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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Te Arai Bridge

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Te Arai Bridge.

Te Arai Bridge is the name given to a pastoral district a few miles to the south of Gisborne and in the county of Cook. It has communication by coach twice a week with Gisborne.

The Te Arai Road Board was established about 1890. The district is bounded by the Patutahi road district, the Wairoa county, and the sea. The total ratable value is £273,349, and a subsidy of £180 a year is granted by the Council. No general rate is struck, but a special rate of 1/4d in the £ is levied to provide payments for a loan of £800. Members for 1900: Mr. C. J. Parker, chairman. Messrs C. White, T. Uren, J. Jex-Blake, and C. Lucas; with Mr. T. W. Bilham as secretary and treasurer.

Mr. John Alexander Lucas, who has been a Member of the Te Arai Road Board since 1889, was born at Onehunga, in 1857. He was educated in Auckland, and was brought up to business as a butcher. After being employed as such for eight years he settled in Gisborne in 1876, and continued to work at his trade for several years. In 1885 he went into business as a cordial manufacturer, and later on had about six years' experience as a hotelkeeper in connection with the Record Reign and Muriwai Hotels. Early in 1891 Mr. Lucas devoted his attention to the manufacture of cordials. He is Past Arch of the Turanganui Lodge of Druids, and is a member of the New Zealand Natives' Association. Mr. Lucas was married, in 1885, to a daughter of the late Mr. G. H. Evans, of Gisborne, and has two daughters and one son.

Browne, photo.Mr. J. A. Lucas.

Browne, photo.
Mr. J. A. Lucas.

Mr. Christopher John Parker, J.P., who has been a Member of the Te Arai Road Board since 1897, was born in Kerry, Ireland, in 1840. He came out to Victoria, in 1853, and four years later settled in New Zealand at Wanganui, where he was for many years engaged in farming. During his residence in that district Mr. Parker was for about eight years chairman of the Wanganui County Council. Having sold his interests at Wanganui, he settled in Poverty Bay in 1892. His property at Te Arai is known as “Emerald Hill,” and consists of 8500 acres. Mr. Parker served for nearly twenty years in connection with the rifle corps at Wanganui. He was married, in 1861, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Northover, of Wanganui, and has nine sons and six daughters.

Mr. Thomas William Bilham, Secretary and Treasurer of the Pututahi and Te Arai Road Boards, was born in Norfolk, England, in 1834. He came to Wellington by the ship “Leichardt,” and after four years in Hawke's Bay settled in Poverty Bay in 1871, when he took up twenty-five acres of land at Patutahi. He suffered severely in the disastrous flood of 1876, when he escaped in a whale boat, but lost all his sheep and stock.

The Te Arai Station. This choice and highly cultivated run is considered to be one of the best properties in the Poverty Bay district. Its area is 11,000 aeros, and the whole is ring fenced and sown in grass. Nearly 30,000 almost purebred Lincolns are grazing upon its pastures, besides 100 dairy cows, 500 head of cattle and 200 horses.

Mr. Charles Evans, Manager of the Te Arai Station, is an old English gentleman, and an enthusiastic lover of cricket and of athletics generally. He was born at Wolverhampton in 1830, and is the fifth son of Mr. Richard Evans, of Pondeford Hall. Mr. Evans was educated at Bridgenorth School, Shropshire, and was at first employed on his father's farm. During the year 1852, he left England for Australia, where he managed two station properties. On coming to New Zealand, in 1862, he went to the Wairarapa, in the Wellington district, to manage Mr. Meredith's run. In 1867 he arrived in Poverty Bay, and in conjunction with Mr. J. B. Poynter took up a run in the Ngakoro district, but they were compelled to abandon it in consequence of Te Kooti's raid upon the settlers. In 1876, Mr. Evans was appointed manager of the Te Arai property, which was then in a state of nature, but is now one of the best cultivated and most valuable sheep farms in the Poverty Bay District.