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



That the people of Taranaki are very musical is shown, not only by the earnestness and vigour of organists and choirmasters, and the excellent singing of many of the choirs, but also by the numerous bands, and the number of teachers of music in the various settlements. New Plymouth has two well equipped bands; namely, the New Plymouth Military Band, which dates from the year 1885, and the Taranaki Garrison Band, which was established in 1898. The proprietor of one of the musical instrument shops in the town carries on the manufacture of musical instruments as a local industry.

Fletcher, Albert Edward, A. Mus. L.C.M., Music Teacher, Brougham Street, New Plymouth. Mr. Fletcher teaches singing, organ and piano and theory, and he is organist of St. Mary's Anglican church. He was born in Sydney, Australia, in the year 1869, and brought up to the musical profession. He afterwards taught for some years in Sydney, and was organist of St. James' church, Croydon, conductor of the Croydon Choral Society, and was assistant organist of the Young Men's Christian Association. He then went to Albury, where he remained for five years, and was organist of St. Matthews' Anglican church. Mr. Fletcher subsequently came to New Zealand, and was appointed organist of St. Mary's in May, 1901. He is the local representative for the examinations of Trinity College, London, Mr. Fletcher is married, and has one child.

Golding, Edward Alexander, Teacher of Music, Vivian Street, New Plymouth. Mr. E. A. Golding is the only son of Mr. Nicholas Golding, an old colonist, who is further referred to as president of the New Plymouth Friendly Society. He was born in the year 1879, in New Plymouth, where he was educated. Mr. Golding became assistant organist at St. Mary's Anglican church when sixteen years of age, and was promoted to the position of organist at the age of twenty. He was appointed organist and choirmaster at the Primitive Methodist church at New Plymouth in October, 1904, and still (1906) holds the position.

White, George Herbert, Teacher of Music, Devon Street, New Plymouth. Mr. White is a native of Lincolnshire, England, and brother to Mr. Sydney Wales White, a well known portrait painter in London, whose work has received very favourable notice. Several of his relations being in New Plymouth, Mr. White came out to New Zealand in 1893, and bought the old established business of Mr. Shaw, photographer. He now (1906) devotes his time to the teaching of music. Mr. White is organist of the Wesleyan church, conductor of the Orpheus Musical Society, and he wielded the baton at the production of the “Messiah,” in 1897.

The New Plymouth Theatre Company, Limited, was incorporated in April, 1904. Directors (1906): Messrs W. Bewley (chairman), J. Paul, J. Avery, J. S. S. Medley, F. Messenger, C. T. Mills, and W. C. Nixon. Secretary, Mr. M. J. Jones. The building, which is in a central position in New Plymouth, was erected by a local company, and subsequently acquired by the late Mr. F. A. Carrington, from whose executors it was bought by Mr. M. J. Jones in the year 1901. Mr. Jones expended about £1400 in enlarging and improving the premises, and disposed of the property to the New Plymouth Theatre Company on its formation, retaining, however, a third interest. The theatre is well appointed, lighted by electricity, and has good accommodation for the performers and the public. The company's capital is £10,000, in shares of £1 each.

Mr. Michael James Jones, Secretary of the New Plymouth Theatre Company, was born in Cavan, Ireland, in the year 1865, and came as a child to New Zealand. He was educated in Auckland; afterwards learned carpentry, and worked at his trade for about thirteen years in Sydney, Melbourne, and Tasmania. In 1893, Mr. Jones settled in New Plymouth, and was for four years in business as a cabinetmaker. For about six years afterwards he practised as an architect and commission agent, and then became a partner in the firm of Richards and Jones. Mr. Jones is further referred to as a member of that firm.