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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Meat Trade

Meat Trade.

Bracefield, George, Butcher, Church Street, Timaru. This business was established in 1887. The building in which is carried on stands on part of a freehold section of a quarter of an acre in extent, and comprises a large double-fronted shop with verandah, a small goods-house, and a residence below and above. Mr. Bracefield was born in 1857, in the Forest of Dean, England, and accompanied his parents to Lyttelton by the ship “Captain Cook,” in 1863. Having learned his trade in Christchurch, he found employment until starting business in Timaru. Mr. Bracefield is a member of Court Southern Cross of the Ancient Order of Foresters. He was married, in January, 1878, to a daughter of Mr. John Hunt, of Rewa, North Island, and has five sons and three daughters.

Christchurch Meat Company, Limited : Head Office, 161 Hereford street Christchurch; South Canterbury Branch, Stafford Street, Timaru. This company has been represented in South Canterbury since 1893, when it bought the freezing works at Smith field. The local manager's office in Stafford Street is connected by telephone with the works, which at first were capable of dealing with only 800 sheep per day; they were then enlarged, so that 1500 could be dealt with daily, and in 1898 their capacity rose to 4000. At that time the Hercules machinery was installed, and the freezing done by what is known as the pipe system. Two seasons after that a further addition was made to the works, and the whole of the old freezing building was built in, in brick, thereby much reducing the fire risk, and generally improving the works. The capacity was raised to a point that enabled 6000 sheep to be dealt with per day, with storage room for 100,000 carcases. And even this was not found too large. Frequently the storage room has been fully taxed, and the company realist that it was obliged to make still further additions to the slaughterhouse, fat house, and killing room. These additions have been fully required, as the killing reached over 6000 per day in the season of 1903. When the second addition to the refrigerating capacity was made the company installed what is known as the Haslam converted dry-air system. The advantage of this system is that it freezes and holds the sheep in store without forming any snow in the building. The Christchurch Meat Company, which owns the Smithfield works, was started in 1889 with a capital of £50,000, and it exported 180,069 carcases of mutton and lamb. In 1893 it was asked to take over and run the South Canterbury Freezing Works. The capital was then increased to £75,000. The first year it put through the Timaru works 84,000 carcases, and the amount was doubled the next year. In 1894 Islington's output was 326,176, Smithfield's page 1008 173,989; total, 500,165. In 1897 the capital of the company was increased £100,000, to provide for additions to Smithfield, and the output the following year was: Islington 508,228, Smithfield 335,484, total 843,712. In 1899 the capital was further increased to £150,000. Then the Marlborough farmers asked the company to take over and run their works. Freezing had been carried on there since 1885, but had made no advance. In the company's first year in Marlborough it could get only 25,000 sheep and lambs to freeze, but in 1901 the output of Marlborough, now called the Picton works, was 43,000, Smithfield 492,969, Islington 509,891; total 1,045,860. In 1902, the company's capital was further increased to £200,000; and the output of sheep and lambs was: Picton 69,951, Smithfield 582,432, Islington 640,707; total, 1,292,650. The buildings at Smithfield are chiefly of brick, roofed with iron, and very compact, and there are departments for slaughtering, freezing, wool-scouring, tallow-refining, pelt manufacturing coopering, meat preserving, and the manufacture of artificial manures. About 300 hands are employed during the busiest part of the year. The whole establishment is lighted by an electrical installation. There are extensive paddocks attached to the works, to provide for the accommodation of stock. The Christchurch Meat Company is further referred to at pages 79, 325, and 717 of this volume Mr. Thomas Guthrie Bowie is the manager for South Canterbury, Mr. F. Clark, chief engineer, Mr. W. J. Graham, works manager Mr. H. C. Dawson, chief clerk.

Mr. T. Guthrie Bowie, Manager in South Canterbury for the Christchurch Meat Company, Limited, joined the company's staff at its inception in 1889, at Christchurch, and has been in charge of the business in South Canterbury since 1899.

Mr. Francis Clark, Chief Engineer at the Smithfield Freezing Works, Timaru, was born at Staines, Surrey, England, in 1872. His technical education commenced in London, where he gained elementary and advanced certificates in the Science and Art Department in machine construction and drawing, applied mechanics and steam engine, mixed mathematics and practical plane and solid geometry. While studying he was apprenticed for two years to Messrs Appleby, Limited, East Greenwich, and completed his term of seven years with Messrs R. Moreland and Son, Limited, of London. He remained in the employment of the latter firm for two years after completing his term, and was engaged in the erection of several large plants in and around London. Mr. Clark was for two years draughtsman for Messrs Yates and Thom, engineers, of Blackburn, and afterwards for a like period Chief Engineer at Messrs Burroughs. Welcome and Co., of Dartford, Kent; and before coming to the colony, in 1901, he carried on business on his own account at Gravesend for two years. Mr. Clark entered the service of the Islington Freezing Works on the 17th of January, 1902, and was transferred to his present position at Smithfield in May of the same year, and introduced electric power at the Smithfield works. Mr. Clark was married in October, 1899, to a daughter of Mr. George Hawes, of Dartford, Kent, and has one son.

Mr. Kenneth Burns Bain, Buyer for the Timaru Freezing Works, was born in Edinburgh in 1846, and came to the Colony with his parents in 1849 by the ship “Mariner,” He received his primary education at Dunedin and Taieri, and was at Nelson College for three years. Mr. Bain was brought up to pastoral pursuits, and for some three years managed a property at Toko mairiro. He was afterwards in Southland and on several stations for the Assets Company. After the sale of the Arowhenua estate, his services were secured by the Christchurch Meat Company.

Mr. K. B. Bain.

Mr. K. B. Bain.

Clements, Guy, Smithfield Freezing Works, near Timaru. The subject of this notice was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1861, where he was educated, in early years followed farming pursuits. He came to Canterbury in 1878 in the ship “Waimate,” and settled in the Courtenay district for twelve years. For a number of years after the erection of the Islington freezing works he contracted for the handling of the meat, by which he gained a knowledge of the best breeds of sheep for export. He afterwards bought a farm of 300 acres at Annat, and produced lambs and mutton for export. His best results in lambs came from the Shropshire ram and crossbred ewes. Mr. Clements still owns his farm at Annat. He was married in 1888 to Miss Long, and has three daughters.

Mr. William Grundy Croll, formerly Chief Engineer, Timaru Freezing Works, was born at Geelong, Victoria, in 1859, and came to New Zealand with his parents when three years of age. He was educated in Christchurch, and served his time as an engineer with Messrs. Anderson and Sons. On completing his indentures, he went to Wellington, to Messrs Cable and Co.'s Lion Foundry. Joining the Union Steamship Company, Mr. Croll was engineer on some of their vessels for four years, when he started the freezing machinery for the Haslem Company. He removed to Timaru in 1885, and on completion of the refrigerating works there, was appointed engineer. After taking charge, Mr. Croll has had to plan out all the additions rendered necessary page 1009 by the expansion of the trade. In April, 1902, Mr. Croll left the Smithfield works, to take up the position of foreman at Luke's foundry in Wellington.

Geaney, Humphrey, Butcher, Zealandia Butchery, corner of Sophia and Church Streets, Timaru. Mr. Geaney was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1854, and accompanied his father to Victoria when nine years of age. He served his time to his present trade in the sister Colony, remaining there for about ten years. He came to New Zealand in 1875, and two years afterwards went into partnership with Mr. T. Peacock, and established the present business, carrying on an extensive family and shipping trade, and, probably, the most considerable of its kind in South Canterbury. They conducted it until 1895, when Mr. Geaney bought out his partner's interest. He employs ten hands and keeps five carts and seven horses in constant work. The slaughter-yards, which are at Washdyke,
Interior View of Messrs Geaney & Co.'s Retail Shop.

Interior View of Messrs Geaney & Co.'s Retail Shop.

Exterior View of Messrs Geaney & Co.'s Premises.

Exterior View of Messrs Geaney & Co.'s Premises.

Ferrier, photo.Mr. H. Geaney.

Ferrier, photo.
Mr. H. Geaney.

page 1010 are well constructed in every respect, with ample water supply, and the shop in town is well arranged. There is a small-goods house below the shop, with a sausage-machine and other plant driven by water-power. Mr. Geaney is a member of the Hibernian Society, St. Patrick's Sports As sociation, and the South Canterbury Jockey Club.

Gilchrist, Walter, Butcher, corner of Stafford and Woollcombe Streets, Timaru. This business was bought in 1882 from Mr. Wedrell by Messrs Gilchrist and Tomlinson. Mr. Gilchrist took it over on his own account on the 1st of January, 1891. The premises consist of a two-storey stone building, comprising a shop, office and residence, and a large cellar on the basement. The slaughter-house is at Washdyke, and has twenty-two acres of freehold land attached to it. Mr Gilchrist was born in November, 1851, in Fifeshire, Scotland, and was educated in his native land. He came to Port Chalmers in the ship “Prospector,” and settled in South Canterbury. As a lad he was employed for six years by Mr. J. King, at Otipua station, where he gained his first experience as a butcher. Subsequently he was employed by Messrs Loddar and Green, and by Mr. E. Acton, of Timaru, who was one of the earliest to open a butchery in the borough. Mr. Gilchrist was married, in 1873, to a daughter of the late Mr. Samuel Briggs, and has five daughters and three sons.

Scarf And Cookson, Butchers, Stafford Street, Timaru. This business was established in 1895 by Mr. Scarf, son of Mr. W. Scarf, who had the first butcher's shop in Timaru. The slaughter-house is situated at Saltwater Creek. Mr. Cookson has been a resident of Timaru for close on nineteen years, and Mr. Scarf has followed the occupation of butcher for about the same period. Both partners are members of the Oddfellows lodge. Mr. Cookson attends chiefly to the buying of cattle, etc., and his partner superintends the shop and town trade.