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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]



The Wanganui up-river tourist trip to Pipiriki, per new river steamboats, discloses leagues of winding waters bounded by the evergreen banks of a bewitching land—a nature's garden, sprinkled all around by bright patches of green and red, by grey lawns and grasses, trees and shrubs; hedges barbered by rare architectural gardeners; uniform plantations of stately poplars and gums, and irregular clumps of firs. Stately homes are seen peeping between the trees, and cosy cottages on the sunny, smiling lands of the plateaux. Then the scene changes as the little steamer clips round some water serpentine into a river reach, bounded by majestic rocks, and up through the rapids of the river. En route, Kennedy's riverside hotel, central feature of the miniature town on the left-hand bank of the Wanganui, and further up-stream, picturesque Kaiwhaike is passed. From this point upwards the river becomes very tortuous, through wildest and most beautiful country, till Pipiriki is reached. This settlement, which is full of interest to tourist or traveller, is fifty-nine miles north of Wanganui, in the County of Waitotara and in the Electorate of Patea. The local postal authorities receive and despatch mails every week during the winter, and in the summer season twice weekly. There is a considerable and growing tourist traffic to Pipiriki, whence the overland trip to Auckland via the volcanoes and the Hot Lake wonderland is accomplished. The upper reaches of the river beyond Pipiriki are being cleared so as to admit of their navigation by a steamer of light draught.

The Pipiriki Post-Office is situated at the store of Mr. G. Manson. The mails arrive by the river-steamers, and are distributed by the local postmaster.

Mr. George Manson, the Postmaster at Pipiriki, was born on the banks of the river at Ranana in 1868, and was educated in Wanganui. He was appointed postmaster at Pipiriki in 1889, and besides this he fills the offices of collector of census and agricultural statistics, and acts as returning officer for Native elections. As a jockey, when a lighter man, he had few equals, and many were the hurdle-races and steeplechases won by him in his younger days. He was also well known in athletic circles in Wanganui. Mr. Manson has a large tract of country over which to send his mails, and in winter the delivery of letters, etc., is no easy task, owing to the terrible state of the roads. He is married, and has two sons.

Hatrick, A. and Co. (Alex. Hatrick), General Merchants, Pipiriki. Head office, Taupo Quay, Wanganui. The premises at Pipiriki, although of a temporary nature, consist of three large buildings, the store being a one-story wooden building, having a floorage space of over 1700 square feet. Heavy stocks of groceries and general merchandise are kept. In the two large wool stores, large quantities of wool are stored in the season. Messrs. A. Hatrick and Co.'s well-known river-steamers—the “Wairere” and “Manuwai”—are regular traders during the summer season between Wanganui and Pipiriki. During the winter there is a weekly departure from each end. On Sundays and holidays the steamers make special excursion trips, and large numbers of Wanganui page 1459 residents, as well as visitors, avail themselves of the opportunity for an enjoyable outing. A new steamer is now on its way from England for the river trade above Pipiriki, which will have its headquarters at Pipiriki. Reference is made in the descriptive article on Wanganui to the enchanting scenery of this grand river, which is often called “the Rhine of New Zealand.”

Mr. William Mace Luxford, Manager at Pipiriki for Messrs. A. Hatrick and Co., is a son of Mr. W. N. Luxford, of Wellington, and has had considerable mercantile experience. Born in 1869 in the Empire City, he studied at Thorndon School. For a time at Waverley he was engaged in farming, and for five years at Greymouth he was employed by Messrs. S. Roulston and Co. In 1895 Mr. Luxford was appointed to the position he now holds. He has been prominent in football and cricket circles, and was for some time a member of the Wairoa Light Horse at Waverley. Mrs. Luxford is a daughter of Mr. John Ivo Gerse, of Wanganui.

Pipiriki Hotel (Arthur E. Huddle, proprietor), Pipiriki. Conducted by present proprietor since 1891.

Cowie, Henry Talbot, Farmer, “Huikunui,” Pipiriki. Of Mr. Cowie's estate of 1200 acres, situated fifty-six miles from Wanganui, about 900 are cleared; 1600 sheep, 140 head of cattle, and twenty horses, amongst them some good hacks, are supported on the property. A two-storied, seven-roomed house, with all necessary out-buildings, has been erected on the farm. Mr. Cowie was born in 1856 at Highgate, London, and was educated at Chomley College, Highgate, and the College, Torquay. After some experience with Messrs. Stewart and McDonald, of Glasgow, he came to New Zealand in 1880 by the ship “Bibbington,” landing at Wellington. Locating in Wanganui, he was employed by Messrs. Peel and Yates for twelve mouths, afterwards engaging in droving and cattle-dealing. Subequently he became manager of a station near Mt. Tongariro. He takes an interest in sporting and is a steward of the Karioi Racing Club. In 1891 Mr. Cowie was married to a daughter of Mr. C. W. Cowper, of Wanganui, and has a son and a daughter.