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Petone's First 100 Years (1940)


A Basic Industry—Timber.

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View of Yard, Sheds and Mill, from Koro Koro—Nov., 1939.

A chat with Mr. Charles C. Odlin, Managing-Director of The C. & A. Odlin Timber and Hardware Co., Ltd., cannot but leave one impressed with a fuller appreciation of those who have blazed the trail for the present generation.
Sixty-three years ago, Mr. Odlin recounts, his parents came to the Dominion, and his acquaintance with this world coincided with their first glimpse of the new homeland. Emulating his parents' example, Mr. Odlin worked hard until by his own efforts he was able in 1901 to start up a little timber yard in Wellington, using a horse and dray for transport.
To-day the fine mill and yard at Petone, pictured above are the results of his plans and endeavours, aided by his brother, Mr. Alf. Odlin, now director of the Auckland business. They represent a practical expression of foresight and faith in the Hutt Valley as the most important industrial centre of Wellington and the Dominion. Officially opened in 1926, these premises provide for timber stacking and seasoning, much of it under cover, planing and re-sawing, log-sawmilling, boxmaking and joinery, while an up-to-date garage and engineering shop maintains the plant and a fleet of over sixty vehicles. With its huge sheds, each worked by overhead electric travelling cranes, and its valuable plant for giving the most complete timber service possible, this yard is regarded by overseas visitors as the finest and most modern south of the Line. Many local residents are included in the splendid staff of employees, and the borough undoubtedly benefits both directly and indirectly by the inclusion of this important industry within its boundaries, providing a continuous all-the-year-round activity.
Specialising in every phase of builders' and cabinetmakers' supply, the company has headquarters at Wellington and Petone, with branches at Palmerston North, Hastings, Napier, Gisborne and Auckland. It is fitting, therefore, to record in this review of the Centenary of Petone, that a local citizen, Mr. Lance Pointon, has risen during his thirty-one years of loyal
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Mr. C. C. Odlin, Managing Director.

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Mr. L. R. Pointon, Timber Manager

service to the Company to his present position as manager of the timber department and member of the directorate. Mr. Pointon's parents came fifty-one years ago to Petone, where he was born, and has resided continuously until this year. He is well known for his active association with the Petone Cricket Club, and has always taken a practical and helpful interest in the welfare of the borough.
Reverting to our chat with Mr. Odlin, one of his favourite reminiscences is of the first shilling he saved. To popularise thrift amongst children, the P.O.S.B. allowed school children to put Id. stamps on to a card, and when one shilling was saved, they were granted the special privilege of going to the P.O.S.B. to lodge the money in school hours. And so: the genesis of the present great organisation, finding employment for hundreds of employees throughout the country. "Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow," and similarly, Mr. Odlin has every confidence that the seeds of thrift, endurance, energy and integrity planted by our grand pioneers, the tangible result of whose efforts is to-day the splendid borough of Petone, will bring to fruition a record of future achievements excelling even the proud results of Petone's First one Hundred Years.
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