A Short Story of the Timaru Herald - 1886

A short story of the Timaru Herald. Estb. 1864

 Press 8 October 1912 Page 6
    Our contemporary the "Timaru "Herald," achieved the distinction yesterday of becoming the first daily twelve-page newspaper to be published in New Zealand outside the four cities. As a proof both of the enterprise of its proprietor and of the prosperity of the town and district, the event is one which entitles the "Herald" to sincere congratulations. Founded forty-eight years ago by Mr A. G. Horton, who became more widely known as the proprietor of the Auckland "Herald," the "Timaru Herald" has, like all successful newspapers, passed through several stages of development, and the first issue, of four small pages, costing sixpence, bears as little resemblance to yesterday's issue at a penny as the first copy of "The Press" does to to-day's paper. The "Herald," it may he added, began as a weekly paper, became a bi-weekly at the age of two, a tri-weekly when it was six years old, and a daily at twelve.
    The Timaru that took such an interest in the establishment of its first paper in 1864, was a very small place, "situated," as was mentioned in the "Herald's" first leading article, "in the midst of an immense district almost wholly unsettled, and with resources very partially developed." The editor announced that his primary task would be to "keep the wants and claims of the district perpetually before the public and the Government." The conditions then described have passed away telegraphic communication with Christchurch came two years after the foundation of the paper, the railway followed, settlement increased, and the development of South Canterbury's resources proceeded steadily. In that development the "Herald" has played its part, and has shared in the general progress and prosperity. It enters upon the new stage in its career with the best wishes of its contemporaries.

April 2010
Sophia St. Timaru. 2010 photo.

 Paper Past Timaru Herald  1864 -1920 
Jubilee of the Herald
19 June 1914 pg 9

Timaru Herald Monday May 3 1886 page 3

It was on the morning of the 11th June, 1864, that the Timaru Herald was established, the proprietors being Messrs Ingram Shrimpton, Alfred George Horton, and Fred Edmond Younghusband, carrying on business in the name or firm of "A.G. Horton and Co." The paper commenced as a weekly one off our sheets demy folio in size. The "office" in which the first copy was struck off was a two-roomed cottage with lean-to attached, which was at one time used by "Old Sam Williams" - may the turf rest lightly o'er his grave- as the kitchen of his Club Hotel, the site of which is now covered by the N.M. and A. Company's grain store, George street. After a stay at this office of about eighteen months a shift was made to the main street, the one we vacate this day. The office then consisted of a two-storey building; on the ground floor being the editorial rooms, the news composing-room and the jobbing and press room. All went smoothly with us till Monday, December 7th 1868, when the "great fire" destroyed our offices, and thirty other shop and buildings. At this time the paper was a bi-weekly; had been sold by the first proprietors to Messrs Horton and Belfield, and was demy in size. The fire commenced in Mr D. Munro's furniture warehouse, and burnt right along the main south road on both sides from George street to almost the corner of North street. Thousands of pounds worth of property were destroyed.

Timaru Herald of December 12th, 1868
"To those who had seen the town grow year by year, the calamity appeared like a dream so clean had the town been swept away and reduced to a mere village- the shadow of its former self."

There is no denying, however, that the fire did an enormous amount of good, and that to it we indirectly owe the fact that we now have such handsome buildings lining both sides of that part of the Main South road mentioned. From the fire we managed to save a large quantity of type, paper, etc., and also the press, so that our readers did not want for their morning paper. The late Captain Cain kindly placed a room in his bonded store at our service- the store now occupied by Mr Cornish-and in it we carried on business until new premises were built. There were the ones we have just left. Messrs Horton and Belfield continued to run the paper for about two years, when the former sold out his share to Mr Herbert Belfield, who remained in sole possession till the 1st of April, 1882, when he in turn sold out to a limited liability company. In the mean-time the paper had been made a tri-weekly, and shortly afterwards a daily, being increased in size to news form, and lastly to royal, its present size. The Company only kept the some three years when they transferred it to Mr Joseph Ives, the present proprietor, who took it over on the 1st March last. On that day the "make up" of the paper was considerably altered-for the better-, and the gentlemen who now has it intends, in order to do justice to the mass of news that daily comes to hand, to enlarge the paper very much at an early date. The Foreman of our News department (Mr Frederick Osborne) was present at the birth of the paper, and has been with us ever since, it is being very rare indeed that an employee stays so long as 22 years on a journal in this colony, colonists as a rule possessing migratory instincts.

Sophia St. Timaru, 11 June 2014, 150 years in business. Photo taken by M.T.
Sophia St. Timaru, 11 June 2014, 150 years in business, a couple of door down from the 1928 building.

The New Buildings
The buildings are situate on a corner section fronting on Sophia street, and running parallel with the northern side of Ross's arcade. The site is right opposite the eastern side of the Government buildings, and within a few minutes' walk of the chief business premises of the town. The main entrance is in Sophia street, the large double doors leading the visitor right into the public offices and bookkeeper's rooms on the left, the jobbing department on the right. The first-mentioned rooms are exceedingly well finished, being varnished and plastered throughout, a very neat counter running across the public room. The jobbing room is 23ft by 24ft, inside measurement, is comfortable looking and well furnished. The rooms are lit in front by large circular-headed polished British plate-glass windows, the frames of American pine, and very strong; Passing through, the machine room is next entered, and is of the following dimensions: 30ft 9 in wife by 36ft long. Dividing the ceiling into two is a massive iron-bark girder, 14" by 14 ", supported by a strong pillar, along which the girder the shafting which carries the pulleys that drive the several machines, is led. In the room is a Wharfe-dale news machine, an Ingle Show Lane, and one of Harrild's Bremner machines, which is used by the jobbing department; two Albion presses- a Royal and double news; a most improved guillotine, a Minerva machine for working off small jobs, a perforating machine, and a small model printing machine for striking off cards, etc. In addition to these are also a stereotyping foundry, and first-class ruling machine. The ordinary news machine is Dawson's Wharfedale, which generally runs off 1200 copies of the Herald per hour, but a considerably higher speed can be obtained if required. All the large machines are fitted with automatic flyers, or self-delivery apparatus. The sheets are received immediately after leaving the formes by grippers which release the sheets into tapes, by means of which the paper is carried to the receiving board. ..... Harrild's Bremner is the machine upon which the paper was recently worked.... It has been in use for the last to years and so nicely can the impression and ink be adjusted that it works with equal facility either a large poster, a show card in various colors, or a neat circular. Harrild's gas stereo, foundry has proved of great utility to us. By its aid we are enabled to stereotype formes of intricate matter so that should any be required at future dates they can be easily struck off the stereo. Connected with the foundry is a complete treadle saw bench for cutting furniture, reglet, wood, and metal stereo. mounts, etc. To the left of the machine-room are rooms for stationary, paper, engines, type washing, and paper folding, the last of which has a large folding table erected in the centre of it. Adjoining the rooms are the necessary out-buildings, courts, etc. A broad neatly-finished staircase springs from the western end of the machine-room and leads to the first floor, which is entirely set apart for the literary and news-composing staff of the Timaru Herald. On reaching the landing, a sharp turn to the right and then to the left brings the visitor to the Editor's sanctum, which is roomy, well ventilated and lit, and most comfortable looking. Adjoining this on the northern side, is a spare, or board room, and on the southern, the reporter's room. Coming out into the hall again, the sub-editor's room is met with on the left.... On the eastern side of these rooms is the news-composing room, 30ft 9 in by about 34ft. Connecting with the sub-editor's room is a "copy" door, through which the foreman of the news room receives every evening the necessary material for filling up his paper. The formes are sent to the machinist by a lift, which is placed at the western end of the composing room. 
The whole building has a frontage on Sophia street of fifty-eight feet, and runs back 63ft 9in,this being the depth of the frontage of Ross's Arcade. The site was "made ground" and to ensure good foundations for the buildings the contractors had to excavate over 22ft below the ground floor level. The foundations were put sown in arch-like form resting on remarkably strong piers. ... Leading into Ross' Arcade is the back entrance to the premises... The elevation on Sophia street towers to a height of 36 feet, and the facade is exceptionally handsome. Two steps, of Timaru bluestone, lead to the main entrance doors, which are massive panel ones, neatly moulded, and are surmounted with a large fanlight... The panel of the parapet is recessed, the black and white ornamental bricks showing to great advantage. In the centre of the top of the facade is an entablature bearing the words 


And above this are the figures "1885," denoting the year in which the buildings were commenced. The architects Messrs Meason and Marchant. This is the first time these gentlemen have drawn plans for a building in Timaru. The contractors for the building were Messrs Palliser and Jones, and they have done work faithfully and well and to the entire satisfaction of Mr Ogilvie, the clerk of works. 

Timaru Herald Nov. 5 1875
Mr Wakefield is editor of the Timaru Herald. He was among the early Canterbury settlers, and has had a long political training as Secretary to Mr Stafford and other ministers. He is a strong Abolitionist.

Otago Daily Times 11 November 1875, Page 2
Timaru, November 10th. The Timaru Herald is announced to come out as a daily from the first, January. The weekly is to be called the Tomahawk, and to be published by the same office from that date. Mr Stafford will address his constituents in a few weeks.

Timaru Herald Monday, May 2, 1887
This morning the Timaru Herald commences another period of its existence, being published for the new proprietor, Mr E. G. Kerr. The history of this journal is well known in South Canterbury, where it has enjoyed a wide and deserved popularity, and achieved very gratifying success. The new proprietor is sensible of the responsibility that rests upon anyone who may have control of the leading paper in such an important district as South Canterbury, and will see that all interests are properly and fairly represented. Owing to the general depression, keen competition and other causes, which need not be particularised, the paper has for the last few years ceased to progress, but the prestige of its name still exists, and its vitality is undiminished. We have the utmost confidence that under prurient management the paper will regain all its lost ground and make even more. Our confidence in the future of the paper is born of our confidence in the public, who do not fail, here or elsewhere, to recognise honest and earnest efforts to provide them with a good paper. This it will be our constant aim to make the Herald by giving m its columns all current news within telegraphic radius, and recording all events of local importance. By doing this and by opening our correspondence columns for the discussion of subjects of interest, maintaining a consistent political tone and giving due prominence to social questions, we may fairly hope to make this journal generally acceptable. One thing above all the Timaru Herald is thoroughly independent; it is the organ of no party, the mouth piece of no clique, social or political. It would be profitless if we were to further air the intentions with which the paper is started on its new career and we shall not, therefore, pursue the subject. All that remains for us now having notified the change of ownership, is to place the paper in the hands of the public and let them decide what measure of success shall attend our efforts.

Timaru Herald Saturday, April 30, 1887.
 A newspaper may be described as the recording angel of the stream of events. While it photographs the passing scene, it has a history of its own. Who shall record it? Again, a newspaper is the critic of institutions. But it is itself an institution, and may be criticised. Some times an angry rival gives a distorted picture of his opponent's business. On other occasions a journal itself may step out of its maiden modesty like a spinster in leap-year and speak of itself. At birth, when in full panoply it leaps from the brain of its founder, or rather from the purse of its promoters, it crows cheerily. It is in the place to speak the truth, and the truth it will speak impugn it whose lists. Yet again it is privileged to speak. When it dies : or when like Enoch it is translated without dying. Indulgent reader, to-day the Timaru Herald is in process of translation. This time is the fourth ! The paper must have had singular vitality to stand it, or shall we say, which is nearer the truth, that South Canterbury is a healthy district. But transfusion of blood is a desperate remedy. Death is never far off. It needs no prophet to say of each one in charge "

"He is but one of a moving row,
Of magic shadow shapes that come and go."

     The Timaru Herald has had an eventful career. Ten years ago it was in the prime of life, slashing away at the Dr Von Humbugs, playing with the Ancient Mariner as a, cat plays with a mouse, rawing up the Town Council and the Building Society, pitching into unfortunate schoolmasters or more unfortunate parsons. There was some neat writing in these days. The Herald was feared at home, and laughed at abroad. Then was the golden age of Timaru when the boys of the Mackenzie Country and the few curled darlings of the town hobnobbed at the carousals of Sport's week. And the revenue of the Timaru Herald responded to the slashing writing of the times. Not because of it, oh dear no, but in spite of it. Then the turn-over of the paper was upwards of ten thousand a year, and allowing twenty-five pounds as the cost of each of the daily issues, it left to its amiable and gentlemanly proprietor, Mr Herbert Belfield, a handsome return. But like as the lightning in the "collied night that in a spleen unfolds both heaven and earth, and ere a man say Behold !" did this bright state of things come to a conclusion. Eight years ago the ship of the Herald was in heavy seas. It struggled along for some time with a staff out of all proportion to its income, and was for the money expended a rather indifferent publication. It was then that even in its own columns some Splatter-sputter- of a correspondent recommended a cleansing of the Augean stable. There were too many hands. The defeat of Mr Wakefield, at Geraldine, led to one of the translations referred to. His friends busied themselves to get him a billet, and a company was formed. One and all they were a most respectable body of men ; but one and all were alike innocent of the details of newspaper work. Even their smart editor was in the same category : for the successful conduct of a paper depends on something else than the ability to write a leading article. However, things went merrily as a marriage bell till it was time to produce a balance-sheet. From that time troubles began. Woe worth the day they ever dabbled in newspaper work, was the bitter cry of the shareholders who had to go without dividends, and have now sold out their shares at a ruinous discount. But when the company was formed if there bad been " a cleansing of the Augean stable :" if only properly trained newspaper men had been employed : if things had been put on a business footing, if details had been properly attended to ; if strict economy had been the order of the day, even with a falling revenue from auction and general business advertisements, the Herald might have been in a better position, and a less ruinous investment to the shareholders. But it was too late before the Company fairly took the affair in hand. A partial reconstruction of the Editorial Department, which then cost about a thousand a year, was first effected. The slashing editor was succeeded by a thoroughly able and competent journalist, Mr Triggs, but he came too late, and bad not power to " sack " useless hands, And so the Herald went along surely but slowly eating off its own head.
    We now come to another translation to the present proprietor whose term expires with this issue. He soon found what sort of legacy he had got with his hands in the shape of employees. It was a losing concern, a veritable white elephant. He was unfortunately compelled to dispense with the services of many of the old hands who had been in the office for many years. And this to save himself. It never is a pleasing task to dispense with the services of old hands. Regrets, not to say prejudices, and even odium arise in such cases. But the path of duty is the path of business. In the course of negotiations with the old Company to obtain such terms as would be barely remunerative, the business was sold to the proprietor of the evening paper in Timaru, who from to-day will issue the Herald. Such is a brief sketch of the financial history of this paper up to date. We may now look for a little at the probabilities of the future. Is Timaru large enough to support a morning daily ? Very doubtful. It takes Dunedin to enable its morning daily to pay a fair dividend, and in the case of the three leading dailies in the South Island, it is just possible that not one of them would pay without the revenue accruing from their splendid weeklies and their job printing. It is a poor look-out for Timaru. That the Herald paid some ten or twelve years ago when settlement was going rapidly ahead, and when such firms as McLean and Stewart, Jonas, Hart and Wiklie were paying each about �50 a month for advertising is no basis to go on. That time, alas! can never return. Solicitors, land brokers, commission agents, builders, and architects know that to their cost. Of course the public want a morning paper. We all want more than we often can get or afford. To use a witty expression of Charles II., the public yet can't see that " Nothing more can be done in the matter than is possible." A good evening paper such as we trust to make the projected Timaru Evening Mail will do well, for at present it is a matter of notoriety that the evening papers in New Zealand are, with three exceptions (Auckland Herald, Otago Daily Times and Lyttelton Times), the only properties worth having in the newspaper line. But whether a morning paper can be supported in Timaru or not, it is monstrous that both the morning and evening papers should be controlled by the same hand. In the interest of the public, in the interest of fair play and justice, it is necessary that there should be healthy opposition. Cases of actual maligning individuals because of spite and rancorous feelings are fortunately rare, and the outraged individual can always appeal to a Court of law ; but it is possible to dam away with faint praise or to annoy without committing a libel, and it is to prevent the abuse of this that in most towns of any size there should be and is an opposition paper. We doubt not before the two months elapse before the publishing of the Mail there will be plenty of cases of uneasiness and discontent that things lie aye in one direction. The public will be glad to welcome an opposition paper. From the point of view of the newspaper business itself it is an undoubted fact that a morning and an evening newspaper published in the one office never go well together. Probably for a week or so there will be some little splutter which means money. When accounts are reckoned up, the first spurt will get a rude check. The readers will never know where they are. The morning will be jumbled up with the evening, and the evening with the morning. We can fancy some one remarking " I read that this morning, or " I read that last night." Result disgust. Then comes the inevitable hush ! When at noonday the sun's rays penetrate the forest there is often heard a long sob, a kind of plaintive cry echoing from the distance. It is the struggling breath of the feeble breeze. Indulgent reader, we do not say farewell, We shall meet again in the pages of the Mail -. Men worship the rising rather than the setting sun. ...

1st April 2010 photo

Timaru Herald April 30th 1887
It will be seen by advertisement that the promoter of the Timaru Evening Mail intends to publish the new paper in Mr Quinn's Building, and all orders for advertising, subscriptions, and job printing will be received at his temporary office, next W. Collins and Co., Auction Mart, Cain's Terrace, until he enters into occupation of his permanent office in July. Price One Penny. Joseph Ivess. Prospectus - page 4


Eight years ago the ship of the HERALD was in heavy seas. There were to many hands.

The Jubilee issue of the Timaru Herald was published Thursday Timaru Herald, Volume C, Issue 15369, 11 June 1914, with a 12 page supplement making a total of 24 pages.

A large souvenir supplement of 64 pages was published on Friday 30 March 1984 to celebrate the opening of new premises in Bank Street,

Recent history - 2007

The Timaru Herald began publishing in 1864, initially as a weekly, then bi and tri-weekly, before becoming a daily morning newspaper on January 1, 1878. On May 1, 1898, the Herald was purchased by Edward George Kerr, the owner and publisher of the South Canterbury Times since 1881. He ran the two papers from the Herald's Sophia Street premises until 1901 when the Times ceased publication. The Timaru Herald Company Ltd was formed in 1905 and was controlled principally by members of the Kerr family. The Kerr family ownership of the company remained until 1983 when Independent Newspapers Ltd acquired a 20 per cent holding. Two years later INL gained a controlling interest. The Herald has been something of a trendsetter for the New Zealand newspaper industry over the years. In 1900 the Herald became one of the first New Zealand daily papers to replace hand-composed type with a linotype setting machine. In 1914, as South Canterbury developed, the company began New Zealand's first daily rural mail and newspaper delivery service; in 1957 it became the first newspaper to offer two-colour printing; and in 1988 the Herald pioneered the technology that enabled journalists to input copy directly into computers. At the same time the Herald became the first newspaper in the South Pacific to introduce fully computerised page layout and production systems. The company changed its name to Herald Communications Ltd in 1991, but in 2001 changed back to Timaru Herald Limited. It operates in a provincial rural-based economy reliant on farming, horticulture and fishing. South Canterbury has a population of 54,327.

The Timaru Herald was located at 52- 56 Bank St from 1984 to 2012, above, now in a building on Sophia St. The Timaru Herald will move from  the Bank St. building to the former South Canterbury Finance building in Sophia St. in December 2012, the seventh site for the Timaru Herald since it began publication 148 years ago.  The early issues were printed in a cottage in lower George Street and soon moved to a larger premise in the same street. The Herald then shifted to a site in Stafford Street next to the present Excelsior Hotel. It was this Stafford Street location that was razed in the town's great fire of 1868. The Building was rebuilt in brick and stone on the same site and in 1885 the Herald moved to Sophia St.  That building was extended in 1928. In 1954 a new press room and a paper store were built at the rear of the Sophia Street premises and the company's Crabtree rotary press was commissioned on 2 October . On Friday 30th March 1984 the Timaru Herald moved to Bank Street and in 2012 back to Sophia Street but a different building.

Delivery 2019

Claire Haren  10 October 2006 Timaru Herald
Newspapers, it is said, contain the first draft of history. For 142 years that has been The Timaru Herald's role. This weekly series looks at how some of the defining moments in South Canterbury history were reported. The first draft of South Canterbury's written history appeared on June 11, 1864. This was the first edition of The Timaru Herald, a respectable eight pages that cost sixpence (1.1s for an annual subscription, payable in advance) and was to be produced every Saturday. It became a bi-weekly, then a tri-weekly publication, before becoming a daily morning newspaper on January 1, 1878.

In the first edition, "the proprietor" wrote of his hopes for the newspaper, and what benefits he believed it would bring to the fledgling district. "The local newspaper is the great agent for writing the history of the age and disseminating it amongst the people. It educates people by making education necessary to them. It is the guardian of liberty, and of law, because both liberty and law can only exist where the acts of public functionaries are subject to publicity.

"Of the part which the newspaper press takes in guiding the public mind in its political and social movements we say nothing; for that is rather accidental to the newspaper than an essential to it, especially to the local papers of remote districts. But as the organ and voice of the people, expressing their wants and urging their claims, the local journal is of the greatest use to the public. In starting the Timaru Herald it is the intention of the proprietors to keep this mainly in view. "Situated in the midst of an immense district almost wholly unsettled, and with resources very partially developed, our primary task will be to keep the wants and claims of the district perpetually before the public and the Government.

"But it is not only in the leading articles of a newspaper that the public mind is reflected. The editor may mistake or mis-state public feelings. As a corrective to such error our columns shall be freely open to correspondents of all opinions, provided only that the language in which their opinions are couched is such as to cast no discredit on the journal which is the medium of publication." The eight-page first edition also featured more than a page of Supreme Court business - matters before His Honor Mr Justice Gresson (note the American spelling of Honor).

Other items included coverage of the Resident Magistrate's Court, a lengthy report of a masquerade and fancy dress ball in the Mechanics Institute in Timaru (believed to be the first event of its kind in the province). The ball was obviously a success - "dancing did not cease until nearly seven o'clock in the morning".

The Ivanhoe arrived from London, "but in consequence of several deaths having taken place, the last of which was from typhoid fever seven days ago, the Health Officer ordered the ship into quarantine, and to sail to Camp Bay at once".

There was a fire at Waitaki -- the stables belonging to Messrs Tyler and Brown, at the Waitaki Ferry. Upwards of three hundred pounds worth of property was supposed to have been destroyed.

And the Geraldine Road Board was about to take steps for the immediate erection of a bridge for foot passengers over the river Temuka. "This has long been felt desirable, but more especially now, as we understand that there is a probability of a Church being built on the northern side of the river."

27 Aug. 2011
Peter O'Neill, a Timaruvian, has been appointed the editor of The Timaru Herald. His current position is editor of The Ashburton Guardian. David King, the previous editor left the Timaru Herald in June 2011 to take up the new position of general manager of Fairfax Editorial Services.

15 May 2015
Fairfax's Media in South Canterbury has appointed a senior reporter to the position of South Canterbury Regional Editor. Sarah Jarvis starting in June 2015. She is the first woman editor in the publication's 150-year history. She said loves news reporting. "No day is ever the same and I love that unpredictability about the job." The regional editor's role is a new position replacing The Timaru Herald editor role. Previous editor Peter O'Neill did not apply for the new role. Sarah wrote May 18th 2015 "rest assured the news will continue to be delivered in print form. ... South Canterbury is full of passionate, enthusiastic people with amazing stories."

Mr. R.S. Bennett, General Editorial manager of the Timaru Herald in 1984. Ray Bennett contested the mayoralty again in 1980 and was re-elected, but stood down from the position in late 1982 on being appointed general manager of the Timaru Herald. He didn't think it was fair to hold both positions. He returned to the council chamber in 1986, and three years later contested the mayoralty for the newly formed Timaru district. "When I first joined council, we had three meetings a month. Committee meetings with no delegated authority from 7pm to 10pm two nights, and the council meeting was 7.30pm to 9.15pm. "In those days, there was no pay at all. It was all voluntary, and I enjoyed every minute of it." There was no pay for councillors until 1965, and even then, it was just 1 per meeting  a total of 3 per month. His highlights: standing in an open paddock in 1959, looking out to the site of the new (Claremont) reservoir when it was agreed to go ahead and do it; meeting the Queen and taking Prince Phillip around Caroline Bay in 1977; going to morning service at Christchurch Cathedral, representing the city, and meeting the Queen Mother; coming down on the navy vessel Canterbury on its maiden voyage from Auckland; flying in the co-pilot's seat over the whole of South Canterbury. While Bennett's commitment to council has been substantial  he was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1996. He belongs to the local philatelic society, is involved with St Mary's Church, a number of trusts, is a lay minister and a JP.


Star 27 July 1901, Page 4
When you're wrapt in easy slumber in your comfortable crib,
He is scratching, scratching, scratching with a furious-driven nib.
He is listening, he is fastening with a hot and aching head,
To the clicking of the cables from the ocean's quiet bed
And the printer's buzzing devils push and bang his yielding door,
Snatch his scribble, fling the proof-sheet, knock his coffee on the floor,
While the words, words, words are written, swift as lightning, sharp and clean,
To the loud, harsh, clanging thunder, of the linotype machine.

Timaru Herald, 12 November 1896, Page 2 Editorial [George G. Fitzgerald 1896- 1904]
Mr Hall-Jones has learnt a good many things from his political chief, the Premier, and amongst them is the art of being long-winded. Both of those leaders of the people appear to think that the making of speeches of inordinate length is an indication of ability and eloquence, there never was a greater mistake, for a very ignorant and stupid man may successfully cultivate the faculty of talking, and may attain to such a pitch of perfection in that particular line that nothing short of sheer physical exhaustion will prove an insuperable bar to his being able to utter a few sentences more. We are not to be understood a simplying that either the Premier or the Minister of Public Works is very ignorant and stupid, but merely affirming that the accomplishment upon which both of those members of the Government seem to pride themselves is one which they share with many people who may safely be regarded as fools. It is, indeed, a remarkably fact that time and a lengthened Parliamentary and platform experience have done nothing to lessen the Premier's terrible verbosity, and we fear that in his case the vice has become so deeply rooted as to be incurable. And now we have Mr Hall-Jones travelling on the same course and in a fair way towards reaching the same goal. But the Premier, though he is so fond of hearing himself talk, and though his talk is often of the emptiest description, generally contrived to throw a certain amount of life and fire into his utterances, he sometimes even goes the length of roaring and thus keeps his audiences from falling asleep. In that particular his pupil and colleague does not and probably cannot follow in his chiefs footsteps. On Tuesday night Mr Hall-Jones had a capital opportunity for making a good impression. He had a very large audience and one that was inclined to be sympathetic, for his friends mustered in great force. It was an occasion on which he should have spoken well if he had had the wherewithal in him. He stood up and for more than two hours and a half uttered words, words, words, a weary dreary tale with not a spark of animation in it, column after column of statistics, which of course had been got together and arranged by the gentleman who holds the post of private secretary to the Minister of Public Works, and who had better have been charged with the duty of reading out the figures, if it was absolutely necessary that they should be laid before the meeting. How many people understood them at the time? How many carried away any distinct recollection of them? There are men who can so arrange and contrast figures when dealing with a subject to which they properly belong, as to make them both interesting and instructive, but Mr Hall-Jones is not such a man and never will be. The whole speech, with its lengthy array of figures and its equally lengthy abstracts of Parliamentary Bills passed and Bills slaughtered, was to the audience a cruel infliction. It was infinitely worse than purgatory, and much more likely to disgust friends and goad them into being foes than to strengthen supporters in their allegiance and add to their number. We never saw so lifeless a meeting. The immediate effect of the oratory of this Dismal Jimmy of New Zealand politics was the fainting of two or three ladies, carried out by friends who had no occasion to ask what had temporarily deprived the sufferers of their senses. The Minister for Public Works had done it with his figures and his Bills. And still he went on and on and on, talking with steady droning persistence, and not in the slightest degree disturbed by the yawns which proceeded at short intervals from the harassed and half-stupified listeners. We never before heard such yawning and so very much of it. There is an end to all things, and the thought sustained the audience and prevented a stampede from the theatre at least an hour and a half before Mr Hall-Jones sat down. For he actually did sit down at last, with the perfectly superfluous admission that he had kept the audience too long. He also thanked them for their attention and kindly consideration. They had richly earned the acknowledgment, for no such tax on the patience of the public of Timaru had ever before been levied by a candidate for Parliamentary honours or by anyone else. Of course men and women who had been subjected to such lengthened and excruciating torment spoke their minds freely when they got outside, and indeed the painful subject was frequently renewed yesterday, and the memory of it will not soon die. The comment made by a Scotch lady immediately after the close of the performance was brief and to the point ."Aye, sirs, wasna yon awfu'. T'was terrible." and the answer was equally appropriate Fearfu' dreich." Yet these kindly souls will vote for Mr Hall-Jones, partly out of pity and partly because (according to all accounts) there will be no one better to vote for at the Timaru election, and unless an elector votes for someone, his or her name is struck off the roll. Such is now the law of New Zealand, and Mr Hall-Jones cited it as an instance of what a Liberal Government had done for the people. It seems a little hard, however, that an elector should be punished unless he does violence to his conscience by voting for a candidate m whom he has no faith whatever. We presume that the idea is that however objectionable each of two candidates may be, one must be better than the other, and that the rule of choosing the less of two evils should be applied. Nevertheless we understand that there are a good many electors in Timaru who will prefer being struck off the roll to voting either for Mr Hall-Jones or Mr Smith. There may be electors who, after suffering the speech delivered on Tuesday night would prefer going to prison for a lengthened term to voting for Mr Hall- Jones. Mr Smith is advertised to speak at the Theatre Royal on Thursday next. If the measure of success attending his effort is equal to Mr Hall-Jones', many conscientious electors will find themselves in a tight place, for there will be no candidate to their liking, and yet they will have to vote or be disfranchised.

How I Spent My Christmas and New Year Holidays, 1905-6. (By Irene May Smith, Dromore, age c.12.)
Our school broke up for the Christmas holidays on Friday, the 22nd December. As it is situated in an Agricultural and farming district, we have only two weeks' holiday at Christmas, and the rest at harvest time. The first day of our holidays being Saturday, we went to Ashburton to buy Christmas presents and see the decorations; but on looking round the town we found that there were only two shops decorated. Sunday being Christmas Eve, we went to Church and Sunday School, and afterwards read the books which we had just received for prizes at school; but our real holiday was yet to come, for on Christmas day we were to go to Timaru with our father and mother and baby sister. We had never been down the south line before, and therefore we found much pleasure in looking at the little towns and observing the fertility of the land along the route. The place we liked best was Winchester; for everything looked so green and flourishing. When we were nearly to Seadown, the sky suddenly clouded over, and when it began, raining, we became afraid we should have a wet holiday. But by the time we reached the Smithfield freezing works the rain had cleared off. As the train steamed round Caroline Bay, we saw many children playing on the beach and wharves; but what I thought the prettiest was the little cliffs all covered with iceplant. The first thing we did on arriving at Timaru was to find a boarding house where we could stay the night. Having found one, we had some dinner and then went down to the beach, where we found a nice rock to sit on. Then we took off our shoes and stockings and went to paddle in the water, taking baby with us. She liked this so much that she did not want to come away, but kept saying "Bath, bath," for she calls all water a bath. After that we went for a walk along the breakwater and watched some yachts sailing about the harbour. On our way back to the town we saw the old surf boats and skids, but the sheds which used to be, there when my father landed in New Zealand in 1874 were gone. When, we got back, we rested till teatime, after which we went out to see the town. As we walked along some of the principal streets, we saw many beautiful buildings. We went into one of the newspaper offices to see the Editor, who is a friend of my father's, and, after talking a while, he asked us to go in and see the linotype working; so we went upstairs with him and into a room, whore, there were three machines. The foreman showed us how by touching a keyboard like that of a typewriter, he arranged the words to be printed, and, when he moved a lever, the machine modelled them into a neat block of lead ready to be used for printing newspapers. It was interesting to see the long arm come down and lift the dies away to the back of the machine, where they ran along a grooved rod until each dropped into its right place. Before we left, the machinist gave us each a line of type with which to print our names. On Boxing Day we went again to Caroline Bay, where we paddled and played on the sand for a while and then took another walk along the breakwater on our way back to have dinner before leaving by the express train, for home. As we drew near Temuka, we saw the sports ground all decorated with flags, the highest among them being the Scottish lion, which is so dear to the hearts of all Scotchmen. Our admiration of the pretty scene, however, was suddenly interrupted by someone announcing that smoke was coming from under the carriage we were in, and that the guard said that something must be broken. On reaching the Temuka station, everyone left the carriage as quickly as possible, and it was taken off and left behind. This delayed the express some time, but it soon made up for it and glided into Ashburton at its usual time. Here we had to leave it as the express does not stop at our station, but, while waiting for the slow train, we met some friends from Christchurch, with whom we had a pleasant chat till our train left. In a short time we were at home again, after a most, enjoyable holiday trip. We had, some friends here on New Year's Day, and on Tuesday we went to a party at a neighbour's house. Although a terrific hailstorm started, it soon ceased, and we were able to have our games and races outside. For the reminder of my Christmas holidays I stayed quietly at home, helping my mother.

[William Charles Smith was 2 years when he landed with his parents William and Sarah Smith from Oxon in July 1874. They had come out on the Peeress. Laura Louisa Snow was born in Nelson, NZ on 1862 to George Snow and Martha Ann Newth. Laura Louisa married William Charles Smith and had 3 children. She passed away on 1950 in Nelson, NZ, aged 88. William died in 1936 aged  64. Laura Louisa SNOW and William Charles SMITH in 1892. Children:
1904 Smith Iris Natalie
1893 Smith Irene May
1895 Smith Lilian Adile ]

Mr E.G. Kerr

Edward George Kerr (1845-1906)
Born in Motherwell, Glasgow and went to night school for three years. he was a self-educated man. He came out in the Sebastopol in 1861. He went to Kaiapoi and opened a general store and butchery there until 1877. In 1867 he became the north Canterbury agent for the Lyttelton Times and he also reported all local news. he worked for the paper and made a great impression in the proprietor and when he moved to Timaru they persuaded him to become agent for South Canterbury and North Otago.

Press 26 September 1867 Page 2 MARRIED.
Kerr  Goldthorpe  At St. John's, Christchurch, on the 25th instant, by the Rev. J. O'Bryen Hoare, Mr E. G. Kerr, storekeeper, Kaiapoi, to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Mr Joseph Goldthorpe, Almaplace, Dudley, England.

Edward George Kerr 1876 -1942.
Mr Kerr was born at Kaiapoi, the son of Mr Edward George Kerr, of Glasgow, and mother was Elizabeth who purchased the Timaru Herald in 1887. He was educated at the Timaru Boys� High School and commenced his business career as office boy in the "Timaru Herald" under his father, and in 1900 was appointed manager. The business was formed into a limited liability company in 1906, and he took his seat on the board of directors. He owned Harlau farm at Kingsdown, a 650 acre farm. Mr Kerr was a vory careful and frugal man of business, but he was one of the most straightforward men that the colony ever produced, while in management of the business part of a newspaper, he was unrivalled. In 1887 he bought the "Timaru Herald," and, transferring the " South Canterbury Times" to the same office, published both the morning and the evening: paper till 1901, when the evening issue was discontinued. The " Herald " has been several times enlarged to meet the requirements of the expanding industry of South Canterbury. He married whilst in Kaiapoi Miss Goldthorpe, in 1867, a young Cheshire lady, who became the mother of a numerous family and predeceased her husband by a few years ago. He leaves four sons and six daughters (four married). His eldest son George, is manager of the " Timaru Herald," and his second son Herbert, managers the Harlau farm. 

Louisa McBeath (1888 -1954) youngest daughter of John McBeath, Timaru, married Edward George Kerr in 1909. Children:
1910 Kerr Edward George
1916 Kerr Richard Harlau "Dick" died 1995. Captain during WW2
Flying Officer J.M. Kerr. POW in Germany

Additional history
150th anniversary supplement published on June 14, 2014
TH in 2017 "Local papers play such an important role in society. They are guardians for the public as they hold people in authority accountable," Derek Burrows said. "They should not be allowed to wither away."
The Geraldine Library keeps copies of the Timaru Herald for a month.

Papers Past website 'Manawatu Herald', June 18 1891 page 2
History of the First Daily Newspaper in NZ, the Otago Daily Times. 
April 2018 Timaru Herald shrunk in size compact edition

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

Timaru Herald 23 October 1915 Page 9 RECORD.
The arrival of the morning paper at Burke's Pass on Thursday no doubt constitutes a record. The "Timaru Herald" of that day was being read at Burke's Pass at 6.30 a.m. Nothing very much smarter than this in the way of delivery of a morning paper is, I should say, on record. The explanation is simple. An early bird with a motor car with business to do at Burke's Pass, with commendable forethought bought some "Herald's" before leaving, some of the first off the machine at that. He had a good run and arrived at Burke's Pass at 6. 30 a.m.

Timaru Herald rock. April 11 2018

When the Herald began