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



The Dannevirke Brass Band was established in the year 1888, with Mr. William Haines as its principal promoter, and with the object of encouraging local musical talent. Mr. Benjamin Cosgrove was the first bandmaster, but he was early succeeded by Mr. William Haines, who has since
Dannevirke Brass Band.

Dannevirke Brass Band.

page 550 continuously held the position, with the exception of two years' intermission. The band receives an annual subsidy of £10, and there is a membership of thirty. Practices are held twice weekly in the Forester's Hall, and open-air concerts are frequently given. Concerts are also held for charitable purposes, in which direction good services have been rendered. Officers for the year 1907: Band-master, Mr. William Haines; Conductor, Mr. Savage; and Secretary, Mr. Craven.

Mr. Fred Craven, Secretary of the Dannevirke Brass Band, joined the band as a member in the year 1896, and was appointed secretary two years pater. He was born on the 8th of July, 1876, at Southport, Lancashire, England, came to New Zealand with his parents at an early age, and was educated at Ashhurst. He was afterwards brought up to the building trade, and served an apprenticeship in his father's firm— Messrs Rimmer and Craven builders and contractors. Mr. Craven subsequently removed to Dannevirke, where he worked at his trade for six years with Mr. J. W. Duley, then started on his own account, and has since conducted a successful business as a builder and contractor. He gives constant employment to seven persons, and has carried out various large contracts, including the crection of Benzie's Hotel, the “Advocate” Office, Ruahine Club, several other large business premises, various private residences, and additions to the Club Hotel. Mr. Craven was one of the promoters and is a member of the Dannevirke Cycling Club, a member of the Dannevirke Jockey Club, and of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, and is Junior Deacon in the local lodge of Freemasons. He married Miss Mary Amundsen, a daughter of one of the pioneers of Dannevirke, in 1899, and has two daughters and one son.

Mr. William Haines, Band-master of the Dannevirke Brass Band, was born on the 28th of November, 1862, in London, England, where he was educated, and brought up to the brick-making trade, under his father. In 1876 he came to New Zealand with his parents, and subsequently established a brickkiln in Christchurch, in conjunction with his father. Twelve months later Messrs Haines removed to Timaru, where they followed their trade for four years, and then went to Ashburton, where they were engaged in brick-making for a similar period. In 1886, however, they settled in Dannevirke, where they conduct one of the largest brick-kilns in the province. It is of the Hoffmann type, and has a capacity of 8,000 bricks perday. Mr. Haines was for three and a half years a member of the Dannevirke Borough Council, is a Past Master of the Dannevirke Lodge of Oddfellows, of which he was one of the promoters; and is a Past Master of the local lodge of Freemasons, of which he has been a member since 1893. He first studied music in 1881, gradually mastered the various instruments, and is now able to take the place of any member of the band who may be absent. Mr. Haines holds the Royal Humane Society's medal for conspicuous bravery in saving life. He is married, and has two sons and four daughters.

The Dannevirke Citizens Band was established in the year 1903, as the Boys' Institute Band, with Messrs Fry, Collett, Wilson, and Drinkwater among its principal promoters. Soon afterwards, however, it became the Fire Brigade Band, and in January, 1906, was entirely re-organised under its present title, with Mr. C. R. James as band-master. The band is equipped with complete brass instruments, including four basses, two euphoniums, three trombones, two baritones, four horns, two flugel horns, one soprano, a full set of cornets, and two drums. There is a membership of about twenty-five, and practice meetings are held in the Technical Building in Allardice Street. Lieutenant Fry and Mr. Collett, who is secretary, are the other officers of the band.

Mr. Charles Robert James, Band-master of the Citizen's Band, first joined the Wellington Naval Band in 1877, as cornet player, and when under the new regulations it was converted into the Garrison Band he became the repiano cornet player. Subsequently Mr. James was deputy conductor of the Hibernian Band for two years, and later, when that Band was re-organised under the leadership of Mr. Charles Jenkins, he held a similar position for five years. Subsequently he conducted the Mitcheltown Band for nine years, during which time it successfully took part in a number of contests; and he also gave instruction to the Thorndon Band. Mr. James was born in Christchurch in August, 1861, and was educated in Wellington, under Mr. Holmes, of Te Aro School. For a short time afterwards he was variously employed, and subsequently learned the paper-hanging trade, which he has since continuously followed. He is a member of the Order of Odlfellows. Mr. James is married, and has two sons. He is further referred to as a paper-hanger and house decorator.

Hinderson, photo.Mr. C. R. James.

Hinderson, photo.
Mr. C. R. James.