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



Normanby is a town district in the Hawera riding of the county of Hawera. It lies to the southeast of Mount Egmont, to the north of Hawera, and the south of Eltham, and is only three miles from Hawera, with which it is connected by a regular coach-service. The Normanby railway station stands 386 feet above sea level, and is forty-five miles to the south-east of New Plymouth, and 207 miles from Wellington. The Normanby Horticultural, Poultry, and General Produce Society holds an annual show, which extends over two days. Victoria Park is the name of the local recreation ground. There is a public school, and services in connection with the Presbyterian, Methodist and Anglican bodies are held in the township. Dairy farming is the chief local industry, and there is a large dairy factory about half a-mile to the north of the railway station, and a creamery at Te Roti. Normanby has three stores, two hotels, and other places of business. The business of the post office is conducted at the local railway station. The township is lighted by electric light, supplied by the Hawera County. Electric Light Company, whose power station is not far away.

The Normanby Town District was constituted about the year 1883, and has a municipal area of 640 acres. The unimproved value of rateable property is £10,000, on which rates amounting to threepence halfpenny in the pound are levied. The district is governed by a Town Board, the annual revenue of which is approximately £400; and the offices of the Board are situated in the Town Hall, which is the property of the town district. Normanby has a considerable length of main road, and a recreation ground, known as Victoria Park, of seven acres. The park is situated near the railway station, is laid down in grass, and is used for sports, picnics, etc. Meetings of the Board are held on the third Monday in each month. Members for the year 1906: Messrs T. Lloyd (chairman), H. McCoy, H. Kemp, W. Webley, and A. Clarke. Mr. R. T. Cowern is Town Clerk.

Mr. Alfred Clarke was elected a member of the Normanby Town Board in November, 1905. He was born in 1863, in Essex, England, where he was educated, and afterwards went to Canada, where he remained for four years, and gained considerable experience in outdoor pursuits. In 1894 he came to New Zealand, and was for a time at Manaia and afterwards at Otakeho. He then removed to Hawera, and was caretaker of the Egmont racecourse for five years. Subsequently he settled in Normanby, and became proprietor of the line of Palace cars, which ply regularly between Normanby and Hawera. In 1894 Mr. Clarke married Miss Mannington, of Sussex, England, and has one son and two daughters. He is further referred to as a member of the firm of Clarke and Higginson, livery stablekeepers, and as a coach proprietor.

Mr Robert Tracey Cowern was appointed Town Clerk of Normanby in the year 1902. He was born in Patea in 1879, was educated in Manaia, and brought up on a farm. Later on, he was for some time in his father's office in Eltham, before receiv-
Gungall, photo.Mr. R. T. Cowern

Gungall, photo.
Mr. R. T. Cowern

page 222 ing his present appointment. Mr. Cowern carries on dairy farming and cattle dealing. He is a local preacher of the Methodist church, is chairman of the No-License League, secretary of the Maori Mission Fund, and a member of the general committee of the Normanby Horticultural Society. He has also been connected, in various capacities, with the Christian Endeavour Society, the Hawcra Mounted Rifles and the local Morris Tube Club.

The Normanby Railway Station and Post Office is a wood and iron building, containing a ladies' waiting room, a ticket lobby, a lamp room, and a general postal and work room. There is also a large goods shed. The stationmaster is assisted by a cadet and a porter.

Mr. Matthew Steele McNicol was appointed Stationmaster and Postmaster at Normanby in the year 1903. He has been connected with the Railway Department since leaving school, and joined the service at Wanganui.

The Normanby Public School was erected in 1879; it is built of wood and iron, and contains three class rooms. There are 153 names on the roll, and the average attendance is 123. All standards are taught, and the percentage of passes in the various divisions is good. Mr. R. Clarkson, the headmaster, is assisted by Miss Lucy O. Mowbray and two pupil teachers.

Mr. R. Clarkson, Headmaster of the Normanby School, was born in Christchurch, Canterbury, in 1869, and received his education at the West Christchurch school and the High School. He entered the service of the Education Board in 1891; and after having had charge of various schools in the South Island, was appointed to his present position in 1895. Mr. Clarkson is well known in athletic circles, and has won several cycling events in different parts of New Zealand, as well as several records and championships. He has also taken considerable interest in horticulture, and is a member of different local clubs. Mr. Clarkson is married, and has two sons and two daughters.

The Normanby Horticultural, Poultry, and General Produce Society was established in the year 1883, and is affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain. Shows are held in the Horticultural Hall, which was erected by the society in 1900. It stands on a three-quarter acre section, and measures 70 feet by 30 feet. There is also a lean-to of 70 feet by 16 feet. At the show of 1906 prize money to the amount of £130, and twenty-eight medals were distributed, seven of which were supplied by the Royal Society of Great Britain. The attendance averages about 1500. Shows are held in March of each year, and last for two days; and most of the leading nurserymen between Wellington and Auckland are large exhibitors. Officers for the year 1906: Messrs F. McGnuire, C. E. Major, M.H.R., A. B. Stewart, J. Livingstone (patrons), J. Forbes (president), C. E. Gibson (auditor), and J, Lloyd (secretary and treasurer). There are four vice-presidents, and an executive committee of ten, and a general committee of forty-four.

Mr. Thomas Robson, Father of the Normanby Horticultural Society, was born in the year 1839, in Northumberland, England, where he was educated, and brought up to farming. He came to New Zealand in 1863, and landed in Otago. Six months later he removed to Canterbury, and afterwards visited the Wakamarina diggings. Mr. Robsonthen went to the Wairarapa district, where for a long time he was engaged in sheep-farming. In 1877 he removed to Taranaki, and took up 160 acres of land at Te Roti. There were then no roads in the district, but only bullock tracks, and the bush was varied only by occasional small clearings, on which white clover flourished in abundance. Mr. Robson is still (1906) a member of the Horticultural Society, and has been a member of the district road board.

Clarke, Alfred, Coach Proprietor, Normanby. Mr. Clarke's Palace cars have been running regularly between Normanby and the Egmont stables, Hawera, since the year 1905. The time table is a daily one; two trips being made each way; namely, from Normanby at 9 a.m. and 1.45 p.m., and from Hawera at 11.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mr. Clarke is further referred to as a member of the Normanby Town Board.

Normanby Co-Operative Dairy Factory Company, Limited . Offices, Normanby; secretary, Mr. C. E. Gibbon. The factory of this company is situated about half a mile from the Normanby railway station, and is a wooden building with concrete floors. There is an up-to-date plant, which includes a ten horsepower Murray boiler, a three and a-half horse power Crabtree engine, a water wheel of five horse-power, two de Laval separators, each of 440 gallons capacity, a Holben and Kirk pasteuriser, two H. Brown and Co.'s churns, a Humble direct expansion cream vat and a Humble freezer of two tons capacity. A great expansion has taken place in the output from this factory, the yield of 110 tons for 1906 being double that of the preceding year. The staff includes a manager and an assistant. At Ararata there is a creamery in connection with the factory.

Mr. Andrew Lees was appointed Manager of the Normanby Dairy Factory in the year 1904. He was born in 1872, in Mosgicl, where he was educated, and brought up to farming with his father. In 1898 he started work in the Owaka Dairy Factory in Otago, and a year later removed to Taranaki. He was employed by Mr. Joll at Okaiawa for five years before receiving his present appointment. Mr. Lees is chairman of the Referees' Association of South Taranaki, and was secretary of the Okaiawa Football Club. He is married, and has one daughter.

Andrews, Francis John Howart, Butcher, Normanby. This business was established by Mr. Andrews in the year 1903. The premises stand on a freehold section and consist of a wood and iron building with concrete foundations. Behind the shop there is a small goods room, equipped with a five horse-power electric motor, and a modern sausage plant. The slaughter house is situated on leasehold land, about a mile distant from the township. Mr. Andrews was born in 1874, in Coromandel, Auckland, where he was educated, and learned his trade under his father, Mr. H. E. Andrews. In 1894 he removed to Taranaki, and was for some time in Eltham, and afterwards page 223 at Mangatoki, before settling in Normanby. Mr. Andrews has been a member of the school committee since 1901. In 1898 he married Miss Haskett, of Yaldhurst, Canterbury, and has three sons and four daughters.

The Hawera County Electric Light and Power Company, Limited . The power house of the company is situated two miles and a half from Normanby.

Mr. Evan Evans, A.I.E.E., First Assistant Engineer in charge of the Power House, is a son of the late Mr. E. T. Evans, for fourteen years headmaster of the Stratford school. Born in Dunedin in 1873, and educated by his father in the Taranaki district, Mr. Evans made his first start in life as a pupil teacher in the Stratford school; but, desiring to become an engineer, he was articled to Mr. F. W. Okey, of the Taranaki Foundry. When he had served his full course of six years he went to England, and entered the service of Johnson and Phillips, Victoria Works, Old Charlton, Kent: With this large firm of engineers, electricians and contractors—the builders, by the way, of the Tutanekai—he stayed two years. Following his service with Johnson and Phillips, he spent one year in visiting large electrical works in Great Britain, and on the Continent of Europe. On returning to New Zealand he entered the firm of John Chambers and Sons, with whom he remained nine months. Two and a half years were then spent in the service of Steuart and Fen, in supervising the erection of works, etc. After two years spent with Messrs A. and T. Burt, he removed to Hawera to take up, in July, 1904, his present position. Mr. Evans, when at Home, was a student of the Finsbury College and King's College, and became A.I.E.E., and a member of the Junior Institute of Engineers, London. As a Freemason, he is a member of Lodge Maori, Ravensbourue, No. 105, New Zealand Constitution, and is affiliated now to Lodge Hawera. Mr. Evans is a member of the Howera Hockey Club.

Mr. Frederick Charles Purvis was appointed Second Assistant Engineer to the Hawera County Electric Light and Power Company, Limited, in the year 1905. He was born at Tauranga, Auckland, in 1884, and was educated at Newtown Abbot Grammar School, in Devonshire, England. On leaving school, he went to London, and entered the Faraday Training Institute for electrical engineering, graduated fifth in his year, and then entered the large ironworks of Roby and Co., Lincoln, for one year. Mr. Purvis was subsequently for a year with the County of London and Brush Electric Light Company, and afterwards for a year as assistant engineer with the North Metropolitan Power Supply Company, before returning to New Zealand.