Wellington Province


MACFARLANE, William and Son

Page 1476-77

Macfarlane, William and Son [William Macfarlane and William Macfarlane, junior], Builders and Contractors [adjoining the mill], Main Street, Waverley. P.O. Box 17. Bankers, Bank of Australasia. The business conducted by this enterprising firm has been carried on for the best part of a quarter-of-a-century, and ranks as the most prominent of its kind in this fine agricultural and pastoral district. The senior partner in the firm, who came to New Zealand and settled in Wanganui in the early seventies, laid the foundation of this prosperous business in 1874. Beginning in a comparatively small way, he was steadily successful in his operations, and the business prospered and developed, speedily assuming considerable proportions. Mr. Macfarlane hails from the `land of brown heath and shaggy wood; land of the mountain and the flood.' From his early days he had experience as a builder and contractor, and for many years before leaving his native heather he was engaged on very important contracts in Scotland. He was employed by the Marquis of Bute, the owner of what is reported to be the second-best private residence in Great Britain, and which is estimated to have cost no less a sum than three millions of money. Mr. Macfarlane executed a great deal of work for that distinguished and wealthy nobleman at his seat, Mt. Stewart, Bute, and was working in connection with his residence for a lengthy period. The experience gained by Mr. Macfarlane before coming to New Zealand has been of immense value, not only to himself, but also to his numerous customers, who have reaped incalculable benefits from his wide technical and commercial knowledge. The freehold premises occupied by Messrs. Macfarlane and Son in Main Street, are well situated, and afford ample space for the conduct of the business. Suitable buildings have been erected on the section for housing the machinery, which is driven by a capital steam-engine. The plant consists of circular saw, bench, band-saw, planing machine, and cross-cutting and sand-papering machinery, besides all needful labour-saving tools and appliances for the successful carrying-out of every branch of the trade. With so complete a plant, and the ability to undertake building work in any style, it is not surprising that a large number of the settlers in this wide district should have called in the services of the firm. As a matter of fact, a large proportion of the homesteads and farm buildings of the Waverley District, and a good many of the buildings in the township, have been erected and completed by Messrs. Macfarlane and Son. Among others may be mentioned the Clarendon Hotel in Waverley, and Mr. George Death's fine residence. Messrs. Macfarlane and Son are ready at all times to tender for the erection of buildings - public and private - in any part of the district, and should any settler wish to erect premises without the assistance of an architect, the firm are able and willing to draw plans in conformity with their wishes, and furnish a careful and economical estimate of the cost of the work, before entering into a contract for erecting the same. In this way, the firm have been very successful in the past, having carried out a great many contracts on these lines to the entire satisfaction of their patrons. Messrs. Macfarlane and Son employ six hands constantly all the year round, but in busy seasons they engage a considerable number of extra hands, so as to be able to execute their contracts with expedition. Mr. Macfarlane, senior, was born in the busy commercial city of Glasgow, and since settling in New Zealand he has taken an active interest in the church of his choice, having long been an elder of the Presbyterian Church. In Wanganui he was one of the first elders in connection with the well-known church in Victoria Avenue. As a member of the Masonic fraternity, he is connected with the St. Andrew Kilwinning Lodge, Wanganui. Mr. Macfarlane, junior, was born in Edinburgh in 1863. He first went to school in Glasgow before coming to the Colony, completing his course of instruction in New Zealand. He served an apprenticeship to the business with his father, and gave such attention to the details that he has mastered every department of the trade. His natural energy and general aptitude for the work have proved invaluable to the firm, and have been a potent factor in the rapid and still-growing success of the business. In Volunteering matters Mr. Macfarlane, junior, has long taken a keen interest, having been associated with the Wairoa Mounted Rifles for sixteen years, and now holds the important office of secretary of the corps. He is also interested in sports and pastimes as a member of the local cricket club. Mr. Macfarlane is married, and has one daughter. In the management of the business, Mr. Macfarlane, senior, who lives in the country, supervises the outdoor part of the work in the district, and Mr. Macfarlane, junior, takes charge of the in-door work, and generally looks after the business.

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