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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]


Petone Borough. Prior to the 28th of August, 1888, Petone was for several years governed by a town board, but on the date named the first meeting to inaugurate the reign of the Municipal Corporation was held. The borough, which has already taken its position as the leading manufacturing town in close contiguity with the Capital City of the Colony, contains 952 acres of land. There is a drainage scheme now being carried out involving the outlay of £10,000, which has been raised by advances under the Loans to Local Bodies Act. The total number of dwellings in the borough is 523, the population being estimated at 2686, and the number of ratepayers owning rateable properties numbering 777. The annual value of the borough as made up to the 31st of March, 1896, is £17,800. A general rate of one shilling in the £ has been levied since the incorporation of the Borough. Mr. R. C. Kirk occupies the mayoral chair for the fourth consecutive year, and Messrs. H. Damant, E. C. Corner, W. H. Ballinger, K. D. Webb, J. Austin, H. Findlay, R. Mothes, J. G. A. Castle, and C. Lusty form the Council, Mr. William Hester being the town clerk.

Mr. William Hester, Town Clerk of the Borough of Petone, is a man who has had many years' experience as the chief officer of municipal corporations. He was born in 1831 in Oxford, England, and was educated at Portsmouth. After a short residence in America, Mr. Hester went to South Africa, where he remained about seven years, becoming assistant town clerk of D'Urban. Returning to England for a time, he embarked on board the “Electra” for Wellington, where he arrived in October, 1870. Mr. Hester was town clerk of Wellington City for six years, and received his present appointment in October, 1889. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having been initiated in South Africa under the English Constitution, but is presently unattached. Before he left England, when twenty-one years of age, Mr. Hester became a member of the Druids' Order.

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Petone Naval Artillery Volunteers. Officers (1896): Lieutenant-Commanding, R. C. Kirk and Lieut. H. M. Field. This corps has a strength of about seventy men. It was originally part of the Wellington troop, but separated some years ago. The company has been fortunate in securing a good drill shed, which stands on a site that was presented to the Petone Navals, the building having been erected by means of funds supplied partly by the Government and partly by the corps. The Petone Naval Artillery Volunteers and the Wellington Naval Artillery Volunteers have recently been formed into a Brigade, the former being distinguished as the B Company and the latter as the A Company. The staff officers of the Brigade are Captain-Commandant John Duncan and Commander Edwin Davy.

Constable Michael Cox, the Officer-in-charge of the Petone district, is a native of County Clare, Ireland, where he was born in 1856. Constable Cox is the son of a farmer, and until leaving for New Zealand in 1878 was engaged in agricultural pursuits. After two years on a station in Canterbury, the subject of this notice joined the police force. He was present at the capture of Te Whiti at Parihaka, and served at Roterua, at Ohinemutu, in Taranaki, in the Waikato and in Wellington. Constable Cox was appointed to Petone in 1896.

Petone Post-office and Telegraph Bureau, which is located in Jackson Street, has been established in the township for about four years. Prior to that time it was under the charge of the stationmaster. The business at the office is increasing so rapidly that it is anticipated that the Government will shortly erect more suitable premises, and place a permanent officer of the department in charge. Daily mails are received and despatched morning and afternoon to Wellington and Wairarapa and intermediate stations, letters being delivered twice a day by letter carriers. Mrs. Janet Fraser, the postmistress, is assisted by Miss Jean Fraser her daughter.

Petone Railway Station is prettily situated midst weeping willow and other trees, the entrance drive from the Hutt Road having a choice plantation of sycamore trees on each side. For several months in the year these are covered with rich blossoms, which in turn become graceful clusters of berries. The station buildings, which are of wood and iron, contain a ladies' waiting-room and the usual office for the use of the stationmaster and his assistants, passengers alighting on a smooth concrete platform. The traffic has increased so much of late that additional sidings have become necessary, and for the purpose of obtaining the needful space several of the willows have been cut down. This temporarily detracts from the picturesque appearance of one side of the station, but it will not be long before the willows reassert themselves.

Mr. Charles J. Cowan, Stationmaster at Petone Railway Station, was born in 1863 at Lyttelton, where he received his education. At the age of fourteen he entered the Railway Department as a cadet in his native town, and after serving five years was promoted to the status of clerk. Shortly afterwards Mr. Cowan was transferred to Timaru, where he remained for six years. In 1887 he became stationmaster at Waitaki, and two years later was appointed to St. Andrews, continuing till his transfer to the Petone station in 1895. Mr. Cowan was married in 1887 to the eldest daughter of the late Mr. Francis Shove, of Greenwich, England, and has a son and a daughter.

Petone Railway Workshops, which are a hive of industry, stand on a section of land some ten or fifteen acres in extent lying between the line and the Hutt Road, and adjoining the passenger station. They consist of a large number of corrugated iron buildings, which have been put up from time to time for the purposes of the department. The main building, which occupies a central position, contains the erecting, boiler, fitting and turning, carriage and waggon, and carpenters' shops. There are in addition the tarpaulin and paint shops, and the brass foundry, which are separate erections. In the erecting shop, which has three pits—extending the whole length of the building—there were five locomotives in course of repair at the time of the writer's visit, and six boilers in the boiler shop. A Fell engine, which is one of six used on the Rimutaka Incline, and is said to have cost £4500, was among the locomotives. The fitting and turning shop includes planing milling, shaping, oil-testing, drilling, iron circular saw, screw cutting and slotting, tire-drilling, and screwing appliances. Besides many other machines, there are a steam hammer, a spring furnace, a large puncing and shearing machine, and a fan driven by double belts to create the draught for the eight smith's forges. All these machines are driven by a pair of horizontal engines of twenty-horse-power, the steam being generated by a locomotive boiler, and the power being conveyed by a long line of shafting extending through the length of the shop. Outside there is a powerful hydraulic press for putting wheels on axles, and many other purposes, and a portable hydraulic erankpin jack. The carriage and waggon shop is a large building in which thirty waggons and six carriages can be constructed at one time, and about 100 waggons and six carriages can be turned out annually. Opening out of this shop is the sawmill, where there are planing, boring, morticing, tenaning, and panel-planing machines, circular and band saws, and turning lathes. A large staff of experienced mechanics, numbering 112, find regular employment at the Petone Railway workshops, and most of the heavy work required on the Napier-Taranaki and Wellington-Eketahuna sections is manufactured at this establishment. When this line of railway is connected with Napier, it will doubtless be necessary to enlarge these workshops, and there will be a still greater necessity for enlargement should the Government at an early date take over the Wellington and Manawatu Railway, which is more than likely.

Mr. Charles William Haines, the officer-n-charge of the Petone Railway Workshops, was born in 1842 in Droitwich, Worcestershire, England, where he was educated at private schools. Mr. Haines was a premium apprentice to Mr. Thomas Edwards, engineer, of Birmingham, and completed his term with the Great Western Railway Company at Worcester. He remained fifteen years in the employ of this large Company, three years as apprentice and twelve years as journeyman. In 1878 Mr. Haines came to New Zealand per ship “Gainsborough,” landing in Wellington. He at once joined the railway service at Pipitea, when Mr. Stone was manager. Promoted to the position of foreman fitter on the 17th of October, 1881, he continued to perform the duties of this office till his transference to Hillside workshops on the 28th of May, 1888. Mr. Haines acted as foreman at these great works till the 15th of December, 1895, when he was promoted to the position of workshops foreman at Petone workshops. Mr. Haines married the youngest daughter of Mr. William Jones, surveyor, of Cradley, Herefordshire, England, and has two sons and one daughter. The elder son is employed as a car-builder in Hillside carriage and waggon shops.

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Mr. Frederick James Dawes, Railway Storekeeper at Petone, has been an officer of the department for eighteen years. Mr. Dawes was born in St. John's Wood, London, on the 14th of September, 1848. Educated in the world's metropolis and at Epsom College, he went to sea in a vessel of Captain Harrison's—the ship “Devonport”—trading to the East Indies, and after three years joined Messrs. Anderson and Anderson's ship “Darra,” trading between London and Adelaide. Subsequently Mr. Dawes was promoted to second officer, which position he held for two years. He was afterwards in a London mercantile office, but resigned his position to come to New Zealand, arriving in Wellington Mr. Frederick James Dawes per ship “Hannibal” in 1875. After three-and-a-half years of general country experience in the Wellington Province, he joined the Railway Stores Department as a clerk in 1878, and after serving six years was promoted to the office of railway storekeeper. Two years later Mr. Dawes was married to the eldest daughter of the late Mr. F. J. Drake, of Hobart, and has one son. Mr. Dawes is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having been initiated in 1881 in the Wellington Lodge, E.C. In 1887 he was one of the founders of the Ulster Lodge, Petone, I.C., and took a prominent part in obtaining a Masonic Hall for the district. A Past Master of the order, he has held office under the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ireland, and as a member of the board of general purposes of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. On the formation of the New Zealand Railway Officers' Institute, he was elected treasurer.

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Mr. Fred. Jackson Parson, Chief Clerk in the Locomotive Engineer's Office at the Railway workshops, Petone entered the Railway Department as a cadet in the South Island Superintendent's office at Addington in 1881. Five years later he was transferred to Hillside, Dun edin, from whence he was soon re-transferred to Addington. When the Superintendent's office was removed to Wellington, Mr. Parson, who had succeeded to a clerkship, was one of the first to be removed, accompanying the chief clerk of the locomotive department. He was appointed clerk in the office at Petone in 1891, and remained till 1894, when he was transferred to Wanganui, being promoted in January, 1895, to the position he now holds. Mr. Parson has been prominent in social matters during his residence in Petone, as secretary of the Petone Lawn Tennis Club, and conductor of the Petone Orchestral Society. He possesses a good tenor voice, and is ever ready to use his talents for any deserving object. He was instrumental in starting the Petone Railway workshops' library, which has been a great success, and has been recognized by the General Manager. Mr. Parson was married in 1891 to Miss Cecilia Harris, of Sydney, and has one daughter.

Mr. Robert Gibson, Foreman Carpenter of the Petone Railway Workshops, has for twenty-two years been in the employ of the department. Born 1848 in London, he was apprenticed through the Barbers Company as a carpenter, and completed his term at twenty-one, after serving seven years. Three years before coming of age, Mr. Gibson was married to the third daughter of Mr. Helwood, of the City of London. For four years before coming to New Zealand in 1873, he worked at general carpentering and carriage work in his native city. Arriving in Lyttelton per ship “Hereford,” the subject of this notice at once found employment at Rakaia, and afterwards assisted the late Mr. D. Rees in the building of the Normal School, Christchurch, and the district school at Rangiora. In 1874 he entered the public service in the railway workshops, Christchurch, as a carpenter, and was soon promoted to the position of a carriage hand. He was transferred in 1882 to Napier, in charge of the carpenters' shop, and remained for five years and nine months. Mr. Gibson was then appointed to a similar position in Newmarket Workshops, Auckland, from which he was transferred to his present position in 1894. Mr. Gibson's family consists of one son.

The Wellington Railway Stores at Petone were established about the year 1876. There are four large two-story iron buildings, in which an immense stock of general stores is kept. The stores were originally situated at Pipitea, Wellington, where there are two wooden buildings still used, but these proved much too small for the requirements of the service. From these stores the Wellington-Eketahuma and Napier-Taranaki sections of Government Railways in the North Island are supplied, and in the South Island Picton, Nelson, and Greymouth.

Mr. Frederick James Dawes, Railway Storekeeper at Petone, has been an officer of the Department for nearly twenty years. Mr. Dawes was born in London on the 14th of September, 1848, Educated in the world's Metropolis, and at Epsom College, he went to sea in a vessel of Messrs. Anderson and Anderson's trading between London and Adelaide, and after serving three years he became third officer. Subsequently Mr. Dawes was promoted to the position of second officer, which position he held for two years. He was afterwards in a London mercantile office, but resigned his position to come to New Zealand, arriving in Wellington per ship “Hannibal” in 1875. He had a general country experience in the Wairarapa for three-and-a-half years. Mr. Dawes joined the Railway Stores Department in 1878 as a clerk, and after serving six years was promoted to the office of railway storekeeper in 1884. Two years later Mr. Dawes was married to the eldest daughter of the late Mr. W. Drake, of Hobart, and has one son. Mr. Dawes is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having been initiated in 1882 in the Wellington Lodge, E.C. In 1888 he was one of the founders of Lodge Ulster, I.C., Petone, in which he is a Past Master, and has held office as steward and treasurer. Mr. Dawes is a member of the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand.

Petone Public School, which was established in 1882, affords conclusive evidence in its history of the rapid growth and development of the leading manufacturing suburban borough of the Empire City. Dealing with the past nine years only, during which the present headmaster—Mr. James Horne—has been in charge, the number of scholars attending has increased from 276 in 1887 to 636 in 1896. The buildings, which are of wood and iron, afford the usual accommodation, a separate school being set apart for the infants. Mr. Horne is assisted by two male and three female certificated teachers, and half a dozen pupil and ex-pupil teachers. Petone School has been very successful in gaining scholarships since the advent of the present headmaster. No less than fourteen have been secured in the last nine years, these being the only ones that have been obtained by pupils of this successful institution.

Mr. James Horne, the Headmaster of the Petone Public School, is a gentleman of wide experience. Born in Stirlingshire, Scotland, in 1844, and educated at the Glasgow High School, he first chose a mercantile life and was for some two years in a counting house. In 1862 Mr. Horne came to Australia on a visit to some distant relatives—large runholders—with whom he remained for three years. He then crossed the Tasman Sea and page 822 landed in New Zealand, following a station life and attaining the position of manager. In 1873 Mr. Horne became first assistant at Mr. Holmes' well-known school, Te Aro, Wellington. He was appointed headmaster of Tawa Flat School in the following year, and retained that position till he was transferred to Petone in 1887. Mr. Horne was married in Nelson in 1872 to the eldest daughter of Mr. J. P. Horne, formerly a member of the Nelson Provincial Council, and has two sons and a daughter. As a member of the masonic fraternity, Mr. Horne claims Lodge Waterloo as his mater lodge, but is presently attached to Lodge Ulster, Petone.

Koro Koro Public School, which has been established many years, is presided over by Miss Jessie M. Nairn, and in 1896 contained twenty children.

St. Augustine's Churchroom, Petone, is attached to the Lower Hutt Parish. The building accommodates two hundred persons, regular services being held by the Vicar, Rev. J. Jones, and his assistant. A Sunday School, held under the auspices of the Church, has a roll of 170 scholars.

Mr. Peter Thomas Fortune, Assistant to the Vicar, resides in Petone. Mr. Fortune was born in Auckland in 1867, and was educated at common schools. After studying at St. John's College, he went to China in 1889 and was employed by the Church Missionary Society at Hankao in the province of Hupeh, and at Hang Chow in the province of Chekiang. Returning in 1893, Mr. Fortune again entered St. John's College, taking up his duties at St. Augustine parochial district early in 1896.

St. David's Presbyterian Church, Britannia Street, Petone, a wooden building of modern design accommodating 200, was built in 1889. A large vestry capable of seating eighty persons has since been erected behind the church. The site, which is half an acre in extent, stands above flood level, and is one of the best in the place. The authorities report eighty communicants, and one hundred and thirty children attending the Sunday school. Services are held by the minister morning and evening each Sabbath, and at Ngahauranga in the afternoon. There is a good ten-roomed manse on the property.

Rev. Alexander Thomson, the Minister in charge of St. David's Church, was born in Glasgow in 1857, and was educated at the Free Church Preparatory School and at Glasgow University Mr. Thomson came to Auckland, per ship “Ashmore,” in 1883, and resided at Patea and Martinborough prior to 1889. In this year he was ordained and subsequently inducted to the charge of Petone as the first ordained minister. Mr. Thomson was married in 1885 to the second daughter of Mr. North, of Patea, and has two daughters and a son.

The Wesleyan Church is situated in Nelson Street, the section of land on which the building stands having been presented by the late Mr. Edwin Jackson. The church, a wooden tee-shaped structure that will seat 250, was built in 1884. The first portion was erected by voluntary labour, the building having been since enlarged to twice the original dimensions. The average congregation is about one hundred. The Sunday school numbers 150 scholars and twelve teachers. An effort has been made to secure the services of a minister who shall reside in Petone, which, however, forms a portion of the Lower Hutt circuit.

Rev. William Kirk, who is a supernumerary Wesleyan minister residing at Petone, was born at Ferry-on-Trent. near Gainsborough, in 1825. Educated at private schools, he became a local preacher at nineteen years of age, and was ordained two years later in London. Mr. Kirk came to New Zealand in 1846 by the “John Wesley” on her first voyage, as one of eight missionaries, he being the only one for this Colony. After a few months spent in Auckland, he was appointed to Newark Station at Hokianga, where he subsequently married the eldest daughter of the late Rev. John Hobbs. His next station was at Ohinemutu, on the Wanganui River, on the way to which the little vessel in which Mr. Kirk and party were voyaging was wrecked on the sandy beach near the mouth of the river. After four years' experience, during which the mission home consisted of a rough shanty, part of the time with an earthern floor, and no chimney, the rev. gentleman was appointed to Canterbury. This was in 1853, Mr. Kirk being the first Wesleyan minister located on the Canterbury Plains. He was successful in his pioneer work, and saw the first church erected in High Street, Christchurch, and made preparations for the Lyttelton building, which was erected soon after. During his residence in Canterbury in those early days, Mr. Kirk had to travel—chiefly on foot—to minister to the settlers and natives at Rapaki, Kaiapoi, and the bays on the Akaroa Peninsula. Removing to Watkouaiti, he promoted the erection of the first church in Port Chalmers. Mr. Kirk was next appointed to the mission station of Kai Iwi, near Wanganui, where he had charge of a large Maori industrial school, afterwards broken up by the war of 1860. During his three years' residence here, Mr. Kirk superintended the erection of the first wooden Wesleyan Church in Wanganui. Subsequently Mr. Kirk was located at Mangonui (Bay of Islands), Nelson, Wellington, New Plymouth, Auckland, Wellington (a second time), and Richmond, remain ng the full term of three years at each place, with an additional year at Nelson. He had to do with the building of the Manners Street Wesleyan Church, which was burnt down during his second term of office, and Mr. Kirk then had to superintend the building arrangements of the new property in Taranaki Street. His failing health necessitated retirement from active work in 1889, and after residing for over seven years at the Lower Hutt, Mr. Kirk removed to Petone in 1892. The rev. gentleman, who is respected and beloved in all parts of the Colony, was president of the fifth (New Zealand) Conference, and has acted as chairman of Auckland, Wellington, and Wanganui districts from time to time. His family consists of three sons—Messrs. J. H. Kirk, wool merchant, Invercargill, R. C. Kirk, solicitor (now mayor of Petone), Wellington, and L. Kirk, farmer, of Otaki,—and three daughters, the eldest being married to the Rev. S. J. Garlick, the second to Mr. Overton, of Leeston, while the youngest is unmarried.

Petone Working Men's Club and Literary Institute. Officers 1865 :—Messrs. W. H. Bennett (president), J. Edmonds (vice-president), J. Donovan, K. D. Webb, R. Moore, F. Steinmuller, H. Arnold, M. Denby, and J. Pettit (committee), J. Gaynor, A. Bailey, R. Johnston (trustees), A. Marsden (treasurer), J. Webley (secretary), and G. Borrows (steward and manager). This successful club was founded in 1886, but the first three years of its history resulted in loss of cash and compromise with creditors. Since the appointment of the present popular manager in 1889, the establishment has been progressive, the socials inaugurated having resulted in considerable addition to the membership—which now numbers two hundred—and the growth of funds. The two-story wooden building occupied, which was built specially for the Club, contains seven rooms, including manager's page 823 residence. The large billiard-room on the ground floor contains a table by Allcock, of London, and above this are situated the library and reading-rooms. There are also two card-rooms as well as a bar.

Petone Tennis Club, Dr. A. K. Newman, M.H.R. (president), Messrs. J. McGowan and R. Mothes (vice-presidents), F. Wilkinson, G. Beale, A. Burns, and C. Trevethick (committee), F. J. Parson (secretary). This Club, which was established in 1893, has a membership of about fifty. A good section has been leased, and four fine courts have been laid off and brought into good order.

The Hutt and Petone Chronicle (Mr. A. Burns, proprietor), Jackson Street, Petone. This journal was founded in 1886. It is a double news sheet, published weekly, and circulates principally in the boroughs of Petone and Lower Hutt, and at Johnsonville, Karori, Upper Hutt, Wainui-o-mata, and adjacent districts. In politics the Chronicle opposes the Seddon Government. Its columns contain a large amount of local and general information.

Hislop, Walter, B.A., M.B., Ch.B., Physician and Surgeon, Nelson Street, Petone. Telephone 885. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Dr. Hislop, who is the youngest surviving son of Mr. James Hislop, of Taieri, Otago, farmer, was born in Scotland, and accompanied his father to the Colony at an early age. Dr. Hislop studied for his profession at the New Zealand University, gaining his B.A. degree in 1883, and his me lical diplomas five years later. He practised his profession for about six years in Palmerston South, and early in 1895 purchased the late Dr. Whitehead's practice in Petone.

Scanlon., C. E. Foncart, M.B., Ch.B., Physician and Surgeon, Hutt Road, Petone. Telephone 943. Dr. Scanlon hails from Glasgow. He was educated at Stoneyhurst College, and at London University, where he gained his degrees in 1886, and became surgeon at the Gordon Hospital, Vauxhall Road, London. After making some voyages to India, China, and Ja an, he came out to Sydney, and entered St. Vincent Hospital as resident physician, afterwards practising at Port Macquarrie. Coming to New Zealand in 1893, he settled in the Petone District.

Inglis, William, Chemist, Druggist and Dentist, Jackson Street, Petone. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. This business was established in 1886, and has been conducted by the present proprietor since early in 1894. The trade is principally local, but extends also to the surrounding districts and occasionally to Wellington. Mr. Inglis had large experience in the business in Dunedin, Wanganui and elsewhere before starting in Petone as above.

The Amalgamated Society of Engineers (Wellington Branch No. 477), Headquarters, Royal Hotel, Wellington. Registered under the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, 1894. Officers (1896): Messrs. W. H. Shardlow (president), C. W. Johnston (referee), T. Spidy (Treasurer), F. Godfrey (secretary), and E. Turner (money steward). This Society is world-wide in its operations, an Australasian council regulating its affairs in the Colony. The membership of the local branch, whose officers are all employed in Petone, is about twenty. Out-of-work and funeral benefits are granted by the Society, the funds of the parent body being a guarantee for faithful performance of obligations.

Mr. William Henry Shardlow, President of the Wellington branch, hails from Saltley, near Birmingham, where he was born in 1862. Arriving in Auckland when very young, he was apprenticed to Messrs. Fraser and Tinne, and entered the public service in Napier workshops in 1885. Mr. Shardlow was transferred to Petone seven years later. He has been a member of the Engineers' Society for twelve years, and has been president since 1894.