The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
McCullagh And Gower (John Gales McCullagh and Henry Gower), Drapers and Importers, Queen Street, Auckland. This business, which is one of the largest Auckland drapery establishments, was founded by Mr. Rattray. The firm's premises consist of a fine building in Queen Street; and are stocked with all the latest fabrics in ladies' wear, imported from the leading English and Continental markets. Goods of the newest and latest design are constantly forwarded by the firm's Home buyers, from the leading manufacturers.
Mr. John Gales Mccullagh, the Senior Partner, is a native of Leitrim, Ireland, and commenced commercial life at Sligo. In 1877 he came to Sydney by the steamer “Lusitania,” and arrived in Auckland shortly afterwards. Mr. McCullagh started with Mr. Rattray, the original owner of the present business, but shortly afterwards, on the retirement of that gentleman, Mr. McCullagh and his late partner, Mr. Wilson, acquired the business, and traded under the name of Wilson and McCullagh. On the dissolution of that partnership in 1900, Mr. McCullagh was joined by Mr. Gower.
Mr. Henry Gower was born in 1864 at Tunbridge, Kent, England. After a business experience at Tunbridge Wells and in London, he went to Eastbourne, where he remained three years under Mr. Sutton, buyer for Cook, Son and Co., one of the largest wholesale drapery firms in London. Mr. Gower obtained a very large experience in this establishment, and came to New Zealand in 1888. Shortly after his arrival in Auckland he entered the service of Messrs Smith and Caughey, with whom he remained twelve years, and then joined Mr McCullagh. Mr Gower, on the formation of the Auckland Rifles, received the appointment of lieutenant to that corps. He is a member of the Order of Foresters.
Mcmaster And Shalders (Thomas McMaster and Alfred Bertram Shalders), Drapers, 204 and 206 Queen Street, Auckland. Bankers, Bank of New South Wales. This is the oldest retail drapery business in Auckland, and was founded in 1851. The senior partner was for eighteen years, from 1868 to 1886, in business on his own account in Queen Street, and the present firm was established in 1886. The firm imports all kinds of drapery, and its premises are centrally situated and of considerable extent. It has a branch business at Whangarei.
Milne And Choyce (Mary Jane Milne and Henry Charles Choyce), Drapers and Milliners, Auckland House, Queen and Wellesley Streets, Auckland. Telephone, 412. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Miss Milne is a native of Ireland, and was brought up to the trade, and she arrived in New Zealand in 1863, by the ship “Queen of the Mersey,” from London. Mr. Choyce was born in England, and came to the colony by the “Mary Shepherd” in 1866. He was brought up to the wholesale drapery trade, and was for some years in the employment of Messrs A. Clark and Sons, whom he left to join Miss Milne in business. The firm was founded in 1874, and Miss Milne had been in business three years prior to that date. The business was established originally as a millinery and mantle trade, but in order to meet the demands of customers, it has been developed into a general drapery trade, with all classes of goods. The firm does a very large business in dresses, and has an extensive connection with the fashionable portion of the Auckland public. A large staff is employed in addition to heads of departments and counter attendants. In the dress-making, millinery, and mantle workrooms over 100 persons find regular employment, and the total number in the firm's employment is about 140. The splendid building occupied by the firm is built of stone and brick, and is four stories in height, including the basement, and there is a total floorage space of 14,400 feet available for business purposes. All classes of millinery, mantles, and general drapery are imported direct from the best markets of England and the Continent, and the firm can be depended upon to supply all the latest fashions each season. Its London buyer is Mr. Doust, of 103 Fore Street, E.C., and he has proved himself a capable representative. The goods of the firm are well known, and in demand from Hokianga to Westport.
Smith And Caughey (W. H. Smith and A. C. Caughey), Wholesale and Family Drapers, Queen and Elliot Streets, Auckland. The history of this firm is a record of what business aptitude will accomplish in the colonies. Within the compass of twenty years Messrs Smith and Caughey have built up a business which for magnitude and assured stability, has no rival in its particular line in the colony. In early life the principals of the firm were fellow-workers in the large drapery establishment of Messrs James Lindsay and Co., Be.fast, Ireland. Prior to meeting Mr. A. C. Caughey there, Mr W. H. Smith had gained valuable experience in Messrs A. T. Stewart and Co.'s establishment in New York. Mr. Caughey remained with Lindsay and Co. for about six years, and then left to accept the appointment of buyer for a large firm in the south of Ireland. Subsequently he gained a footing in business in London, and shortly afterwards was appointed page 350 junior superintendent of the Compton House, in Liverpool, which was then the largest drapery firm in the United Kingdom. Mr. Caughey came out to Auckland in 1879. Mr. W. H. Smith arrived a year later, and took a small shop in Upper Queen Street, where Mr. Caughey subsequently joined him, and thus was launched the firm, whose name has become a synonym for commercial solidity and sound progressiveness. The partners alternately visit England and the Continent of Europe, and they also employ in the Old Country permanent buyers, whom they keep in constant touch with the requirements of the colonial public. The firm has the amplest business premises the city of Auckland. Every branch is run strictly on the cash system, and the firm pays away in wages £12,000 per annum. So large is the staff that a volunteer corps, named the Anckland Rifles, has been formed by the employees, with Mr. A. C. Caughey as captain. The corps is referred to in the military section of this volume.