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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]



Mr. Wiliam Vickerstaff, ex-Councillor of the borough of Carterton, was born in Staffordshire, England, in 1825. He was educated in that county, and on the 29th of November, 1856, left Liverpool for New Zealand in the ship “Ann Wilson,” arriving in Wellington exactly four months later. Two days after arrival he started to work getting out foundations for the Parliament Buildings, for the late Mr. C. R. Carter, the contractor. After working a short time he decided to go up the Wairarapa, and arrived in Greytown on the 18th of April, 1857. Mr. Vickerstaff belonged to the first gang which was engaged in making roads through Greytown, Carterton and Masterton, and worked for some time on the old Black bridge, again under Mr. C. R. Carter. He then took up some land in Carterton, on which he now resides. Having made a competence, he has retired from active life. Mr. Vickerstaff was a member of the first town board formed in Carterton, and was instrumental in the establishment of a local board, of which he was a member for over fifteen years. He was also instrumental in securing the reserve on which the present library stands. When the borough was formed, Mr. Vickerstaff was elected a member of the Council, and occupied a seat till 1893, when he retired in consequence of increasing hardness of hearing. He still takes an interest in the welfare of the borough. Mr. Wiliam Vickerstaff Mr. Vickerstaff was one of the first members of the volunteers, and continued a member until the disbandment of the corps. He was an active member of St. Mark's Church, being on the vestry for several years, and was instrumental in planting and laying out the grounds and erecting fences. He was also on the local school committee for several years, and did good service in getting the school enlarged and a teacher's residence erected.

Mr. Edward Eagle, a member of the Carterton Council in 1890, was born in London in 1840, and came to Wellington in 1857, by the ship “Gleaner,” with his parents. He is the third son of the late Mr. Robert Eagle, who had ten children when he landed, of whom nine are still living. His mother, in her eighty-fifth year at the time of writing, still enjoys good health. After staying in the Empire City for some time, Mr. Eagle went to sea for five years and afterwards returned to Wellington. In 1870 he started farming, and in the following year became a sawmiller in partnership with Mr. William Booth, trading as William Booth and Co. In 1887, after a very prosperous career, he retired from the business and settled in Carterton in a very pleasant villa, known as “Whitefield House.” In 1895 Mr. Eagle took a trip to the Old Country, and made a tour of England, Ireland and Scotland. The subject of this notice is married, and has five children, who are all married.

Mr. Edward Louth Wakelin, who was a Councillor of the Borough of Carterton, was born in Lincolnshire in 1832, and came to New Zealand in 1857, per ship “Southern Cross.” He was for some time engaged in the bakery business in Wellington, and went up the Wairarapa, starting in Carterton in 1858. His flourmill was established in 1869, Mr. Wakelin having been the second to start flour-milling in the Wairarapa. He also carried on sawmilling for some fifteen years. He has recently had page 906 his mill fitted up with the latest roller milling machinery. The bakery business is presently conducted by his third son, and Mr. Wakelin spends his time in supervising the working of the mill. Mr. Wakelin was a member of the Borough Council for two terms. He belongs to the local Lodge of Freemasons, and in military matters served seven years in the volunteers during his early days in the district. He is married, and has eight children.

The Wairarapa South County Council has control over the South Wairarapa County, which is bounded on the east and south by the sea, on the west by the Hutt and Horowhenua Counties, and on the north by the North Wairarapa County. The area of the Connty is 1281 square miles, the rateable property, £1,723,793; the total property, including unoccupied Crown and native lands, £1,826,818. The total receipts for the year 1894–5 were £1932 1s. 10d., and the total expenditure £1934 15s. 8d. For the same year the assets were £297 0s. 4d., and the liabilities £5840 8s. 6d. The population according to the census of 1896, exclusive of boroughs, was 5409. The members of the Council for 1896 are: Messrs. H. R. Bunny (chairman), W. C. Buchanan, M.H.R., H. Braithwaite, William Booth, Coleman Phillips, A. Matthews, W. Cundy, John Martin, Chas. Edgar, and H. H. Wolters (secretary). The Council meets on the second Saturday in each month in the Carterton Council Chambers.

Mr. Henry Robert Bunny, Chairman of the Wairarapa South County Council, and also of the Taratahi-Carterton Road Board, was born in Berkshire, England, in 1845, and came to New Zealand with his parents by the ship “Duke of Portland,” landing at Wellington in 1853. He received his early education in Wellington, and in 1860 came to the Wairarapa, where his father, who was a lawyer, practised his profession. The subject of this notice is married to Miss Vennell, of the Wairarapa, and has five children. He engages in sheep and cattle farming at his farm—2000 acres in extent—at Ahia Ruhi, near Gladstone, where he also has a cheese and dairy factory. The average number of milkers daily is 140.

Councillor Coleman Phillips, of the Wairarapa South County Council, is the third son of Mr. Mark Phillips, Preston Road, Brighton, England, and was born in 1846, at Weymouth, Dorsetshire. Educated at Bristol, he landed in 1864 in Auckland, where he joined the Second Waikato Regiment, gaining the Queen's medal for active service in the Maori war. He settled on his military land grant, but subsequently entered the service of the company (afterwards the Waikato Steam Navigation Company), rising from the position of purser to that of certificated master in charge of the fleet. In 1868 he removed to Onehunga, and two years later to the Thames. In 1872, after a trip to Fiji, he arranged a loan of £40,000 from the merchants of Auckland to King Thakambau, to enable the king to consolidate his power over the group, and hand over the islands to the British Crown. In 1874 Mr. Phillips passed his examinations as a barrister of the Supreme Court. The following year he proposed the establishment of the Auckland and Fiji Banking Company, and secured the establishment of a steam service with Fiji, and took to the Islands the first steamer, the “Star of the South.” While on a visit to England in 1875, Mr. Phillips was asked to accept the British Consulate at Samoa, but declined the position. A paper by Mr. Phillips, on the “Civilisation of the Pacific,” will be found in “The Transactions of the Royal Colonial Institute” for that year Having retired from practice, he bought a share in the Dry River page 907 Estate in 1877, and commenced to establish small farmers on land in which he was interested at Matarawa, Kaitara, Dalefield, and Kaiwaiwai. In 1894, owing to troubles with the Department of Lands, Mr. Phillips resigned his run, reserving only his residence at “The Knoll,” and resumed the practice of his profession. In 1879 Mr. Phillips proposed the abolition of the toll gates; and in 1881 the establishment at Greytown of what is said to have been the first co-operative dairy factory in the Australasian colonies. He has been prominent in relation to the annihilation of the rabbit pest. As an importer, he landed Ayrshire and Dutch Frisian cattle in the Wairarapa. With Sir James Hector, Mr. Phillips claims to have proposed the establishment of the Wellington Agricultural Show, and the publication of the New Zealand Flock Book. Fruit evaporators, swing churns, drainage ploughs, and other useful appliances have been introduced by Mr. Phillips. The first lot of sheep frozen, and sent by the “Lady Jocelyn” from Wellington to England, in 1883, were from the Dry River Estate. Not only has he been prominently identified with numerous public bodies, but he has been conspicuous in the literary world. An amended prayer book for the use of schools, published in 1886, and many articles in the “Transactions of the New Zealand Institute” and colonial journals are from Mr. Phillipps's pen.

The Taratahi-Carterton Road Board meets on the first Saturday in each month in the Carterton Council Chambers. The members of the Board for 1896 are: Messrs. H. R. Bunny (chairman), F. Moore, John Rayner, E. W. Dorset, G. W. Deller, H. Braithwaite, James Stevens. George Stevens, Alfred Daysh, and H. H. Wolters (secretary). The revenue for year 1894–5 was about £3400. The assets amounted to about £80, and the liabilities, including loans, to about £12,000.

Mr. Alfred Daysh, a member of the Taratahi-Carterton Road Board, is the second youngest son of Mr. John Daysh, who came to the Colony in the early forties, and at the time of writing is still hale and hearty, though ninety-three years of age. Mr. Daysh was born at the Taita in 1854, and was brought up to farming pursuits on his father's farm. He came to the Wairarapa when about sixteen years of age, and was engaged in farm work for some six years. In 1872 he took up about 130 acres of land at Taratahi West, and has been very successful in the working of the property, which is now a dairy farm. He is, in addition, a breeder of cattle. Mr. Daysh is chairman of directors of the Taratahi Dairy Company (Limited), having been a director for the last eight years. He is also a member of the Taratahi Racing Club. Mr. Daysh is married, and has six children.

The Carterton Rifle Club was formed in 1894, and meetings are held during the summer from September to April at the Club's range, which is situated in Belvedere Road, about twenty minutes drive from the town. Mr. Joseph Oates, the captain of the Club, is one of the best shots in the district, having won the Wairarapa Rifle Association's cup and medal for the highest aggregate score in the district for 1895–6. There are at present about forty members on the roll.