The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Commercial, Industrial And Trade Societies
Commercial, Industrial And Trade Societies
In Christchurch there are numerous associations, trade societies, and bodies which have been established for the purpose of furthering the interests of particular trades and professions. Hence this section, which is specially interesting in view of the growth of ideas in respect to the relations between the workers and their employers.
Commercial And Industrial.
The Canterbury Chamber Of Commerce was instituted in 1859 and incorporated in 1882, Committee for 1901–2; Mr. William Wood, president; Mr. F. Waymouth, vice-president; and Messrs G. T. Booth, E. C. Brown, E. C. Ashby, W. Ballantyne, J. A. Frostick, I. Gibbs, R. E. McDougall, A. L. Parsons, H. Wood, A. Kaye, W. Lambie, W. D. Meares, H. Quane, W. Reece and H. G. Simms. Mr. H. Antill Adley is secretary. The Chamber is domiciled on the ground floor of the Australian Mutual Provident Society's Buildings in Cathedral Square. It has a large and convenient room well supplied with papers and periodicals, and a small committee-room is attached. The meeting-room is let for evening meetings, and is occupied, toy the Chess and Savage Clubs. The Chamber's annual report embodies a large amount of interesting information; and the issue of August, 1901, contains twenty-six pages of valuable commercial statistics, and the president's address which deals exhaustively with important mercantile matters. The secretary is to be found at the office of the Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company on the same floor.
Mr. Harry Antill Adley, Secretary of the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce, is referred to in connection with the Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company.
The Industrial Corporation Of New Zealand. Officers for 1902: Messrs W. Minson, president; Thomas Garrard, honorary secretary and treasurer. This corporation, which has its office in the Canterbury Hall, Manchester Street, was formed to aid, foster, and encourage the industries and productions of the colony, the Industrial Associations of Welington and Canterbury being affiliated with it. It gives consideration to questions of importance relating to the manufacturers and productions of the colony, and seeks to arouse a spirit of patriotism among the people, so that colonial manufactures may be sought after in preference to goods of foreign make.
The Industrial Association Of Canterbury. Officers for 1902: Messrs W. Minson, president; J. C. Wilkin and W. Sey, vice-presidents; W. W. Charters, honorary treasurer; and Thomas Garrard, secretary. The association was established in 1879, its first title being the Association for the Fostering and Encouragement of Native Industries, which was altered in 1883, when it was incorporated under the Industrial. Societies' Act of that year. The association has been a most successful one, several exhibitions having been promoted and successfully carried through under its management. The first exhibition, which was held in 1880, was attended by 24,000 persons, and realised a handsome profit of over £400. A Royal Commission was appointed by the Government to visit the exhibition and report, and the result was highly favourable to the promoters of the association and to the manner in which the exhibition had been conducted. The last exhibition was held in November, December, and January, 1900 and 1901, and a subsidy of £1000 was granted by Government. The financial result was highly satisfactory, a sum of £3000 being netted. The whole ground under cover within the exhibition amounted to 74,000 square feet, and the space was occupied by 300 exhibitors, exclusive of about 2000 exhibits in the Home Industries and Working Exhibits sections.
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Mr. A. G. Howland.
The Canterbury Employers' Association was established in 1890, but it remained practically inactive for a few years. In 1899, however, it was reorganised, and has since proved a most progressive and beneficial combination. Its membership represents all phases of the commercial and industrial life of the province. The objects of the Association are: (1) To encourage unanimrty of opinion and action amongst employers, and to endeavour to improve the relations between employers and employees; (2) to educate public opinion as to the effect of labour legislation on the industries and trade of the colony, and to make representation in proper quarters, with a view to amending present and influencing future legislation, and to take such other action as may be necessary to conserve the legitimate interests of employers; (3) to give advice concerning cases before the Conciliation Board and Arbitration Court; and (4) to encourage the formation of similar associations. The association's office is in Dearsley's Buildings in Cashel Street. The present officers are: George T. Booth, president; R. M. Macdonald and J. A. Frostick, vice-presidents; Alex. Lowry, honorary treasurer; and Henry Broadhead, secretary. There is also an executive committee consisting of about thirty members.
Mr. Henry Broadhead, Secretary of the Canterbury Employers' Association, was appointed to the position in May, 1900, and has already won the entire confidence of the members by the conscientious manner in which he conducts the business of the association. [gap — reason: illegible] literary knowledge and familiarity with shorthand have been of great assistance to him in connection with his duties. He is a native of Scotland, and was trained as a clerk in Glasgow, but afterwards became a newspaper reporter. He arrived in New Zealand in 1896.
The Christchurch Liberty League is composed of men and women who are prepared to use every constitutional means to uphold and protect the liberty of the subject, and to support every reform, having for its object the extension of personal liberty. It is claimed to be entirely free from political party bias, and will not give its support to any parliamentary candidate who is an extremist upon any subject prejudicial to the individual rights of the people. The league considers that, if carried, prohibition would prove a serious menace to personal liberty, and for that reason it systematically endeavours to retard the progress of the movement. The Christchurch Liberty League is the premier association of its kind in the colony. It was established in 1896, and at present (January, 1902) it has a membership of 7000. Meetings are held—when considered desirable—in the secretary's office, at 186, Gloucester Street. The league is managed by a council consisting of about thirty members. This council elects a chairman and a secretary. The present chairman is Mr. J. M. Thompson, and Mr. F. N. Meadows is the present secretary.
Mr. F. Notley Meadows has held the appointment of Secretary of the Christchurch Liberty League since 1899. He is also Secretary of the Canterbury Kennel Club the Te Waiata, a musical club, and of the operatic section of the Christchurch Natives' Association. Mr. Meadows was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1859. He is a son of Mr. J. O. Meadows, an English barrister, and was educated at Lancing College, Sussex, and afterwards trained for the law. Ill-health, however, overtook him, and in 1879 he abandoned the hope of entering the legal profession and sailed for New Zealand. He entered commercial life, and, in 1886, floated the well-known Central Dairy Company, of which he was secretary for some years. Mr. Meadows was subsequently engaged to manage the Wellington, Auckland, and Dunedin Exhibitions respectively, and afterwards to represent the New Zealand Government at the Launceston, Hobart, and Brisbane Exhibitions. He also took a prominent part in the Joubert and Twopeny exhibition of 1881.
He was the Secretary of the Christchurch Operatic Society during its most progressive years. During his term of office the society produced the “Mikado,” “Iolanthe, and other popular operas, Mr. Meadows is the Christchurch Agent for Mr. J. P. McEvan, and Mr. J. L. Stevens, of Melbourne, and also for Mr. W. W. Crawford, of Sydney.
The Builders' And Contractors' Association Of Canterbury ranks amongst the strongest and most influential of New Zealand trade societies. It was established in 1890, but remained inactive till 1895, when it was reorganised in accordance with the requirements of the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act passed in 1894. The object of the association is to protect the interests of builders and contractors, and to support and promote the best interests of the trades. Since its resuscitation in 1895, the association has been extremely popular with tradesmen, and has promoted a stronger feeling of friendly cooperation amongst them. Its membership now numbers about 150. The association occupies a large furnished room at 141 Hereford Street, where numerous trade journals and other suitable publications are kept for the use of members. Meetings for business purposes are held at this office monthly. The officers of the association are elected at a special meeting, held annually in the month of April, Officers for the year 1901–2: H. Pearce, president; J. Harrison and W. H. Bowen, vice-presidents; James Greig, secretary; and R. L. Scott, treasurer.
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Mr. J. Greig.
The Amalgamated Society Of Engineers, Christchurch Branch, Inglis Buildings, corner of Cashel and High Streets, Christchurch. The first office of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers was established in Manchester, England, in 1851, by prominent engineers of that time, amongst them being Messrs William Allan and William Newton. The object of the promoters was to organise a society which should be representative of the various iron trades, act as a general governing body, provide weekly benefits for members unable to obtain employment or out of work through sickness, also compensation for accidents and the creation page 273 of a superannuation fund. One of its other objects was the improvement of the conditions of labour. Probably no organised body of tradesmen has developed so rapidly as the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, which is now represented in almost every centre of population throughout the world, and has 91,000 members. The Christchurch branch was founded early in 1874, the late Mr. Moses Scott being among its first promoters. It now has upwards of eighty members. Meetings for business purposes are held fortnightly and quarterly for the election of officers. The present officers are: G. H. Watson, president; N. Orton, secretary; D. A. Moore, treasurer.
The Canterbury Grocers' Assistants' Industrial Union Of Workers was established in 1898, with Mr. James Gresham as its first president. In December. 1899, it was found, by a decision given by Judge Martin, that the Union, as constituted, did not come under the meaning of the Act and so was devoid of legal standing. It was accordingly reorganised in November, 1900, and since that date has done good work in the interests of the trade. The objects of the union are to counteract influences working against the interests of its members, to sweep away abuses, initiate reforms, and generally to guard and further the best interests of the trade, and also to create and maintain a more friendly feeling among the employees. It has already aided in reducing the hours of labour, and is labouring for the introduction of further improvements, now under discussion. Meetings are held for business purposes monthly, at the Trade Hall, Inglis' Buildings, Cashel Street. The officers of the Union for the year ending in September, 1902, were: Mr. E. H. Wood, president; Messrs Allan, Wilson, and Isaac Thomson, vice-presidents; Mr J. M. Bunt, secretary; Mr. George Gilkes, treasurer. There is also a committee of seven members.
Mr. John Martin Bunt, Secretary of the Canterbury Grocers' Assistants' Industrial Union of Workers, was elected to that position in May, 1901, and re-elected in September of the same year. Mr. Bunt has been a member of the Union since its inception, and a great deal of its success is due to his untiring energy and able management. He has been chosen to represent the Union in cases in dispute and also at various conferences. Mr. Bunt was born in Christchurch, in 1880, educated at the Normal School, and at the age of fourteen entered the Workingmen's Co-operative stores as office boy in the grocery department. By hard work and perseverance he gradually gained promotion, and now (1902) he occupies the post of first counter hand in the same department. Mr. Bunt is at present secretary of the Primitive Methodist Literary and Debating Society; he is a member of the Christchurch Prohibition League, and was for eighteen months a private in the Christchurch City Rifles. He is also one of the representatives of his Union on the Canterbury Trades and Labour Council.
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Mr. J. M. Bunt.
The Master Painters' Industrial Union Of Employers, Christchurch, was founded in the interests of master painters, and is now (1902) one of the most active and influential trade unions in Christchurch. He objects are to protect the interests of master painters, and to work for the betterment of general trade conditions, Up to the year 1894, however, it experienced various ups and downs of fortune; it had enjoyed several prosperous years, but its career could not be called a successful one. However, towards the end of 1894, it was entirely reorganised, and since then it has done valuable work for the trade. The Union has helped to found a class, held three nights a week, for the instruction of young painters. This class does invaluable service by raising the intelligence of workmen and improving the quality of their work. Amongst other improvements initiated by the Union, the retail price list, which it drew up some years ago, has proved of great usefulness as a guide for members. Meetings of the members take place quarterly at Otley's Hall, Gloucester Street. Business matters, affecting the trade, are discussed, and articles, from various trade journals, are read with a view to keeping the members abreast of the times. The annual meeting for the election of officers is held in the month of July. The present officers are: C. Duggan, president; W. Sey and J. A. Paton, vice-presidents; W. H. Macdougall, secretary and treasurer.
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Mr. W. H. MacDougall.
The Plasterers' Union, Christchurch, was established in 1897 for the purpose of preserving and, where possible, advancing the best interests of tradesmen. The union's objects are to counteract influences working against the interests of its members, to sweep away abuses, and initiate reforms calculated to raise the standard of the trade. Since its establishment the union has been the means of raising wages from six to eleven page 274 shillings a day, without the assistance of the Arbitration Court or Conciliation Board, or prejudice to the relations between workmen and employers. The membership of the union now numbers forty-five. Meetings are held fortnightly at Otley's Hall, Gloucester Street, and the officers are elected at a special meeting held half-yearly in the months of January and June. The present officers are: E. Brocker, president; J. Thomas, vice-president; R. J. Trivett, secretary; and William George, treasurer.
The Christchurch Tailoring Trades Industrial Union Of Workers is one of the most prosperous and, in point of membership, one of the largest industrial unions in New Zealand, It was established in 1897 with about fifty members, but now (1902) with 309 members, its list includes the names of over seventy-five per cent, of the total number of tradesmen in the province. The Union's object is the proper regulation of the tailoring business with a view to advancing the social condition of its members, the management of trade disputes, and the general protection of the best interests of employees. Its influence extends over only the ordered tailoring section of the trade. Monthly meetings are held for business purposes at No. 22, Inglis' Buildings, High Street. Officers for 1902: Mr C. G. Whiteman, president; Mr. J. N. Tucker, vice-president; Mr. Gohns, secretary; and Mr. William Godfrey, treasurer. There is also a managing committee of eight members.
Mr. Ernest William Frederick Gohns was appointed Secretary of the Christchurch Tailoring Trades Industrial Union of Workers in 1897, at the time of its inception. He has always taken a deep interest in the Union, and has done much to advance it to its present state of efficiency. As its delegate to the Trades Council, of the executive of which he is a member, he has taken a prominent part in the settlement of disputes. Mr Gohns was born in England in 1868, and is a son of Mr. Frederick Gohns, compositor. He arrived in New Zealand in 1876, was educated at the Sydenham Public School, and afterwards apprenticed to the tailoring trade. In 1893 he was appointed foreman in the workroom of the firm of Messrs F. Hobbs and Co., and held the position till March, 1902, when he resigned to accept a better appointment. Mr. Gohns is a musician of note and plays several instruments. He was married, in 1889, to Miss R. Whitford, of Christchurch, and has three daughters and two sons.