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



Mr. Lawford Stroud Barraclough, who was for two years a member of the Hawera Borough Council, has been prominently connected with the borough since the year 1888. He was born in 1856, in Collingwood, Victoria, Australia, but came to New Zealand, and was educated in Nelson, where he learned the business of a butcher, before removing to Taranaki. Mr. Barraclough was captain of the Hawera Fire Brigade for several years; was for twelve years a member of the H Battery, Nelson, under Captain Pitt (now Attorney-General of New Zealand), and rose to the rank of lieutenant; and he has for some time been a member of the Hawera Mounted Rifles. He is a trustee of the Methodist church, and has also served as circuit steward; and for sixteen years prior to 1906, was superintendent of the Sunday school. Mr. Barraclough married a daughter of Mr. John Currin, of Nelson, and has four sons and three daughters.

Mr. Harry Caplen, who was a member of the Borough Council of Hawera for about seven years, is a successful lawyer. He was born at Midhurst, Sussex, England, in the year 1850, and is a son of the late Mr. Charles Caplen. After receiving his education he entered the office of Mr. William Gray, of London, underwriter at Lloyds. Mr. Caplen came to New Zealand by the ship “Blue Jacket,” and landed in Lyttelton in 1867; and, after a trial at farming at Motueka, Nelson, he went to Whangapeka on the outbreak of the goldfields there, in 1869. He next went to Reefton, where he remained for eight years, during which he pegged out the “Hopeful,” “Welcome,” “Alexandra,” and other claims. After this he signed articles with the late Mr. Warner, solicitor, of Greymouth, passed his examination, and was admitted to the bar at Wellington by Chief Justice Sir James Prendergast, in the year 1882. Mr. Caplen went to practise his profession in Hawera, and soon had an extensive legal connection, with many of the leading settlers of the district as his clients. He was a member of the finance and other committees of the Borough Council, and is solicitor to the Hawera Star-Bowkett Building Society. As a Freemason he is a Past Master, was secretary of Lodge Hawera for about four years, and is a Past Assistant Grand Registrar; he is also an honorary member of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows. Mr. Caplen is a lay-reader of the Church of England. He was a member of the cricket and tennis clubs, and is president of the bowling club, to which, in conjunction with Mr. W. B. Hutson, he gave the land for a green; and he was one of the winners of the 1897 champion doubles. In 1879 Mr. Caplen married the daughter of the late Mr. John Dew, of Greymouth, and has three daughters and two sons.

Mr. Arthur Haughey, who occupied a seat on the Hawera Borough Council for some years, also owned the Commercial Livery and Bait Stables. He was born in County Armagh, Ireland, where he was educated, and landed in Lyttelton with his parents in the year 1863, from the ship “D. G. Fleming.” While he was in Canterbury, he was engaged in farming and business occupations. In 1881 Mr. Haughey settled in Hawera, and established himself as a coal and produce dealer, prior to taking over the livery stable business. In 1874 he married Miss Ward, who, however, died in 1898.

Mr. Thomas Matchell Jay was formerly a member of the Hawera Borough Council. He was born in 1876 in Dalyesford, Victoria, Australia, and was educated partly in his native place and partly in New Plymouth. In 1890 he came to New Zealand and settled in Taranaki. Mr. page 228 Jay was brought up to country life, and was subsequently engaged in larming at Waitara. He then sold out, and settled in Hawera, where he entered into the auctioneering business. Mr. Jay was chairman of the Waihi school committee in the Waitara district for about two years. In 1900 he married a daughter of the late Mr. Geldart, of Auckland, and has two sons. Mr. Jay is further referred to as an auctioneer and general commission agent.

Mr. Alexander Paterson, who was for some years a member of the Hawera Borough Council, and was also chairman of the Hawera Chamber of Commerce, is a well known draper of the town. He was born in Mongonui in the year 1868, and is the son of Mr. John Paterson, who for fully thirty years has been a farmer in the Palea district. Mr. Paterson was educated at the Patea High School, and learned his trade with Mr. R. A. Adams. On the completion of his apprenticeship he went to Wellington, where he had two years' experience in Te Aro House; he then returned to Taranaki, and managed the late Mr. Adams' Hawera branch. Four years later Mr. Paterson bought the business for Mr. Smith, of Wellington, and after managing it for about two years, took it over for himself and his brothers. He was elected to the Hawera Borough Council in 1897; in the same year he became chairman of the Hawera Chamber of Commerce, and was also at the same time a member of the Patea Harbour Board. Mr. Paterson has taken an active part in social affairs, and for some time was on the management committee of the Presbyterian church. In 1892 he married a daughter of Mr. J. C. Butler, of Wellington, and has an only daughter.

Mr. Benjamin Conrod Robbins, who was for some years a member of the Hawera Borough Council, has worked for the benefit of the community during many years. Immediately after his arrival in Hawera he organised the fire brigade, of which he has since been secretary; and he was vice-president of the United Fire Brigades' Association for three years, and subsequently its president. For many years he has been a member of the Education Board, and chairman of the school committee. Mr. Robbins has been president of the Prohibition League since its formation. He has long been treasurer of the Presbyterian church, and for many years superintendent of the Sunday school. When the Chamber of Commerce was revived some years ago. Mr. Robbins was elected chairman, and for three years he was vice-president of the New Zealand Dairy Association. He was the organiser of the North Island Dairy Association, and was mainly instrumental in negotiating for its amalgamation with the South Island Association. In 1896 Mr. Robbins contested the Hawera seat in the House of Representatives, but was defeated by thirty votes. He was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and was educated in his native town. His father, Captain Robbins, having decided to settle in Wellington, Mr. Robbins came to New Zealand in 1877, and found employment in Wellington with Mr. George Denton, the well-known ironmonger and jeweller, with whom he remained about six years, and rose to the position of manager. While in Wellington Mr. Robbins was a hard-working member of the various temperance organisations and other social institutions. In 1888 he married the eldest daughter of Mr. Donald Ross, of Wanganui, and has one son and two daughters. Mr. Robbins is further referred to as an ironmonger.

Mr. Joseph Scott, who sat on the Hawera Borough Council for many years, was born in 1838 near Boscastle, in Cornwall, England, and is a son of Mr. William Cory Scott, farmer. He was educated in his native place, and worked on his father's farm, until he sailed for New Zealand by the “Joseph Fletcher,” which arrived at Auckland on the 19th of March, 1858. Mr. Scott went farming at Pukekohe, and had to take up arms against the Maoris during the Waikato war. He was one of the twenty volunteers who defended the stockade at Pukekohe during the memorable attack by 400 natives on the 14th of September, 1863, and held the post for over six hours until relief came. After this he was captain of No. 3 Company, Pukekohe Rifle Volunteers. He was also chairman of the Pukekohe West Road Board and school committee for many years previous to his leaving for Hawera in 1881. Mr. Scott bought several farms in the Taranaki district, and also went into business as a land broker and commission agent. In 1875 he married a daughter of Dr. Corbett, of Taukau, near Auckland.

Mr. John Edward Wilson, who has been on several occasions a member of the Hawera Borough Council, was born in Liverpool, England, educated in Birmingham, and afterwards learned the upholstering trade, with the well known firm of Chamberlain, King, and Jones, of that city. He came to New Zealand by the ship “Orara,” in the year 1879 landed at Lyttelton, and for some time worked at his trade in Christchurch. After some experience as a journeyman in Wellington and New Plymouth, he bought out Mr. W. J. Watts' cabinet-making business in Hawera, with the advancement of which he has ever since identified himself. As a Forester, he has several times held office as Chief Ranger; has been president of the Chamber of Commerce and of the Caledonian Society, and captain of the Fire Brigade; and he is a member of the Hawera volunteer corps. Mr. Wilson is married, and has three daughters and three sons.

Mr J. E. Wilson.

Mr J. E. Wilson.

page 229

Mr. George McLean, who has been a member of the New Plymouth Harbour Board since the year 1894, has been a settler in the Taranaki district, and prominently connected with public affairs, since the seventies. He was born in 1837, in County Kilkenny. Ireland, educated in Dublin, and brought up to country life on a farm. In the year 1862 he came to New Zealand, and landed in Marlborough, where he became manager of a station for Mr. Bullen, at Kaikour. He afterwards bought land in Taranaki, and returned to the Old Country about the time of the Titokowaru disturbance. Mr. McLean was absent from the colony for about seven years, and on his return settled on his land at Waingongoro, near Hawera. This property, which consisted of 700 acres, was, during the twenty years of Mr. McLean's residence upon it, brought from its natural condition into a good state of cultivation. Subsequently, for some time, it was worked by Mr. McLean's sons, one of whom was unfortunately killed, and the other, Mr. W. R. McLean, went to the Argentine. Mr. McLean, senior, has since sold 100 acres, and leased the balance of his farm to a tenant. For some years he was a member of the Hawera County Council, and was chairman for one term, but retired from the position in 1905. For several years before the constitution of the county, Mr. McLean was a member of the Hawera Road Board. In 1872 he married a daughter of the late Mr. William Houston King, of Paisley, Scotland, and has, surviving, two sons and one daughter.