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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]



The Taranaki Agricultural Society (Metropolitan)) was established on the 24th of June, 1872. Officers for the year 1906: Messrs H. Brown (patron), N. King (president), H. J. H. Okey, W. Ambury, and H. King, (vice-presidents), Captain Young (honorary veterinary surgeon), and E. P. Webster (secretary). There is also a general committee of twenty-five members, who are annually elected in the month of January. The shows are held on the Taranaki Jockey Club racecourse, about the end of November or the beginning of December in each year. The racecourse is well laid out, and admirably adapted for the purpose. The total entries in the year 1904 numbered 670. The value of prize money paid over was about £300, and there was a total attendance of 4000 persons. In 1905, the society increased the time allotted to the show, to two days, and the prize money was also materially increased. Stock of all kinds are exhibited, including horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and dogs. The dairy produce department is a feature of the show, and the dairy cow competition is one of the most important in the colony. The cows are judged on the Canadian method. The animals are milked twice successively, and the amount of butter fat is accurately tested, so as to form an important factor in the judging.

Mr. Edward Percy Webster, Secretary of the Taranaki Agricultural Society, was born in the year 1874, in New Plymouth, where he was educated. He subsequently joined the staff of
Collis, photo.Mr. E. P. Webster.

Collis, photo.
Mr. E. P. Webster.

the National Bank of New Zealand in New Plymouth, and afterwards served as sub-accountant at the Christ-church branch of the bank. He served also at Wanganui and Stratford, but retired from the service to become a member of the firm of Bauchope and Webster.

The Taranaki Acclimatisation Society was founded in the year 1872. The district under its jurisdiction extends from Mokau in the north to the head waters of the Wanganui river in the east, and the Taungatara river in the south. Hawera and Stratford have similar societies. The Taranaki Society has eight rearing ponds in the New Plymouth Recreation Grounds. The fry are obtained from the hatcheries at Masterton and Hawera, and after being reared in the Recreation Grounds, the fish are liberated in the rivers. About 23,000 fish were handled in the season of 1905. Some years ago Taranaki was a great place for shooting, and there are still pheasants and quail available for sportsmen, though they are not so numerous as in former years. The revenue of the Society is derived from shooting and fishing licenses and subscriptions. Officers: Messrs W. L. Newman (president), J. Paul, G. Mannering, J. E. Wilson, J. Gibson, junior, H. Newland, and W. Bewley.

Mr. Duncan McAllum, Secretary and Treasurer of the Taranaki Acclimatisation Society, is referred to in another article as an insurance and general agent.

The New Plymouth Horticultural Society was established in the year 1884. Shows are held twice annually in the Drill Hall; the spring show in November, and the autumn show in March. There is a membership of 200. Officers for the year 1906: Mr. J. C. George (president), Mr. E. Gilmour (secretary and treasurer), and a committee of twenty. The spring show is a creditable exhibition, and is well supported by the general public, and nurserymen who reside long distances from New Plymouth also send exhibits.

Mr. Everard Gilmour, Secretary and Treasurer of the New Plymouth Horticultural Society, was born in the year 1878 at Raglan. He was educated at Waitara and New Plymouth, and served for twelve years as accountant in the office of Mr. Corkill, before entering business on his own account, as a member of the firm of Gilmour and Pattie, land and estate agents. Mr. Gilmour was a member of the Taranaki Rifles for five years, and is secretary of the Taranaki Trotting Club.

The Taranaki Scenery Preservation Society was established in 1891 to preserve native scenery, and places of historic interest. It has already been successful in promoting the preservation of large areas of historic and scenic land, and the sites of native pas and military redoubts immediately associated with the troubled page 77 times of the Maori war. The operations of the Society have helped also to bring about the setting up of a commission, which may end in the establishment of a Government Scenery Department. Grants of money have been made by the Government, and many private subscriptions have been given to the Society. Considerable sums of money have already been spent in fencing in beauty spots and famous Maori pas and old military redoubts. Officers of the Society: Messrs W. H. Skinner (president) G. W. Govett (vice-president), F. Simpson (Commissioner of Crown Lands), and a committee of seven, with Mr. W. A. Collis as secretary and treasurer.

Mr. William Henry Skinner, President of the Taranaki Scenery Preservation Society, is a civil servant, who has long been connected with the Lands Department. He joined the service in Taranaki in 1872.