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Life in Early Poverty Bay

The Bride's Choice

The Bride's Choice.

In 1871 Mr and Mrs Smith, then newly married, went out to live at Waitaria, Patutahi, which her husband had taken up. Those were not by any means days of luxuries, according to Mrs Smith. There were no jewellery shops in Gisborne then and when a young woman got married her choice of a present was either a side saddle or a sewing machine. Before the Massacre, Captain Read had been the only draper. He was reputed to have kept everything except coffins. He used to get in a large consignment of drapery every now and again and one lady who had eight daughters usually got the first pick. After that Mr Horsfall started a store, but he sold out to Kinross and Graham.

Touching upon financial matters, Mrs Smith said that when she came here there was no bank. Capt. Read was the great money king and used his own bank notes, a facsimile of which, thanks to the courtesy of Mrs Smith, appears in this issue. The Bank of N.Z. was the first to open and its banking chamber was in a corrugated iron store owned by Capt. Read. Mr Kirkton was the manager. Next came the Union Bank and its premises were on the present site, Mr Von Daldelzen, being the first manager. The Bank of N.S.W. started in the old Courthouse when it was at Adair Bros.' corner. For a long time, there were only these three banks. Nobody could cash Capt. Read's notes but himself, but they passed round freely. When the Union Bank started, Johnson Bros, Major Westrupp and Mr Smith were reported to be the only ones not under an obligation to Capt. Read in some form or another.

Late Mr. W. W. Smith (Waitaria).

Late Mr. W. W. Smith (Waitaria).