Friday, 18 November 2016 07:57

Mayor of Woodville was New Zealand’s Bob Dylan

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Was too busy to pick up award from Governor General


| Napier-MSCNewsWire-18 Nov 16 |  Bob Dylan is too busy to meet the Nobel Prize committee to pick up his Nobel Prize. He has, instead, he claims “other engagements.”

The musician's determination to stick to his routine will remind New Zealand provincial historians of a similar business-as-usual determination in the face also of the collection of an award.

The local incident similarly involved a notable, this time one involved in the practice of local government.

The mayor of Woodville was too busy to receive the Governor General Sir Bernard Fergusson, later Lord Ballantrae.

Sir Bernard was scheduled to meet the mayor, Mr Beale, in order to present him with an award.

This was a decoration for his long service to the remote junction town at the head of the Wairarapa Valley and which serves as the gateway to Hawkes Bay, and to the Manawatu Gorge.

This was quite some time before the explosion of such awards caused by the need to accommodate New Zealand decorations alongside the Imperial ones.

Mr Beale was up for a sturdy such order in the Queens Service class.

It was now that the problem intervened. The mayor was also the proprietor of Beale’s Bookshop, a flourishing concern in that era of the early 1960s. On the very day that he was to receive Sir Bernard he was also required to perform his annual stock take.

The stock take was performed on that same date every year, regardless. It took all day. He, the mayor, would be unable to attend. The matter was non-negotiable. Another date would have to be found.

Beale himself was from an early settler family hailing from London that had thrived in Central Hawkes Bay.

Officials at various levels gently pointed out to Beale that Sir Bernard was of dynastic stock, the fourth of his line to become viceroy.  Beale was adamant. He was in his bookshop all that day. The viceroy to avoid disappointment would have to make another appointment

The Beale family continues to flourish in Central Hawkes Bay. The Fergussons until just a few years ago still serving officially here, but now at legation level, finally faded from the New Zealand scene.