Waihi Borough Council Diamond Jubilee Booklet 1902-1962

The elder son of Mr J. M. Wrigley, Journalist, the late K. M. Wrigley was born in Waihi on 8th September, 1913. He was educated at the Waihi Central School, Waihi High School and the Waihi School of Mines. The initiative and tenacity of purpose which was so apparent during the latter part of his life was also a characteristic of his school days.

He left school at the age of 15, and started work with Johns Limited, Radio Manufacturers in Auckland. He soon tired of routine work and at the age of 18, prevailed upon his father to establish his own radio business in Waihi, which was the fulfilment of an ambition he had nourished since leaving school.

The business was known as Keith M. Wrigley Radio Sales and Service and was located in premises now occupied by the Star Produce Mart, Dean's Building, Seddon Street. Here he resold and serviced radios he had bought in Auckland, but finding this not compatible with his nature, he soon began to manufacture radios of his own, which he called "Futura." Many local residents still own radios of this brand which are operating satisfactorily. Business grew steadily, and before long he was wholesaling radios and radio parts to dealers throughout the North Island. When the manufacturing of radios was stopped during the early years of the war, Mr Wrigley displayed his versatility by manufacturing equipment for defence purposes.

Despite his tremendous preoccupation in developing his business, he found time to devote to civic affairs. He was for some years a Councillor of the Borough of Waihi, where his dynamic approach to the many civic problems established courses of action which in some cases were only taken after his death.

During 1944 and 1945, Mr Wrigley suffered indifferent health which ended in his death on New Year's Day in 1946. All who knew him were deeply grieved at the untimely loss of one who, by his own unstinted efforts, had done so much to shape the future of Waihi.


After the second World War, Waihi staged its own campaign of swords into ploughshares, when Keith M. Wrigley, founder of the Akrad Company, bought millions of surplus aluminium bullet tips and recast them into parts for children's tricycles.