The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
Napier was constituted a borough on the 26th of November, 1874. At the census of 1906 there was a population of 9661, including those on shipboard, but not including Maoris. The financial position of the municipality for the year ended the 31st of March, 1905, was as follows: Receipts, £15,423 3s 11d from rates, £28,187 18s 7d from other sources, and £12,428 bank overdraft, being a total of £56,339 2s 6d. The total expenditure amounted to £51,987 17s 2d, leaving a balance of £4,351 5s 4d. There are 1180 ratepayers in the borough, and the annual rateable value is £88,532. The rates consist of a general rate of 9d in the £, three special rates amounting to is 8d in the £, a special sanitary rate of 4d in the £, and a graduated water-consumers' rate ranging from 1½ to 3½ per cent on the annual value. Members of the Borough Council for the year 1906. Messrs S. Carnell (Mavor), J. Spence, J. P. Thomson, J. C. Westall, W. Donaldson, T. W. Bear, A. Paul, A. J. Williams, Edward Crowley, and James Constable (Councillors).
The Borough Council Chambers are situated at the corner of the Marine Parade and Tennyson Street. Meetings of the Council are held at the Chambers on the first and third Wednesday in each month. The officers of the Council are: Captain M. N. Bower, Town Clerk and Treasurer; H. C. A. Wundram, Valuer and Clerical Assistant; W. Hodgson, Receiver of Rates; L. Pickering, Sanitary Surveyor; J. Henderson, Collector of Dog Taxes, Inspector of Nuisances, and Pound-keeper.
His Worship The Mayor, Mr. Samuel Carnell, J.P., was first elected to the Mayoral chair in 1904, and in the following year he was again elected unopposed. He was born in Nottinghamshire, England, in the year 1832, was educated at Old Lenton, and was brought up as a mechanic in connection with the lace industry. He turned his attention to photography, and after the discovery of the collodion process, in 1852, left for New Zealand, arriving in Auckland by the “Caduceus” in 1862. He was employed as operator by Messrs Crombie and Webster, photographers, of that city, and on the outbreak of the Hokitika gold “rush,” in 1865, he left for the Coast to try his luck at the diggings. Not meeting with the success he anticipated, he went to Nelson, where he opened a photographic studio for six months, then returned to Auckland, and finally removed to Napier in 1869, where he established a studio. In 1905 he sold out his business to his nephew, Mr. Bunting, and he now (1906) lives in retirement. Mr. Carnell has always taken great interest in public matters, and supported the liberal party. In 1894 he stood for the Napier seat, defeating his opponent, Mr. Swan, by 520 votes, and represented the district for three years in the liberal interest. He holds advanced views on the “Land Question,” believing that the only way to prevent the possesion of large estates is to limit by law the amount of land one man can hold. He has always been opposed to the totalisator, and in the session of 1895 carried a motion in favour of its abolition, and in the session of 1896 he drafted a Bill to give effect to that resolution. The Bill passed its second reading by a majority of nine votes, but was blocked in committee, and slaughtered with the “innocents.” For many years Mr. Carnell has been a member of the Napier Hospital Board, is a member of the Napier Harbour Board, and was a member of the Land Board. He also served for some years as a member of the local school committee, and is a Freemason.
Mr. S. Carnell, Mayor of Napier.
Councillor James Spence, who has occupied a seat on the Napier Borough Council since the year 1898, was born in Belfast, Ireland, in April. 1851, was educated at a private academy, under the Rev. Matier, and was subsequently trained as a journalist on the staff of the “Banner,” a daily newspaper of Ulster. In 1874 he came to New Zealand, went first to the West Coast, then spent about a year on the staff of the “Otago Daily Times,” and afterwards returned to the West Coast, where for a number of years he kept a general store near Hokitika. Mr. Spence removed to Napier in 1886, when he purchased his present business. He is a member of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board.
Councillor James Porteous Thomson was born in Dalkeith, Scotland, in the year 1859, and is the son of Mr James Thomson, draper. He was educated in Dalkeith, and was afterwards apprenticed to his father. Mr. Thomson then went to London, and was for six years in the old-established drapery house of Messrs John Lewis and Company, in Oxford Street, where he be came buyer for the fancy department. He came to New Zealand in 1885, via Melbourne, by the s.s. “Garonne,” and was for a year in Dunedin, as manager of the fancy department of Messrs S. II. Carter and Company. He then removed to Timaru, and began business with his brother, under the style of Messrs T. and J. Thomson. He sold out his interest to his brother two years later, and opened his present business in Napier. Mr. Thomson joined the volunteers in Dalkeith in 1878. He joined the Napier Rifles in 1888, obtained a lieutenant's commission in 1895, passed for a captain's certificate, and received the rank of captain in August, 1898. As a member of the council of the Highland Society since its inception, he takes an interest in Caledonian sports, and is a director of the Star Bowkett Building Society. Mr. Thomson is a Justice of the Peace, a member of the Napier Borough Council, has been president of the Napier Bowling Club, and as a Freemason is secretary of Lodge Scinde. He married a daughter of Mr. William Newman, of Wincanton, Somerset, England, in 1885, and has one son and one daughter. Mr. Thomson is further referred to as a draper and importer in Emerson Street.
Councillor J. P. Thomson.
Councillor John Chaddesley Westall was first elected to the Napier Borough Council in the year 1901. He was born in London, England, was educated in Hasting, and at fifteen years of age went to sea. He followed a seafaring life for many years, but left the profession, and came to New Zealand. During his first few years in the colony he was variously employed, but soon afterwards took up school-teaching in Hawke's Bay. In 1888 and 1893 he won the Bowen Prize, and in the latter year took his LL.B. degree. Mr. West-all commenced practice as a solicitor in Napier in 1900. He takes a keen and active interest in social and public life.
Councillor Thomas Waterloo Bear, who was elected to the Napier Borough Council in April, 1905, was born in September, 1846, in Plymouth, England, where he was educated. He afterwards went to sea for some time, and came to New Zealand in 1865. Mr. Bear followed the diggings for several years, and then worked at his trade as a painter in Nelson. In 1876 he removed to Napier, and established himself in business as a painter and paperhanger. He has been for nineteen years a member of the local school committee; has been closely connected with the Working Men's Club since its inception, and has several times been its president; was one of the founders of the Caledonian Society, and is a Freemason.
Councillor W. A. Donaldson, member of the Napier Borough Council, was born in Liverpool, England, in May, 1851, and was brought up as a harness maker. He came to New Zealand in 1872, and about five years later settled at Napier. For about twenty-six years he was employed at one of the largest saddleries in the town, and then established himself in business on his own account as a general storekeeper in Hastings Street.
Councillor Andrew Paul, a member of the Napier Borough Council, was born at sea on board the ship “Columbus,” in which his parents emigrated to New Zealand. He was educated at private and public schools in Auckland, and was apprenticed to the plumbing trade. For about three years he worked as a journeyman plumber in Napier, and subsequently worked at his trade for a number of years in various parts of page 308 Australia. He then returned to New Zealand, and in 1895 settled in Napier. Mr. Paul is the plumbers' representative on the Hawke's Bay Trades and Labour Council, and an enthusiast in the movement for the examination and national registration of plumbers.
Councillor A. Paul.
Councillor Alexander James Williams was elected unopposed as a member of the Napier Borough Council on April 19th, 1906, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. McGrath. Mr. Williams is further referred to as a chemist and optician.
Councillor A. J. Williams.
Councillor Edward Crowley was elected a member of the Napier Borough Council on the 7th of November, 1906. He is a son of the late Mr. F. Crowley, one of Napier's earliest colonists, and was born and educated in Christchurch. He joined the South British Insurance Company, remained with that institution for some years, was afterwards connected with the Union Insurance Company, and now conducts an insurance and commission agency business in Napier.
Councillor James Constable was elected a member of the Napier Borough Council on the 7th of November, 1906. He has resided in Napier for a number of years, and conducts a business in Shakespeare Road.
Captain Maurice Norman Bower, Town Clerk of Napier, was born in Caén, Normandy, in the year 1834, and is a son of the late Mr. George Edmund Bower, of the old Ordnance Department at the Tower of London. He was educated at St. Paul's School, London, and was a scholar there when Sir James Pren-dergast, subsequently Chief Justice of New Zealand, was the senior monitor. On leaving this school, Captain Bower went to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, as a cadet, where he remained two years. He afterwards served with the 13th Light Dragoons and the 10th Hussars in the Crimea. He returned to England when peace was proclaimed, purchased his discharge, and sailed for New Zealand. Captain Bower arrived in Auckland in 1857, joined the military stores department, in which he remained until the outbreak of the Waikato War, in 1863, when he received a commission as sub-inspector in the Colonial Defence force, then under the command of the late Colonel Nixon. On the death of Colonel Nixon, who died from wounds received in action at Rangiaohia, he was promoted to the rank of inspector, and served in all the operations against the natives in the Waikato until the corps was disbanded. He then joined the first Waikato Regiment as captain, and served with it at Tauranga, Opotiki, and the East Coast, until it was disbanded. He proceeded to Napier, and was employed as district adjutant and quartermaster at Wairoa, Poverty Bay, Waikare-Moana Expedition, Taupo, etc., from 1868 to 1873. In March, 1874, he was appointed town clerk and treasurer of the borough of Napier. Captain Bower married a daughter of the late Mr. John Mason, of Auckland, in 1857, and has, surviving, one daughter and two sons.
Captain M. N. Bower.
Mr. William Hodgson, Receiver of Rates for the Napier Borough Council, was born at Norwich, Nnfollk, England, in the year 1844, and is the son of the late Mr. Thomas Hodgson, of that city. He was educated at the private school of Mr. Samuel Gidney, and was afterwards apprenticed to the grocery trade. At eighteen years of age he joined the dramatic profession, and for nearly fourteen years was a member of various stock companies in provincial theatres, including the Queen's Theatre (Manchester), Theatre Royal (Dublin), Theatre Royal (Hanley), Princes Theatre (Edinburgh), and at Bolton, Blackburn, Preston, Belfast, Leeds, Bradford, Aberdeen, Greenock, and other places. Mr. Hodgson arrived in New Zealand in the ship “Mataura” (Captain Brown), in 1877, and for seven years was book-keeper for a Napier merchant. He received his present appointment in 1884. Mr. Hodgson's reminiscences of his dramatic days have been often pleasantly recalled by meeting travelling members of the profession, with whom he had been previously acquainted, such as Messrs J. L. Toole, Harry Paulton, F. Maccabe, T. B. Appleby, and Harry Taylor. His engagements were generally in juvenile lead, and light comedy business. Mr. Hodgson acts as returning officer in local and general elections, and was for many years secretary to the Napier school committee. He has on many occasions in Napier rendered valuable assistance in amateur performances for charitable purposes, and is secretary to the Napier Bowling Club. In 1866 Mr. Hodgson married, at Edinburgh, a daughter of Mr. W. H. Weir, scenic artist at the Theatre Royal, Dublin, and has, surviving, one son and one daughter.
Mr. Thomas Sheehan, who, in April, 1905, was appointed turncock to the Napier Borough Council, was born in Melbourne, Australia, in the early “fifties.” He was educated at a denominational school in his native city, and afterwards followed a seafaring life for a number of years. In 1875 he came to New Zealand, and for about three years was engaged in general work in Hawke's Bay. He entered the employ of the Napier Borough Council as assistant turn-cock in 1878, and was subsequently promoted to his present position. Mr. Sheehan is a member of the Hibernian Society; is married, and has three sons and one daughter.
The Napier Fire Brigade was established on the 10th of October, 1876, with the present superintendent as one of its original members. The fire station first stood on the site now (1906) occupied by the band rotunda, in front of the Masonic Hotel, but in the year 1893 it was removed to its present site at the back of the Council Chambers, in Herschel Street. It is a wooden building of two storeys, the ground floor consisting of a large storage room for the horse, the horse-cart, hand reel, and a fifty-two feet escape. The next room has the salvage corps' waggon, and in the room adjoining there is stored a Shand Mason steam engine, ladder-cart, and spare reel. The first floor contains a large meeting room, a billiard room, and sleeping quarters for seven firemen, with bathroom, etc. There are also living rooms page 310 on the premises for the station-keeper, and a number of Abyssinian wells for the supply of the steamer. The water pressure on the town mains is about 135lb per inch. The horse-cart is fitted with swinging harness, a horse is stalled close by, and the Brigade can turn out within a minute after an alarm is received. The Brigade has always taken a prominent part in the New Zealand Fire Brigade Association competitions, and has succeeded in winning the Champion Shield on three occasions. It has a membership of thirty, and the officers for the year 1906 are: Superintendent, J. G. Gilberd; Sub-Superintendent, F. Tankard; and Secretary, W. G. White.
Superintendent James G. Gilberd was born in San Francisco, in the year 1851, and arrived in New Zealand with his parents shortly after. He was educated at the Wesley College, Auckland, and for some time was in the Bay of Islands. He then went to the Thames, where he was engaged in mining, and later worked for Messrs Matthews and Bartley, builders, Auckland. At the end of 1871 he settled in Napier, where he has since remained in business. For twenty years he has been secretary of the United Fire Brigades Association, an organisation that includes nearly two thousand members.
Mr. William George White was appointed Secretary of the Napier Fire Brigade in the year 1900. He has been a member of the Brigade since 1885, and was for two years its foreman. Mr. White was born in London, England, in June, 1866, and settled in Napier with his parents in 1872. He was educated at the local district school, and was afterwards brought up to the basket making trade, under his father, who had started business in that line in 1874. In June, 1905, his father retired, and he took over the business on his own account. The factory is situated in Dickens Street, and gives constant employment to two journeymen. Mr. White grows his own supply of willows at his residence at Taradale. He joined the Napier Navals in 1886, and he remained in the ranks till they disbanded, acting for five years as secretary of the corps. He then joined the Napier Rifles, of which he was secretary till 1905, and is still (1906) a member. As a Freemason. Mr. White is Senior Deacon of Lodge Victoria, No. 21, N.Z.C.
The Napier Municipal Abattoir is situated on the railway line at Awatoto, about three miles from Napier, and was established in 1902. Most of the slaughtering had previously been done in a smaller building, situated about fifty yards from the present one, which was under the control of the County Council. The abattoir is substantial and up-to-date in every respect, standing on a solid concrete foundation, and consists of the slaughter-house, yards, and stables, the manager's office being in a small detached wooden building. The main building is of concrete throughout, and includes the hanging and slaughtering room, the pig-killing room, offal and skin rooms, and the boiler house. An unlimited supply of excellent water is obtained by means of artesian wells, and a hydraulic engine on the premises supplies a good pressure. The amount of stock dealt with per month varies somewhat, but the average approximates 270 head of cattle, 2,100 head of sheep, twenty pigs, and thirty calves, a considerable portion of which is absorbed in the supply of trading steamers. The charges for the use of the abattoir are: 3s per head for fullgrown cattle, 1s per head for calves, 6d per head for sheep and lambs, and 1s and 1s 6d per head, according to weight, for pigs.
The Napier Borough Pumping Station is centrally situated in Vautier Street, and is a large brick building, with three commodious concrete tanks on the south side. The boiler department of the main building contains two Babcock and Wileox boilers, and the engine room has a large compound condensing engine, one compound condensing tandem engine, and one simple high pressure pumping engine. An unlimited supply of excellent water is obtained from artesian wells, which discharge into the storage tanks at the station. The water is then pumped into two large reservoirs, one of which, situated on Cameron Road, 150 feet above sea level, gives 65lb pressure, and the other, on Bluff Hill, 330 feet above sea level, gives 135lb pressure. The distance from the pumping station to the low-pressure reservoir is 1,914 feet, and to the high-pressure reservoir, 6,864 feet; with connecting delivery pipes of twelve inches diameter.
The Napier Botanical Gardens occupy a large area, extending from “Old Barrack Hill” to Chaucer Road South, and have a southerly aspect. They were designed and laid out with artistic taste, and are kept in splendid order. The lawns are intersected with a number of pretty walks, and winding avenues stretch round the gardens. A number of well-kept beds contain a very large variety of flowering plants. The hillsides are planted with ornamental, deciduous, and evergreen trees, and also with a variety of native shrubs. The paths are asphalted, and a number of seats have been placed in the gardens. An aviary and a fernery are objects of special interest. The Botanical Gardens are a deservedly popular resort, and they are largely frequented on Sundays and general holidays. Napier has another fine reserve in Clive Square, near the centre of the town, and there concerts are occasionally given by the Battalion and City Bands.
Mr. Charles Alderton, Superintendent of the Napier Botanical Gardens, was born at Swaffham, Norfolk, England, in the year 1852, and was brought up as an agriculturist. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1874, and worked as a gardener for a few years at the “Old Bungalow,” Napier. In 1880 he was appointed assistant gardener in the Napier Botanical Gardens, and became superintendent in 1899. Mr. Alderton is a widower, and has five sons and two daughters.