Sunday, 4 November 2012


We finish the year with

PART 2: BRIAN JAMES’ JOURNEY THROUGH THE 150 YEARS OF THE STOCK AND STATION INDUSTRY and the tumultuous years of amalgamations, merges and characters that dominated the 1990’s.

TIME: 5:30 P.M.

VENUE: Hastings War Memorial Library : Gold coin donation


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Bill Nimon - Nimons Transport

Bill Nimon - Nimons Transport The speaker will be Bill Nimon talking about the history of Nimons Transport. Nimon and Sons Passenger Transport was established in 1905 and Bill and his brother Garth are the fourth generation to run the company. This is sure to be an interesting and entertaining address. Photo: Havelock bus service, two buses, the Advance and the Retreat taken over by J.G. Nimon from W.A. Beecroft in 1900; driver Mr. J.G. Nimon. These served the Havelock - Hastings route until Studebakers replaced them in 1913. HPL 99_519

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Joe Nimon and the Nimon Bus Co.

Mr. Nimon belongs to one of the oldest families in Havelock North. His mother was born at Exmoor, Somerset, in England in 1855. She came to New Zealand to join her brothers who had taken up land some time previously in the Kimbolton district (Manawatu Area). She took a job with Mrs. Kirkaldy in Wellington to help with the family and later with Mrs. G P Donnelly (a Maori princess) who was Joe Nimon’s Godmother. In 1894 she married Mr. J.G. Nimon and carne with him to Havelock North in 1897 when Joe was a year old. His father took over the management of Beecrofts transport which were in the days of horse and coach. Young Joe was eventually sent to Havelock North school and that was all the education.

He was able to get as he was needed to help his father in the

business. All his brothers were sent to secondary schools.

After his father took on the business from Mr Beecroft he made steady progress. The first motor bus was solid tyre Studebaker

and was purchased by his father in 1912 and replaced the horse and coach on the Havelock-Hastings run.

In 1920 Joe, following his father’s footsteps, he was elected on the Town Board. He subsequently became Chairman of the Board and later Mayor of the first council.

In his younger days Joe loved playing football but Said his work was his main hobby" He was a member of the original Havelock North swimming baths committee and played an active part in raising money for the construction of the pool.

0n the retirement of Mr. J. Phillips in 1938, Mr. Nimon succeeded him as the Havelock nominee on the Hawke’s Bay Electric Power Board. He has been a member of the Power Board ever since.

Mr Nimon was created a Justice of the Peace and has since been the recipient of the coronation medal in 1952 and MBE in 1972.

He and his three brothers were members of the Havelock Volunteer Fire Brigade in the early days of the Brigade.

The History of the Bus & Nimon Bus Company in Havelock North

Mr. W. A. Beecroft operated the Havelock North-Hastings service from the mid-1880s, with stables maintained at Hastings and at Lucknow Lodge, The Bus service itself was started in 1883 by William Beecroft who kept a stables from which horses could be hired. He built the house at the old site used as Nimon's offices, on the corner of Lucknow Road and Middle Road. At that time there were stables attached to the house, which was known as Lucknow Lodge.

The first Hastings bus was, of course, a horse-drawn ve¬hicle, Havelock North. It started with a daily return service. The service was soon expanded.

The late Mr. John G. Nimon started with Beecroft on this run in 1895 and bought out the Havelock North bus service in 1900, buying two horse buses, gigs, buggies plus 30 horses and all equipment for cash paid in gold sovereigns.

At that time, the Boer War was raging and the buses were named Ad-vance and Retreat, no doubt indicating the progress of hostilities at the time.

The Nimon family were living in Railway Rd, near where the An¬gus Inn now stands, when the 1897 flood swept through Hastings. They had to be rescued by boat.

So Mr. Nimon decid¬ed to move his family to higher ground and moved into the cottage next to Lucknow Lodge.

Nimon's horse buses —Advance and Retreat —

outside Lucknow Lodge

The early bus service was a grim, unpleasant run. Starting at 7am, the driver continued right through, with only meal breaks, until 11pm frequently for seven days a week.

The Havelock North-Hastings road was a swirl of dust in summer, requiring goggles for the driver.

It was a quagmire in winter when the big trees on the northern side kept the sun from melting the frost and ice on the slippery, rough, metalled road.

Three or four horses were required to pull the bus through the winter mud compared with two horses in sum¬mer. Opposite St Andrew's Road one can see a belt of poplars planted in 1900. They were planted well back from the road to allow the road to dry more quickly.

Nimon's drivers have had their moments. When Wirth's Circus came to Hastings the smell of the elephants sent the horses in a frenzy and, on at least one occasion, the horses bolted with a full load of passengers and were quite uncontrollable. There were a few frightened passengers looking rather pale when they left the coach.

Horse Doctor

The original J. G. 'Nimon had a wonderful reputation with horses and his eldest son, Joe, frequently had to hold a horse's head while his father extracted a tooth.

Fuel for the service was no problem. Chaff came in by traction engine in 40 ton loads from Ngatarawa to be stored in the loft above the stables in Lucknow Lodge.

Drove buses at 13

The late Mr J. J. Nimon left school in 1909 and was 13 years old when he started driving the buses. More than 60 years later he was still taking his turn at the wheel when required. He carried the pupils of the boarding schools for over - three

generations and Mr Nimon often received a message from a boarder “Mother and grandmother send you their regards. You took them both to school.”

The company's first motor vehicles were two Studebaker 7 passenger cars purchased in 1913 to supplement a quick service along with the horse buses. These were some of the first cars in the district with electric self-starters, as Charles Kettering of Delco did not produce the first self-starter until March 1912.

Nimon's cars were used for years to pull the Havelock North Fire Brigade hose reel, and later one of their bus chassis, a Denby, became Havelock's first fire engine.

The first motor bus in 1915 was a Garford with solid tyres and a horse-bus body. Mr. Nimon would not take delivery from the Tourist Motor Co. until it fitted hooks on the front so the horses could maintain the service if the engine failed.

A Nimon Thorneycroft bus at Havelock North. It carried

21 passengers inside and 14 on the roof.

Mr Nimon said he remembered, as a small boy travelling on this bus with seats straights across like a toast rack.

A new landmark on the Havelock North scene will be the Nimon's Bus Depot and Workshop on the corn¬er of Martin Place and Karanema Drive. The building

Commenced in February 1967, but it is hoped that it will be completed at an early date hopefully by Easter. I t is designed and built by J.C. Mackersey Ltd., the new complex will house facilities for three Companies. Nimon and-Sons Ltd., operates the well¬ known Bus, Service between Havelock North. Road-Air Hawke’s Bay Ltd., carries refrigerat¬ed freight and perishable goods between Hawke’s Bay and Auckland. The third company in the group is Road-Air Coach Builders which does most of the coach building for the freight company and is at present situated in Napier Road.

At present the Depot on the corner of Lucknow Road and Middle Road carries out the servicing and mainten¬ance of freight trucks and buses on an area of about three quarters of an acre. The new Centre in Martin Place is four acres in extent.

The new building will com¬prise a workshop, coach shop, a wash bay, and body-building shop. The administration area will include offices, a lunch room, locker and change rooms.

Construction of the garage and workshop areas will be steel frame which will be metal clad. The offices will be of concrete with wide attractive windows surrounded by inset panels.

The building is to be set well back from Karanema Drive to allow for the two lane highway which is eventu¬ally planned. This frontage will be bordered with a plantation strip to be planted by the Borough Council. In addition there will be some landscaping on the site, with a small lawn area and trees and shrubs.

The main entrance to the new buildings will be from Martin Place, so as to make the least possible interruption to traffic in Karanema Drive. The exit will allow space for a wide sweeping turn into the two-lane highway when it is, constructed.

Best of all the new site will allow space for further growth, and as the Managing Director, Mr. John Nimon, said in inter¬view, "We take any opportuni¬ties we can, to expand."

The Nimon bus company now situated on the corner of Karenema Drive and Martin Place.

Some of the buses from several years ago up to last year.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Hawke's Bay Aviation History 1906 to 1960 By Ian Granger

12th November 1928
Hawkes Bay Aeroclub was incorporated. The 2nd registered aeroclub in NZ.

16th November 1928
The first offical meeting of the club.
166 listed members.
First airfield located on corner of Bridge Pa Rd and Pakipaki Rd.
End of November a holding company was formed (The Hawkes Bay Aeroplane Company) for
the purpose of underwriting early set up costs and put the club into a position where it became
self supporting.
The company bought Cirrus Moth G NZAT and re registered it as ZK AAB. The aeroclub
named the moth “Heretaunga”.

Training in AAB began.
1st Instructor Tiny White
First aerial pageant
First PPL.s

The Napier Earthquake.
The aeroclub makes its presence welcome in the aftermath. For three weeks the club had
eight to ten moths in the air every day,keeping communications alive delivering telegrams
and letters, doctors and nurses, medicine and distressed relatives, and running errands in to
the remote areas of Hawkes Bay. The practical application of aircraft to a community had
been well demostrated to Hawkes Bay in a most timery fashion.

August 3. The aeorclub executive agree to purchase land for a new aerodrome – an 80 acre
block next to Hastings Golf course at Bridge Pa.

January 20. The new club house was officially opened by Charles Kingsford Smith with the
official North Island air pageant arranged to mark the occasion.

NZ Aerial Mapping purchase first plane – a Monospar SD25

The Esk Valley floods again saw the club running relief operations this time for flood victims.

Pilot training stepped up to provision trained pilots for the Air Force. Hawkes Bay recieved
an inital quota of 12 trainees, which was supplemented with an extra five pilots every eight
The club linked with the Air Training Corps and in line with a national move agreed to give
the Government its planes in the event of war.
With the out break of war Hawkes Bay Aero Club effectively went into hibernation.
By March 1940, thirty two of the clubs trainees had joined the RNZAF, the RAAF or the RAF

January. Club operations resume

Hawkes Bay Skydiving Club was born
Hawkes Bay Gliding Club builds a hangar at Bridge Pa

Full runway strip lighting installed

NZ Aerial Mapping seal a 1000metre landing strip.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Ian Grainger - Hawke's Bay Aviation 1906 - 1960

Hawke's Bay Aviation History 1906 to 1960 Tuesday 11 September, 5:30pm Hastings War Memorial Library, Warren Street, HastingsIan Granger is our guest speaker talking on "Hawke's Bay Aviation History 1906 to 1960" Ian has had an interest in aviation history for many years and gives a very intersting incite into the early years.In recent times Ian has been involved with aero displays held in Napier for the Art Deco Weekends which draws many visitorsto Hawke's Bay. He is a long standing member of the aviation historical society of New Zealand as he is member number 62.This is an event not to be missed with photos and visuals along with a very stimulating talk.Enrty is by gold coin donation.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Brian James : The rise and fall of the historic Stock agent

Stock and station agencies were first set up in the mid-19th century. They provide a broad range of services for farmers – general merchandising, livestock sales, wool auctions, grain and seed breeding, seed cleaning and exports, seasonal finance, insurance, real estate brokerage, machinery sales, advisory services and more. They also promote the products and services of other firms, such as insurance companies, meat processors and foreign businesses.
Stock and station agencies are unique to Australia and New Zealand – similar businesses elsewhere carry out fewer functions
Originally, agents were paid commissions related to sales, so higher prices for livestock, wool and real estate meant they earned more. Supplies like fencing materials, chemicals, stock feed and clothing were sold with retail price margins, and interest was charged on loans. More recently, agencies have introduced fixed fees for some services.
One stock agent claimed that a successful agent ‘must be a Nationalist, a staunch Labour man, a Social Credit disciple, a Catholic, a Protestant, a technician, a politician, a mathematician, an all-round mechanic, and, on occasion, a Communist. He must be an expert driver, talker, traveller, bridge player, golfer, bowler, diplomat, a football maniac, an authority on astrology, dogs, cats, sheep, cattle, horses, all types of leases, water rights and noxious weeds. The person with all these qualifications is truly entitled to the initials C.S.S.A. after his name – Country Stock and Station Agent.’1

The first stock and station agency was founded by Alexander Elder, a Scot, who established a branch of his family’s merchant and shipping business in Adelaide, Australia, in 1839. Elder later returned to Scotland, but his brother Thomas stayed in Australia and formed a partnership called Elder, Smith & Co. with Robert Barr Smith in 1863. Elders was later active in New Zealand, as was Dalgety, which was founded in Melbourne in 1846 as a wool merchant, pastoral supplier and shipping agent and expanded to New Zealand in 1858.
Nathaniel Levin, the son of a London Jewish merchant, arrived in Wellington in 1841, aged 22. He almost immediately founded a general merchandising business for the early settlers, selling food, clothing and household necessities, and then expanded to sell goods and provide services to farmers.
When Charles Clifford and Frederick Weld drove sheep around the coast from Wellington to Wairarapa in 1844 to begin large-scale pastoral farming, they were already customers of Levin’s. In that year he did business as far north as New Plymouth and as far south as Akaroa.

George Gould emigrated from England to Canterbury in 1850, when large numbers of Canterbury Association-assisted settlers landed in Lyttelton. He set up in business supplying food, clothing and timber, and was soon a financier and exporter of wool for the province’s large sheep stations. Gould became a large landowner, and his sons Joseph and George followed in the business. In 1919 the company merged with two other partnerships to form Pyne Gould Guinness, which was based in Canterbury.

Wrightson began life in 1861 in Dunedin as Wright Robertson & Co., a partnership between John Wright and Robert Robertson. Advertisements from its first decade of business said the firm ‘was prepared to arrange for the sale or purchase of station property; to receive consignments of sheep and cattle for sale; and to make liberal advances when required’.
Robertson left the business in 1868 and was replaced by auctioneer John Stephenson. The company traded as Wright Stephenson for many years, selling supplies and horses to farmers and miners. It was later called Wrightson.
Williams & Kettle No.2 Wool Store 56 West Quay was opened in 1882 by Stock & Station Agents Williams & Kettle. Frederick Williams commenced trading in 1880 and was joined by Nathaniel Kettle in 1885.

In August 1885 I took Mr. Nathaniel Kettle into partnership and until March 1891 the business was known as F.W. Williams & Kettle. We then floated it into a public company under the title of Williams & Kettle Ltd. Mr Kettle and I being Managing Directors, & I was Chairman of the Company until 1918 when owing to a breakdown in health and under Doctors advice I retired from active work as Managing Director & Chairman though I still retain a seat on the Board, Mr Kettle becoming sole Managing Director and Chairman.

In 1883 they joined the late Mr G. E. Richardson and the late Capt John Campbell & Messrs Murray Roberts & Co in building the S.S. "Weka" and purchasing the S.S. "Fairy" and one or two small sailing lighters owned by Messrs Richardson & Campbell, and we traded under the title of Richardson & Co. Later after the purchase of S.S. "Kahu", "Fanny" & other vessels this business was converted into a Limited Company and the fleet further increased. Fred took n active part & interest in the management of this Shipping Company.

Fred was elected a member of the Committee of the Hawke's Bay Permanent Building & Investment Society on February 16th 1882 and became Chairman on May 13th 1889 which position he held for over 28 years until October 1917 when he resigned owing to his breakdown in health, though I still retain a seat on the committee

Williams & Kettles from a pastoral and agricultural background set up as pastoral agents in Hawke’s Bay in 1885
Farmers’ cooperatives, owned by farmers and directed by elected boards, performed the same functions as the commercial stock and station agencies.
The Canterbury Farmers’ Co-operative Association, founded in Timaru in 1880, was the first in New Zealand. Others soon followed. In 1924, nine major regional cooperatives covering much of the country formed the Federation of Co-operatives.
By 1980 amalgamations had reduced this group to seven: Allied Farmers’ Co-operative (Auckland and Waikato); Farmers’ Co-operative Organisation Society (Taranaki); Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Co-operative Association; New Zealand Farmers’ Co-operative Association (Canterbury); Canterbury Farmers’ Co-operative Association (South Canterbury); Reid Farmers Ltd (Dunedin); and Southland Farmers’ Co-operative Association
Cooperatives opened simultaneously from the mid 1880’s and Hawke’s Bay Famers Cooperative Association formed in 1891 and was soon a powerhead in the bay. Williams & Kettle soon adopted the co-operative approach.
By end of nineteenth century wool consignment, lending and livestock sales became virtual joint services and provided short term finance until the completion of the sale.
Before the days of motorised transport, most stock were sold privately, rather than at auctions. The telephone dominated the lives of stock agents – their days began at 5 a.m. and continued far into the night. One agent recalled that his wife used to cut up his meat and all but feed him his evening meals while he was busy on the phone
By the start of the 20th century farmers were served by at least 40 regional and national agencies, ranging from one-man bands to companies employing hundreds. The national companies were Wright Stephenson, New Zealand Loan & Mercantile Agency, National Mortgage & Agency Co. of New Zealand (NMA) and Dalgety & Co.
The big agencies faced vigorous competition from smaller regional firms and farmer-owned cooperatives. Companies joined together to build saleyards and wool stores.
After the wool boom of the early 1950s, livestock and wool prices fell. Stock and station agencies’ commissions fell too, and dairy company-owned stores provided competition. The bigger stock and station companies began taking over the smaller ones, to extend their regional coverage and for economies of scale. Businessman Sir Ronald Trotter observed that when he began in the industry in the late 1950s there were 45 companies competing. When he retired as chairman of Wrightson in 1998 there were only five – Wrightson, Pyne Gould Guinness, Williams & Kettle, Allied Farmers and Elders New Zealand.
Seven years after Trotter’s comments, the first three merged as PGG Wrightson. This brought together six big families of companies which began to coalesce in the 1960s. Dalgetys had merged with NZ Loan & Mercantile in 1962, and NMA with Wright Stephenson in 1972. The Crown Group made several consolidations in the 1970s, and merged with Dalgety New Zealand in 1983. Dalgety Crown was bought by Wrightson NMA in 1986.
In 1993 Williams and kettle moved buildings from Woolstore 1 The building was retained and operated as a Stock & Station and Wool business by Williams & Kettle until 1995.

Wrightson was floated as a public company in 1993, partly taken over by Rural Portfolio Investments in 2004, and acquired Williams & Kettle in 2005. That same year it merged with Pyne Gould Guinness and became PGG Wrightson, which is a listed company traded on the New Zealand stock exchange.
PGG Wrightson (and its predecessors Wright Stephenson and Wrightson) has always been active in Australia, particularly selling pasture seeds. It also sells seeds and develops dairy farms in Uruguay, and had an annual turnover of more than $1 billion in the early 2000s.
Elders Australia was active in New Zealand in the 1980s, buying smaller agencies and attempting to prevent the 1986 merger of Wrightson and Dalgety. However, when its parent company ran into difficulties, Elders retreated across the Tasman. It left behind the finance business and some livestock agents, which formed a private company. In the early 2000s, Elders New Zealand is a privately-owned company which is rebuilding a national network of livestock, wool and real estate agents, along with some merchandise outlets and financial products. It has a joint venture with broker Primary Wool, and buys in products and services from Elders in Australia.
The Allied Farmers group covers most of the North Island with merchandise, livestock, wool, real estate and financial services.

In 2005, Pyne Gould Guinness merged with Wrightson to form PGG Wrightson
In 2008 Allied Farmers, based in Taranaki and the central North Island, was the only remaining farmers’ cooperative, dealing in merchandise, livestock, wool, real estate and financial services. Incorporated in Taranaki in 1913 as a farmers’ cooperative, it later merged with King Country Farmers, Manawatu Livestock and Waikato Farmers. Allied Farmers provides merchandise, livestock, wool, real estate and financial services over most of the North Island, and has an annual turnover of more than $400 million.
There are also many private livestock agents who operate throughout New Zealand.
In the early 2000s, farmers use many other suppliers. There are cooperative supply stores like RD1, Farmlands and CRT (Combined Rural Traders). Stock and station agencies no longer sell or represent farm machinery, and some fertiliser and chemical companies sell direct to farmers.
Rural finance is now vigorously contested by all major trading banks and some specialised rural lenders. Agencies have only a small portion of total rural lending – around $30 billion, mainly seasonal finance for livestock and crops.
Stock and station agencies played a vital role in rural communities through most of the 20th century. Many small rural towns had one or more agency stores selling an array of goods. For example, in the early 1970s in the South Canterbury town of Fairlie, there were stores belonging to Wrightson, Dalgety, Pyne Gould Guinness and Canterbury Farmers Co-operative Association, selling animal health supplies, animal feed, fencing material, fertiliser, machinery and tools, clothing and groceries.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Brian James - "The Rise & Fall of the Historic Stock & Station Industry

Brian James - "The Rise & Fall of the Historic Stock & Station Industry.
In the 150th year of the New Zealand Stock and Station Association, Brian James will recall the immense influence that Wright Stephenson and National Mortgage Companies held across rural New Zealand.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Alistair Bowes : History of the wine industry in Hawke's Bay

The Early Days
Wine production and viticulture in New Zealand go back to colonial times when British Resident James Busby attempted to produce wine at Waitangi as early as 1836.
Several wineries in Hawke’s Bay have been in existence for more than 100 years, originally making wine inspired by French techniques. The most noteworthy of these estates are the Te Mata Estate, dating back to 1892, and the Mission Estate, the origin of wine in Hawke's Bay, tracing its origins back to French Catholic missionaries who brought vines to the area in 1851 to produce sacramental and table wine. The Mission's first commercial sale, of dry reds, is recorded in 1870.
Much of the early wine in the Hawke’s Bay region was rough wine fortified with additional alcohol, making it even rougher! Within a few decades, however, local farmers had become aware of French wines, and by 1900 a few were beginning to produce passable reds.
The modern wine industry has its origins in the dramatic changes in New Zealand agriculture brought about by Britain's entry into the European Economic Community in 1973. EEC membership meant an end to New Zealand's traditional pattern of trade in meat and dairy products, and pulled the rug from under the comfortable post-war New Zealand lifestyle, initiating a major reappraisal of the potential of viticulture.
Wines and Soil
Wine is generally produced in areas of dryish alluvial soils between Northland (36°S) and Central Otago (45°S), notably in Hawke's Bay, Martinborough, Nelson, the Wairau and Awatere valleys in Marlborough, and Canterbury.
During the viticulture boom of the 1970s and 1980s, areas previously considered as marginal pasture for stock were planted in vines, taking advantage of the low moisture and low soil fertility ideal for vines. Many of the current vineyards were established during this era, driven by the need of many farmers for an additional income.
Much of Hawke's Bay is alluvial plain, with a variety of soils suitable for viticulture. This diversity in soils supports a diversity of grape varieties, and thus a wide range of wines. Hawke's Bay arguably produces a wider range of wines than other areas.
Hawke's Bay has become widely known as New Zealand's centre for Bordeaux blend reds, and a major wine festival is devoted solely to these wines. On the other hand, of land employed for viticulture in Hawke's Bay, the greatest proportion is devoted to Chardonnay.
The Estates
At last count, Hawke's Bay supported twenty or so highly-evaluated wineries of varying scale. Probably the most notable and well-established are Mission Estate in Greenmeadows, and Te Mata Estate in Havelock North, and Esk Valley Estate in Bay View.
• Mission Estate
The original Mission Estate vineyards were located in Meeanee, near what is now Taradale, on land regularly subject to flooding from the nearby Tutaekuri River. Following a disastrous flood in 1897, a decision was taken to move, and the current site in Church Road against the hills behind Greenmeadows, was purchased. The first vines were planted on gentle terraced slopes at the southern end of the site, now used as the venue for the annual Mission Concert. In 1910, the entire operation, including major buildings, was transported to the new site.
Mission Estate is now the Hawke’s Bay region's largest winery, and has established a superior reputation in both domestic and overseas markets as a producer of wines of consistent quality and value for money.
• Te Mata Estate
The Te Mata Estate of today was originally part of Te Mata Station, established in 1854 by farmer John Chambers. Chambers' son Bernard had travelled in France and held an interest in viticulture. In the division of the property amongst the sons, Bernard received the Te Mata Estate homestead block, and in 1892 he began planting vines on slopes adjacent to the homestead. The current Te Mata Estate still employs these original vineyards in the production of its Coleraine, Awatea and Elston wines.
The property passed to new owners in 1919, and subsequently changed hands repeatedly over the years, until being purchased in 1978 by the current owners, the Bucks and the Morris's, two families forming the current company. The state of the property at the time left much to be desired, however the lure of the original brick cellars constructed in 1872, and the vineyards themselves, made for a very attractive purchase. The owners have since invested heavily in buildings designed by Ian Athfield to harmonise with the original architecture.
• Esk Valley Estate
Esk Valley Estate, established in 1933 under the name Glenvale by Englishman Robert Bird, is located at Bay View North of Napier. The enterprise expanded rapidly in the days of fortified wines to become a major player in the New Zealand market until the late 1970's, when the Esk Valley brand was established in an attempt to break away from the down-market fortified wine image, and move into premium table wines.
Over-production in the 1980s led to a wine price war in which Glenvale was a notable loser. The company was placed in receivership and subsequently purchased by the innovative George Fistonich, founder of Villa Maria Estate. It currently operates independently with its own vineyards and wine making specialists.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Alistair Bowes - History of the HB Wine Industry

Alistair Bowes - History of the HB Wine Industry

Alistair spoke on " the history of the Hawke’s Bay wine industry and the triumph of magnificent people over appalling Government interference."

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Mark Von Dadelszen - Reginald Gardiner

Reginald Gardiner

Mr. Gardiner was a man whose friendship was highly valued by many of the older generation in Hawke's Bay. Although he never entered directly into the public life of the province, he was one of those thoughtful leaders whose influence was felt in many intangible ways in the shaping of the life of a growing community.
In mind and character he stood apart from personal and public controversy, but he held firmly to those principles that rest upon honesty, selflessness, kindness and goodwill. He was a philosopher with a deep religious sense, and sought always to draw people together to serve in the advancement of community life, and to find a solution to difficulties and conflicts, in a spirit of generosity and readiness to understand opposing viewpoints.
 He was the son of the Rev. A.W. Gardiner, a Church of England clergyman. He was born in Orange, New South Wales, but spent most of his childhood in England. Early in the century he came to New Zealand with his stepmother, and the family lived at Taradale. As a youth he joined the staff of the then newly-formed firm of Williams and Kettle Ltd. Later he worked as a partner of the late Mr. Frank Williams on a sheep station at Waipare, East Coast.
Subsequently, he returned to England where he met his future wife, a daughter of Mr. J.G. Scott, head of a Canadian railway company. After some years in Canada, as secretary to his father-in-law, he came to England with Mrs. Gardiner and their infant son.
The Gardiners lived in Stadacona which after this death was sold. It was bought by George Nelson and later given back to the community and was renamed Keirunga Gardens as we know it.
He established a commission import business in Hastings and made his home in Havelock North.
The Havelock Work was an arts and spirituality movement in the small town of Havelock North, New Zealand, begun in 1907 by Reginald and Ruth Gardiner and Harold Large, and embraced by the whole town. It culminated in the founding of the Smaragdum Thalasses temple, better known as the Whare Ra, the longest-standing temple of the Stella Matutina magical order.
In 1908 a meeting of over 100 people was held to discuss cultural affairs in nearby Frimley, with Reginald Gardner as one of the main speakers, resulting in the commencement of the "Havelock Work". The first meetings in 1908 were attended by only half a dozen to a dozen people and consisted of readings from Shakespeare and Dickens in a church schoolroom. From this developed social afternoons and Wednesday night talent shows, then carving and drama classes, flower and fruit shows and arts and crafts exhibitions. A Morris dancing side was formed by school children, the first in the country.
A series of elaborate festivals were held. In 1911 the Old English Village Fete was held, opening with a procession of over 100 men, women and children in medieval costume and carrying banners. "King Arthur" and his court presided over Morris and folk dances, tourneys and playlets, and there were stalls selling refreshments and crafts. In 1912 an even more elaborate Shakespearean Pageant was held, opening with a grand procession including "Queen Elizabeth" and her court and retinue, as well as "Shakespeare" and his group of players. Entertainments included teas and games, sixteenth century songs and dances, music by the Hastings Town Band and other concerts, a production of Much Ado About Nothing, scenes from Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice, and Shakespearean games. That weekend a ball was held in Shakespearean costume.
A magazine called The Forerunner was produced, with its first issue in 1909-03-01. It contained numerous spiritually-inclined and often Theosophically-inspired articles. The first issue stated "We all seek expression for the ideals that well up from time to time from the deeps of our eternal self". Describing the festivities, an article in one issue stated that "they aimed at cultivating a feeling for what is beautiful and true"; "behind the outward manifestation of things lay the ideal"; and "it is by the 'power of harmony and the deep power of joy that we see into the life of things'"
The three prime organizers of the Work, the Gardiners and Harold Large, believed that eastern methods of spiritual training such as Theosophy were unsuitable for westerners, but also felt that the Church had lost the esoteric teachings of Jesus and his disciples. They were determined to undergo rigorous training and initiation to merit learning those hidden teachings. These three were the prime organizers of many of the town's public events, and also meditated together on a daily basis, in which they were soon joined by Miss M. M. McLean and Reginald's sister, Miss Rose Gardiner. Reginald Gardiner considered the Havelock Work to be a cultural society "built around this silent power station". The meditation group grew, and began to incorporate simple ritual, calling itself the Society of the Southern Cross
In 1910 he took a leading part in the formation of the company that established the H.B. Tribune. He became the company's first chairman of directors, an office he held until his death, a period of forty-eight years. By his wise counsels and high faith he was a source of strength to this newspaper during many troublous years, eventually seeing it merged with the H.B. Herald and securely established as one of the leading provincial newspapers of New Zealand.

In Havelock North, Mr. Gardiner's name is honoured for his interest in promoting the educational, artistic and musical life of the Village.
Before the First 'World War he was a leading member of a group that organized a Shakespearian pageant that was a colourful part of Havelock's early history. The activities of this group resulted in the building of the Village Hall in which, about that time, several eminent musicians gave concerts. He was also responsible for the production of a high-grade magazine, 'The Forerunner', a model of literary endeavour and the printing craft.
Mr. Gardiner was among those who promoted the trust that established Woodford House in Havelock North. This now famous school had been founded in Hastings by Miss Hodge, and upon its transfer to Havelock became one of New Zealand's leading educational institutions. Mr. Gardiner was the first secretary of the board of trustees.
Another institution in the founding of which Mr. Gardiner had a leading part was Royston Hospital. He was the first secretary of the company set up to ensure the continuance and advancement of this hospital, which is now administered as a trust and is rendering notable service to the district.
For many years Mr. Gardiner was a lay reader of the Anglican Church, and he was also a synods man. In his younger days he was a member of the Napier rifle volunteers.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Mark Von Dadelszen - Reginald Gardiner his Grandfather

Reginald Gardiner  The information below has been provided by Mark.
A historian has described the influence of Reginald Gardiner on Havelock North over the last century: “The whole shape of village life in the twentieth century was profoundly affected from before the First World War by Reginald Gardiner – the deep-thinking, enthusiastic, community minded villager – and his immediate circle of friends. Their legacy far transcends their organisation, the Havelock Work, creating the community spirit that appeared later in such forms as the Keirunga Gardens Society.”Reginald Gardiner’s grandson, Mark von Dadelszen, presents some historical reflections on his grandparents’ life and the influence of the Havelock Work.
The next Landmarks History talk will be on Tuesday 12 June at 5.30pm, upstairs at the Hastings Library. Mark von Dadelszen will speak about his grandfather, Reginald Gardiner. The information below has been provided by Mark.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Stortford Lodge Hotel

Speaker: ByronBuchanan - the History of Stortford Lodge.

ByronBuchanan will be talking on the history of the Stortford Lodge Hotel

The StortfordLodge Hotel, situated in Heretaunga Road, was established in the year 1890, byMr. William Stock, and acquired by the present proprietor in 1904. It is atwo-storeyed wooden building, with a fine balcony and a verandah. The groundfloor contains several sitting rooms, a large commercial room, a billiard room,and a dining room capable of seating about fifty guests. The upper floorincludes fifteen bedrooms, a bathroom with hot and cold water laid on, and aconvenient lavatory. The house is well furnished throughout, an excellent tableis kept, and the bar is stocked with the best brands of liquors. The comfortand convenience of guests and travellers is the proprietor's firstconsideration. There are good stables in connection with the establishment,which contain fourteen loose boxes.

Frederick King proprietorof the Stortford Lodge Hotel, was born in the Wairarapa district on the 23rd ofAugust, 1872, and was educated in the Greytown North public school. He wasapprenticed to the blacksmithing trade in Masterton, and for thirteen yearssubsequently was engaged in business as a member of the firm of King Brothers.He afterwards severed his connection with the firm, in order to take over theStortford Lodge Hotel. Mr. King is a member of the Hastings Bowling Club, theAncient Order of Foresters, and was vice-president and a member of the HastingsFootball Club.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Guy Wellwood - Roberet Wellwood

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Guy Wellwood - An Enterprising & Public Spirited Pioneer

Guy spoke about his Great-Great Uncle Robert Wellwood, the first Mayor of Hastings and a highly regarded and well-known townsman. Robert Wellwood was Mayor from 1886 to 1887, being the first mayor of Hastings Borough Council. He was also a farmer, auctioneer & commission agent. He was very active in the community and a promoter of new industries in Hawke's Bay.

Robert Wellwood by Guy Wellwood

Robert Wellwood was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, probably on 21 May 1836, into a Protestant farming family. His parents were Ann Proctor and her husband, Ambrose Wellwood. Like many young Irish of his time Robert decided to try his luck in New Zealand, and took a passage on the Queen of the Avon, landing at Wellington in July 1859. He was followed later by his younger brother Arthur. To see his new country Robert went swagging. He visited Hastings, later returning there to work for J. N. Williams. Catching the prevailing gold fever he went off to Otago, but failed to make his fortune and returned to become farm manager for Williams. In 1870 he received from Williams 200 acres on the Heretaunga plain, and built a home there which he named Maxwell Lea. A plane tree planted in the garden was grafted to form a cross as a protection against evil. In the 1870s Wellwood became involved in many local body activities, including the Hastings school committee, the Diocesan Trust Board and the Heretaunga Road Board. He became prominent in the Masonic lodge for many years and held office as worshipful master. On 11 April 1872, at Puketapu, he married Annie Heslop, who was from a farming family. Two sons were born before Annie Wellwood died on 12 August 1881. On 14 March 1883, at Wellington, Robert married Jane Ann Taylor Ling, the daughter of a butcher and businessman. They were to have five daughters and two sons. Wellwood sold Maxwell Lea in 1884 and set up an auctioneering and commission business the following year. He opened his own saleyards, which are said to have had the best facilities of any in the North Island. The same year he also opened a wholesale warehouse offering a wide range of stores. He purchased another farm on the Heretaunga plain, Raureka, in 1887. Wellwood was always prepared to take calculated risks but made sure his ventures were well publicised. The opening of his saleyards was promoted by a lavish lunch for the leading farmers and other prominent citizens, and the opening of his warehouse by a fancy dress ball. 'Life', he once said, is 'made up of speculation'. He also became involved in the land, estate and general commission agency fields, and those attending his first sale on 25 March 1885 were invited to christen the Hastings Salerooms with champagne. In September 1884 Wellwood was elected a member and appointed chairman of the newly created Hastings Town Board, replacing one of the five original commissioners. Two years later Hastings was proclaimed a borough, becoming overnight the largest borough in the country. On 29 September 1886 Wellwood was elected the town's first mayor, unopposed. Although a popular mayor he resigned after a year to take a business trip, but served another seven years on the council in the 1890s. Wellwood was one of the chief promoters of new industries in Hawke's Bay. He was elected president of the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society in 1888 and in 1890 was the first chairman of the Hastings Farmers' Association. Six years after his death his former home was purchased by the Agricultural and Pastoral Society to complete the Tomoana showgrounds area. The plane tree he planted is now a magnificent feature of the showground gardens. Wellwood's mayoral portrait shows a strong face, partly concealed by a full black beard, with a fine aquiline nose and expressive, hooded eyes. Although he gained wealth and success in his adopted country, it appears that he never forgot his more modest beginnings. When he stood for election to the Hawke's Bay County Council in 1876 he is reported to have said: 'I do not think our Council should be composed of Members who count their acres by thousands and their sheep by hundreds of thousands. I am in favour of there being a sprinkling of the yeoman class which is the bone and sinew of every country. It is this class we may expect will act as a check to the spending proclivities of the wealthy.' At a later political meeting he stated that his best sympathies at all times were with the working man.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Pattullo Pioneers

Robert Pattullo spoke on the history and background of the Pattullo family in Scotland
and the subsequent emigration of some members of the family to New Zealand in
the 1800s.
The early Pattullo pioneers first established themselves at Otago and then ventured
to the East Coast of the North Island, purchasing land in Gisborne and Hawke's
Bay, including "Newstead" in 1911.
They called for the abolition of sheep tax and got a stock tax which was less
Robert covered progress and change over the last 100 years at Newstead. He also
detailed an extensive involvement and contribution to Agricultural and Pastoral
Societies in both Otago and Hawke's Bay over four generations of the Pattullo

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Robert Pattullo - Pattullo Pioneers

Robert Pattullo - Pattullo Pioneers Robert Pattullo will speak on the history and background of the Pattullo family in Scotland and the subsequent emigration of some members of the family to New Zealand in the 1800s. The early Pattullo pioneers first established themselves at Otago and then ventured to the East Coast of the North Island, purchasing land in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay, including "Newstead" in 1911.Robert will cover progress and change over the last 100 years at Newstead. He will also detail an extensive involvement and contribution to Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in both Otago and Hawke's Bay over four generations of the Pattullo family