees, including the erection of dining-rooms, and a reading-room.
Mr. Howard Cecil Dawson, Secretary of the Hastings Freezing Works, was born in the year 1878 in Christchurch, where he was educated, and afterwards entered the employ of the Christchurch Meat Company as a cadet. Later, he was appointed receiving and forwarding clerk at the Islington Works, and was then transferred to the sales department of the Christchurch office. Mr. Dawson subsequently became chief clerk of the Islington Works, and four years later was transferred to Timaru as chief clerk and assistant works manager. He returned to Islington, and in 1900 again went to Timaru. Returning in 1904, he took charge as chief clerk of the Islington office, and resigned that position in December, 1905, to take up his present duties. Mr. Dawson is married, and has two sons and one daughter.
Browa and Ross, photo.
Mr. H. C. Dawson.
North British and Hawke's Bay Freezing Company, Limited (Mr. W. Kinross White, general manager). Head Office, Glasgow, Scotland; London Office, 22 Basinghall Street; Colonial Office, Napier; Works, Western Spit, Hawke's Bay. The London managers are Messrs Brice, Junor, and White, and page 386 the Colonial Board, with head-quarters at Napier, consists of Messrs E. W. Knowles (chairman), Sydney. Johnston, II. H. Bridge, Arthur Harding, J. B. A'Deane, and T. H. Lowry. Mr. W. Kinross White is, ex officio, a member of the Colonial Board. The Home Board consists of Messrs John Galloway, chairman (director of Shaw, Savill and Albion Company); Edward Nelson (James Nelson and Sons), T. R. Johnston, and R. B. Bryce. This company was established in March, 1888, and succeeded so well that in three years it was found nesessary to extend the buildings and double the plant. The average output has increased from 500 to 1,200 sheep per day, and the works can also deal with fifty bullocks per day. The works include a boiling-down establishment, a cooperage, and a fellmongery, and in all five acres of ground are covered by the plant. The machinery includes a Hall's carbonic anhydride refrigerator, and a Haslam cold-air machine, with a capacity of 110,000 cubic feet. The company's capital is £80,000, and the plant and buildings have cost £68,000. Over one hundred persons are employed at the works, and the greatest care and ingenuity are called into requisition in every department. Twenty butchers can work at a time in the slaughter-house; electric light is installed at the works, which are kept clean and fresh throughout by means of excellent sanitary arrangements and efficient drainage. There are four freezing-rooms, with a capacity for 28,000 carcases, and two large rooms for the cold-air machines. Steam is supplied by two boilers, manufactured by W. Cable and Company, Wellington, and by an auxiliary small tubular boiler by Messrs Niven and Company, of Napier. The large boilers are of the Lancashire type, and are each of fifty horse-power. The company ships to London and other ports. In connection with the work of shipping carcases a contrivance known as a “revolving traveller” is used, and the company also has an insulated steam tender and refrigerator for use in transhipping from the works to outgoing steamers.
Mr. W. Kinross White, General Manager for the Company, has resided for many years in Hawke's Bay. In 1886 he was instrumental in forming the North British and New Zealand Investment Company, Limited, of which he has from the first been manager. In 1888 he formed the North British and Hawke's Bay Freezing Company, which he has managed since its establishment, and he occupies other important commercial positions. Mr. White is referred to elsewhere as a member of the Napier Harbour Board.
Mr. William Frederick Highley, Fellmonger-in-charge and wool expert of the North British and Hawke's Bay Freezing Company, Napier is the son of Mr. Henry Highley, a retired tanner and leather manufacturer, who was one of the earliest to introduce that industry into Hawke's Bay. He was born in the year 1856. at Halifax, Yorkshire, England, and was educated and brought up to the wool trade at Bradford. He had an early start in life in the factories, and rapidly advanced in his line, and when at the age of twenty was second buyer for a firm of merchants doing a large wool export trade. Mr. Highley came to New Zealand in 1876, in the ship “Waitara,” and settled in Napier. He entered into business with his father in the leather trade, but after a year or so took to his old line, classing some of the best clips of wool in Hawke's Bay, and also managing various fellmongeries from time to time, till he received his present appointment in 1896. Mr. Highley has taken an active part in social and local political affairs, and has held many useful positions. He was the donor of the site of the recently-opened public library and free reading-room at the Western Spit, and otherwise helped materially in the establishment of the institution.
Mr. William Nelson, General Manager for New Zealand of Nelson Brothers, Limited, was born in Warwick, England, in the year 1843, and is a son of the late Mr. George Nelson, formerly well known as the founder of the firm of Nelson, Dale, page 389 and Company, gelatine manufacturers. He was educated at Warwick College, and, at twenty years of age, came to New Zealand, and landed in Auckland in 1863, by the ship “Devonshire,” Mr. Nelson then joined the militia, but before the end of the year he began sheep-farming with his elder brother, Mr. Frederick Nelson, at Kereru. Later, the brothers took up a station at Waipukurau, and subsequently one on the Heretaunga Plains, which is still in full swing, and contributes, during the season, an average of 6,000 sheep to the Tomoana Freezing Works, which were started by Messrs Nelson Brothers privately, and afterwards sold to the Company. Mr. Nelson resides on the Tomoana estate, about half-a-mile from the works. He married a daughter of the late Mr. Henry Bicknell, of Bangor, North Wales, in the year 1865, and has five daughters and six sons.
Mr. Henry George Warren, the New Zealand Secretary of Messrs Nelson Brothers, Limited, was born at Hampstead. Middlesex, England, in the year 1862. He is a son of the late Mr. H. E. Warren, and was educated at the Palace School, Enfield, and at King's College. In 1879 he joined the staff of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and a year later came to New Zealand with Mr. Nelson, as a cadet for the New Zealand counting house, by the Orient liner “Sorata,” on her fateful voyage when she ran ashore near Adelaide, South Australia. Mr. Warren has seen the growth of the Tomoana Freezing Works from its embryo stage, and has been intimately connected with it ever since. He is interested in cricket and golf, and is the honorary secretary and treasurer of the Heretaunga Clay Pigeon Shooting Club. In 1887 Mr. Warren married a daughter of the late Mr. Leslie Thomson, of Canterbury. This lady died in 1892, leaving one daughter.
Mr. J. Higgins.