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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]



South Canterbury Caledonian Society, Timaru. President, Mr. J. Lillico; referee, Mr. W. Gunn; treasurer, Captain J. L. Gillies; secretary, Mr. C. S. Fraser. This is one of the most popular institutions in the district. Meetings are held on the 1st and 2nd of January in each year. Usually about 6000 persons attend the sports, and sometimes £250 is given away in prizes. The Society was established in 1875, and it has spent about £1,500 in improving its grounds, on a domain reserve at the south end of Timaru. The improvements include stand and booths, and one of the best bicycle tracks in New Zealand.

Mr. William Gunn, Referee of the South Canterbury Caledonian Society, is a well-known chemist and dental surgeon. He is a native of Sutherlandshire, Scotland, and received his education there. He learnt his business as a chemist in the north of Scotland and in Edinburgh. Coming to Timaru in 1875, Mr. Gunn commenced business on his own account. In 1890 he went to America and studied dentistry, getting his diploma as Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Pennsylvania. He gives his chief attention to his profession as a dentist, a qualified assistant being in charge of his chemist's business. Mr. Gunn has always taken a keen interest in sport, having been identified with the Caledonian Society almost since its inception, and was president for several years from 1896. He is also honorary treasurer of the South Canterbury Jockey Club.

South Canterbury Jockey Club. Race meetings are held on the Club's course at Washdyke, four miles from Timaru, twice a year—in April and September. The members number 200, besides twenty life-members. The race-course is a Government Reserve of 197 acres, vested in trustees for the benefit of the club, and has special railway communication on to the ground. Officers for 1902: President, Mr. E. R. Guinness; vice-president, Mr. J. Mundell; stewards, Messrs W. A. Aldred, N. K. Cox, H. Geaney, W. Gunn, W. Harper, W. Lawson, W. S. Lindsay, H. Lowry, D. Mahoney, J. C. Park, R. S. Reid, A. Scott, J. Smith, T. Teschemaker, and C. E. Thomas. The honorary offices are: Mr. C. N. Orbell, judge; Mr. W. Gunn, treasurer; Mr. W. S. Lindsay, timekeeper; Dr. Reid, surgeon; and Mr. C. A. Jefferson, clerk of the course. Mr. G. P. Wood is secretary; Mr. J. B. Rutland, clerk of the scales; Mr. J. E. Henry, handicapper; Mr. W. Brinkman, handicapper for the trots, and Mr. C. O'Connor, starter.

Agricultural And Pastoral Association, Timaru. Patrons—Messrs R. H. Rhodes, A. E. G. Rhodes, and G. H. Rhodes. President, Mr. W. Hay; Honorary Treasurer, Mr. W. Priest; Secretary, Mr. G. P. Wood: 1902. Until 1897 this popular association held its annual meetings at the show grounds at the northern end of the town. Owing, however, to increased demand for space it was decided to purchase twenty-one acres at Waimaitaiti, where the present show grounds were erected and made ready for the show in October, 1897. The position is very advantageous, having railway communication direct to the grounds. This change proved to be highly beneficial, the attendance and entries in that year being a record in the history of the association. The number of annual members is 200. All the buildings on the show grounds have been constructed on the most modern plans. The success of the association is in no small measure due to the energy of the secretary, Mr. Gordon P. Wood, who devotes much of his time to its interests.

Mr. Gordon Parker Wood, Secretary of the Timaru Agricultural and Pastoral Association, was born in Suffolk, England, in 1859, and came with his parents to Lyttelton by the ship “Lancashire Witch” in July, page 988 1867. He was educated in Timaru, and served three years with Messrs. Russell, Ritchie and Co. (now the National Mortgage and Agency Company), and after five years with the Bank of New Zealand, he accepted a position under the overseer of stock at the Long Beach estate. Subsequently, he joined Messrs. Gracie, Maclean and Co., auctioneers, of Timaru, as accountant and cashier, holding that position till 1892, when the firm was dissolved. He then commenced business for himself as general commission agent and district agent for the Massey-Harris firm, and for the Phœnix Assurance Company. He has held the office of secretary to the Pastoral Association since 1893, and since 1890 has been secretary to the South Canterbury Jockey Club; is a member of the St. John's Lodge of Freemasons, E.C., a fair chess player, captain of the Timaru Chess Club, and as a well-known cricketer was captain of the second eleven of the Timaru Cricket Club for three seasons. Mr. Wood was at one time an enthusiast at hunting, and has won many trophies and prizes between the flags with his favourite hunter “Juggler.” He was married in 1887, and has two children.

Mr. G. P. Wood.

Mr. G. P. Wood.