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

Civic Institutions

Civic Institutions.

The Dannevirke Volunteer Fire Brigade was established in the year 1895 by Messrs H. Drinkwater and J. Gilberd, with a membership of eighteen. It is an active and efficient brigade, and put up an excellent record at the competitive tests in Dunedin in 1905. The main fire brigade station is situated in High Street, and is a wooden building of one storey; the main fire-bell is situated opposite the station on a steel frame work. The plant includes 2,000 feet of hose, two reels, ladders, etc., and there is a good high-pressure water supply in all parts of the town.

Mr. Henry Drinkwater, Captain of the Dannevirke Fire Brigade, was born on the 10th of July, 1851, at Oxford, England. He was left an orphan at an early age, and was educated at an orphan school. In 1874 he emigrated to New Zealand, and for fifteen years was employed by Messrs Knight Brothers, of Hastings. Mr. Drinkwater started in business on his own account in 1890, as a carrying contractor in Dannevirke. At that time he had only one cart, which he drove himself, but he gradually worked up a connection, and now employs two lorries, two expresses, and several other vehicles, and is assisted by his sons. He is also agent for the New Zealand Express Company. Mr. Drinkwater was for seven years a member of the Dannevirke Borough Council, and he has been twice through the chairs in the local lodge of Oddfellows. He married, in 1874, Miss Sarah Franklin, and has nine sons and six daughters.