Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 9, May 1968


The business in Arney Street was known as "Walls Butchery", 70 years ago which is probably a record for Paeroa. It has been under family management ever since 1898 when my father, James Walls, took it over from Josh Tetley who moved to Karangahake. Actually it was one of the first Butcheries in Paeroa, having been established earlier by John Earl in what had been the office of a mining firm. On the corner of Arney and Willoughby Streets, John Earl built the cottage where my daughter and I now live and his family resided here for many years. Mrs. Earl (sen.) remaining after the business changed hands. My father, an experienced cattle dealer who had moved about a great deal, was already 40 years old when in 1899 he married my mother, Mary Bullians. She had come to Paeroa from Whangarei with her sister Helen, later very well known in Karangahake. Helen took over Mr. Minette's drapery business and lived on the premises, where I spent long periods with her. In Paeroa, living quarters were put up adjacent to the shop, and these were the buildings recently demolished - one of the last remnants of the old town.

Our father died in 1930, but our mother, who worked very hard throughout her long life of 87 years was with us till 1961. She had acquired the whole of what had been Earl's property, including our present house, where for a time Mr. and Mrs. Pascoe lived. My elder sister Jane, who was a School Teacher, has lived in Australia for some years and Molly is in Whangarei, but John who still manages the business has lived in Paeroa continuously and is a contemporary of many of the early "butcher boys" who delivered meat on horseback. We particularly remember the Pennells, Shersons, Nevins and more recently the four Kurtovich boys. The new Shop was opened in 1955 but on the books there are still family names of long ago.