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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]

West Harbour

West Harbour.

West Harbour , so named from its situation on the western side of the Otago harbour, is bounded on the south by the city of Dunedin, on the west by the North-East Valley, on the north and north-west by the county of Waikouaiti, and on its eastern boundary by the waters of the Otago harbour. The district has a rugged surface, and but little level ground. A small proportion of the population is engaged in farming, but the district is noted chiefly as a popular residential borough for city business people, and all along the shore is flecked with pretty villages. Of these the chief is Ravensbourne, which is the seat of the Council Chambers, and is regarded as the chief town of the district. It is situated at the eastern end, stretches from the seashore far up the hillside, and possesses a large public school, several churches, a commodious railway station, a town hall, and several representative commercial establishments. Northward, the other townships are Rothesay, Burke's, St. Leonards, Sawyers' Bay and Roseneath, each with its railway station and group of pretty villas. The main interprovincial railway line runs along the foreshore, and the trains, passing to and fro, stop at frequent intervals in the district to pick up and let down passengers, luggage and mails; a good metalled road runs parallel to the railway line; and the harbour, itself always smooth, offers favourable means of communication with neighbouring districts and the city.

The Borough Of West Harbour is divided into four wards; namely Ravensbourne, Rothesay, St. Leonards and Sawyers' Bay. It has an area of 1670 acres, and a population of 1500. There are 640 rateable properties in the borough with 480 ratepayers, and the total annual value is £9,111 10s. The borough taxes consist of a general rate of 1s in the £ on the rateable value, and a special levy of an equal sum to provide interest on the borough loan, which is now (1904) £9450. West Harbour was proclaimed a borough on the 20th of October, 1877, and Mr. Thomas C. De Lacy, the earliest settler, was the first to occupy the mayoral chair. The office has since been filled, successively, by Messrs David Blackie, Norman Wood, John McNeil, David Young, William Hodgkins, William Barclay, Thomas Ross, A. W. Maurais, Charles Duke, D. H. Hastings, H. E. Moller, S. T. Bolton, and F. G. Cray, the present Mayor. The borough council at present (1904) consists of the Mayor, Mr. F. G. Cray, and Councillors John Winton, C. W. George and D. Larnach, representing Ravensbourne Ward; A. Duncan, W. T. Barker, and S. T. Bolton, Rothesay Ward; Martin Pryde and S. G. Smith, St. Leonards Ward; Alexander Jack, senior, and James Curle, Sawyers' Bay Ward. Mr. A. W. Maurais is Town Clerk.

Tomahawk Beach, near Dunedin. Guy, photo.

Tomahawk Beach, near Dunedin. Guy, photo.

His Worship The Mayor , Mr. Frederick George Cray, was elected Mayor of West Harbour in 1902 and re-elected in 1903 and 1904. He first became a member of the West Harbour Borough Council in 1896, and for eleven consecutive years represented the ratepayers of Ravensbourne Ward, retiring a year before his election to the mayoral page 421 chair. Mr. Cray was born at Ballarat. Victoria, in 1860, and is a son of Mr. William Edward Cray, one of the oldest post office officials in that town. He was educated at Mr. Lowther's school in Ballarat, and afterwards entered the employment of a wholesale firm in Melbourne. He rapidly rose to a high and responsible position, and in 1883 was sent to Fiji as financial agent for the firm. After successfully superintending his firm's interests in the islands for a year and a half, he was compelled, on account of his wife's health, to resign, and in December, 1884, he left Fiji with a number of letters of introduction to important commercial and banking firms in New Zealand. Soon after his arrival he accepted an appointment as accountant in the Victoria Fire and Marine Insurance Company, and a little later was promoted to the position of inspector for the colony. In 1890 he resigned and subsequently took up an appointment as accountant in the Dunedin office of the Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation of London, and in 1901 he assumed control for New Zealand. He is vice-president for the year 1904–5 of the Fire and Marine Underwriters' Association of Otago and Southland. During his long residence at West Harbour Mr. Cray has taken a keen interest in all mattera pertaining to the welfare of the borough. He was the originator of the Ravensbourne Gymnastic Club, of which he is president; and is now (1904) organising a similar institution for ladies. He is secretary of the Congregational Church at Ravenbourne, and conductor of the church choir, president of the West Harbour Brass Band, of the Swimming Club, and of the Cricket Club, vice-president of the Ravensbourne Boating Club, and vice-commodore of the Regatta Club. Mr. Cray represents Hawksbury, Port Chalmers and West Harbour on the Dunedin Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, and is secretary for the Otago district of the Congregational Union of New Zealand. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in January, 1904. Mr. Cray was married, in 1883, to Miss Agnes Stevenson, a sister of Mr. Stevenson of Messrs Stevenson and Cook, Port Chalmers, and has three sons and two daughters.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo Mr. F. G. Cray.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo
Mr. F. G. Cray.

Councillor John Winton has represented the ratepayers of Ravensbourne on the West Harbour Borough Council for five terms, his first election dating as far back as the early eighties. He was born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1840, and is a son of the late Mr. William Winton, one of the earliest farm hands in the West Taieri district. He came to Otago, with his parents, by the “Philip Laing” in 1848, and afterwards took up contract work in Southland. In 1857 he returned on foot to Dunedin, and for several years was engaged in cutting firewood in the West Harbour district. Mr. Winton subsequently spent nearly twenty years in the Government service, in the survey department, being engaged for the most part in field work in Otago and Canterbury. He traded for a few years between Port Chalmers and Dunedin, and next engaged in the fish curing business at Ravensbourne, and in July, 1898, abandoned this to establish a restaurant in the Octagon. Five years later Mr. Winton took over his present premises in Stuart Street, known as the Edinburgh Al Dining Rooms and Temperance Hotel. The building, which is of two stories, is situated opposite the Supreme Court and within a few yards of the tram line. It possesses about twenty-six rooms. The ground floor contains the kitchen, dining room, parlour, a private sitting room, and the proprietor's private living rooms; whilst the first floor possesses about eighteen bedrooms, and the bathroom, which has hot and cold water laid on. Under its present management this establishment has gained an excellent reputation, and is now well patronised. Mr. Winton is a member of the Ravensbourne Lodge of Druids, and is also connected with the Salvation Army in Dunedin. He was married, in 1861, to Miss Elizabeth Sim, a native of Scotland, who arrived in Otago, with her parents in 1858, and there is a surviving family of nine children. On the 30th of November, 1868, Mr. Winton acted a very meritorious part in connection with a boat accident near Black Jack's Point. While a party of six young men were proceeding to Portobello, their boat was overturned in a squall. Two were drowned, but the prompt and judicious action of Mt. Winton, in enlisting the services of some fishermen, ended in saving the other four, who, after being brought to land, were considerately tended at Mr. Winton's house, which was in the neighbourhood.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Councillor and Mrs J. Winton.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Councillor and Mrs J. Winton.

Councillor Christopher William George has been one of the representatives of Ravensbourne Ward on the West Harbour Borough Council, for about five years. He was born in Melbourne, in 1859, and is a son of Mr. E. C. George, who was well known for many years in the building trade in Dunedin. He came to Otago when three years old, was educated at the Middle District school, Dunedin; and was afterwards apprenticed as a carpenter and joiner under the firm of Messrs Guthrie and Larnach. Mr. George subsequently commenced business on his own account, but later on he entered the employment of Messrs Foster and George, a popular firm of builders and contractors, in which his eldest brother is a partner. Since 1896 Mr. George has been a member of the Ravensbourne public school committee.

Councillor David Larnach , J.P., one of the members for Ravensbourne Ward on the West Harbour Borough Council, was Town Clerk of the West Harbour Borough from 1888 to 1899. Mr. Larnach is one of the most active public men in Ravensbourne, and is a member of many local bodies. He is a nephew of the late Donald Larnach, banker, London, and cousin of the late Hon. W. J. M. Larnach, of The Camp, Peninsula, Otago, and is further referred to in the Social Section of this volume.

Councillor Alexander Duncan , who has represented Rothesay Ward on the West Harbour Borough Council for several years, is a carpenter by trade. He is a native of Scotland, and arrived in New Zealand in the early eighties.

Councillor William Thomas Barker , who represents Rothesay Ward on the West Harbour Borough Council, was born at Milton, in 1865, and trained to the bootmaking trade. He has been employed in the firm of Messrs Sargood, Son and Ewen for many years, and is president of the Dunedin Operative Bootmakers' Union.

Councillor Samuel Thomas Bolton , one of the members of the West Harbour Borough Council, was first elected to a seat on that body in 1880, and has since page 422 given seventeen years' service in the same capacity. In 1901—the year of the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to Dunedin—Mr. Bolton was Mayor of West Harbour, and carried out the duties of his office and the occasion with forethought and tact. Mr. Bolton was born at Uckfield, in the county of Sussex, England, in April, 1854, and was educated at his native place. He was apprenticed to the building trade, and in 1876 sailed in the ship “Orpheus” for Dunedin. For about two years he resided in the city, plying his trade as a builder, but in 1879 he went to live at Ravensbourne, where he gradually drifted into the business of house painting and decorating, and these two closely allied trades now receive his undivided attention. Mr. Bolton was a visitor to Australia during the time of the Melbourne Exhibition. He is a Freemason of many years' standing, is a Past Master of Lodge Maori, in Ravensbourne, and was formerly a member of Lodge Otago, 844, E.C. Mr. Bolton is married, and has two sons and three daughters.

Councillor S. T. Bolton.

Councillor S. T. Bolton.

Councillor Martin Pryde , one of the representatives of St. Leonards Ward on the West Harbour Borough Council, was born at Woodhaugh, near Dunedin, in May, 1868. His father, for many years a miller, commenced farming early in the seventies at Anderson's Bay, and there Mr. Pryde was educated. He worked on his father's farm until he was twenty-one, when he settled at Green Island. He was employed at the Milburn lime and cement works, at Walton Park, until 1892; was afterwards engaged for a time as a driver for Messrs Thompson and Bridger, of Dunedin; and later on leased property for dairying purposes in the Waitati district. In February, 1897, Mr. Pryde bought his present farm of forty-two acres at St. Leonards, and has since been engaged in the city milk supply trade. He is a member of the Dunedin and Suburban Dairymen's Association. Mr. Pryde is married, and has two sons and two daughters.

Councillor Spencer George Smith , who represents St. Leonards Ward on the West Harbour Borough Council, was born at Stratford-on-Avon, England, in 1849, and came to New Zealand in 1864. Mr. Smith has been engaged in a variety of occupations, and is at present (1904) an agent for the Government Life Insurance Department.

Councillor Alexander Jack , one of the representatives of Sawyers' Bay on the West Harbour Borough Council, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He was educated at the famous George Heriot Schools, in Edinburgh, and was afterwards apprenticed to the joinery trade. About 1874 he came to Dunedin, and for many years conducted business as a cabinetmaker at North East Valley; but in the early nineties he took up his present employment as a joiner in the Union Steam Ship Company's workshops at Port Chalmers. As a Freemason Mr. Jack is a member of Lodge St. John Kilwinning No. 602, Scottish Constitution. He was married, in 1870, to Miss Bain, an Orkney lady, and has a family of four sons and four daughters. Two of his sons hold responsible commercial positions, and one of his daughters has distinguished herself by carrying off a scholarship at the Otago Girls' High School.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Councillor A. Jack.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Councillor A. Jack.

Councillor James Curle , who has represented Sawyers' Bay on the West Harbour Borough Council for about two years is a son of the late Captain David, Curle, and was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He arrived in Otago as a child, and was educated at Port Chalmers, and has since devoted himself to farming. On the death of his parents, in 1899, Mr. Curle became sole owner of his present property at St. Leonards, and he took over a farm of 200 acres in Southland, formerly conducted by his only brother, who was accidentally killed while working on his property.

Mr. A. W. Maurais , who was appointed Town Clerk to the West Harbour Borough Council in May, 1899, has resided in the borough for over twenty years. For fourteen years he served the ratepayers as a councillor, and in 1893 he occupied the Mayoral chair. Mr. Maurais is also returning officer, and inspector under the Public Health Act for the West Harbour Borough. He is further referred to in the Ecclesiastical Section of this volume.

Mr. Hagbarth Ernest Moller , who was Mayor of West Harbour for the years 1899 and 1900, is one of the most energetic and popular men of that district. He became a member of the Borough Council in 1890, and retained his seat till his election as Mayor nine years later. Mr. Moller was born in Dunedin in 1870, and is the second son of the late Mr. Carl Moller, one of the earliest Danish arrivals in Otago, and founder of the firm of Messrs C. Moller and Sons, jewellery manufacturers, engravers and die-sinkers, of the Octagon. He was educated at Ravensbourne public school, and was afterwards apprenticed to Messrs Kemnitz and Nicholson engravers and die-sinkers, of Dunedin. He remained there for thirteen years, and then became a partner in the firm of Messrs C. Moller and Sons, adding the engraving and die-sinking branches to the business. In November, 1903, his eldest brother retired into private life, leaving him as senior partner
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Mr. H. E. Möller.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Mr. H. E. Möller.

page 423 in the firm. Mr. Moller was one of the founders of the Ravensbourne boating, football and swimming clubs, and of the annual regatta, and is still a member. He is also a life member of the Otago Yacht Club, and it member of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, of the Hand and Heart Lodge, in the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows. Mr. Moller was appointed a Justice of the Peace on his retirement from the mayoral chair in 1901. He was married in August, 1900, to Miss Elizabeth Godso, of Ravensbourne.

The Logan's Point Quarry , (James Palmer, proprietor), Logan's Point, West Harbour. This quarry is situated on the railway line near the southern boundary of the borough of West Harbour, and contains about twelve acres of hillside land, filled with first class blueslone. It was first opened, in the early seventies, by Mr. David Proudfoot, to provide ballast for the Dunedin-Port Chalmers railway line, then under construction, and, on the completion of that contract, was worked successively by several local contractors. In 1880 it was acquired by its present proprietor, and the work of excavating and crushing the metal has since been vigorously and systematically conducted. Large quantities of dynamite are used in blasting the rock, and 10,000 tons of metal are frequently dislodged at a time. Two large stonecrushers are kept continuously working at high pressure, and from these the metal, ready for use, falls into railway trucks, which are brought into position by means of a siding, constructed for the purpose. Twenty-two men are employed at the quarry, and the daily output is about 120 tons. The metal is conveyed by rail to all parts of the province, and large quantities have also been shipped to England and other parts of the world.

Mr. James Palmer , Proprietor of Logan's Point Quarry, was born in London in 1835, and was there educated and apprenticed to engineering. In 1853 he sailed for Victoria, Australia, and after practising his profession for a short time in Melbourne, went to try his fortune on the Ballarat goldfields. He remained there only a short time, and in 1835 sailed for New Zealand. Immediately on his arrival he opened up a large estate on the Ruatanwha Plains, in the North Island, and was for some years engaged in its management. Mr. Palmer then came to Dunedin, and after spending about twelve months on the Tuapeka diggings was appointed manager of the Otago Foundry, of which he subsequently became proprietor; and for several years he conducted the foundry and the quarry. In the early eighties, however, he disposed of the foundry, and has since devoted himself exclusively to the management of the quarry. For some time Mr. Palmer was a member of the West Harbour Borough Council and of the local school committee. He is married, and has a family of three sons and five daughters.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Mr. J. Palmer.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Mr. J. Palmer.