Newspaper Article 1951 – Memorial Arch to Memory of William Nelson


HASTINGS, October 17 (Dominion Reporter). – An archway erected to the memory of Mr. William Nelson, Hawke’s Bay pioneer, was unveiled in picturesque Waikoko gardens this afternoon by his son, Mr. George Nelson. Mr. William Nelson lived in the nearby Waikoko homestead and the archway spans the path which he trod daily.

A large crowd gathered in brilliant sunshine on the smooth lawns about the archway for the unveiling ceremony.

Mr. C. Douglas, past president of the Hawke’s Bay A. and P. Society, said the memorial tablet described Mr. Nelson as a leader in enterprise. The fertility of his brain and the courage and determination behind it that brought his enterprises to fruition were amazing.

Mr. Douglas said that first and foremost Mr. Nelson was the founder or the freezing industry in Hawke’s Bay, within two years of the first shipment of frozen meat being made them New Zealand.

Mr. Nelson was largely responsible for the reclamation of Napier South. “Memories are so short that already many people give all credit for that reclamation to the earthquake.”

Mr. Nelson helped found schools and was closely associated with flaxmilling, sawmilling and pastoral pursuits. “Do not let me leave you with the impression, however, that Mr. Nelson’s whole life was bound up in commercial industries and public affairs,” said Mr. Douglas. He had a rich sense of humour and warm and generous heart and many a man and woman has had reason to be grateful to Mr. William Nelson.”

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17 October 1951


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