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Waipawa Mail/ Charles Whittington enquiry

From: John
To: Jan
Subject: Waipawa Mail/Charles Whittington

Hi Jan,

I read in the Brisbane Courier 4th August 1914 that the proprietor of the Waipawa Mail (Charles Mitchell Whittington) passed away here in Brisbane and is now buried in Toowong Cemetery. Does your museum have any information on what happened to the Waipawa mail thereafter? Presumably it changed hands as I know it continued on for at least a few months thereafter. Do you have copies of the Waipawa Mail in your Museum?

Regards

John Moore


From: Jan
To: John
Subject: Waipawa Mail/Charles Whittington

Hi John,

It was interesting to read your questions.

I knew that the Waipawa Mail went on for years and finally merged with the Waipukurau Press and became CHB Mail - the once a week free newspaper that we all get here in Central Hawkes Bay. But I didn't know a huge amount more - apart from knowing that, yes, our museum does have a fair number of copies of the Waipawa Mail, but a more complete collection is up in the Hawkes Bay Museum in Napier. Our local Museum also has a fair number of them on microfesh.

But apart from that I have never really looked into the history of the Waipawa Mail itself.
It has been a good source of information for a lot of my other enquiries and my mother has a few copies of old ones that have something in them regarding her family.

Anyway to answer your question I went straight to "Abbott's- Ford, the History of Waipawa" Book by our local historian Margaret Gray and this is what I found out - this is a précis of Margaret wrote about the Waipawa Mail....

‘The Mail’ was first published on Saturday 14th September 1878 by Joseph Ivess. He believed a settlement without a newspaper was like a dumb man – it had no voice.
One year later on 14th September 1879 it was sold to Wilding, Bodle and company.
On June 12th 1880 Waipawa Mail Newspaper and Printing Co. Ltd was formed with Mr H. Wilding as chairman. The newspaper at that time was printed and published on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In April 1884 the business was taken over by incoming proprietors Thomas Johnston (Printer) and Samu7el Johnson (Publisher). During this period the style of the Mail altered and the content of overseas news increased.
By 1888 J Hornsby took over.
By 1900 C.M. Whittington took over and ran the paper until his death in 1914, then subsequently by his Estate.
During the 1930’s, Mr Critchley produced the ‘Mail’ but with the advent of World War II the Waipawa Mail ceased producing the newspaper, carrying on just as a printing works.
With the end of the war, Mr H.F. Franks took up the Mail and began printing the newspaper again in the form we know it today – a free weekly paper.
Julius Hansson joined Mr Franks in partnership in 1950 and a couple of years later Mr W Strang joined the Waipawa Mail. At this stage Mr Franks retired, leaving Mr Hansson and Mr Strang in partnership. In the 1960’s Mr K Grant joined the team that produced the very popular Waipawa Mail. In 1978 after one hundred years of serving Waipawa, the ‘Mail’ was purchased by the Herald-Tribune. 1979 saw the amalgamation of the CHB Press, Waipukurau, Hawkes Bay Herald Tribune Print and the Waipawa Mail as a new identity “CHB Print” now operating from Waipukurau.

Since Margaret wrote this the CHB Print (printing side of business) and CHB Mail (newspaper side) have changed hands a couple of times - Its now owned by APN Print. But we still have a local paper that comes out each week with lots of local stories and happenings. I think its one of the main ways of us knowing what's going on locally - and of course being a printed word; it is also a way of documenting our history.
That's definitely what a lot of the older Mail's are used for.

I noticed that in your email you said that Charles Mitchell Whittington died and is buried in Brisbane. That's really interesting because I noticed from Margaret's book that he still owned the Waipawa Mail at that time - and it was taken over after his death by his Estate for quite some years. I wonder how this happened? Did Charles own the paper - but live in Brisbane, leaving others in Waipawa to actually produce the paper and run the business there? Or was he there on holiday when he died? or what?
You might know the answers to these questions - and if you do I would love to know them.

Anyway, I don't know if any of this helps. Hope it does

:-) Jan



From: Jan
To: John
Subject: Charles Whittington

Hi John,
Its a long time ago that you emailed me about Charles Whittington but last week in the CHB Mail this article appeared about a union brewery bottle (time capsule) which was placed in a cave by Leonard Whittington back in 1889. I just thought that even though this is not Charles but another Whittington you might be interested? Leonard and Charles are obviously related - maybe brothers? or is Leonard Charles' son? They both have a connection to the Julls too.
Anyway here is the article.

:-) Jan


From: John
To: Jan
Subject: Charles Whittington

Dear Jan,

Thanks you very much for forwarding me the article on Leonard Whittington. I think Leonard was the father of Charles Mitchell Whittington. According to the cemetery monument in the Church Street cemetery in Waipawa, Leonard died in 1991. I think Nellie Jull was the younger sister of Charles Mitchell Whittington. I've forwarded the e-mail on to CM Whittington's grandson, Richard Whittington, who lives here in Brisbane. I'm sure he'll also find it interesting.

Many thanks

John Moore


From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Charles Mitchell Whittington

Hi Jan,
By the marvel of Google I stumbled across a couple of emails on your Joomla page where you talked with John Moore from Brisbane about Charles Mitchell Whittington who ran The Waipawa Mail in the early 1900s. I have been trying to determine if this is a Charles Mitchell Whittington who was born in Ballarat Victoria. There are many other things that indicate that it may be but I will not bore you with a whole lot of family tree stuff. Would you know of anyone locally in Waipawa who may know if Charles came from Australia for the position at the Waipawa Mail.

By the way I also checked out your carvings online. I was impressed by the carving that was obviously inspired by the opening croziers (fronds) of a forest fern. As a Tasmanian bushwalker I loved the look and feel of the new furry brown fronds of the man ferns. You have captured it so well.

Cheers, Ian Whittington


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Charles Mitchell Whittington

Hi Ian,
I'm not sure where Charles was born as I don't have those records. But it would be a huge coincidence to have 2 Charles Mitchell Whitingtons around at the same time. Plus there was a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing between NZ and Australia even in those days. And he did die and was buried over there even though he seemed to have established himself over in our little town.
I'll try a few contacts I have and see if they can shed any light on it. But most of the information I've found in the past dealt with him as an adult - so who knows where he came from originally?

I'm glad you like my work. I have a particular affinity with the bush as my parents used to take us on treks when we were kids. And the fern frond is a particularly strong symbol of regrowth and new life - as well as being a lovely flowing shape. I live in my great grandparents home which I love - and probably a third of the section I have replanted in New Zealand Forest Natives including lots of tree ferns. They are struggling a bit at the moment as we are going through a drought and as you know ferns aren't really a fan of the long dry - but I've managed so far to keep them going with watering with grey water etc and hopefully sometime we'll have some rain. Actually I'm stressing out a little about the state of my garden/bushwalk at the moment as I have a couple of bus tours coming through next week to look at my sculpture and I'm very conscious of my shrivelled garden - still I suppose most of these people are from around Hawkes Bay so they will be suffering the same plight in their gardens.

Sorry I haven't been much help so far on the Charles Whittington front. Hopefully I can find something out for you.

:-) Jan


From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Charles Mitchell Whittington

Hi Jan,
Thanks for your reply and my sympathies about your garden. I’m actually a horticulturist myself and do some landscaping and gardening as well as working in the sportsurf industry. We also have had a crazy summer in New South Wales. The statistics show the hottest and also the wettest summer on record. Unfortunately the wettest side of things all came in a few weeks; the rest was very dry. We actually have azaleas flowering in our garden in summer. Even the plants are confused.

If you do happen to come across someone who may know where Charles Whittington was before Waipawa a few little pieces of information that may help them.

I think I know where he may have been but I can find any proof.
I have a Charles Mitchell Whittington born in East Ballarat, Victoria. I also have a Bridget Mary Vaughan born in East Ballarat. Charles Mitchell Whittington married Bridget Mary Vaughan in Hawkes Bay in Feb 1892. I can’t find a Bridget Mary Vaughan born in New Zealand or a Charles Mitchell Whittington. No doubt this is the same Charles who managed the Waipawa Mail.
Charles Mum and Dad and family moved from Ballarat to Dunedin at the height of the gold rush in 1862. His fathers name was Leonard. Leonard spent the rest of his life in New Zealand as did his son and daughter (Charles Mitchell Whittingtons siblings) It is true that Charles is buried in Brisbane and for reasons unknown his wife Bridget is buried in Sydney. Charles brother Leonard jnr was the bank manager at Woodville, Palmerston North for some time.

It certainly appears that my relative Charles is the Waipawa man and perhaps he spent his youth on the goldfields.

I am still trying to get my head around the following article as well. If I knew that Charles Mitchell had a sister Ellen Amelia (as yet I don’t), it all would piece together and this Leonard would be Charles Mitchell Whittingtons father. Back to the drawing board on that one.
Jan, some people sculpt and garden and some people drive themselves (and others)crazy chasing after dead people. As my wife says “It keeps me off the streets”.

Cheers, Ian


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Charles Mitchell Whittington

Hi Ian,
Sorry it took me a while to get back to you - but things are insanely busy - but while my little 4 month old granddaughter was asleep (she's due to wake any time now) I had a look back on some of the Whittington information I have - most of which I got from John who emailed me sometime last year. When I looked at the website I found that somehow not all the info had been posted (in fact heaps hadn't) and it does have a little about Leonard too. So I will hopefully get that fixed up in the weekend when I get my son to update things for me.
And I'll try to get down this afternoon (after Jody wakes) and take a photo of Charles' headstone here in Waipawa. He may have died and was buried in Australia but he obviously had family who loved and cared for him here as they put a memorial for him in the churchyard here.

I've attached an article which was in the CHB Mail last year which you might find interesting

Sorry - little girl has woken up so I'd better go and organise her bottle.
:-) Jan


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Charles Mitchell Whittington

Hi again Ian,
Gee 2 emails in one day. I know that’s a bit extreme but I have just got back from taking Jody for a walk down to the old churchyard to take a photo of Charles’ headstone. I know, it seems a strange place to take a baby for a walk but it just around the corner from me and she loves looking at trees and the churchyard has the most enormous oak tree that she could look at for hours and hours.

Anyway I took the photo and one of his brother Leonards

and then we came home and now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take a photo of his sister’s headstone too - Ellen Amelia (Nelly) Whittington married Albert Edward Jull.
Nelly was the daughter of Leonard Whittington who owned the Union Brewery here in Waipawa and after Nelly died her husband gifted a piece of land to become the town’s park – Nelly Jull Park.

Anyway this ties into the names you have sent me so I hope this is some help to you? And that I’m not just telling you stuff you already know.

J Jan



From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Charles Mitchell Whittington

Hi Jan,
Just having a cuppa and reading your emails.
Thank you so much for taking a walk and photographing the headstones. They will look great on my family tree website. I’m not sure if it was a slip of the pen (keyboard) or not but Charles Mitchell Whittington is actually Leonard’s son. Nelly of course is Charle’s sister. I wonder why Charles was I Brisbane when he died. His wife Bridget Mary stayed in Waipawa long after Charles death but eventually passed away in Canberra and is buried there. Perhaps to do with family in both cases. More searching.

I will look forward to any extra info that you put up on your website. Could you email me a link when you get time to make it easy for me to get to.

Just a couple of things about Leonard that you may find interesting.

He was from Ryde in the Isle of Wight as Nelly and Albert Julls marriage notice states. Married to Sarah Mitchell ( Charles middle name).
Leonard did it tough and didn’t really make a success of any of his ventures until he got to Waipawa and founded the Union Brewery.

In 1859 in Ballarat, Victoria he was declared insolvent and all was sold off, including his house.

In 1862 he moved with his family to Dunedin for the gold rush and mined for a while. He had some experience as a gold miner in Ballarat.

Went into a partnership as a storekeeper and hotelier in Dunedin but by 1869 is filing for bankruptcy.

Leonard moves with his family to Greymouth on the South Island in the 1870s and once again is declared bankrupt after another go at the hotel business. (same surname business partner as Dunedin but possibly the son this time)

Appears on the Voters list in Greymouth in 1880 as a brewer. The rest is history as they say. He soon moves to Waipawa and founds the Union Brewery .

Leonard certainly wasn’t one to give up easily.
That’s what I love about family history Jan.
Discovering these interesting characters in the family tree. How interesting is the bottle. Leonard sure was a character. Thanks for that.

My great,great,great grandfather was Charles Mitchell Whittingtons great grandfather.

Waipawa looks like a nice place.
I have checked out Nelly Jull Park with its new band rotunda and the photographs from your celebrations. I come from a mining town called Queenstown on the wet, windy and wild West Coast of Tasmania where the same sense of community and history prevails. Maybe I will get to Waipawa one day. I have strong family links to Lyttelton and have promised myself a trip there one day.

Cheers Jan, thanks for your interest and help.


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Charles Mitchell Whittington

Hi again Ian,

Yep - you are right Leonard is Charles and Nelly's father - not their brother. Put my mistake down to baby-brain. I've been looking after my granddaughter full time for a couple of months and I've discovered that its not just mothers that get muddled (commonly known as baby-brain) when they've had a young baby, but grandmothers too (either that or I'm going senile - which I think I'm a bit young for yet.)

Anyway this morning Jody and I went for another walk (as we do every morning) past the churchyard and we diverted in there again to take a better photo of Leonard's inscription (as when I looked at yesterdays photo it didn't really show much).

The Union Brewery was just down the base of the hill from where I live.
Of course my great grandmother, Mary Glover Bibby, was very strongly in the temperance movement and she campaigned long and hard against the demon drink - so probably didn't have much time for the union brewery - but I know that her kids (my grandfather and his brothers and sister) did purchase some of their product - not alcohol but fizz. I have found countless union brewery broken fizzy bottles in my garden. Grandad and his brothers used to smash them to get the marble out for their stash of marbles.
As a result I have no complete Union Brewery fizzy bottle - at least not the really old ones with the marble in the neck which I would like for my collection of old Waipawa memorabilia. But I do have a newer version which has "Union Brewery, Waipawa" stamped into the glass - but it is a crown top not a marble one.
Oh well - one day.

Anyway I have a photo of the union Brewery which you may or may not have. It's not a brilliant copy but you might like it for your collection of family stuff.

Thanks for sending me some of your family history. It had lots of info in there that I didn't know. Its people like you who share things which make the whole story much more interesting and complete maybe one day another Whittington researcher might add to it?

I'll send you that link when Brian gets the stuff put on the website.

:-) Jan


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