Dannevirke Borough Sixtieth Anniversary 1892-1952

DANNEVIRKE BOROUGH

[Seal]

MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF DANNEVIRKE
MAGNUM EST VECTIGAL PARSIMONIA
NE JUPITER QUIDEM OMNIBUS PLACET
1892

SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY
1892 – 1952

ISSUED BY THE DANNEVIRKE BOROUGH COUNCIL
HAWKE’S BAY, NEW ZEALAND.

Wellington,
7th October, 1952.

Dannevirke is to be congratulated on its sixtieth anniversary as a borough. To-day, its homes, its gardens and civic amenities, and its position as a shopping centre of a rich farming area testify to the strength of character of the pioneers who first settled here, and of those who have followed them. The stout-hearted men and women from Scandinavia who, with Government assistance, took part in the first settlement, experienced a slow and difficult task in clearing their portion of the Seventy Mile Bush. In due course, Dannevirke became the centre of a large sawmilling industry; but with the clearing of the land, sheep and dairy farming came to form the solid basis for a prosperous, energetic community. The history of the borough is thus the history of the surrounding district. The residents of Dannevirke can take pride in the achievements of their community. This forward movement will go on and I can envisage an even greater, more prosperous Dannevirke 60 years hence.

Photo Caption –

K. J. HOLYOAKE
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Marketing.

Photo Caption –

DANNEVIRKE’S PRESENT MAYOR

E. Gibbard, Esq., M. B. E., Mayor since 1935.

Page 2

Whereas it is necessary that provision should be made for the good order health and convenience of the inhabitants of towns and their neighbourhoods:

And whereas the inhabitants themselves are best qualified, as well by their more intimate knowledge of local affairs as by their more direct interest therein, effectually to provide for the same:

And whereas the habit of self government in such cases hath been found to keep alive a spirit of self reliance and a respect for the laws, and to prepare men for the due exercise of other political privileges:

Be it therefore enacted

Above is the preamble to the Municipal Corporations Act, 1842, the first Act of Parliament in New Zealand and signifies the readiness of the people to govern themselves and to develop their towns in their own way.

Page 3

THE DEVELOPMENT of a BUSH SETTLEMENT to a MODERN BOROUGH

This Booklet is issued by the Dannevirke Borough Council and compiled by the Town Clerk G. M. Thom, in connection with the Diamond Jubilee of the incorporation of Dannevirke as a Borough on the 10th November 1892.

PREFACE AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Council is indebted to many of the older residents of the town who have made available handbooks, brochures and pamphlets of historical significance, and who otherwise tendered information on Borough affairs which made compilation much easier.

For a record prior to the founding of the settlement until the formation of the first local body, much reliance has been placed on, and much use made of, the thesis on “Dannevirke – The Founding of a Bush Settlement,” by Mr. H. A. Henderson, M.A., now Principal of the Napier Boys’ High School, which has been found most accurate.

Acknowledgment must also be made of the considerable assistance given by the various branches of the Department of Internal Affairs, with particular reference to the Alexander Turnbull Library, the Archives Section, and the Historical Branch. Also to Miss L. Carne, of the Waipawa Borough Staff, for her assistance in newspaper research, and to the Editorial and Publishing staff of the Dannevirke Evening News. Mr. M. France, of Graphic Studios, has been most enthusiastic and helpful in the preparation of the booklet from the photographic side, and many of the photographs shown herein are his. Messrs K. Bateman, C. D. Peat and J. S. Potts have also given permission to reproduce photographs, and the Borough Council gratefully acknowledges the courtesy.

The Council is also indebted to the Rev. Dr. H. W. West, Messrs D. L. Crooks, P. J. Betteridge, T. H. Pickard, W. Dobson and P. Chisholm for their individual contributions to the booklet.

Reference has been made to, and extracts taken from the following booklets, pamphlets and newspapers:

(i)   H. A. Henderson’s thesis.

(ii)   The Hawke’s Bay Government Gazette 16/4/1872 and 13/12/1873.

(iii)   The New Zealand Gazette, 19/10/1876, 26/4/1877, 20/9/1877, 17/9/1885.

(iv)   Newspapers:
The Hawke’s Bay Weekly Courier.
The Waipawa Mail.
The Evening Post, Wellington.
The Morning Press, Dannevirke.
The Dannevirke Advocate.
The Dannevirke Evening News.

(v)   Booklets and Pamphlets:
The Dannevirke Borough Handbooks, 1918, 1923, 1927.
The Official Programme of the Dannevirke-as-it-is Bazaar, March, 1906.
The Dannevirke North School Diamond Jubilee Souvenir.
The Norsewood School 75th Jubilee Booklet.

(vi)   Histories:
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand – 1908 – Volume 6.
History of Hawke’s Bay – 1939 – J. G. Wilson and others.

Page 4

MAYORAL MESSAGE.

Owing to the fact that our silver and golden jubilee years fell in 1917 and 1942 respectively, both during world wars, this our diamond jubilee is the first one we have been able to celebrate in an unrestricted way. However, at a civic dinner on December 15, 1917, the mayoral chain was presented to the Borough Council by Messrs W. F. and F. Knight to mark our silver jubilee, and the present mayoral chair presented by Mr. F. G. Cowper, chairman of the Dannevirke County Council.

The Danes and Norwegians who were our earliest settlers, and those who were soon to follow them, experienced and overcame such bewildering difficulties establishing homes in part of a seventy mile bush, that we read about them and their achievements only with impelling admiration.

From the founding of the Borough to the present time, our public men have been inspired by the integrity and endeavour of those who preceded them, so that Dannevirke has always enjoyed a sound and successful administration municipally, and has been equally fortunate in regard to the efforts of those who sought to promote the spiritual and social welfare of our people.

At this time we wish to remember particularly our pioneers, and the others, who during the past have contributed to the development and progress of Dannevirke. We are reverently mindful of those of them who have passed on, and we are very happy to welcome those who are able to be with us for these celebrations.

Photo –

E. GIBBARD, M. B. E., was born in Dunedin, but in early childhood he moved with his parents to Westport. He was educated at the Westport District High School, Nelson College and Victoria University College, and holds the degrees of B.A. and LL.M. He was first of all a teacher in the Westport School which he had attended as a pupil, and after two years joined the Justice Department. In this Department he reached the position of Clerk of the Court and then left to enter the Public Trust Office, later accepting a position as a Managing Clerk to a legal firm. In 1921 he came to Dannevirke and set up a Law Practice and in 1930 married Miss Mary E. Dillon of Dannevirke. He was first elected a Borough Councillor in 1931 and has served continuously on the Council since then, in 1933 being appointed the Chairman of the Gas Committee and in 1935 being elected as Mayor, which office he holds to the present time.

In recognition of the excellent and unselfish work on local bodies over a long period, including the war years, he was, in 1946, awarded the M.B.E.

Photo Caption –

MRS. MARY E. GIBBARD, Mayoress, who has taken a leading part in all public and patriotic activities.

Page 5

“DANNEVIRKE” or “THYRA’S VOLD”

In South Jutland, Denmark, will be found today what remains of “Dannevirke” or “Thyra’s Vold,” which was built in the ninth and tenth centuries. In 808 King Gutfred ordered a wall to be built across the peninsula to protect Denmark from the Saxons. The King, however, was murdered in 810, so probably only a smaller part of the earth wall originates from this time.

The wall was also called “Thyra’s Vold” because it is believed that Queen Thyra about the year 940 had construction of the wall commenced, and in due course completed.

On the 4th November, 1897, the Borough formally adopted as the Common Seal of the Mayor, Councillors and Burgesses of Dannevirke, a Seal giving a circular imprint about l⅝in. diameter, showing in the centre a fortress surmounted by the Danish flag, with the figures 1892 immediately below the fortress, and just inside the circle of the Seal, the words “Municipal Corporation of Dannevirke Common Seal.”

On the 15th December, 1917, at a ceremony celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the foundation of the Borough, the present Mayoral Collar was presented to the Council by Messrs William F. and Frank J. Knight. Two Latin Mottoes on the collar read as follows: –

(1) Magnum est vectigal parsimonia: “Economy is a great revenue.”

(2) Ne Jupiter quidem omnibus placet: “Not even Jupier [ Jupiter ] can please everybody.”

These Mottos were afterwards incorporated in the wording of the Borough Seal.

Photo –
Image of Seal –

DANNEVIRKE BOROUGH COUNCIL, 1952.

Photo Captions –

C. D. Peat (Borough Engineer).
H. E. Craven.
A. Calder.

C. L. Weston.
F. L. Allardice.

His Worship the Mayor, E. Gibbard.
Deputy Mayor, W. G. Holloway.

L. J. Stewart.
R. G. Stewart.

G. M. Thom (Town Clerk).
H. M. Simmonds.
H. E. Young.

 

Page 7

MAYORS OF THE BOROUGH.

Dec. 1892 to Dec. 1893 – A. McKay.
Dec. 1893 to Dec. 1894 – Wm. Henderson.
Dec. 1894 to Dec. 1895 – A. McKay.
Dec. 1895 to Dec 1896 – N. McPhee.
Dec. 1896 to Dec 1897 – A. McKay.
Dec. 1897 to May 1902 – John Drummond.
May 1902 to May 1903 – A. L. Gordon.
May 1903 to May 1905 – H. M. Ries
May 1905 to May 1906 – J. J. Paterson.
May 1906 to May 1910 – H. M. Ries.
May 1910 to May 1919 – E. A. Ransom.
May 1919 to May 1923 – G. I. Anderson.
May 1923 to May 1929 – A. J. C. Runciman.
May 1929 to May 1935 – M. D. Smith.
May 1935 to the present time – E. Gibbard.

DEPUTY MAYORS OF THE BOROUGH OF DANNEVIRKE.

Borough Constituted – 10th November, 1892.

A. L. Gordon   1904
No appointment recorded   1905
No appointment recorded   1906
No appointment recorded   1907
A. W. Collett   1909
W. Haines   1910
W. Haines   1911
John Drummond   1913-15
John Drummond   1915-17
John Drummond   1917-19
S. Ashcroft   1919-21
C. MacGibbon   1921-23
C. MacGibbon   1923-24
M. D. Smith   1925-27
W. Dobson   1927-29
C. J. Hansard   1929-31
S. McNabb   1931-33
C. J. Hansard   1933-35
G. I. Anderson   1935-38
J. E. Tyler   1938-41
L. W. Ward   1941-44
S. McNabb   1944-47
F. L. Allardice   1947-50
W. G. Holloway   1950-

Photo captions –

A. McKay

Wm. Henderson

Page 8

ROLL OF BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

Where a Councillor served for a time as Mayor, his service as Mayor is shown on the Mayoral Roll and not in this List.

Allardice, F. L.:   May, 1944 – present time
Allen, L. F.:   Nov. 1947 – Nov. 1950
Anderson, A. P.:   Feb. 1934 – Feb. 1935
Anderson, G. I.:   Apr. 1911 – May, 1919
May, 1935 – May, 1938
Anderson, Wm.:   May, 1938 – May, 1941
Armstrong, L. G.:   May, 1915 – Nov. 1915
Ashcroft, S.:   May, 1915 – May, 1921
Baddeley, C.:   Dec. 1892 – Dec. 1893
Sep. 1895 – Sep. 1898
Badley, F.:   Feb. 1894 – Sep. 1897
Bain, T.:   May, 1907 – May, 1909
Bargh, J.:   Jan. 1898 -May, 1901
Bell, L. B.:   May, 1944 – Nov. 1950
Benzie, C.:   May, 1905 – May, 1907
Bickford, G. J. E.:   Apr. 1925 – Nov. 1927
Blakiston, A. N.:   May, 1933 – Feb. 1934
Bott, F. G.:   May, 1919 – Jul. 1923
Boyd, J.:   Jan. 1916 – Apr. 1917
Brighton, A. N.:   Feb. 1934 – May, 1938
Bullick, F. R.:   May, 1925 – May, 1927
Calder, A.:   May, 1938 – Nov. 1947
Nov. 1950 – present time
Calder, J.:   Sept. 1897 – May, 1901
Aug. 1902 – May, 1905
Carlson, O.:   Dec. 1892 – May, 1903
Carston, J. C.:   May, 1938 – May, 1944
Carston, J.:   May, 1909 – May, 1919
Chadwick, R. S.:   May, 1923 – May, 1929
Clayton, H. J.:   May, 1905 – May, 1907
Collett, A. W.:   May, 1903 – May, 1905
May, 1907 – Mar. 1910
Crallan, J.:   Feb. 1894 – Sept. 1895
Craven, H. E.:   Nov. 1950 – present time
Cullinane, J.:   Jul. 1908 – May, 1911
May, 1913 – May, 1917
Davidson, J. C.:   May, 1905 – Mar. 1907
Dennehy, B.:   Dec. 1892 – Sep. 1895
Dobson, W.:    Aug. 1914 – May, 1917
Dec. 1918 – May, 1923
Jul. 1924 – May, 1935
Drinkwater, H.:   May, 1901 – May, 1906
Drummond, D.:   Apr. 1917 – May, 1925
Drummond, J.:   Oct. 1893 – Dec. 1897
May, 1906 – Jun. 1908
Jul. 1912 – May, 1919
Fairhurst, J. H.   May, 1921 – May, 1923
Fitzherbert, P. B.:   Apr. 1910 – May, 1915
Fraser, J. E.:   Dec. 1892 – Feb. 1893
Fraser, R. H.:   May, 1915 – May, 1917
May, 1919 – May, 1921
Gibbard, E.:   May, 1931 – May, 1935
Gillespie, A. H. R.:   May, 1923 – May, 1929
Glover. D. T.:   May, 1929 – May, 1938
Gordon. A. L.:   May, 1901 – May, 1902
May, 1903 – Nov. 1905
Graham, G. E.:   May, 1935 – Nov. 1947
Graham, H.:   May, 1917 – Apr. 1919
Gregory, L. O.:   May, 1944 – Nov. 1950
Hagensen, A.:   May, 1901 – Jul. 1902
May, 1903 – May, 1906
Haines, A.:   May, 1935 – Jan. 1937
Haines, W.:   May, 1901 – May, 1905
May, 1907 – May, 1917
Hansard, C. J.:   May, 1923 – May, 1935

Photo captions –

J. Drummond

N. McPhee

Page 9

ROLL OF BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

Harrison, F. B. A.:   May, 1909 – May, 1913
Hartgill, M. W.:   May, 1921 – May, 1923
Hartgill, W. H.:   Sep. 1897 – May, 1901
Hayes, J.:   Feb. 1894 – Sep 1897
Henderson, M.:   Sep. 1895 – May, 1901
Henderson, W.:   Dec. 1892 – Dec. 1893
Dec. 1895 – Sep. 1897
Hewitt, H.:   May, 1919 – Feb. 1920
Hibbard, H. E.:   Jan. 1937 – May, 1938
Holloway, W. G.:   Nov. 1947 – present time
Johnstone, W.:   May, 1905 – May, 1913
Kiely, E. J.:   May, 1938 – Aug. 1944
Kilford, W.:   May, 1909 – Jun. 1912
Livingstone, J.:   May, 1919 – May, 1921
McGibbon, C.:   May, 1919 – Jun. 1924
McIntyre, D.:   May, 1902 – May, 1905
Dec. 1905 – Jun. 1908
McKinnon, Wm.:   Dec. 1927 – Jan. 1935
McNabb. S.:   May, 1929 – May, 1935
May, 1941 – Nov. 1947
McPhee, N.:   Mar. 1893 – Dec. 1895
Menefy, A. O.:   Apr. 1911 – May, 1919
Merrylees, C. W.:   May, 1935 – Feb. 1938
Nash, K. A.:   May, 1935 – May, 1938
Neilsen, C. C.:   May, 1909 – May, 1913
Nelson, T. G.:   May, 1938 – May, 1944
Newett, G.:   May, 1906 – May, 1907
Nicholas, E.:   May, 1913 – May, 1915
Nodwell, J. A.:   May, 1941 – May, 1944
(On active military service from 7:9:52 to May, 1944.
Norrell, Wm.:   Sep. 1895 – Sep. 1898
Parker, J.:   Oct. 1898 – May. 1901
Pike, A. W:   Nov. 1947 – Nov. 1950
Quigley, H. S. McG.   May, 1927 – May, 1929

The first team to represent the Dannevirke Rugby Football Sub-Union played against Hawke’s Bay at Napier, on Saturday, July 12th, 1902.

The team comprised: Fullback, Hamlin; three-quarters, Ross, Hoppy, Simpson; five-eighths, Bott; half, Thomson; wings, Carlson, Sullivan; forwards, Sunnex, Brown (2), Gordon, Slipper, Walker (2). Emergencies: Backs, Reid, Pont. Forwards, Madill, Munro, Taylor, Bates.

The match was won by H. B. by 7 points to 3.

The ground was in a shocking condition, the mud and water through which the players had to wade preventing a good exhibition of the game. H. B.’s score was made up of a goal by McVay from a mark and a try by Heath, Reid scoring a try for Dannevirke.

Photo captions –

A. L. Gordon

H. M. Ries

J. J. Patterson

Page 10

ROLL OF BOROUGH COUNCILLORS:

Ransom, E. A.:   Feb. 1894 – Sep. 1895
May, 1901 – May, 1903
May, 1907 – May, 1909
Rathbone, L C.:   Jul. 1908 – May, 1909
Redfern, J. H.:   May, 1935 – July, 1936
Ries, H. M.:   Nov. 1898 – May, 1903
Robertshawe. R.:   Apr. 1917 – Dec. 1918
Rose, W.:   Sep. 1897 – May, 1907
Rossiter, B. J.:   Feb. 1945 – Nov. 1947
Runciman, A. J. C.   May, 1913 – Jul. 1914
Mar. 1920 – May, 1923
Simmonds, H. M.:   Aug. 1944 – Nov. 1947
Nov. 1950 – pres. time
Smith, A. W.:   Aug. 1923 – May, 1931
Jun. 1932 – May, 1933
Smith, F. W.:   May, 1929 – Feb. 1934
Smith, M. D.:   May, 1923 – May, 1927
Snell, Wm.:   May, 1919 – May, 1923
Stein, L.:   May, 1921 – May, 1933
Stewart, J.:   May, 1913 – May, 1915
Stewart, L. J.:   Nov. 1947 – pres. time
Stewart, L. V.: May, 1915 – May, 1917
Stewart, R. G.: Nov. 1947 – pres. time
Thomson, C.:   May, 1901 – May, 1905
May, 1907 – May, 1909
May, 1917 – May, 1919
Tyler, J. E.:   May, 1933 – May, 1941
Ward, L. W.:   May, 1923 – May, 1925
Apr. 1927 – May, 1931; May, 1935 – Jan. 1945
Webley, N.:   May, 1938 – May, 1944
Weston, C. L.:   Nov. 1950 – pres. time
Williams, C. S:   May, 1929 – May, 1932
Wilson, J. T.:   May, 1905 – May, 1907
Wratt, Geo:   Dec. 1892 – Oct. 1893
Feb. 1894 – May, 1901
May, 1907 – Apr. 1911
Young, H. E.:   May, 1944 – pres. time

Mr. James E. Fraser was elected as a member of the first Council in 1892, but left the inaugural meeting without taking the formal declaration of office, and did not attend subsequent meetings.

Photo captions –

E. A. Ransom

G. I. Anderson

A. J. C. Runciman

M. D. Smith

Page 11

STAFF 1952

TOWN CLERK:
MR. G. M. THOM.

ENGINEER:
MR. C. D. PEAT.

GAS MANAGER:
MR. A. J. HOLDEN.

LIBRARIAN:
MISS N. M. IRVINE.

ASST. TOWN CLERK:
MRS. E. McCORMACK.

FOREMAN:
MR. A. RYAN.

TYPISTE:
MISS E. M. OMUNDSEN.

CLERKS:
MISS. R. ALLARDICE.
MISS B. STEWART.

ASST. LIBRARIAN:
MISS G. ALLARDICE.

ENGINEER’S ASST.:
MR. J. N. HALL.

PAST TOWN CLERKS

BIERRE, F. C. W   1892 – 1894
THOMSON, CAMPBELL   1894 – 1900
WRIGHT, GEORGE   1900 – 1903
MAGNUSSEN [ MAGNUSSON ], F. G.   1903 – 1913
MEARS, C. A.   1913 – 1926
SMITH, G. T. O’HARA   1927 – 1939
HOLLOWAY, W. G.   1939 – 1946

Photo captions –

Cr. O. Carlson

Cr. W. G. Wratt

Page 12

THANK YOU PIONEERS

For This Town

It Is Good To Live In

DANNEVIRKE

 

Page 13

THE MAKING OF A TOWN

In 1852, the site that was to be Dannevirke lay in the heart of the Seventy Mile Bush. An almost unknown track through the bush served as one means of communication between Napier and Wellington via the Manawatu Gorge, and with the view to extending this track to a road, Dr. Featherston, the Superintendent of the Wellington Provincial Council, asked F. J. Tiffen of Napier who had already made the trip on foot, to report on its possibilities. A favourable report being received, a payment of £50 to the Maoris in the locality was recommended, as a means of securing sufficient land for a road.

By June, 1872, the present route had been surveyed by Chas. Weber, and been placed in fair order as a horse track.

Although the South Island provided, by way of freedom from Maori troubles, and by reason of vigorous colonisation schemes, allied with the discovery of gold, a greater inducement to settlement, the General Government of the day desired to pursue the opening up of the Manawatu and 70-mile bush areas, and to that end gave serious consideration to assisted immigration.

The Hawke’s Bay and Wellington Provincial Councils each purchased a portion of the 70 Mile Bush for settlement, and a policy of immigration was agreed upon by the General Government, under which Scandinavian settlers were to be assisted to settle in the bush and to help in the completion of the road through the bush. Accordingly, Sir Francis Dillon Bell and Dr. Featherston were sent to England in 1869, and in 1870 visited Norway. Vogel’s Immigration Scheme was adopted by the Government in 1870, and upon Featherston, as newly appointed Agent-General for the Government, fell the task of organising the immigration, assisted by Bror Eric Friberg, a Norwegian who had been in New Zealand for some time.

Friberg encountered much difficulty in Norway and Sweden in recruiting settlers. He obviously desired to enlist men experienced in bush work and allied trades, but the Scandinavian Governments of the time placed rigid supervision on the activities of immigration agents, so that he found it necessary to carry out the most of his recruiting in Denmark, where he was much more successful from a manpower point of view, although his recruits were not bushmen, and many had never handled an axe or roadman’s shovel.

He nevertheless completed arrangements for the despatch of two vessels, the “Hovding” from Christiania (now Oslo), with 365 Norwegians and 11 Swedes on 30th May, 1872, and the “Ballarat” a fortnight later from London with 71 Danes. The “England” from London in December, 1871, “the “Halcione” in April, 1872, and the “Friedelberg” from Hamburg in May, 1872, also brought Scandinavian settlers to New Zealand, but the immigrants of the first two ships, the “Hovding” and the “Ballarat” formed the nucleous of settlement in Norsewood and Dannevirke.

Both ships landed in Napier on Sunday, 15th September, 1872, and passengers were temporarily accommodated at the immigration barracks on the hill overlooking the town. Five days later, all but three of the married men, led by A. Halcombe, Chief Immigration Officer, and B. E. Friberg, left for the bush, and reached Norsewood in four days.

The Maoris who inhabited Southern Hawke’s Bay before the advent of the white man, were of the Rangitaane tribe. The land on which Dannevirke stands was brought by the Government from Hohepa Paewai, a direct descendant of Rangiwhakaewa, who was a famous chief of more recent Maori times and from whose house at Tahoraiti, the name of the modern meeting house, “Aoetea,” is taken.

Page 14

The basis of settlement of the immigrants on the land provided for quarter acre sections in a ten acre village to be sold to tradesmen for a suggested price of £5, the remainder of the blocks of land being laid in 20 acre sections, to be balloted for, and sold at £1 per acre. Work on road-making was to be given for 3 or 4 days each week at 5/- per day, the balance of the week to be available for clearing of the sections.

Immediately on arrival at Norsewood, on the 24th September, a ballot for sections took place, and the settlers commenced to build shelters for the women and children who arrived on the 5th October.

Those who were to settle at Dannevirke left Norsewood on the 14th October. The manner of their selection is not clear, but it is understood that a choice of Norsewood or Dannevirke was given by Halcombe after he had indicated that conditions at Dannevirke were likely to be more suited to settlement by reason of the flatter terrain.

Captain George Douglas Hamilton, a younger son of a well-known Scottish family was the first white settler in the district. He took up land in the Mangatoro country about 1857 or 1858, gained the love and esteem of the Maoris, and failed in a courageous attempt to remodel an English homestead in the New Zealand bush. He was a remarkable man.

ARRIVAL IN DANNEVIRKE

Thirteen Danish and eight Norwegian families made the trip on a rough track through towering bush, through rocky gullies, rivers, and over steep hillsides. On the second day, the night having been spent at a clearing that is now Matamau, they arrived at another clearing which was to become Dannevirke; an area covered in high fern and scrub, with charred tree trunks, a legacy of fires which had swept the area. It is recorded that a feeling of despair swept the party when they saw the site of their future home and realised the tremendous toil necessary to bring the land to production and to provide dwellings.

A slab hut was being built on their arrival, and although conflicting information is given regarding its ownership, the bulk of evidence suggests that it was a store owned by Mr. A. Drower, of Waipukurau, and to be managed by Mr. James Allardice, the first Englishman to reside in the town, who gave up partnership with a Mr. Elmbranch as owner of an hotel at Tahoraiti, to manage the store which was situated on what is now High Street, east of the triangle on the north side of the Domain.

Immediately on arrival, on the 15th October, 1872, the 21 families balloted for sections, with the following result-

No.

5   Paul Jacobsen.
6   Johan Sorensen.
7   Jacob Halvorsen.
8   Erik Persen.
9   Bernt Amundsen.
10   Hans Wind.
11   Charles Johnson.
19   Nils Andersen.
20   Anders Fager.
21   Anton Nilson.
22   Anton Berntsen.
23   Christian Larsen.
25   Jorgen Mickelsen.
27   Hans Mortensen.
28   Jacob Anderson Bak
29   Peter Johansen.
30   Hans Israelsen.
31   Jorgen Gronebek.
32   Hans Pedar Jensen.
34   Hans Jensen.
35   Anders Nilsen.

Hans Mortensen, No. 27, and Anders Nilsen, No. 35, had removed with their families from the beginning of the year, leaving their sections vacant.

SEE OPPOSITE PAGE.

Lists of sections and names from a report of Friberg 22/11/1874 in the collection of H. B. Provincial Papers in the archives of the General Assembly Library, Wellington.

Plan on opposite page copied from original in Lands and Survey Department, Wellington.

Page 15

PROVINCE OF HAWKES BAY

SPECIAL SETTLEMENT
OF
DANEVIRK

[Text on map]
FROM THE GORGE
Tahorate Boundary
NATIVE LAND
Tapauta Stream
Village of DANEVIRK
Crown Land
Mangatera River
TO NAPIER

Scale – 40 Chains to an Inch
CHARLES WEBER  ProL. SURVR.   NAPIER [Provincial surveyor]

Wellington
Inspector of Surveys Office   June, 22nd 1875

Copied from Original

Page 16

[Sketch of lower half of the North Island]

Page 17

THE MAKING OF A TOWN

Shelter was the first consideration, and until slab “whares” were erected, temporary shelters of tarpaulin and poles were general. On November 27th, Friberg, on a visit, was able to report that “all the families were located on their own respective sections, in some cases in very neat houses, each habitation having its own little kitchen garden as well as some potato ground and two tons of potato seed had been sown.”

The settlement did not flourish, however. The high cost of transport of foodstuffs and other goods brought the cost of living for a family to about £6 a month, and wages on road-making could not provide this amount, even after a system on piece work had been established. Discontent became rife, and upon Friberg advising that no payments would be accepted for the land until passages from Scandinavia had been paid for, families began to leave the district some, emigrating to America.

PREPARATION FOR THE RAILWAY

In 1874, the Napier-Palmerston North railway being in prospect, work was given to the men in sleeper-splitting and this afforded some relief, while in the meantime the bush was slowly giving way to sheep pastures.

THE FIRST SCHOOL

The need for a school became apparent, as there were 28 children of school age, and it was important that they should learn English. The Government, in January 1873, approved of the erection of a school, a small building of two rooms, one room without windows comprising the dwelling portion. The school was duly opened with Mrs Johnson (or Jorgensen) a Danish woman, as teacher, and operated for some months under her tutelage, until ill health forced her to resign in November 1873. The school was without a teacher until the appointment of a Miss Coveney in 1875.

The first school committee of seven was elected from a public meeting held in 1879. Mr. J. Allardice being appointed Chairman over six Scandinavian settler members. It is significant, as Mr. Henderson points out in his thesis, that the committee elected 5 years later contained no Scandinavians, the area of saw milling having begun, so that Dannevirke was no longer a purely Scandinavian settlement.

The original suggestion had been that a school teacher be brought out with the immigrants, who would be capable of ministering to the spiritual needs of the settlers who belonged to the Lutheran Church, but it was not until 1886 that Pastor H. M. Ries was appointed by the Norsewood and Dannevirke settlements to conduct services in accordance with their own faith.

THE SHAPING OF THE PLAN:

In other respects, however, the Government plan for the development of the area and the opening of roads had worked out well, as by 1874, a regular coach service was operating between Foxton and Napier on a very serviceable road.

Photo caption – High Street, 1888.

Page 18

THE MAKING OF A TOWN

The settlers, however, had found their lot hard and lonely and disillusionment and dissatisfaction caused many to leave their allotments, so that today, while there are many reminders of Scandinavian occupation, residents of British origin predominate.

THE SAWMILLING ERA

Although, in the early stages, the Norsewood settlement developed more rapidly, the sawmilling area in Dannevirke, and the arrival of the railroad in 1884, brought rapid population and growth. In 1881 Dannevirke had a population of 128; in 1886, 392; in 1891, 838; and in 1892, 1,000. The figure for 1908 is given at 3,509, and the present day population is 4,700.

The chief reasons for the ascendancy of Dannevirke over Norsewood are quoted as being: –

(1)   The railroad passed directly through Dannevirke, but 5 miles from Norsewood.
(2)   The terrain at Dannevirke is more porous, flatter, and thus more easily farmed.
(3)   The highway to the East Coast made Dannevirke the shopping area of Southern Hawke’s Bay.

ENGLISH SETTLERS

Mr Hugh Henderson’s thesis quotes George Wratt, who came to Dannevirke in 1881, as recording the following English settlers at that time: – J. Allardice kept a boarding house on a site halfway between the present Gordon Street and Allardice Street. T. Miller owned the block on High Street from Miller’s Road to opposite the present Station Street. J. Martin owned a section of forty acres on the west of what is now Rawhiti Street. A. McCallum owned about thirty acres on the opposite side of Miller’s Road to the town and towards the river on the same road. Messrs Williams, Jones and Hunter had a further block of thirty acres. North of Allardice Street all the settlers except one – F. Elmbranch, who formerly had the “Rest and be Thankful” at Tahoraiti, bought a section in Dannevirke and established a blacksmith’s shop – were Scandinavians who by this time spoke English fluently. The private road to the Mangatoro Station was on the site of the present road to Weber and the owner of Mangatoro, G. D. Hamilton, with F. G. Cowper at Kaitoke, were the only settlers on the other side of the Manawatu river.

SAWMILLS

In partnership with W. Henderson, G. Wratt founded the first sawmill in

 

Page 19

THE MAKING OF A TOWN

Dannevirke in 1885 on the flat above the river on the present Millers Road. The mill took its supply of logs from both sides of the Mangatera stream and later on from the Tipapakuku flats. When cut, the timber was conveyed by tram to a siding which had been purchased by Henderson north of where the present railway station is situated. Up till this time timber required in the district had been pit-sawn. In the years following, many mills were erected in the vicinity of the township and a prosperity began which continued long after the mills exhausted supplies of standing bush, since the land exposed proved very suitable for dairying.

THE RAILWAY

When the railway reached the district it was first intended to build the station at Tahoraiti which at this time was a busy centre, having the Post Office, Station, a store, an hotel, a soap-factory, as well as the coaching stables. At Dannevirke, the siding which had been purchased by Henderson, soon became important, as the Railway Department permitted goods to be consigned there and passengers to travel from there. Traffic at the siding soon eclipsed that at Tahoraiti and the Department took by proclamation half the width of Queen Street from Stairs Street to Princess Street and built a station on the Queen Street side of the line.

SOCIAL LIFE

The sawmills had materially boosted the population of the town, which was ill equipped to provide the employees with entertainment. Churches provided the main social outlets by way of organised concerts and picnics, but the sawmill hands effectively solved their problems through the medium of athletics and hotel bars, and Saturday night was usually boisterously exuberant.

The town was ready for development and for local government.

Photo caption –

Tramway Reserve, next to Showgrounds.

Page 20

CIVIC PRIDE

COPY OF LETTER BY TOWN CLERK Dated 6th December, 1904.

To the Manager,
Trustees, Executors & Agency Co. of NZ. Ltd.,
DUNEDIN.

Dear Sir,

I am in receipt of yours of 25th ultimo on the subject of your company’s ability in the way of advancing loans to Local Bodies. I note your Company has considerable sums at its disposal, but that yourself and Directors are little acquainted with this town. I may say this Borough bids fair to become the main inland town of Hawke’s Bay District, as Masterton and Palmerston North are of Wairarapa and Manawatu respectively in the Wellington Province.

Would you be prepared to advance £15,000, say for a term of twenty years at 5% interest, commission ½%, the Council to have the option at any time during that period of paying off the loan upon giving your Company twelve months’ notice of its intention so to do.

WATER SUPPLY. – With reference to your question as to a difficulty with our Water Supply, I may state you are under a misapprehension; to explain, in the first instance a Water Scheme costing £7,500 was considered ample for the Borough as it stood eight years ago. Two years later the Borough had progressed to such an extent that a further loan of £2,500 was necessary in order to extend the reticulation. Six years have now passed, and it is now necessary to further extend the water mains and carry out other improvements to bring the Water Supply Works, etc., thoroughly up to date.

AREA. – Another example of progress and expansion is noticed in the fact that whereas this Borough has now an area of 1,222 acres, the township originally laid off by the Government comprised only some 20 acres. I regret not having a map that I might send to show this development for in that way it could be very forcibly illustrated.

DRAINAGE. – Our Drainage Scheme, so the Chief Health Officer tells us, when completed will be the most up to date in the Colony. In view of the Town’s progress and past experience with our Water Supply, the Council determined to look ahead with regard to Drainage; the scheme will be suitable for a population of 10,000 people.

THE DISTRICT. – The Country Districts are developing rapidly, roads and bridges are being constructed, Creameries, and Butter Factories erected, timber exported, etc. In many ways proof is given of the continued progress, not only of the Borough, but of the District as a whole.

I note that your Directors intend making enquiries and presume we shall hear further from you in the matter. We have already similar offers to yours, from the Bank and two other Financial Institutions, so it will be well that there should not be any delay on the part of your Company if is intending to do anything in the matter. The Council meets on the 13th inst. and if it were possible to reply by that date and make some definite offer to the Council I shall be glad.

Thanking you for your letter of 25th ultimo.

I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,

(Sgd.) Frank G. Magnusson,
Town Clerk.

Page 21

THE DANNEVIRKE DISTRICT A. & P. ASSOCIATION

held its first general meeting in the Club Room of Andrews Hotel on Friday morning, October 15th, 1909.

Mr. W. Rose presided and Mr. Averill acted as Secretary.

The following officers were elected:-

President   Mr. James Armstrong.
Vice Presidents   Messrs Rose & Rathbone.
Treasurer   G. J. Bickford.
Auditor   W. A. Ryan.

Committee: – Messrs. W. Castles, D. Morrison, M. Tansey, C. Smith. C. McDonald, Stuckey, W. H. Small, E. Morgans, Averill, Bain, Buick, D. McKenzie, Fairhurst, Kilford, Featherstone, Roake, King, Ferguson, Hooper, Smith, Bunny, Benton, Curtis, McDermott and H. Graham, and the Norsewood and Takapau representatives to be appointed by the Committee.

The Secretary to be appointed by the Committee, and to be paid a salary of £25 for the first year.

Photo –

Page 22

Local Body History

DANNEVIRKE ROAD BOARD

Local body history in Dannevirke began with the formation of a Highways District. Formerly the locality was administered, as part of the 70-mile bush area, by the Waipawa County Council, and, by proclamation dated 15/4/72, the Provincial Council of Hawke’s Bay, proclaimed an area of land at 70-mile bush, to be a separate Highway district, described as follows: –

Seventy-Mile Bush District

Starting at the main road at the north boundary of Tahoraiti, block No. 2, follows along the boundary of that block in a westerly and southerly direction to the old bridle track. thence along that track to Tahoraiti No 1, following the west and south boundary to the old bridle track and along that track to Matahiwi; thence along the western and southern boundaries of that block to the Manawatu River; thence up that river to the Otope Creek, and up that creek to the south-east boundary of the Otope Block, and along the eastern boundary of that block to the Kaitoki Block to the Mangatoro Block, and by the southern and eastern boundaries of that block to Rakautuhaka, and thence by a straight line bearing east to the western boundary of the Porangahau Block, and along the western boundary of that block in a northerly direction to the Mangapoaka road, and along the northern boundary of that road to the Manawatu River, and across that river to the northern boundary of the same road to Tahoraiti No. 2. and by the northern boundary of that block to the starting point.

The name of the Seventy Mile Bush District must have been changed to the Danevirk Highway District some time prior to 16th December, 1876, because Bror Eric Friberg’s appointment as Judge to the Assessment Court, notified in the New Zealand Gazette on 23rd July, 1876, mentions the Danevirk Highway District for the first time.

Originally Dannevirke township formed part of the Waipawa County Council and amongst the earliest representatives of the riding were Messrs Gainsforth, G. D. Hamilton, and W. F. Knight.

MEETING OF RATEPAYERS.

A first meeting of ratepayers of the new district was held on 24th March, 1877, and the following persons were elected to the Board of Wardens for the District: –

Chairman:   George Douglas Hamilton.
Wardens:   Alexander Grant, Henry Gaisford, James Allardice, Frederick Elmbranch.

The Highways District was constituted a Road District in 1882.

Full membership of the Highway and Road Boards between the years 1877 and 1885 (when a separate Dannevirke Town District was formed) has proved very difficult to trace, but it is known that at some time during the existence of the Boards, the following served: –

As Chairman:
F. G. Cowper.
G. Wratt (for 5 years).

As Wardens:
W. Henderson.
Angus Mackay.
George Wratt.
J. Allardice.
Matthew Henderson.

Messrs D. McCallum and G. Wright each acted as Clerk to the Board for a time.

Page 23

Local Body History

DANNEVIRKE TOWN BOARD

Hawke’s Bay Weekly Courier, 17th July, 1885.
From Dvke. Correspondent, 11th. July, 1885.

“A meeting is to be holden tonight to consider the advisability or otherwise of forming a Town Board for our now rapidly progressing township. There are already over 60 residences and new ones are being added almost weekly.”

CONSTITUTION

In August, 1885, a petition was presented, to the Governor by more than two-thirds of the number of resident householders in the locality, praying that such locality be constituted as a town district, and the Governor thereupon declared on 7th September, 1885, the District to be a Town District to be administered by five Commissioners – N.Z. Gazette, 17/9/1885, Page 1053.

ELECTION

Extract from NZ. Gazette 10/9/1885, Page 1040: –

Arrangements for First Elections, Town District of Danevirke, County of Waipawa.

Colonial Secretary’s Office,
Wellington,
7th September, 1885.

His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint

JOHN MIDDLETON NELSON

to be the Returning Officer to conduct the first election of five Commissioners for the Town District of Danevirke, as constituted under “The Town Districts Act, 1881”; also to appoint Saturday, the 10th day of October, 1885, to be the time, and the Schoolhouse, Danevirke, to be the place, for holding such first elections; also to appoint Saturday, the 17th day of October, 1885, at noon, to be the time, and the office of Duncan McCallum, Dannevirke, to be the place, for the first meeting of the Commissioners of the said town district.

– P. A. BUCKLEY.

NOTE: the two distinct spellings of the name of the town.

Owing to there being no trace of the Town Board Minute Book, information as to membership had to be obtained from other sources. An extensive search of the files of the “Hawke’s Bay Weekly Courier,” the “Evening Post,” the “Dannevirke Advocate” and the “Waipawa Mail” has provided a list of members which is thought to be complete.

The first election produced the following Commissioners to act under the chairmanship of Matthew Henderson: –

Henry Carlson.
John Younghusband.
Vincent Rasmussen.
Jacob Anderson Bak.
George Wratt.

DISPUTED ELECTION

The newly formed Town Board took office under unfavourable auspices, as the election was no sooner over than a declaration by a candidate and two electors was filed at the Magistrate’s Court, alleging that certain of the electors, and among them, three of the candidates, had exercised more votes than they were, by law, entitled to.

The case was heard in the Magistrate’s Courts Waipawa and Ormondville, and dismissed on a technicality.

Page 24

Extract from Waipawa Mail, 1/10/1885.

“A gentleman who recently visited Dannevirke, has expressed his surprise at the number of people that are now to be seen bustling about in that township. He says he cannot imagine where they all come from, and can only conclude that they find occupation in this rapidly rising neighbourhood.”

DANNEVIRKE TOWN BOARD

TOWN BOARD ROLL during the seven years of existence:

CHAIRMEN in Order of Service:

William Henderson.
G. Wright.
James Allardice.
Angus Mackay.
James Allardice.
William Henderson.

COMMISSIONERS in alphabetical order:

Allardice, J.
Athy, S.
Back, J. A.
Baddeley, C.
Carlson, O.
Friis, L.
Fraser, J. C.
Mackay, D.
Miller, T.
Rasmussen, V.
Wratt, G.
Younghusband, J.

Wm. Bierre served as Town Clerk to the Board.

Hawke’s Bay Weekly Courier, 4/12/1885.

“Chairman Dannevirke Road Board requested the Waste Lands Board on 27/11/85 that the unsold sections in the Dannevirke village settlement might be proclaimed Town Board Reserves.”

DANNEVIRKE BOROUGH COUNCIL

THE BOROUGH:

Sawmilling and its allied trades and industries brought about such a rapid rise in the population that it was possible, under the provisions of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1886, to present a petition from not less than 100 resident householders, to the Governor of the Colony, praying for the constitution of the Town Board as a Borough.

The Governor, the Earl of Glasgow, in answer to the petition, formally proclaimed the district a Borough as from the 10th day of November, 1892, Mr. F. C. W. Bierre being appointed Town Clerk and Returning Officer for the purpose of conducting the first election of Mayor and Councillors of the Borough.

FIRST COUNCIL:

The elections resulted in Mr. Angus Mackay being appointed the first Mayor on Monday, 12th December, 1892, and Bartholomew Dennehy was elected as a Councillor on Tuesday, 13th December, 1892. The following were members of the Town Board and were entitled to continue in office as Borough Councillors:

William Henderson.
Charles Baddeley.
Olaf Carlson.
James C. Fraser.
George Wratt.

All of these took the statutory declaration as a Councillor at the initial meeting of the Council with the exception of James C. Fraser, who left the meeting.

The Borough was originally divided into North, Central and South wards and this system of control led to some difficulty in loan proposal and other matters until the Ward principle was abolished on

2nd April, 1903, by the Council.

Page 25

Borough Council

The new Council settled to its affairs expeditiously. Many of the existing streets of the town were at that time in bush and scrub, or laid out and unformed. Footpaths were practically non-existent and there was no water supply or sewerage.

It will remain an everlasting tribute to the Councils of the first 20 years that practically all major works and amenities necessary to the welfare of the town were provided before 1912. It is fitting too, that the last of the loan liabilities incurred by reason of these early major works, should have been repaid in this, the Jubilee year.

Subsequent Councils, by prudent financing, have added to these basic amenities in most cases out of revenue, until in 1952, there is probably no Borough of similar size in NZ. which is better equipped or maintained, and the net public debt at 31/3/52 is £42,709, a relatively low figure.

DANNEVIRKE TOWN BOARD

Tenders are invited for the following Works:

Contract No. 1,   Felling, Stumping and Clearing 23½ chains of bush road in Mortensen Street. (Accepted at £37/10/-).

Contract No. 2,   Felling, Stumping and Clearing 36 chains of street line, Dagmar and Gertrude Streets (Accepted at £16/4/-).

Contract No. 3,   Felling. stumping and Clearing 23½ chains of street line, Claudius and Thyra Streets. (Accepted at £12/15/-.

Contract No. 4,   Stumping and Clearing 39 chains of street line, Millers Road and Railway Street Accepted at £16).

Contract No. 5,   Stumping and Clearing 37½ chains of street line. London, Dublin and Edinburgh Streets. (Accepted at £8).

Plans and Specifications at Board’s Office.

Wm. BIERRE,
20/9/1888.   Town Clerk

Page 26

PROVIDING BOROUGH AMENITIES

The history of the development of the major amenities is given hereunder:

WATER SUPPLY:

The newly formed Borough Council evidently considered that a good water supply was a priority work, because at the fourth meeting of the Council, held on 2nd March, 1893, a Mr. Lamb, Engineer, of Hastings, was asked to give estimates and plans for bringing water to the town. The Council must have had the Tamaki river as a source of supply in mind, as Lamb was asked to make a plan of the Tamaki heights above the Town. His estimate of the cost, however, was considered too high and the plan was deferred.

Recourse was then taken to boring for an artesian supply, without success and a proposal for water from the Tamaki river was again considered based on this occasion on a report from Mr. L. H. Reynolds, Engineer of Dunedin. A £7,500 loan proposal was carried at a public poll on the 23rd December, 1895, by 132. votes to 14, and the work commenced in 1896. A weir at the intake was erected in 1897 and exists today, the system still adequately meeting the needs of the town, although in 1922 provision was made for the drawing of the supply from springs adjacent to the Tamaki, thus taking advantage of filtration through a gravel sub-soil. The original scheme provided for water to be brought from the intake to the reservoir in an open race, but as a safeguard against-pollution, an 18in. concrete pipe was laid in 1938 between the two points. The scheme has been marked by continuous progress and expansion, and is adequately supplying a population of approximately 5,000 with good quality water.

Water was laid on to the channels in main streets in 1902, and is still a subject of appreciative comment by visitors who have not experienced elsewhere the boon given by fresh water as a street cleanser.

DRAINAGE AND SEWERAGE:

The need for an effective sewerage system generally, and as a safeguard against infectious diseases in particular engaged the mind of the Council early, and became a practical possibility with the installation of a water supply. Discussions in June, 1904, led to the approval of a scheme a year later, to cost £4,671, which envisaged a reservoir water system for drain flushing purposes, and a poll was successfully taken in July, 1895, but the resultant loan proposals were abandoned in February, 1896.

In May, 1901, the subject was reopened, and Mr. L. H. Reynolds of Dunedin. who designed and installed the waterworks, was asked for a report and estimate for sewering portion of the Borough, being mainly the Central Ward, but a public meeting held on 23/12/1901 refused to endorse the proposal for a £6,500 loan. Nevertheless, the report, in conjunction with a report from Dr. De Lisle. Medical Officer of Health, was

Page 27

approved by the Council in May, 1903, and Mr. Reynolds was commissioned to draw up plans for a fee of 2½%. A further public meeting in March, 1904, endorsed the proposal, and a loan of £20,000 was confirmed by a poll of ratepayers. The actual amount raised was £15,000 and an additional 10%, £1,500, was borrowed later. The work was commenced in 1905 and arrangements were also made for the purchase of Section 44, Millers Road. as a site for a septic tank and negotiations entered into with the Maoris for the acquisition of the present Sewer Reserve for outfall purposes. A further £4,000 was required to complete the loan in April. 1910, and the basis of the present system was thus laid.

WHO? THE MEN?

Resolved on 20/l/1898, that two men be employed permanently as surfacemen in connection with the general work and the waterworks, and that they be paid 7/- per day, wet or dry.

Fire Prevention

The Borough Council controlled fire prevention in the town for a comparatively short period which was remarkable only for lack of amity in Brigade matters. Resignations, both forced and voluntary, were the order of the day and there were occasions when the whole of the Brigade resigned rather than accept certain appointments made.

The Council had been in Office almost three years when a poll of rate-payers approved a loan of £1000 for fire prevention and water storage equipment, but the proposal was not furthered by the Council and the matter lapsed until in September, 1906, on the advice of Mr. G. V. Helmsley, Captain of the Wellington Fire Brigade, equipment to the value of £204/1/- was purchased.

The site for the present Fire Station was bought in 1905, and in June, 1907, Dannevirke was declared to be a fire district, Crs. Drummond, Johnstone and Wratt being elected the Council’s representatives on the newly formed Dannevirke Fire Board.

Page 28

ELECTRIC POWER

Although the supply of power to the town and district is now the function of the Dannevirke Electric Power Board, various Borough Councils seriously considered the installation of plant.

In March, 1894, Mr. I. H. Clayton offered to supply electric light or gas to the town. The Council accepted the offer and the deed was actually signed by the Council, but nothing further was done. Further otfffers [offers] were received in 1896 but none appears to have been given very serious consideration.

Waihi Falls For Power

A special meeting of the Council on 28th August, 1903, resulted in a request to the Government to make the services of a visiting electrical expert on a proposal to use the Waihi Falls as a source of power for the Borough“. At the next meeting a report from a Mr. Nelson (who may have been the visiting expert) was available and Mr. Henry Carlson donated £10 towards the cost with the suggestion that local legislation authorizing the Borough to generate electricity be obtained. The Bill proposed that £75,000 be spent on development of the scheme, with a further £25,000 to be provided for additions and improvements. Nothing further was heard of the matter and it was not until 1920 that active steps for the supply of electricity were taken and the Electric Power Districts of Southern Hawke’s Bay (later the Dannevirke Electric Power Board) came into being.

GAS SUPPLY –

As in the case of electric power. an offer was received from Mr. Clayton to supply gas in 1894, but did not eventuate. In 1987,  [1887 ], however, an offer by Mr. J. Watt of the Balclutha Water Gas Company to erect a water gas plant was accepted, but before the plant was under way, he requested transfer of his rights to Mr. Wm. Henderson. The council consented to this on the 1st September, 1898, with the proviso that the gas be sold at not more than 15/6 per 1,000 cubic feet, less discount 2/- per 1,000 cubic feet for prompt payment.

STATISTICS 1951 -52.

No. of consumers:   1215.
Gas manufactured:   25,718,400 c. ft.
Gas sold:   19,528,900 c. ft.
Coke sold:   12,387 bags.
Tar sold:   14,801 gallons.
Average make per ton of coal carbonised:   13,900 c. ft.

The lighting of the streets by gas was undertaken in 1903, and, in their day, the gas lamps were of great benefit to the town.

Succeeding Councils always had in mind the acquisition of gasworks as a publicly owned amenity, and in 1905 an offer of £9,500 was made to Wm. Henderson for the purchase of the works, but no agreement was reached.

The works were taken over by a syndicate on 24th November, 1905, and further consideration was given to Council purchase in 1906, but a public meeting did not approve of the proposal to borrow £15,000 for the purpose.

No serious consideration was given to the purchase for some years and the intervention of the 1914-1918 war led to further postponement, until in February, 1920, a proposal to purchase was carried by the ratepayers.

A Loan of £25,000 was raised for the following works: –

(1)   £16,000 for the purchase of the works.
(2)   £1,500 for the purchase of the stocks.
(3)   £4,000 for the extension of mains.
(4)   £2,000 for the extension of the retort bench, etc.
(5)   £1,500 for contingencies and preliminary expenses.

The loan was to expire in, 1956, but it was later absorbed in the Consolidated Conversion Loan and finally paid off this year (1952).

Page 29

GAS SUPPLY

Under Council direction, the undertaking expanded steadily, and the reticulation was extended to the outlying parts of the town until in 1949, the existing holder capacity was inadequate and a further loan of £25,000 was raised for the purpose of providing a 100,000 cubic feet holder, renewals of retorts and replacement of certain mains. The original holder erected in 1897 had a capacity of 10,050 cubic feet, the second holder, erected in 1905, 21,280 cubic feet, so that it is a tribute to the sound state of the department, that, in face of electricity and other competition, the Council was able to embark on a 100,000 cubic feet holder in 1949. The gasworks has been of great service to the community has paid its own way, and in terms of domestic and industrial supply is proving a great boon to the town in days of power shortages.

COMPOSTING

In 1946 the Council instituted a scheme for the composing of Municipal and other waste matter on a site below the septic tank in Miller Street. The project is now just emerging from the experimental stage, but it can be said that a satisfactory manure is being produced from materials which would otherwise be wasted, at a cost of less than disposal of the waste by any other available means. There is a steady sale of the product, but the limited amount of material available from household refuse and other sources prevents the undertaking being conducted on a large scale.

LIBRARY

The Public Library, housed in what is now the Women’s Rest and Plunket Rooms in Allardice Street, was administered by an independent Committee until the Council took it over in April 1902. Prior to this date, the Council’s responsibility ceased with an annual donation of £10.

The Council agreed that future Library Committees be elected annually by subscribers, but that all members of the Council be Library Committee Members ex-officio.

In June, 1905, an approach was made to Andrew Carnegie for a grant towards the Library, and a year later an offer from Mr. Carnegie of £2,000 was received and gratefully accepted.

Page 30

LIBRARY

On plans and specifications prepared by the architect, Mr. S. D. Lamb, the tender of £1,825 by Mr. J. L. Scott to build the Library was accepted in March, 1907, and the work commenced forthwith.

The Library operated on the customary subscription basis until 1946, when a change over to the Government sponsored “Country Library” service system was made and an indication of the appreciation of the public to the change-over is given in that the total number of borrowers in 1946 was 1,093, and at the 31st July, 1952, was 2660.

Improved interior decoration and the partial installation of fluorescent lighting with improved book stocks has resulted in a library of modern appearance of which the town may be proud. The recent introduction of books for intermediate readers is proving successful.

LIBRARY STATISTICS.

1951-52.

MEMBERSHIP:

Adult   1272
Juvenile   1003
Country   39
Rental   295

STOCK:

Fiction   5068
Juvenile   825
Other   2773

BOOKS ISSUED:

Fiction   35,587
Juvenile   10,360
Magazine   3,966
Other   7,894

REVENUE:
Subscriptions   £32
Rentals   £80
Extras   £227
Magazines, etc.   £56

Page 31

APPLICATION FOR LIBRARY GRANT TO ANDREW CARNEGIE

20th June, 1905.

To A. Carnegie, Esq.,
Skibo Castle, Donagh,
Sutherlandshire,
SCOTLAND.

Dear Sir,

I have the honor, by direction of the above Council, to approach you in the matter of a grant of £2,000 for the purpose of erecting a Free Public Library and Reading Room for this Borough.

I may mention for your information that the present building is altogether inadequate and unfit for the purpose. Until three years ago the library was controlled by a committee of private citizens, who were practically the owners. It has now been vested in the Municipal Corporation of the Borough of Dannevirke, and is registered under “the Public Libraries Act, 1858” thereby becoming a permanent institution.

The principal source of revenue is a “Library Rate” which is struck on the annual value of all property in the Borough. The maximum rate allowed by the “Municipal Corporations Act, 1900,” is one penny in the £1. This rate has been collected for the last three years. The amount for the years ending 31st March, 1904 and 1905 was respectively £90/16/4 and £105/9/2. The year ending on 31st March will show a corresponding increase in accordance with additional value of properties. The Library is also subsidised by Government. I am enclosing copies of our Audited Balance Sheets for the years 1903 and 1904 and a statement for 1905 for your perusal.

The library is managed by a committee of nine citizens appointed by the Council and the Mayor and Councillors are (ex officio) members of the Committee. The Library is stocked with the latest standard works of fiction, also Scientific, Biographical, Geographical and Educational Works. In the Public Reading Room are found all the latest newspapers, periodicals and magazines.

The population of this Borough is 3,000 but there are outlying townships and settlements, the inhabitants of which are allowed to participate in, the benefits of this Free Library. As an example of progress and development I may state that the Government when laying out a township considered about 20 acres as sufficient, whereas the area of the Borough is 1,222 acres. The annual value ten, years ago was £8,086, the present value is £30,000.

This application is made to you by the Council on the recommendation of the Committee of Citizens. May I, in concluding, commend it to your favourable and kind consideration, and at the same time inform you that if successful we are promised a valuable site to be vested in the Council for all time for the purposes of a Free Public Library. Trusting to hear from you at an early date and with all respect,

I have the honour to be, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

(Sgn.) F. G. MAGNUSSON, Town Clerk.

AERIAL PHOTO OF DANNEVIRKE, 1951.

WHITES AVIATION LTD. PHOTOGRAPH

Page 34

ABATTOIRS

Before the turn of the century, the Council had the erection of Municipal Abattoirs in mind and an Abattoir Committee first met to consider ways and means in December, 1901, Cr. A. L. Gordon being the first Chairman. By June 1902 the Committee was able to bring down a report acceptable to the Council, and a search for suitable land was commenced.

First preference was for a 50-acre block of Maori land on the flats adjoining the southern boundary of the town, being part of the Tahoraiti No. 2 Block, but no agreement could be reached with the Maori owners. In January, 1904, the existing site was purchased from M. J. McPherson, and Mrs J. Allardice offered land for an access road, 1 chain wide, free, provided the Council formed a legal road, fenced, and provided with the necessary gates.

Immediate provision was made for the raising of a £5,000 loan. In November, 1904, Architect Ragnar Jenssen’s plans and specifications were approved, and in April, 1906, J. L. Scott’s tender of £2,474 for erection accepted. The first report of the Manager was received in March, 1907. A storeroom, cattle and sheep pens, were built in 1910 as well as a house for the manager which was, however, destroyed by fire in July, 1911, but rebuilt the same year at a cost of £439. Today, in 1952, with modern killing facilities, the Abattoirs still operate efficiently for the benefit of the butchers and the town.

ABATTOIR STATISTICS:

Public Debt   Nil.

Stock slaughtered: –
– For year ended 31/3/52:
– Cattle   1771
– Sheep and lambs   8549
– Pigs   953
– Calves   2

[Text on map]

TO WELLINGTON   HIGH ST.   TO NAPIER

YORK ST.
CHRISTIAN ST.
GEORGE ST.

CRICKET
ATHLETICS
HOCKEY
SOFTBALL
SWIMMING
CAMPING GROUND

THE DOMAIN
1.   WAR MEMORIAL
2.   ROSE GARDEN
3.   CHILDREN’S PLAY AREA
4.   PADDLING POOL
5.   BAND ROTUNDA
6.   GRANDSTAND
7.   METEOROLOGICAL STATION

DRAWN BY N. HALL
ARTWORK BY M. FRANCE

 

Page 36

DOMAINS AND RESERVES

Although the records of the Lands and Survey Department, Napier, were destroyed in the 1931 earthquake, it is clear that Section 12 Dannevirke on which the Domain stands was one of those sections set aside as reserves in the original plan of settlement.

Known in the early days as the Recreation ground, it was administered by a Domain Board until the 10th October, 1905, when it was vested in the Council, acting as the Dannevirke Domain Board. The Council immediately put into effect a progressive development policy which, through the years, has resulted in the splendid gardens, sports area. and campsite available to the people today.Photo –

The attraction of the sheltered camping ground with its hot water showers and washing facilities, gas and electric cooking, and other modern amenities, is becoming widely known to motorists who use it extensively throughout the year. A high standard is maintained in floral display, and the sports ground with its commodious grandstand has few equals in the Dominion.

The Council also controls the Makirikiri Domain, a bush reserve about 1 mile south of the town, and the Wahi Pai Domain, a pleasant reserve with playing ground, bush, and pavilion facilities on the northern boundary of the town, together with various pl[ots and reserves in the town which are usually bright and attractive. Coronation park, an area of 23½ acres in Guy Street, has been purchased for future sports purposes.

DOMAIN FEATURES:

Playing fields.
Grandstand and Band Rotunda.
Children’s Playground.
Gardens and flower beds.
Fishpool.
Baths.
Paddling pool.
Floodlit War Memorial.
Campsite.
Plant nursery.

Page 37

DO YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DOMAIN?

[Text on photo – D15 ROSE GARDEN. DOMAIN. DANNEVIRKE – H.B.]

Page 38

COUNCIL CONTROLS DOMAINS

26th August, 1905.

The Hon. the Minister for Lands,
Lands Department,
WELLINGTON.

Dear Sir,

A memorial from the Dannevirke Domain Board praying that the Council would take over the control of the Public Domain has been presented to the Dannevirke Borough Council and the latter body has by resolution carried at the Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday, April 11th, 1905, granted the request contained in said memorial.

The motion passed by the Domain Board was as follows: – “That this Board desires to hand over the control of the Dannevirke Public Domain to the Dannevirke Borough Council, providing that Body is willing to accept the responsibility, and the consent and approval of the Governor is obtained.”

May I request that an order in Council be gazetted, vesting control in the Borough Council.

I am, Dear Sir,

Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) FRANK. G. MAGNUSSON,
Town Clerk

CRICKET TEAM:

Dannevirke A versus Ormondville, 7th December, 1904: A Berr, Hunter, Nash, Dobbie, C. and P. Hansard, Neale, Stewart, Beckett, Osborne, Crespin, McDonald. Emergency: Browne.

Page 39

TOWN HALL AND OFFICES

The first Council used the office building owned by the Town Clerk, F. C. Bierre, situated in High Street where F. Bullick Ltd’s shop [now stands, for its purposes until an offer by Mr. M. Henderson of Lots 89/90, Section 19 Hunter and Stairs Street, free, on the condition that the Town Hall be built on the site was accepted on 20th January, 1898, but an objection by two of the Councillors to the effect that the site was not central, resulted in a fresh offer from Mr. Henderson to build offices thereon, free of cost. The final arrangement was that Mr. Henderson built offices on his land, corner of Hunter and Stairs Streets, which were rented free to the Council and which continued to be used until the new Town Hall was built. The building, now used as a dwelling house, still stands.

AGITATION FOR THEATRE

In November 1905, there was agitation for the erection of a theatre and a proposal for the erection of joint offices and theatre was defeated by two votes. The proposal was again voiced in June 1908, this time as joint offices for Borough and County purposes, but no action was taken, on a resolution to buy land in Gordon Street. A further motion in November 1909 to erect a Municipal Opera House was lost, but a public meeting in April 1910 approved the erection of a building to cost not more that £10,000, and the Council endorsed this decision in principle. Many offers for sites were received and eventually the present site was selected at a cost of £1,520.

In August 1910, the Council decided to place a loan proposal to erect an Opera House, with shops (to cost not more than £8,000) before the ratepayers and the result of the poll held on 26th October, 1910, was 283 for the proposal, 176 against.

ARCHITECT ENGAGED

The Council engaged the Hon. W. Pitt, Architect, of Melbourne, to prepare plans and specifications, the supervision to be done by a Dannevirke architect, Mr. Lamb, and the Mayor, Mr. E. A. Ransom was authorised to visit Melbourne to discuss the plans with the Hon. Pitt. Mr. J. H. Fairhurst’s tender for the Town Hall to include a shop and Borough offices, was accepted at £7,315/11/-, and toPhoto – provide for furnishings, etc., a further loan of £2000 was necessary. The foundation stone was laid on the 2nd August, 1911, and the first three nights’ use of the Town Hall were granted to the Amateur Operatic Society and these proved the forerunners of many enjoyable nights made possible to the people of Dannevirke by the availability of a well equipped theatre.

The shop was eventually deleted to make more office space available and further reconstruction, mainly to the front or office portion of the building was needed as a result of a severe earthquake in March, 1934.

A £5,500 reconstruction loan was raised and opportunity taken to re-plan the office portion, strengthen the whole building, install a heating system for the Concert Chamber and office, and make moveable the seating of the Town Hall ground floor auditorioum
[ auditorium ], and the Concert Chamber.

Page 40

DANNEVIRKE TOWN HALL

Built in 1911 by courageous pioneers, the Town Hall gives full service to the community.

SEATING CAPACITY

Dress Circle   257
Stalls   410
Pit   112
779

PROSCENIUM

feet
Width   28
Height   21
Stage –
Width   60
Depth  43
Height to flies   24
Height to grid   42

CONCERT CHAMBER

Seating capacity, 120.[
Stage and kitchen facilities.

Page 41

CORONATION PUBLIC BATHS

As in the case of several other Borough amenities, Public Baths proposals went off to a few false starts.

Firstly, there was an offer by the firm of H. Monteith and Co. to donate a section for the purpose, which was declined with thanks in December, 1905.

Next, in February, 1909, a deputation waited on the Council to press the need for baths, and in this case the Council made all arrangements to proceed, including the selection of a site, Lot 19 of Section 21, with a right-of-way access to Burns Street, and the provision of plans and specifications by the Borough Engineer on a scheme to cost £1,750, but the proposal was rejected by the public at a poll.

Then, in April, 1910, a resolution was carried to erect Baths, to cost not more than £900 on the Public Pound site in Christian Street, but was not proceeded with. Finally, a deputation to the Council in April, 1911, suggested that, as a King George V Coronation Memorial, Public Baths to be subsidised by the Government and to be assisted by public subscription, be built. The proposal bore fruit and as soon as the present site was given access to by the purchase of a house from Mr. Campbell Thomson, Section 11, Lot 3, York Street, and the provision of a right of way along the side of the house to the Domain, Mr. J. L. Scott’s tender of £573 was accepted and the work commenced. Mr. Henry Carlson donated £50 towards the cost and a special Committee raised £242/13/-, while Government Subsidy amounted to £250. All those who had donated more than 10/- were given free tickets for the first season.

Page 42

DANNEVIRKE FIRE BOARD:

The Dannevirke Fire Board came into existence consequent on the provisions of Section 6 of Section 56 of the Fire Brigades Act 1907, the initial meeting being held in the Council Chambers, Hunter Street, on the 4th March, 1908. The members of the Board were Mr. George Wright, representing the Government, Messrs. J. J. Mallard, R. H. Simpson and C. A. Ewan, the Insurance Companies, and Messrs George Wratt, W. Johnston and John Drummond, the Dannevirke Borough Council. The Town Clerk acted as Secretary for that meeting, at which it was resolved to call applications for officers, and at a subsequent meeting Mr. James McMillan was appointed Superintendent, Mr. Frederick Punch Deputy, and Mr. Walter Dobson Secretary, a position he retained for upwards of 32 years. The Fire Station at that time was located approximately on the site of Kennerley’s Service Station, the equipment comprising manual reel and a supply of hose, and the Fire Bell and tower and bell situated on[ the centre of the cross roads was taken over by the Board for the payment of £183.

The new Station in Allardice Street was built in 1912 by the late J. L. Scott, on plans prepared by Mr. S. D. Lamb. Mr. McMillan resigned his position as Superintendent consequent on increasing physical disability, but up to the date of his death retained his connection with the Board as Government representative, and in that capacity his practical experience and sound common sense were invaluable in its deliberations and his passing constituted a great loss. Mr. McMillan’s successors were Mr C. H. Scott, Mr. R. Miller and the present superintendent, Mr. A. Barton.

Through the years the Board has saved the town well and today the Brigade operates efficiently with modern equipment including a Ford fire engine purchased in 1950 for £2,310.

(Contributed by W. Dobson).

FIRE PLUGS & WATERMAINS:

In the earlier years Captain T. T. Hugo, a retired sea captain, in sa l [?] who had successively been Superintendent of Fire Brigades at Adelaide, South Australia, and at Wellington, N.Z., was Departmental Inspector of Fire Brigades for the Dominion and made periodical visits of inspection to the various centres, conducting “wet” practices in the evenings, followed by half-hour addresess to firemen at the station along practical lines rather than statistical. During the regime of Mr. C. H. Scott as Superintendent and, at the same time, Borough Turncock, an overhaul of watermains combined with a reallocation of fire plugs [was carried out in several streets. Captain Hugo expressed the opinion that in no other centre of similar size in the Dominion could be found fire plugs so advantageously placed from a fire fighting view point as in Dannevirke, and facetiously referred to the fact that the Mayor was Chairman of the Fire Board, the Borough Turncock Superintendent of the Fire Brigade and the Chairman of the Borough Council Works Committee secretary to the Fire Board. “Hence the satisfactory result” commented Captain Hugo. This permanent advantage remains to the Borough today.

Page 43

CEMETERIES

The Cemetery is, of course, older than the Borough, or, for that matter, local body jurisdiction of the 70-mile bush district. Part of the original settlement township was set apart for burial purposes and served the growing community until the 1st January, 1912, when it was closed to burials, except to those persons who had already purchased plots.

The Council first assumed control over the Cemetery in November, 1906, when the existing trustees resigned in Council’s favour, and the Cemetery was formally taken over in May 1907. Prior to this, the Council had foreseen the necessity for a new Cemetery and had been negotiating with the County Council towards this end. In September, 1908, a joint committee of the two Councils considered the purchase of an area adjacent to the racecourse, but the present site, on Crown land was suggested in March, 1909, and apparently approved soon after, because in April 1910, preparation for roading the new site was under way.

The Dannevirke County Council contributed £1 for £1 up to £100 on the layout of the new Cemetery and the Woodville County Council also granted £25.

In striking contrast to many cemeteries in New Zealand today, Dannevirke’s two burial grounds are maintained in very good order, and are a tribute to those responsible for maintenance.

Nostalgic memories are revived in the “old cemetery” by the names on headstones of many of the pioneers mentioned in this publication, and who otherwise played their part in the making of the town.

RECOLLECTIONS FROM AN OLD TIMER.

(From the Dannevirke Advocate, Saturday, October 16, 1909.

THE OLD CEMETERY.

When I saw it first it was standing bush, dead trees, mostly totaras, and just a foot track in from the main road. The first man buried there was I think, one who committed suicide near Kiritaki. Two of our earliest settlers brought in the coffin and the poor body was buried among the trees. His grave today is half inside the cemetery and half out. I was told that some years ago, in sinking another grave, the coffin was opened, and the hair had grown over the face. Curious, isn’t it? The cemetery was at last cleared or partially so, and fenced round with some slabs. About 27 years ago a bee was held, and enough posts were split out of the totara on the cemetery site to partially pay for a new fence. Then we had a concert, and so the fenc[e was paid for. I have often wondered why the borough didn’t undertake to make their flower garden at the cemetery. It is to be closed in a few months, and if we had the ground in nicPhoto – e order with trimmed turf and flowers, and neatly kept paths, it would be far better than the formal garden at the Rec. There, as the poet says, “The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.”

Page 44

In Memoriam – Dannevirke and District

LEST WE FORGET.

BOER WAR

From lists laid on the table of the House of Representatives, 1903.

Pvt, Allan, John;   Pvt. Ashby. George;   Dvr. Beck. John.

1914 1918 WAR

Sgt.-Mjr. W. E. Frost.
Capt. A. D. Herrick.
Lieut. W. A. Cliff-McCulloch.
Lieut. T. S. Grant.
Lieut. C. A. Hunter.
Lieut. L. Hughes.
Lieut. J. McKenzie.
Lieut. G. B. Knight.
Lieut. N. R. Russell.
Lieut. J. F. Stone.
Sgt. E. Bassett.
Sgt. S. Barnard.
Sgt. W. G. Cunningham.
Sgt. M. J. Curtis.
Sgt. E. A. Dustow.
Sgt. C. Hales.
Sgt. G. W. Hume.
Sgt. G. R. Kendle.
Sgt. C. M. Kivell.
Sgt. J. H. Macgregor.
Sgt. H. F. Nash.
Sgt. W. T. Pilcher.
Sgt. E. A. Robertson.
Sgt. A. S. P. Rosenfeldt.
Sgt. F. Sullivan.
Sgt. H. F. Smale.
Sgt. S. B. Thomsen.
Sgt. H. S. Yarrall.
Crpl. O. Tudor Brewer.

Crpl. D. H. Curran.
Crpl. L. A. Davey.
Crpl. H. Griffin.
Crpl. J. Goggin.
Crpl. B. Kay.
Crpl. C. M. Richardson.
Crpl. G. Stewart.
Crpl. J. A. Wilson.
L/Cpl. W. R. Cammock.
L/Cpl. R. T. S. Chisholm.
L/Cpl. H. J. Clemens.
L/Cpl.  A. C. Erickson.c
L/Cpl.  C. C. Ford.
L/Cpl.  G. A. Gibbs.
L/Cpl.  W. G. Hitchman.
L/Cpl.  H. A. Knight.
L/Cpl. L. M. Lowen.
L/Cpl. S. Brett Montieth [ Monteith ]
L/Cpl. A. E. Ryan.
L/Cpl. S. Simson.
L/Cpl.  E. Tarrant.
L/Cpl. S. Widt.
L/Cpl. F. Wood.
L/Cpl. J. Wright
Nurse Mabel Whishaw.
Pvte. Adamson.
Pvte. H. J. Allardice.
Pvte. Wm. A. Alexander.
Bugler J. W. Alding.

Page 45

In Memoriam

1914 – 1918 WAR.

Pvte. N. Anderson.
Pvte. J. Anderson.
Pvte. R. Anderson.
Rfmn. D. Anderson.
Pvte. A. Arrow-Smith.
Rfmn. W. E. Baines.
Pvte. A. Beatty.
Pvte. G. Beatty.
Rfmn. T. Benbow.
Rfmn. E. Benbow.
Tpr. G. Berkahn.
Pvte. F. J. Best.
Pvte. J. J. Blockley
Pvte. G. H. Bolsted
Pvte. G. Tudor Brewer.
Gnr. F. Grogan.
Pvte. S. Cameron.
Pvte. N. Carmichael
Rfmn. L. Clegg.
Pvte. W. Charteris.
Rfmn. E. Christison
Pvte. W. Clausen.
Pvte. J. Clark.
Pvte. T. A. Clarke.
Gnr. M. J. Cooper.
Gnr. L. H. Corbett.
Rfmn. G. Crawford
Pvte. W. Crocombe.
Pvte. A. Currie.
Pvte. J. A. Davidson
Rfmn. H. E. Davies.
Pvte. T. Devaney.
Pvte. A. G. Dew.
Pvte. H. A. Diamond
Gnr. P. Doria.
Pvte. L. J. Doria.
Pvte. R. B. Doria.
Rfmn. P. O. Douglas
Pvte. M. Duley.
Pvte. R. G. Dunnage.
Pvte. T. Eaton.
Tpr. E. L. Emerson.
Pvte. B. Excel.
Pvte. L. W. Fayen.
Pvte. J. A. Ferguson.
Pvte. P. H. Feirabend [ Feierabend ].
Pvte. J. Fife.
Pvte. S. W. Franklin.
Rfmn. F. Friis.
Pvte. A. Gannaway.
Rfrnn. W. H. Galloway.
Pvte. H. H. Gaskin.
Pvte. A. G. G. Gibbs.
Pvte. W. F. Greaves.
Pvte. R. G. W. Gregg.
Pvte. E. Griffin.
Pvte. R. J. Hall.c
Pvte. B. J. Halliburton [ Haliburton ].
Pvte. D. Hansen.
Pvte. J. Hardie.

Pvte. L. Hardie.
Gnr. W. E. Harold.
Pvte. J. Hawley.
Pvte. C. R. Hill.
Pvte. T. R. Hirst.
Pvte. H. J. C. Hitchman.
Pvte. J. Howes.
Rfmn. M. Hume
Tpr. P. Hunter.
Pvte. T. Jardine.
Pvte. E. M. Jensen.
Pvte. P. L. Johnstone.
Pvte. W. Kauter.
Pvte. F. Kelleher.
Pvte. A. W. King.
Pvte. W. D. Knight.
Pvte. W. G. Lang.
Pvte. E. A. Laurvig.
Pvte. A. Larsen.
Rfmn. W. E. Lewis.
Pvte. P. Limpus.
Rfmn. J. P. Love.
Pvte. A. Lund.c
Pvte. W. Lund.
Pvte. R. Luck.
Rfmn. A. D. Macdonald.
Pvte. H. J. Macgibbon [MacGibbon].
Gnr. Geo. Mackay.
Ftr. G. Mackay.
Pvte. F. Mansell.
Pvte. Len Mason.
Pvte. E. Mason.
Pvte. A. Major.
Pvte. F. Martin.
Pvte. H. Martin.
Pvte. K. Matana.
Pvte. F. W. Mawhiney.
Pvte. J. Meades
Pvte. G. E. J. Mills.
Pvte. T. W. Moorby.
Rfmn. H. H. Moores.
Pvte. P. A. Moores.
Rfmn. J. J. Mordin.
Rfmn. W. J. Mordin.
Pvte. J. S. Morgan.
Pvte. J. Munro.
Bombr. D. J. MacIntyre.
Rfmn. R. D. McKechnie.
Rfmn. J. McKenzie
Rfmn. M. McKenzie.
Tpr. A. N. McLean.
Pvte. A. A. McLuckie.
Pvte. R. McNabb.
Pvte. T. J. J. Ness.
Rfmn. E. R. Nicholson
Pvte. G. Nielsen.
Pvte. J. Noble.
Gnr. P. Ockenden.
Rfmn. R. J. Olliver [ Oliver ].
Pvte. Olaf Olsen.

Photo caption – Dannevirke and District War Memorial in the Domain.

Page 47

In Memoriam

1914 – 1918 WAR.

Pvte. J. Ovens.
Pvte. J. O’Connell.
Pvte. J. C. O’Sullivan.
Pvte. E. A. Pallant.
Rfmn. G. Palleson.
Rfmn. C. C. Palmer.
Pvte. A. F. Patterson.
Pvte. J. Peck.
Pvte. W. E. Perry.
Pvte. W. H. Pedder.
Pvte. C. E. Phillips.
Pvte. W. M. Powell.
Pvte. M. C. Prior.
Pvte. R. Pritchard.
Pvte. J. Rasmussen.
Pvte. R. R. Reisima.
Pvte. P. J. Price.
Pvte. H. Ross.
Pvte. H. Rossiter.
Pvte. A. A. Rossiter.
Pvte. J. S. Ryan.
Pvte. J. Sabin.
Tpr. P. Searle.
Pvte. T. Sellwood.
Pvte. J. Sewell.
Pvte. W. Sharp.
Pvte. C. W. N. Sheppard
Pvte. G. R. T. Siblin.

Pvte. J. M. Simpson.
Pvte. W. Simpson.
Dvr. W. H. Smith.
Pvte. C. J. Souness.
Pvte. C. Stafford.
Pvte. E. A. Stewart.
Pvte. A. Stevens.
Tpr. L. Stevens.
Rfmn. J. Stevenson.
Pvte. J. A. L. Tansley.
Pvte. C. Thomson.
Pvte. F. J. Thomson.
Bugler H. J. Toomer.
Rfmn. J. L. Torkilson
Pvte. J. Traynor.
Pvte. R. B. Waldie.
Pvte. F. E. Walker.
Pvte. A. Watson.
Pvte. L. G. Weavers.
Pvte. T. Wellwood.
Pvte. O. Williams.
Tpr. J. H. Wilson.
Sig. J. A. Wiseman.
Rfmn. W. J. White.
Pvte. F. Whitta.
Tpr. J. W. Wood.
Tpr. G. H. Wood,
Pvte. W H. Wylie

Page 48

In Memoriam

Page 49

EDUCATION IN DANNEVIRKE

EDUCATION has played a major part in the development of Dannevirke and many names on school rolls have earned distinction in New Zealand and overseas.

Today Dannevirke boasts two State primary schools, a High School and a Catholic Convent. Number of pupils at the four schools exceeds 1,460, and there are 50 teachers. The latest acquisition to Dannevirke’s education facilities is a free kindergarten, and funds are at present being raised in the town for a free kindergarten building.

NORTH SCHOOL:

The first school was built in 1873 for the children of Scandinavian settlers. It is today known as the Dannevirke North School. Originally a pit-sawn whare, the school stood in High Street on the site of the present headmaster’s residence.

Wife of one of the Danish settlers, a Mrs Jorgensen (Johnson), was the first teacher. As well as the three R’s, she taught the little pioneers English. Many passed this on to their parents. Axel Andersen, Waldemar Larsen, Caspra Amundsen and Georgina Gronnebeck were some of the 26 names on the original roll.

And so education came to Dannevirke.

With the opening of the Dannevirke South School in May, 1900, the name of the original school was changed from Dannevirke School to Dannevirke North School. Despite new portions being added to the original building from 1896, the school was still overcrowded in 1934. By secret ballot in that year parents voted the school move to its present site on the corner of High and Cole Streets. The new building was described at the time as “probably the most modern in New Zealand.”

Dannevirke North School today has over 432 pupils, coming, like those at the other three schools, from both town and country. The five acres of land provides ample playing facilities and the school has its own swimming baths. A broadcasting system to each class, a movie projector, school library and dental clinic are some of the amenities.

SOUTH SCHOOL:

Growth of the town resulted in the establishment of the Dannevirke South School built after much opposition from sections of the town and the Education Department. It was opened on May 15, 1900, then catering for primer classes up to standard three. Roll total within two days was 124. By the end of the year the headmaster, Mr. George Harvey, was in charge of a staff of four. Erection of additional rooms started as early as 1902. Not until two years later with the roll greater than the Dannevirke North School did the South School become a self-managed unit. The roll numbers of the two schools are now practically the same. At both schools there are 12 teachers. The South School also has its own baths, interclass communication system, library and dental clinic. There are ample sports facilities.

CONVENT.

Few early records have been kept of the Convent of Maria Amabilis in Allardice Street. It opened in 1910 with a roll of 97 pupils under three sisters of the Institute of Notre Dame

Page 50

Des Missions Order. The roll today is 146 and there are four sisters. As well as the everyday subjects, the convent teaches music. Pupils in this subject have gained high standards in Trinity College and Royal Academy examinations. For many years the Convent had a secondary department for girls but this closed after the beginning of the 1939-45 war.

HIGH SCHOOL.

Moves for higher education in Dannevirke came during the opening year of the South School. The head-master, Mr. Harvey, held adult evening classes and this was the nucleus of the Dannevirke High School formed in 1903. Post-primary classes were first held in the building in Swinburn Street now used by the Knox Church for a Sunday School room. The first head-master, Mr. J. M. Simmers, now retired at Rotorua, assisted by one teacher, was in charge of 16 pupils.

The High School today serves not only Dannevirke, but the whole of Southern Hawke’s Bay. It moved to the present site in Grant Street in 1906, the building originally comprising six rooms. The school, on 17½ acres of grounds and with 22 teachers, has all the amenities of a modern post-primary school, including a domestic science block, arts and crafts room, an engineering and woodwork block, library, gymnasium, baths and tennis courts. It has a modern boarding hostel accomodating 75 boys. About half the roll of 450 are girls. Through the years the school has maintained a high academic and sporting tradition and is proud of its pupils.

The school also provides evening continuation classes. Last year there were 17 courses covering a wide range of subjects, including preparation for Wiremens’ and Plumbers’ registration certificates, motor trades and school certificates.

Contributed by P. Chisholm.

Photo Captions –

Dannevirke North School

Dannevirke South School

 

Page 51

DANNEVIRKE HOSPITAL.

Thanks to the vision and generosity of our forebears, Dannevirke can be proud of its modern Hospital “on the hill.” Negotiations were first started at the beginning of this century and in 1903 the late Mr. H. Carlson donated a block of 24 acres on which the Hospital was built. As the result of an approach to the Dannevirke Borough Council by the Hospital Board Trustees in 1904 a grant of £200 was made and in the following year the foundation stone was laid under the stewardship of the first Trustees, the late Pastor H. M. Ries, Messrs H. Carlson, A. L. Gordon, and Geo. Wratt.

For 20 years the Dannevirke Hospital was under the control of the Waipawa Hospital of which a committe of 12 members – six from Dannevirke and six from Waipukurau – administered this hospital. In 1925 the Dannevirke Hospital Board was constituted with 10 members, having Mr. D. Drummond as Chairman. He was Chairman until his death in 1930 and was succeeded by Mr. Leo Stein (1930-1941), Mr. P. C. Smith (1941-1950) and Mr. W. Galloway, the present Chairman of the Board. Many members have given long service and one deserving special mention was the late L. G. Crosse who gave excellant service to Local Bodies over a period of 50 years.

The original buildings around which the present hospital has grown provided for one ward and staff quarters. Since then many additions have been made to provide additional ward, departmental and staff accomodation, boiler room, laundry, store and other essential services. The main ones were: –

(a)  By 1917: Two wards, kitchen, Isolation Block and the present Nurses’ Home.

(b)  By 1927: Children’s Ward, Boiler Room and Laundry Block.

(c)  By 1940: Women’s Ward, Maternity Annexe and an Administrative Block.

(d)  By 1947: New Model Dietary Department, Bulk Store and Garages.

(e)  By 1949: Tutorial Block.

(f)  By 1951: Additions to Laundry and final arrangements made for a 70-bed Nurse’s Home.

From the above it shows that the growth of Dannevirke Hospital has been gradual and well planned, giving as it does today, a modern well-equipped hospital to serve the whole district.

In addition to the erection of buildings, purchase of farm lands was carried on over the years, resulting in a most productive vegetable garden and dairy farm unit which supplies produce to the Institution amounting to as much as 47 per cent of the total provisions concerned in a year. The main lines of supply are : –

Milk, cream, eggs, poultry, pork, potatoes and vegetables.

Hospital finance has seen many changes over the past half century until today we all enjoy free hospitalisation under the Social Security Hospital Benefits.

Contributed by: – P. J. BETTERIDGE,

Secretary,
Dannevirke Hospital Board.

Photo caption – Mr. W. Galloway, Chairman.

Page 52

DANNEVIRKE ELECTRIC POWER BOARD

THE movement which culminated in formation of the Dannevirke Electric Power Board was initiated at a meeting of representatives of the Dannevirke and Woodville Boroughs and Counties held at Dannevirke on 29th July, 1920. At this meeting it was decided to set up a Provisional Committee to go into ways and means of obtaining a supply of electricity for Southern Hawke’s Bay. The first meeting of the Provisional Committee was held on 24th September 1920, at which were present Messrs R. S. Chadwick, J. Gildea and J. Livingstone. Mr. Chadwick was elected Chairman and Mr. H. S. M. Quigley, Secretary.

After a great deal of preliminary work the Electric Power District of Southern Hawke’s Bay (after renamed Dannevirke Electric Power Board) was duly constituted on August 11th, 1921, and the first meeting of the Board was held on Wednesday, October 26th, 1921, at which Mr. E. A. Ransom was elected Chairman.

The membership of the first Board was: Dannevirke County, Messrs E. A. Ransom, R. S. Chadwick, J. W. Ellingham. J. Livingstone; Dannevirke Borough, Messrs J. H. Fairhurst, F. Craven, J. K. Gilmore, Woodville County, Messrs J. Elder, J. D. Galloway; Woodville Borough, Mr. H. P. Horne, with Mr. Quigley as Secretary.

In April 1922, Messrs Templin and Toogood of Wellington were appointed Consulting Engineers to the Board. Four months later meetings were held throughout the proposed area to be reticulated when the details of the original loan of £175,000 to be raised for the carrying out of the necessary work, was explained to the settlers by the Chairman and Engineers.

The loan was carried by a large majority and the work of reticulating the area proceeded rapidly and Electricity was made available from Mangahao on May 20th, 1925. The

Photo captions –

DANNEVIRKE HOSPITAL.

Mr. M. O. Grainger, Chairman.

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DANNEVIRKE ELECTRIC POWER BOARD

official switching on ceremony was performed by the Minister of Public Works, the Hon. Gordon Coates, on Thursday, June 18th, 1925. The building occupied by the Board in Gordon Street, Dannevirke, was purchased from Dalgety and Co. Ltd. in 1923, and has proved ideal for the Board’s purpose.

Due to the rapid growth of the Board, and in order to keep pace with the services rendered, the premises have undergone alterations at different periods. In 1939 a very severe earthquake caused certain damage to the building and the Board had major alterations carried out in order to make it as earthquake resisting as possible. In 1926, in order that the rapidly increasing number of consumers in the Woodville district could be served more conveniently and economically, the Board purchased a section in Vogel Street and built thereon a residence, office and store. Since this time the needs of the consumers at this end of the district have been catered for by the staff from this branch Office. Although the Board has, since its inception, struck rates for the security of the loans raised, there has never been a time when it was necessary to collect same, as the Board has been able right from the commencement of supply to earn more than sufficient to cover all expenses. These financial results have been very satisfactory, particularly from the point of view of reduction of charges. During the last financial year 1950/51 the revenue reached, £67,000, yet if the Board had still been charging the same unit rates as were in force originally, the revenue would have amounted to approximately £150,000. This gives an indication of the very substantial reductions in charges which have been passed on to consumers from time to time.

The growth of the Board over twenty-seven years of trading is shown by the following statistics: –

Consumers at the end of March 1926, numbered 1,295, and the gross revenue amounted to £9,220

The Board has now 3,760 consumers with a gross revenue of £67,000.

Today the Board is selling over eleven million units per annum against 480,631 for the year ended 1st March, 1926.

Units used per consumers in 1926 were 371 per head, while today the figure is 3,112 per head.

Route miles of line built to date are 420 and capital expenditure is £334,821

– Contributed by
T. H. PICKARD,
Secretary,
DANNEVIRKE ELECTRIC POWER BOARD.

Photo caption – Power Board Office.

Page 54

THE CHURCH IN DANNEVIRKE

Lutheran. – In the original Danish colonising scheme of 1872 it had been planned to include a schoolmaster-clergyman, but this was not done. It was in the following decade, after the original scheme had failed, when Scandinavians came with many others to the saw-mills, that services were established. Services were first held in Dannevirke by the Rev. George E. Sass, who served an area from Ashley-Clinton to Masterton from 1881 to 1890. Services were also provided during this decade by the Rev. C. Gausted, of Halcombe. In 1886 the Rev. H. M. Ries arrived at Norsewood as pastor to the Norsewood-Dannevirke district, and the church at Dannevirke was opened in that year. Moving to Dannevirke in 1895, Mr. Ries took a prominent part in public affairs, becoming Mayor in 1903 and again in several other years. Lacking new Scandinavian settlers over the years the membership has steadily dwindled, and after the death of Mr. Ries in 1926 services were provided from Palmerston Nth., and still continue once a month.

Church of England. – The first services are linked with the name of the Rev. E. Robertshawe, B. A., who was a Dannevirke School-master until his ordination in 1881. Services at first were held in various homes, and for ten months in the new Lutheran Church until the present St. John’s Church was completed in 1887. A new chancel in ferro-concrete replaced the original one in 1935 as part of a scheme to replace the old church entirely with a modern structure in the near future. Mr. Robertshawe died in 1917, and was succeeded by the Rev. G. B. Stephenson, M.Sc. (1917-1946). The present Vicar, Canon S. R. Gardiner, M. A., was appointed in 1946.

Presbyterian. – Commencing in 1885 as part of the Woodville parish, Knox, Dannevirke, became a separate parish in 1888 when the first church was built. For ten years a succession of students and ministers supplied the pulpit until the induction of the Rev. Edwin Eldridge in 1898. He was succeeded in 1900 by the Rev. Alexander Grant, who became Moderator of the General Assembly in 1914, and continued as minister of Knox until 1922. Knox Hall was built in 1901; and the Dannevirke High School met in it for the first two years of its life. In 1926 the present Knox Church was built, losing the top of the tower in 1931 after the earthquake. Succeeding Ministers have been the Revs. J. T. Macky (1922-33), J. H. Starnes, B.A. (1935-40). R. B. Spence, M.A. (1940-48), and the present minister, the Rev. H. W. West, B. A., Ph.D. inducted in 1949.

As the populations of the early New Zealand saw-milling centres grew, the various churches, recognising the need to provide services, entered the districts as they were able. It was in this way that the Church became established, in Dannevirke.

Roman Catholic. – From 1890 services were provided for the district by priests from Waipawa, and in 1897 the Dannevirke district was constituted a separate parish with the Rev. William McGrath as first priest. The present St. Joseph’s Church is the original building which was erected on the corner of High and Gertrude Streets in 1897, and shifted to its present site the following year. Extensions in 1906 included enlargement of the nave and the provision of a bell tower, the top of which was removed after the 1931 earthquake. A new church of Romanesque design is shortly to be built on the site in Allardice Street. Succeeding priests have been the Revs. T. Cahill (1899-1901 and 1907-13), Thomas McKenna (1901-05), D. O’Shea (1905-07), J. Bowe (1913-20), L. Daly (1920-24), and the present priest, Rev. T. Guinane, inducted in 1924.

Methodist. – Dannevirke was served by the Revs. J. Worboys and James Wrigley during a ministry which extended from Woodville to Ormondville from 1883 to 1888. Oversight of

Page 55

THE CHURCH IN DANNEVIRKE

this kind continued until 1896 when regular services were established in the Dannevirke Town Hall. In 1899 the Rev. M. K. Gilmour was appointed as first settled minister. The present church, which is the original one, was opened in 1900 and enlarged the same year to provide Sunday School accommodation. The present Sunday School Hall was erected in 1923. Eighteen ministers in all have served the Dannevirke Methodist Church, including the present minister, the Rev. J. Ainsley Daglish, appointed in 1951.

Salvation Army. – Activities commenced in 1892 in a building in High Street and a Hall was built in Miller Street in 1895. In 1897 this Hall was shifted by bullock team to the new site in High Street, and when the present Hall was opened in 1909 the old Hall was shifted to the rear where it is still in use. In 1910 Dannevirke became a Divisional Centre with supervision of Corps from Woodville to Napier, until the work in other centres outgrew the work in Dannevirke. The local Corps has been served by a succession of officers that includes many well-known Army names. Capt. Hughes and Lieut. Bloomfield were appointed in 1892 as first officers. The present officer is Lieut. J. Daly. appointed in 1952.

Contributed by H. W. West, B. A., Ph. D.

NB: The Waipawa County Act, 1907, referred to in the above resolution, stated inter alia:-

(1)   A new county is hereby constituted, comprising the portion of the Waipawa County described in the First Schedule hereto.

(2)   The area described in the Second Schedule hereto shall be named the Dannevirke County and the area described in the First Schedule hereto shall be named the Waipawa County.

Thus was born the County of Dannevirke.

DANNEVIRKE COUNTY

At a meeting of the Waipawa County Council held in the Courthouse Waipawa, on the 30th day of March, 1908, the following resolution was passed: – “That in view of the fact of the name of the Waipawa County being changed to that of Dannevirke on the 1st day of April, 1908, as provided by the Waipawa County Act. 1907, the Manager of the Bank of Australasia, Waipawa, be requested to change the name of the banking accounts in accordance therewith and charge all cheques drawn by the Council on and before the 30th March, 1908, to the accounts as so altered.”

The Council of the County of Dannevirke held its first meeting – a special one – in the old office of the Dannevirke Borough Council, Stairs Street, on the 3rd day of April, 1908, Councillors attending being the elected representatives of the ridings of Norsewood, O. Ericksen; Mangatoro, F. G. Cowper; Dannevirke, J. Armstrong, and Ormondville, N; Nikolaison. The late Mr. M. Murray, clerk to the Waipawa County Council, took the chair and invited nominations for the office of chairman and on the motion of Crs. Cowper and Nikolaison, Mr. O. Ericksen was nominated and

Photo caption –

Mr. A. H. Hansen, Chairman.

Page 56

DANNEVIRKE COUNTY

duly declared elected. As three vacancies existed on the Council, an election was held and the following duly qualified persons were elected: Mr. H. Chote, Mangatoro Riding; Mr. C. Hall, Dannevirke Riding, and Mr. M. Tansey, Norsewood. The first full meeting of the Council was held on the 6th May, 1908, Mr. Murray continuing to act in the dual capacity of clerk to both councils. It is interesting to note that the first accounts passed for payment by the Council amounted to £1,552/2/1 and that the Waipawa District Hospital Levy for the year ended 31st March, 1908, was £233/3/4, whereas the amount passed for payment at the most recent meeting of the Council was £15,361/5/8, and the Dannevirke Hospital Levy for the year ending 31/3/53, £7,652/5/11.

The first general election for the County of Dannevirke was held in November, 1908, when the following were elected: Dannevirke Riding, Messrs James Armstrong and L. C. Rathbone; Mangatoro Riding, Messrs F. G. Cowper and H. Chote; Norsewood Riding, Messrs O. Ericksen and M. Tansey; Ormondville Riding, Mr. J. W. Ellingham.

At the annual meeting Mr. F. G. Cowper was elected Chairman and continued in this office until November, 1½919, when Mr. J. W. Ellingham was elected. Mr. Ellingham held office until February, 1929, and was succeeded by Mr. Alex. Galloway who in turn was succeeded by Mr. J. Peters in 1931.

The present Chairman of the Council, Mr. A. H. Hansen, was appointed in 1937. Today the county is subdivided into seven ridings, each riding being represented by one councillor. The names of the representatives are: Dannevirke Riding, A. H. Hansen; Ngapaeruru Riding, I. A. Barnett; Mangatoro Riding, N. M. Lambert; Norsewood Riding, H. Stratford: Ormondville Riding, J. W. Ellingham; Matamau Riding, W. H. Smith; Tiratu Riding, A. J. Ayres. The area of the County is 426 square miles with a total of 416 miles of formed roads and 6,624 feet of bridges. The rateable capital value is £4,391,853.

– Contributed by D. L. CROOKS.

Page 57

THE LABOUR DAY FIRE 1917

[Condensed from the Dannevirke Evening News Supplement 22/10/18.]

About 2 p.m. on Monday, October 22nd, 1917, disaster struck the township in the guise of a conflagration which caused 30 business firms to be faced with ruin. The majority, however staged a courageous recovery and many fine buildings were erected on devastated sites.

Dull skies and a westerly wind marked the dawn of Labour Day, Monday, October 22nd, 1917. Just an ordinary day, only rather disagreeable because of the boisterous weather. Motor cycle sports were held on the racecourse, and thither the major portion of our population wended its way, leaving a town of shuttered shops and quiet streets behind them. Who could have guessed when the motors, traps, coaches and pedestrians streamed off to the racecourse that never again would they see the town as they left it that windy Monday morning. There was no prophet, no dreamer, no far-seeing sage to suggest that before the sports were over 30 business firms of our town would be faced with disaster – some of them with ruin! Towards mid-day and later, the wind increased in fury, till a regular gale was blowing, with clouds of dust.

And then about 2 o’clock IT happened! First a column of black smoke rising from a chimney in the centre of that portion of the big wooden building known for many years as “Andrews’ Hotel,” which fronted to Station street, then little tongues of flame, peeping out from under the edges of the iron roof, here, there, and everywhere, and the fire-fiend had come into his kingdom!

By this time someone had given the alarm, and the fire-bell was clanging its summons to the brigade and its warning to the citizens. By a strange coincidence, however, an alteration in the hanging of the bell had necessitated a trial peal, and by public advertisement this trial had been fixed for Monday evening at six o’clock. Thus, when the big bell boomed forth the alarm at 2.15, those who heard its sonorous voice above the roaring wind, imagined at first that the trial peal was merely advanced a few hours, and no notice was taken. Soon, however, the darkening sky, as the black smoke rolled in volumes before the gale, and the flying soots, falling far afield, proclaimed the dread earnestness of the alarm, and people flocked to the scene.

And what a scene! The old established hotel, the building which had grown as Dannevirke grew, was now a seething furnace! The flames licked and leaped and danced and roared, the smoke struggled to rise in vast dark columns, but, beaten down by the fierce gale, rolled in dense black billows through Station street and across High street, enveloping that part of the town in pitchy, choking darkness. Owing to the motor sports meeting – always a popular event – most of the Fire Brigade personnel were out of town, but those on duty and all others available got to work as speedily as possible, but with a conflagration of the character it had now assumed, fed by material as dry as tinder and fanned by a gale of exceptional violence, the jets from twice as many leads would have been useless!

In the first rush to quell the outbreak, a lead was run into the hollow square at the rear of the doomed hotel but the rapidity with which the flames raced round the wings of the building and the chopping gusts which blew the flames in all ways at once, soon isolated this position and two branches, with a couple of hundred feet of hose, had to be abandoned.

Page 58

THE LABOUR DAY FIRE, 1917

Andrews’ Hotel was now a roaring furnace. In less time than its description occupied, the flames were in full possession. Mr. Andrews had but time to make a couple of rushes to his office on the ground floor; the maids, some of whom were in the upper storey, had no time to escape by the stairways – without time to save even wearing apparel, they had to be rescued from the balcony fronting on to High Street; Leaping sky high, forced back and forth by the veering squalls of wind, the flames seemed to be reaching for fresh fuel.

The intense heat of the burning structure had already broken the windows in the upper storey of the big brick building in which was housed the business of the Dannevirke Co-operative Association, and stretching far across Station street, the smoke and flames appeared to fly into the show-rooms where they fell upon the latest creations from Fashion’s centres with devouring avidity.

The furnishing department was also on that side of the building, and in but a short hour expensive oak sideboards, handsome chesterfields, luxurious lounge chairs, and carpets and cushions – all were but firewood, charcoal and cinders.

By this time it was recognised that this outbreak was not a “fire,” it was a conflagration! About this time, too, the crowds on this distant racecourse had become aware by the volumes of smoke in the sky that something extraordinary was going on, and anxious lest the blaze should be near their own properties, fearing they knew not what, they hastened back with even greater speed than they had left the town. And what a scene met their astonished gaze! From the veering gusty wind no one could tell in exactly what direction the flames would break out next, and at one time it certainly seemed as though the southern portion of the town, which is also the oldest, was doomed, for one after another – Harris’ livery stables, Wysocki’s tailor shop, J. P. Englebretsen’s drapery store, and R. Roake’s auction mart, were demolished. Fortunately Harris’ people were early on the spot, and, knocking out the end wall of their stables, they dragged out their outfit of landaus, gigs, etc. on to a piece of waste land beside the railway line, and there they stood for some days. Further up the street the Dannevirke Motor Company was busy removing car loads of motor tubes, tyres, Benzine, and other

Page 59

THE LABOUR DAY FIRE, 1917

accessories. To the north the same thing was being done – everybody was trying to save everything, and had the affair not been so serious it would have been most ludicrous.

From the shops in the immediate vicinity scarcely anything could be got out. By the time their owners had realised the necessity, the opportunity was gone!

The intense heat melted the tar in the bituco dressing of High street, and this igniting, the fire swept across in a column of flame.

Borne on the wings of the wind, flaming pieces of timber were flying in all directions, carrying danger to many private residences and buildings far removed from the immediate fire zone. The trees round the gasworks were many times alight, and the fence which encloses the Gas Company’s property was burning merrily. The gasometer rose and swelled with the heat and seemed in imminent danger. But the employees were on the spot, and the firemen were ubiquitous, so the danger of loss of the town gas supply was averted, though the scorched trees on the boundary still bear witness of how near that danger was.

Meantime the Fire Brigade had not been idle. From every point of vantage their leads were trained on the flaming masses, but steadily, yard by yard, they were driven back by the intense heat. Drenched by the streams of water, almost scalded by the steam, obliged constantly to remove their hydrants from one point to another in the endeavour, not to extinguish – that was soon recognised as hopeless – but to stay the progress of the flames.

Brought to a stop on the south by the solid party wall enclosing the southern end of Andrews’ buildings, on the west side of the street, and also because the wind, which had been so erratic in its movements, had at last elected to blow in one direction – to the north-east – the fire still continued its work of destruction in this quarter.

Imagine the scene! A huge square of fire, extending from the Club Hotel and the railway line on to the west to the end of the built-up area of Barraud Street on the east, and from the Chinese laundry of Lee Wong or as it now is, Roake’s present auction mart, and Fairhurst’s picture shop in the south, to Mason’s, the chemist’s, brick wall and Bullick’s boot shop on the north.

The Fire Fighters

Not alone worked the local fire brigade! Within half an hour of the receipt of an S.O.S. signal from their Dannevirke confreres, the Woodville Brigade was on its way to render assistance, and just about 4 p.m., when the strain on the local men was becoming almost too great to be borne, they arrived, and by their freshness and untired vigour infused new heart into the exhausted fire-fighters, and assisted in stopping its course. The solid brick walls which the flames at length encountered, saved the rest of High Street from demolition.

By 5 o’clock the danger was over, but half the town was in ruins! In three short hours businesses which it had taken years of trading to build up, buildings which represented the invested results of years of careful saving, were destroyed!

Page 60

BOROUGH STATISTICS

Area:   1,300 acres.
Estimated Population:   4,800.
No. of Ratepayers:   1,300.
No. of Rateable Properties:   1,575.
Ratings:   12 2-80d. in the £ on unimproved value.
Water Rates:   4½% on the Annual Value.
Unimproved Value:   £528,255.
Value of Improvements:   £1,784,245.
Total Capital Value:   £2,312,500.
Public Debt:   £42,709.

Dannevirke Borough Council

JUBILEE PROGRAMME

Date   Function   Place   Time   ADMISSION:   Adults   Children   Cars

Monday, Nov. 3:   Grand Concert   Town Hall   8 p.m.   2/6   2/6   Reserves   3d
Tuesday, Nov. 4:  Free
Wednesday, Nov. 5:   Early Settlers’ afternoon   Town Hall   11.30 a.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 5:   Guy Fawke’s Fireworks Display   Showgrounds   6.50 p.m.   2/-   1/-   1/-   Grandstand
Thursday, Nov. 6:   Children’s afternoon and evening   Drill Hall & Town Hall   Seniors 5.00 p. m.   Juniors 2.30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 7:   Jubilee Ball   Dancing – Drill Hall   Supper – Town Hall   8 p.m.   Double £1/1/-    Ladies, 12/6   Gentlemen 15/-
Saturday, Nov. 8:   Procession    Town Showgrounds
Saturday, Nov. 8:   Gala Day    Showgrounds   1.30 p.m.   2/-   6d
Saturday, Nov. 8:   Conversazione   Town Hall   8 p.m.   2/6   2/6
Sunday, Nov. 9:   Combined Church Service   Town Hall   11 a. m.
Sightseeing Tour.    Leave Town Hall   Afternoon.
Monday Nov. 10:   Jubilee Public Dinner   Town Hall   6.30 p.m.   10/-
Tuesday, Nov. 11:   Staff Function   Concert Chamber   6.30 p.m.

Tickets for the Guy Fawkes’ fireworks display, the Jubilee Ball, the Gala Day, the Conversazione, and the Public Dinner may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s Office.

Early Settlers (those who lived in this district prior to 1902) and Visitors may obtain ribbons from the Town Clerk’s Office.

Printed by

DANNEVIRKE PUBLISHING CO. LTD.

Proprietors “Dannevirke Evening News”
21 Gordon Street
Dannevirke
N.Z.

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Adamson, Alding, Alexander, Allardice, Allen, Amundsen, Andersen, Anderson, Andrews, Armstrong, Arrow-Smith, Ashcroft, Athy, Averill, Ayres, Back, Baddeley, Badley, Bain, Bak, Bargh, Barnard, Barnett, Barton, Bateman, Bates, Beatty, Beckett, Bell, Benbow, Benton, Benzie, Berkahn, Berntsen, Berr, Best, Betteridge, Bickford, Bierre, Blakiston, Blockley, Bloomfield, Bolsted, Bott, Bowe, Boyd, Brewer, Brighton, Brown, Browne, Buick, Bullick, Bunny, Cahill, Calder, Cameron, Cammock, Carlson, Carmichael,   Carne, Carnegie, Carston, Castles, Chadwick, Charteris, Chisholm, Chote, Christison, Clark, Clarke, Clausen, Clayton, Clegg, Clemens, Cliff-McCulloch, Collett, Cooper, Corbett, Cowper, Crallan, Craven, Crawford, Crespin, Crocombe, Crooks, Crosse, Cullinane, Cunningham, Curran, Currie, Curtis, Dalglish, Daly, Davey, Davidson, Davies, De Lisle, Dennehy, Devaney, Dew, Diamond, Dillon, Dobbie, Dobson, Doria, Douglas, Drinkwater, Drummond, Duley, Dunnage, Dustow, Eaton, Elder, Eldridge, Ellingham, Elmbranch, Emerson, Englebretsen, Ericksen, Erickson, Excel, Fager, Fairhurst, Fayen, Featherston, Featherstone, Feierabend, Ferguson, Fife, Fitzherbert, Ford, France, Franklin, Fraser, Friberg, Friis, Frost, Gainsforth, Galloway, Gannaway, Gardiner, Gaskin, Gausted, Gibbard, Gibbs, Gildea, Gillespie, Gilmore, Gilmour, Glover, Goggin, Gordon, Graham, Grainger, Grant, Greaves, Gregg, Gregory, Griffin, Grogan, Gronnebeck, Guinane, Hagensen, Haines, Hales, Hall, Haliburton, Halvorsen, Hamilton, Hansard, Hansen, Hardie, Harold, Harrison, Hartgill, Harvey, Hawley, Hayes, Heath, Helmsley, Henderson, Herrick, Hewitt, Hibbard, Hill, Hirst, Hitchman, Holden, Holloway, Holyoake, Hooper, Hoppy, Horne, Howes, Hughes, Hugo, Hume, Hunter, Irvine, Israelsen, Jacobsen, Jardine, Jensen, Johansen, Johnson, Johnstone, Jones, Jorgensen, Kauter, Kay, Kelleher, Kendle, Kennerley, Kiely, Kilford, King, Kivell, Knight, Lamb, Lambert, Lang, Larsen, Laurvig, Lewis, Limpus, Livingstone, Lowen, Luck, Lund, Macdonald, MacGibbon, Macgregor, MacIntyre, Mackay, Macky, Madill, Magnusson, Major, Mallard, Mansell, Martin, Mason, Matana, Mawhiney, McCallum, McCormack, McDermott, McDonald, McGibbon, McGrath, McIntyre, McKay, McKechnie, McKenna, McKenzie, McKinnon, McLean, McLuckie, McMillan, McNabb, McPhee, McVay, Meade, Mears, Menefy, Merrylees, Mickelsen, Miller, Mills, Monteith, Moorby, Moores, Mordin, Morgan, Morgans, Morrison, Mortensen, Munro, Murray, Nash, Neale, Nelson, Ness, Newett, Nicholas, Nicholson, Nielsen, Nikolaison, Nilsen, Nilson, Noble, Nodwell, Ockenden, O’Connell, Oliver, Olsen, Omundsen, Osborne, O’Shea, O’Sullivan, Ovens, Pallant, Palleson, Palmer, Parker, Paterson, Patterson, Peat, Peck, Pedder, Perry, Persen, Phillips, Pickard, Pike, Pilcher, Pitt, Pont, Potts, Powell, Price, Prior, Pritchard, Punch, Quigley, Ransom, Rasmussen, Rathbone, Redfern, Reid, Reisima, Reynolds, Richardson, Ries, Roake, Robertshawe, Robertson, Rose, Rosenfeldt, Ross, Rossiter, Runciman, Russell, Ryan, Sabin, Sass, Scott, Searle, Sellwood, Sewell, Sharp, Sheppard, Siblin, Simmers, Simmonds, Simpson, Simson, Slipper, Smale, Small, Smith, Snell, Sorensen, Souness, Spence, Stafford, Starnes, Stein, Stephenson, Stevens, Stevenson, Stewart, Stratford, Stuckey, Sullivan, Sunnex, Tansey, Tarrant, Taylor, Templin, Thom, Thomsen, Thomson, Tiffen, Toogood, Toomer, Torkilson, Traynor, Tyler, Waldie, Walker, Ward, Watson, Weavers, Weber, Webley, Wellwood, West, Weston, Whishaw, White, Whitta, Widt, Williams, Wilson, Wind, Wiseman, Wong, Wood, Worboys, Wratt, Wright, Wrigley, Wylie, Wysocki, Yarrall, Young, Younghusband

Accession number

2072/2135/46706

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