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OPENING OF THE NEW AKAROA POST OFFICE.

A HANDSOME BUILDING

Yesterday the new Akaroa post office was opened by Hon, R, H Rhodes, Po9tmaster General. The new building is certainly an acquisition to Akaroa. Tbe upper storey is of white rough cast, white the "lower one has been painted a light buff colour. Tbe building is well off the street, and a great improvement upon the former tumble down erection which has served as a post office up to the present. The building is a doublestoreyed one, and combines a postmaster's residence with the office. Tbe j office portion is confined to the ground floor, and posting recess 12ft by 6ft 6in ; a private box lobby, 12ft 6in by 6ft, a publio office, witb telephone bureau room, 26ft by 12ft; postmaster's room, 12ft by 10ft, a strong room, 7ft by stt 6ins; a mail room, 30ft by 25ft, and a telephone room, 12ft by 10ft The residential portion is confined to tbe upper floor, and will comprise a dining" room, 15ft by 12ft 6ine; a sitting room, 15ft by 12ft; one bedroom 15fc Bin by 12ft Gin ; one 13ft by 12ft, and one of the same size leading on to a balcony ; a kitchen, 15ft by 12ft; a scullery, a pantry and bath room. The building has a frontage of 48ft to Lavaud street, and a depth of 51ft A washbouse, a linesman's store, a battery room, and official and domestic conveniences, are provided in out buildings. The contractor for the erection of the building is Mr H. Hinckey, of Spreydon. The contract amount is £2205

LUNCHEON

The Hon. R. H. Rhodes motored down, arriving at Akaroa at 1 p.m, He was met by bis Worship tbe Mayor and Councillors, and < enter tamed to luncheon at the Metropole Hotel by the Akaroa Borough Council.

The Postmaster General was ao companied by Mr W. Crow, his pri vate secretary, and the following postal officials :—Mr Rule (Acting Chief-Postmaster), Mr Talbot (Buper intendent Telegraph Department), Mr Plank (Assistant Telegraph Engineer) and Mr Dickson (District Engineer Public Works Department) RAILWAY TO AKAROA. After luncheon, a deputation from the Akaroa Railway League waited on Mr Rhodes The deputation con stated of Messrs E. E Lelievre (chair man), J D. Bruce, W. W. Williams and 0 W. Leete. Mr Lelievre said that on bis visit to Akaroa the Minister of Publio Works bad given a definite promise to send an engineer over the proposed line, with a view of having a re Burvey made. Mr Rhodes knew tbe requirements of the district, which had been placed before him on various occasions. They would like him to bring the matter again before tbe Minister j of Public Works to see if any head way could be made. Mr J. D. Bruce endorsed Mr Leiievre's remarks Mr Williams said he believed tbe indebtedness to the Public Works Department had been paid off, and that revenue had begun to accumulate, so that if something practical wbb now done there was money to start with, Akaroa was most suitable for fruit growing All that was wanted was better means of transit. Mr Rhodes, in reply, said tbat he would like to refer to the suggestion made by the Leader of the Opposition during tbe late election campaign. He bad never promised a survey of the line in answer to the bulky peti tions he had presented to him in the past. On tbe night of tbe election, when be was returning thanks, some one bad interjected, "What about the railway," and be had replied that Mr Fraser was tbe first Minister of Public Works who bad promised a survey. He had reminded Mr Fraser at the close of last session, but all tbe en gineers were engaged. He would re mind bim again on his return to Wellington, and hoped the survey would be made : bortly. The deputation thanked the Mini ster for bis patient, hearing and with' 'drew. OPENING CEREMONY. Before 2 p.m. a large crowd bad acpembled in front of the new post office, including the sohool children. Fiftgs were strung across the street, aud tbe Bank had hoisted a flag in honour of the occasion. The Mayor (Mr G. Armstrong) said they were very pleased to have the new post office opened, and to have the Postmaster General to perform the opening ceremony They bad waited for many years to get a new office Mr Rhodes had backed them up in their agitation, He considered Ajcaroa's wants were well supplied now,, wifh a good sohool and a fine post ofhco. What they wanted now was the railway to £bp harbour front. He referred to the fruit that lay wast ing on the ground, because it did not ?5-y to export same He heard of one m settle? ot 90 in the North wbo Btill

Ed to see the railway come to bin district. He did not know if I a would live to 90, but he hoped to 8M the railway come. The railway would be a great benefit to everyone. ■He said be had much pleasure in present* ing Mr Rhodes wish the key to opt| the front door. ■

Hon, R. H.Rhode3, who was greeted vith applausej sdd he was pleased to see tbe school children at the function. As to the railway, he was sure they all hoped Mr Armstrong would live to be 90, and that before that be would see the railway, if not at Akaroa, tapping he harbour. The Minister of Public Works (Mr Fraser) bad promised a -urvey, and tbat would be gone on with shortly. It seemed quite a loDg >ime since the post office building bad been started. Tbe builders had done their work well evidently, and he building was an ornament to tbe picturesque town of Akaroa. The late of its erection would be remembered, as it wag begun in the year of peace, and ended in the year of the great war. It waß another stepping atone in the progress of the, town. They had drainage, water, supply and electric light, and now they had a very up to date post office. He re ferred to the Postal Department as a most progressive one, well equipped and well managed, with clever and capable officials at tbe head. He said that he had never yet found a com munity satisfied, and now they wanted a railway. He agreed that it was wise to make known all wants. He re ferred to the Postal Department's concessions. The concessions given to the Press messages ampunted to £60,000 alone, and tbe Government lost 2d on every 6d telegram. Mr Rhodes referred to the ■, poor telephone service in Akaroa in tbe past, and to the mails delivered by coach, whereas tbey were now .sent by car and muob i time saved. He referred to (he fact i that the Akaroa people had not ob [ tamed a favourable reply to the appli- , cation for a clock tower, He coni sidered this was a place where a clock ; tower could be seen from the harbour k and wharves, but there had been [ much extravagance in the past in this ) direction, and with the money spent | on a clock tower they could build a new post office. It was the previous ; ministry which had refused Akaroa's t request, but be must say that he ; agreed with the refusal. He referred » to tbe Docoinion's prosperity in spite i, of the war, and to tbe New Zealand t troops ia Egypt, who were happy and , well, and only longing to be at the I front. He was sorry the contractor, . Mr Hinckey, could not be present at , the function; He believed the people > of Akaroa owed a good deal to the clerk of works, Mr Hill, wbo was 3 determined tbat only the best of timber was to be used, Mr Rhodes then t turned the key,in the door, formally declaring the office open. He invited all those present to inspect the new building The Mayor called for three cheers ' for Mr Rhodes, which were given very ' heartily. 3 Mr Rhodes left shortly afterwards on his way back to Christchurch. 3 Before leaving he was met by a num- • ber of residents, wbo drank bis health after the toast, "The King and Em ipire" bad been honoured. 5; The new clock will be erected in a > few days' time where tbe post with ' j the wires stands in front of tbe office. r | The post will be taken out.

r»x»

Fervice be returned and hI.-o mi>dt- more in' quent. *» « r<suit, tenders were called, and a oontrnei was let to Mr J. Waeckerle to carry thp mnils between Pigeon Bay and Akaroa wrekly. The mails from Lytteltm to Pigeon Bay and vice versa were conveyed by open boat. After about two years Mr Waeckerle was fuocefded as mail contractor by Mr J Gladstone a n*pnow 'I England* "Grand Old Man," but route was fmtn Purau via Port Lpvy and Pigeon Bay. When Mr Gladstone resignpd Mr G Arms>tro' g an Irishman, was appointed For some time he followed the fame route as his pre decessor, but later he travelled from Purau, by the Bnmmit road. It is stated by old settlers that at one time the mail eervioi to and from Lytteltnn was a monthly one, but there are no records in existence to show that this was so. In 1563 tbe frequenoyof the Lyttelton- Pigeon Bay Akaroa service was twice weekly, and in 1864 it was made thrice weakly. In 3864 there were 10,876 letters and 19,711 newspapers received at |: and 'despatched from Akaroa. The liret j . coach from Christohur-ch to Akaroa arrived

in 1872. and was aooorded it publio weloome,

The service was thrioo weekly, alternating % with the Pigeon Bay service, giving a daily mail to Akaroa. As th" construction of the Little River railway Ine advanced, the coach journey was gradually shortened, unt 1 in March. 1886, the service from Little Biver commenced.*|From 1907 the service haß been daily via Little Biver. The delivery 0" mails at Akaro* hiß been considerably aocel' crated by the motor oar servioe to and from Little Biver from the hrginning of 1913

Akaroa wns connected with Chris church by telegraph on the 20th January, 187*2, the post nod telegraph office being combined. The lighthouse was connected hy telephone In 1885, this being the first telephone station in communication with Aknroa. A mooej» order office was opened at Akaroa on ths Ist April, 1865. The rust office savings bank eiateta was bron«ht into operation in New Zealand in 1667. and on the Ist February at rive of the principal offices, and on ihe Ist April at thirty nine others. Akaroa was one of the latter number. A telephone exbhange was established in 1901 with 20 Bubsoribers. The subscribers now number 62

From the following figures it will be seen that during the last ten years there baa been a considerable increase In all branches of the Department's business at Aknroa : -In 1903 number of letters and post cards posted was 86,800, and in 1913 96.510. O her artiolos posted, 18.000 and 23 300. In 1903 the number of letters and post cards delivered was 72,580, and in 1913 105,330. Other artioles delivered, 29,240 and 37.440. The postal revenue in 1903 was £420, and in 1913 £556 In 1903 556 money-orders were issued to tbe value of £2007 and in 1913 806, of the value of £3961. In 1903 264 money-orders were paid to the value of £977 and in 1913 300, of tbe value of £1712. I

1903 662 eaviogß bank deposits were made amounting to £9070, and in 1913 881, smounting to £12,794. In 1903 221 savings bank withdrawals were made, amounting to £5879, and in 1913 393, amounting to £12,882. In 1903 6737 telegrams were forwa>d»d, of the value of £257, and in 1913 12,386, of the value of £397. In 1913 6723 telegrams were received for delivery to rpsidents, and in 1913 11,185. In 1903 9412 telegrams were received for onward transmission, and in 1913 13,098.

The first post office was in a building known as the French magazine that stood at the baok of the section on whioh the presen Courthouse now stands.

The old mail-room of the building, now partially demolished, was originally the courthouse. It was designed early in 1851 by Mr S. C. Farr, sinoe well known in Christohuroh, and built by Messrs Eteverieau and Adams of timber sawn locally during the same year. Many alterations and additions were made to the building during the sixty years it was in existence, and, with the exception of the studs, rafters and joists, most of. the timber had been replaced. Later the old postmaster's room, now being temporarily used at a mail room, wbb built aa the Lind Offiae, and when no longer required for tbat purpose was used as the fioad Board Office.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

OPENING OF THE NEW AKAROA POST OFFICE., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3478, 16 February 1915

Word Count
2,160

OPENING OF THE NEW AKAROA POST OFFICE. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3478, 16 February 1915

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