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

Hastings Corporation

Hastings Corporation.

The Borough Of Hastings was constituted in the year 1886, and the first meeting of the Council was held on the 20th of October, in the same year. The local governing body, prior to that date, was a town board, which had jurisdiction for about three years. The first Mayor who held office was Mr. Robert Wellwood, who was followed successively by Messrs George Ellis. C. A. Fitzroy, W. F. Burnett, W. Lane. W. Y. Dennett, and T. J. Thompson. The borough has an area of 5,710 acres, the largest area of any borough in the colony, and the population is 4,594. A general rate of ⅙ in the £, is struck on the annual value, which is £54,000; and there is also a special rate of 7d, in the. There are two loans; one of £25,000 for drainage and sewerage works, and another of £2,500 for the erection of an abattoir. The town is well lighted by forty-eight street lamps, supplied with gas from local works, which are owned and controlled by the Napier Gas Company. The drainage works were constructed at a cost of £25,000; the main sewer, which is of brick and concrete, is three miles long, with a total fall of twenty feet, and discharges into the Ngaruroro river. A good, water supply is obtained from artesian wells, and the borough has good roads. Hastings has a “Carnegie” library, and a municipal abattoir. Members of the Council for the year 1906: Mr. T. J. Thompson (Mayor); and Messrs W. C. Maddison, George Ellis, Charles Cunnold, R. Brathwaite, F. C. Tipping, A, A. George, James Collins, W. H. Smith, and J. Beatson.

His Worship The Mayor, Mr. Thomas John Thompson, who was elected to office in April, 1906, has been a member of the Borough Council since the year 1898. He was born in 1855, in Londonderry, Ireland, where he was educated and brought up to farm work. In 1874 Mr. Thompson came to New Zealand, and landed at Napier. He afterwards established himself in business in Hastings, and is' now senior partner in the firm of Thompson Brothers. Mr. Thompson was chairman of the Havelock School Committee, and is a member of the Hastings Lodge of Freemasons.

Councillor Robert Brathwaite, member of the Hastings Borough Council, was born in London, England, came to New Zealand in the year 1864, by the ship “Queen of the Deep,” and landed at Auckland. Proceeding shortly afterwards to Napier, he first entered the service of one of the banks for a short time, then went on to a station, and managed “Riverslea” for about four years. He afterwards acquired Eskdale station, where for four years he was engaged in sheep-farming. Mr. Brathwaite then sold his run, and became associated in the business of Messrs Williams and Kettle for about two years. After severing his connection with that firm he started his present agency business, in conjunction with Mr. F. C. Tipping, but this partnership was subsequently dissolved. He is secretary to the Hastings Building Society, and has been for many years registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, and vice-president of the Athenaeum. Mr. Brathwaite took part in the fight of Omaranui in 1866, where he was slightly wounded, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He afterwards joined the cavalry, in which he attained the rank of lieutenant, and was engaged against the natives after the Poverty Bay and Mohaka masacres.

Brown and Ross, photo,Councillor R. Brathwaite.

Brown and Ross, photo,
Councillor R. Brathwaite.

Councillor James Collins was elected a member of the Hastings Borough Council in April, 1905. He was born in Nottinghamshire, England, on the 20th of April, 1835, and at ten years of age went to South Australia. Mr. Collins arrived in New Zealand in the year 1854, and took up land at Patangata, where he successfully farmed a property for many years. He now (1906) lives, in retirement in Hastings.

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Councillor Charles George Cunnold was elected to the Hastings Borough Council in April, 1905. He was born at Ipswich, Suffolk, England, in July, 1867, and was educated at the North Gate Collegiate School. Mr. Cunnold was employed in the building trade in his native town for some years, and emigrated to New Zealand in 1891. He joined the Auckland staff of the proprietors of the well known Beale Sewing Machine, and in 1892 was transferred as agent to Hawke's Bay. Ten years later he acquired the firm's interest in the province, and has since conducted, the business on his own account, importing his machines direct from the manufacturers. Mr. Cunnold has been a member of the Order of Oddfellows for thirteen years, and he is a prominent member of the Wesleyan Church.

Brown and Ross, photo,Councillor C. G. Cunnold.

Brown and Ross, photo,
Councillor C. G. Cunnold.

Councillor George Ellis, a member of the Hastings Borough Council, was a member of the first council, was elected second mayor of Hastings, and filled the mayoral chair live times subsequently.

Councillor Alfred Amory George was first elected to the Hastings Borough Council in the year 1900, and has held a seat continuously since. He was born on the 20th of April, 1854, at Thaives Inn, Holborn Hill, England, where his family for four generations have been, and still are, printers, his grandfather being the inventor of the present-day style of envelopes. Mr. George emigrated with his parents to New Zealand in 1864, and landed in Dunedin. He resided in Otago for nearly twenty years, and during that time learned lithographing with his father, and letter-press printing in the “Otago Daily Times” Office. He also for a time attended, in Dunedin, the night school conducted by Mr. (now Sir) Robert Stout. Mr. George visited the Dunstan and Gabriel's Gully diggings in 1876, and was the first printer in Tapanui, Otago, having in 1878 taken a plant there from Lawrence, for Messrs Mooney and Quin, whose paper, the “Courier,” he printed for several years. The machinery was conveyed on a dray, and the journey of thirty-two miles took three days to accomplish. Early in the “eighties” Mr. George went to Gisborne, where he was for a time manager of the “Standard,” and, later on, removed to Napier, where he became successively jobbing foreman and printer of the “Evening News.” In 1885 Mr. George settled in Hastings, and in 1887 he issued the first paper in the township, a “daily,” known as the “Hastings Star,” which ran for some years; he subsequently became editor and publisher of the “New Zealand Bulletin.” Mr. George is a member, and one of the founders of the Hastings Band, of which he was conductor for several years. He also helped to form the Hastings Fire Brigade, was for fourteen years its secretary and lieutenant, and as a delegate to the Fire Brigades' Association has attended conferences, in various parts of the colony. Mr. George was a member of the Dunedin Naval Brigade in 1870, was for a time trumpeter of the Dunedin Hussars, and was one of the first mounted volunteers to enlist for service at the time of the Parihaka affair.

Brown and Ross, photo,Councillor A. A. George.

Brown and Ross, photo,
Councillor A. A. George.

Councillor William Charles Maddison, who has been a member of the Hastings Borough Council since 1895, was born on the 3rd of February, 1852, in Lincolnshire, England. He came to New Zealand with his parents at an early age, received a public and private school education, and was brought up to the retail trade in Christchurch. He removed to Hastings in 1877, and became manager for Messrs E. Beck and Company, whose business he subsequently took over, and conducted on his own account.

Councillor William Henry Smith, member of the Hastings Borough Council, was born in Northumberland, England, and is a son of the late Mr. Thomas Eustace Smith, of Newcastle. He was educated at Harrow, and was afterwards articled to Messrs Price. Waterhouse and Company, of London, with whom he remained for three years. Mr. Smith came to New Zealand in 1878, and settled in Napier. He was for some time employed on “Hedgelay,” the property of the late Captain Carr, from whom he subsequently leaded the estate. Mr. Smith has taken great interest in public matters, and has been connected with a large number of local bodies during his residence in Hawke's Bay. He married a daughter of Mr. T. Tanner, of Riverslea, and has three daughters and three sons.

Councillor Francis Charles Tipping was elected to the Hastings Borough Council in April, 1905. He was born in the County of Dublin, Ireland, in the year 1846, and came to New Zealand in the “fifties.” For nearly thirty years he farmed in the Kaiapoi district, and in 1890 removed to Hawke's Bay, where he has since successfully conducted business as a provision merchant.

Mr. John Collinge, who has been town clerk of Hastings since the formation of the Borough in 1886, was formerly clerk of the Town Board from its inception in 1883.