Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chew Chong



Letters to the Editor. ) Sir, —There, is one importanty feature in connection with the dairying industry in Taranaki that I never seem to hear any allusion to, and for a great number of years never mentioned it any of the New Zealand newspapers,, and that is the name of the pioneer hand of the present factory system — a Mr Chew Chong,, who (as far as 1 know, at any rate) had the first daily factory in Taranaki up at Eltham; ifc may have been the fust dairy factory in New Zealand. Mr Chong was not' only a pushing merchant, importer and storekeeper, having a business at New- Plymouth as weil as at Eitham, but showed his great faith in this dairying business by putting a lot of his money into it. and offering to lend suppliers the cash to buy cows with. I write from memory, of course, and would like* to see this statement refuted if it'a not correct. As I turn it over in my mind now, at this particular time* there was considerable bad feeling (I think it was really race hatred) around - this new Eltham factory of Mr Chong's. Some sneaky person or persons (I don't think they were any of Mr Ctong's* countrymen though) thought to. damage his factory, reputation and. business by working up a trumpery case of alleged fake weights at the factory. Inspector Duffin. Inspector of Weights ■ and Measures, New Plymouth, was sent for and came to Eltham. The butcome of the Inspector's visit was that Mr Chong came out with flying colors; he was actually cheating himself and paying out more than he ought to hi» milk suppliers—the farmers. Milk was purchased by weight in those days. The informers. were sadder men, anyway; perhaps sorry financially they made a complaint. •

I have made these statements off and on for a good many years now to old Taranaki residents, and have not had them so far contradicted. If I am misrepresenting in any way I shall regard it as a kindness to be contradicted. I only want to get the truth and to uphold it. I always regarded Mr Chew Chong as a splendid business man, a good pioneer, and a gentleman- Gladstone's statement contained a lot of truth in it when he once remarked that the "colonials disliked the Chinaman more for his virtues than hi» vices." I don't know if Mr Chew ChoTi£ is still alive or not, but I beg to offer one suggestion: it would only be an act of British, fair play and longdelayed courtesy to tender Mr Chew • Chonq; some practical appreciation of his pioneering services to the dairying, industry —say, at the coming Winter Show at Hawera. In writing what I have I am only prompted by the spirit of rendering HONOR TO WHOM HONOR IS DUE. Kakaramea, May 26. Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LXV, 28 May 1913, Page 5

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