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Petone's First 100 Years (1940)


R. W. Short & Co.
Half Century of Service.

After forty-eight years of service, the firm of R. W. Short & Co., of Jackson Street, Petone, can lay claim to being the senior established agents of the Valley, and to having a greater volume of business than any other similar organization in the Hutt Valley.
The firm was founded in 1892 by Richard Walton Short, J. P. Early in the present century he took into partnership Mr. D. G. Fraser, and they continued on until 1924, when Mr. Fraser withdrew from the business. Mr. W. Pere joined the firm in 1920, and Mr. R. G. Hayward in 1922. Messrs. Hayward and Pere bought out Mr. Short in 1932, and entered into partnership as the present firm of land agents, insurance agents, public accountants, and secretaries. Mr. Pere is also a Justice of the Peace.
The founder of the firm, Mr. Short, was a very prominent citizen of Petone. He stood for Parliament on one occasion, and gave Sir Thomas Wilford a very close run for Parliamentary honours. He held various secretaryships, including that of the Wellington Trotting Club from 1907 to 1932. He was the first agent of the State Fire Office in Petone, and early in the history of his firm, obtained the agency of the Ocean Accident Company.
On the retirement of Mr. Short, Mr. Pere took over the secretaryship of the Wellington Trotting Club, which he still carries on.
An amazing volume of business, embracing the whole of the Hutt Valley, passes through the up-to-date offices of the firm. The insurance and rent collection branch of the business is a very large one, an amount of approximately £20,000 being handled annually. In all, as secretaries, accountants, insurance and estate agents, the firm handles more than £50,000 annually.
The firm has built a reputation for itself in the insurance business, in which it has been long established as agent for the Ocean and State Fire Offices. As agent for the State Coal Depot, it handles 90 per cent. of the business of this organisation in the Hutt Valley. In addition, the firm has a flourishing business as public accountants to a number of firms.
The outbreak of war has had its effect on this firm as well as on others, and this effect has made itself felt on the management of the firm. Mr. Hayward volunteered for active service overseas, and was accepted for service with the second Echelon. He remains a partner of the firm, but the burden of management during his absence will be borne by Mr. Pere alone.
Whatever might be in store in the next few years, the firm looks forward to celebrating its jubilee in two years' time in its present prosperous condition. Its service throughout its long existence is sufficient recommendation to the people of the Hutt Valley of its ability to handle their affairs.

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