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



The Napier City Band was originally founded as an Artillery Band, in the early “seventies.” Later it became a Garrison Band, which it remained until the year 1890, when it was re-organised and given its present name. It has had as its successive conductors, Mr. Charles Lound and Mr. George Garry, the latter of whom was succeeded in about 1880 by Mr. Frederick Tankard, the present conductor. The band has a membership of twenty-two, and the instruments include one double B Flat bass, two E Flat basses, one G trombone, two tenor trombones, two baritones, two euphoniums, three E Flat horns, two solo cornets, two repiano cornets, three third cornets, two second cornets, one E Flat cornet, and two drums. For many years the Band practised in Newton's Buildings, at the corner of Hastings Street and Tennyson Street, but in 1902 this building was destroyed by fire, together with a large amount of musical literature and a number of instruments; since that time the Band has met for practice in a room at the rear of Mr. A. E. Eagleton's premises in Hastings Street. The Band is subsidised by the Borough Council to the extent of £25 per annum, and thirteen concerts are given annually, chiefly in the Napier band rotundas. Excellent services have been rendered by the Band on behalf of charitable objects.

Mr. Frederick Tankard, Conductor of the Napier City Band, was born at Halifax, England, in December, 1847. In the year 1858 he came to New Zealand with his parents, in the ship “Zealandia,” and landed at Lyttelton. For some years he resided at Papanui, where he learned the trade of a blacksmith and wheelwright, and then went with his father to Amberley, and worked for him for about six years. Mr. Tankard subsequently was a journeyman blacksmith in Christchurch, for Messrs Cobb and Company, and afterwards for Mr. A. G. Howland. Later on, he established a smithy on his own account in St. Asaph Street, Christ-church, and in 1878 removed to Napier, where he was employed for ten years as a journeyman by Mr. Joseph Parker. Mr. Tankard then started in business, which he has since successfully conducted in Tennyson Street. He has been a member of the Napier Lodge of Druids for many years, and has passed through all the Chairs.