AN OLD ADELAIDE FIRM.
MESSRS. G. WOOD, SON, & GO. A XEW WAREHOUSE.
' A very interesting event took place on North-terrace on Wednesday afternoon, when Mrs. Gilbert Wood, in the presence of a large number of spectators, laid the foundation-stone
of a new and extensive warehouse, which the well-kmown and long-established firm of Messrs. G. Wood, Son, & Co., wholesale grocers, of Rundle-street, are erecting next to the South Australian Hotel. The business of Messrs. G. Wood, Son, & Co. was founded by the late Mr. Gilbert Wood in 1857. He was a pioneer of the colony, whose mercantile career was a great success. For forty years the firm has occupied the premises in which the de ceased gentleman began as a retail grocer. He earned on by himself very successfully till 1876, when he admitted his son, Mr. Peter Wood, and Mr. James Gartrell as partners. For some considerable period Mr. Wood, sen., conducted tho wholesale branch of the trade, and so fast did it increase that after a time it began to overshadow the retail side, and eventually the latter portion of the business was sold to Messrs. R. H. Crawford & Co., of Hindley, Rundle, and King William streets. Latterly, to meet the demands of their busi ness, Messrs. Wood, Son, & Co. acquired the fine block of land immediately opposite the Houses of Parliament on North-terrace. The ground has never been built upon, and was formerly the garden attached to the old Bank of South Australia, which premises now com prise the South Australian Hotel. The land was purchased by a Melbourno Syndicate seven years ago for £15,000, but they never turned it to account. Now. Messrs. Wood, Son, &, Co. have secured it, and on it they intend to erect a handsotno four-storied ware house. To-day the firm employ a, staff numbering 109. Fifteen years ago they had ono traveller; now thev employ ten in South Australia. The firm has a branch establish ment at Fremantle, Western Australia, under tho management of Mr. J. R. McPhie, and they do business in Perth and throughout the western colony, having a residential represen tative in Codlgardie. Then there is another branch at Broken Hill, and largo bond and free stores at Port Adelaide. Messrs. P. Wood and Gartrcll both look to tho future of the western colony with the confidence of being able to do an increasingly largo trade there. . Tho ground on which the building is being erected has a side road on the east adjoining FlcckcrV hotel; also -a road at the back between tho new building and Theatre Royal leading to Bank street The frontage of the building to North -terrace is CO ft. and the depth 212 ft., whilst the height at tne front is 70 ft The building is to consist of offices facing North-terrace, 5' ft. x 63 ft. x 22 ft high, well lighted from two Bides, and with panelled ceiling and deep frieze. This space will be divided by cedar and glas3 parti tions into private offices for the members of the firm and their chief clerks and travellers and tcatasters. There will also bo a large counting-houso and sample-room, this latter with a second entrance on the -;ast. In the front there will be a comfortable waiting-room. A largo strongroom fitted with ono of Simp son & Son's doora adjoins the counting-house, and ample space has been provided for type writers, telephones, and lavatories. Above tho olficcs there are two stories each 57 ft. x 53 ft. x 13 ft. nigh, supported by iron stanchions and girders, and a third story 60 ft. x 22 ft. At the rear of tho offices is a cellar 72 ft. x 57 ft. x 10 ft. high, with asphalt floor and wooden columns and beauu. Above this lira a bulk store, a packing store, and a third story, all of similar area, and 13 ft. high in each case. These are supplied with two hydraulic lifts and ample staircases. The bulk store has a scries of doors opening on to the east right-of-way, and another series opening on to tho covered yard. ? From the packing store a covered way leads to the roof of tho yard, wherein a large storing-floor for cases is arranged. The whole of this portion of tho building is being solidly constructed of Glen Osmond and Tapley's Hill stone and Metro politan bricks, faced with Portland cemont. flic ceilings are of platter and the roofs covered with galvanized iron. Behind the main building is a covered yard 90 ft. by 72 ft., the roof being in ono span and lighted by sky lights. Within tho yard arc lauding-stagcs, stalls, and loose boxes tor twelve horses, and a harness-room. It has largo sliding gates on two sides, and provision tor stowing the horses' fodder is made above their stalls, with shutcs into the mangers. In the south-east corner a very comfortable- two-story cottage is to bo erected for tho caretaker, whorein a room 18 x 14 ft., with fireplace, is set aside as a. luncheon-room for the men, with tlioir lavatory in closo proximity. Tho stylo chosen for tho oicvators is Italian, broadly treated, tho entrance arch being 22 ft wiJo by 33 ft. high. Over this Doric columns extend through two stories to support the pediment, tho tympanum of which will contain tho trade mark of the firm— an anchor in a background of flags. The windows arc large, and will be platcglass, and on tho friezes of tho main cornices the nnrao of the firm will be cut in bold letters. The whole of the work, which will cost several thousand pounds to erect, has boon entrusted to Messrs. English & Soward as architects, and Mr. C. H. Martin as con tractor, and they hopo to have it completed by tho end of February next. Mr. Teter Wood, addressing his 'dear mother,' said it was with mixed feelings that ho mot her that day— regie t that tbo ono so near and dear to them, the founder of the firm, was absent, God having taken him from them ten years ago, and feelings of pleasure, engendered from the fact that ho saw her among thom enjoying health and strength, with her family around her. Since- his father's death there had boon no break in the family circle, but many friends had been added. His mother had been in the past a source of counsel and also a. substantial cid whenever they required her services. She was very closelv associated with the old premises, and on 'behalf of tho firm he had pleasure in asking her to lay tho foundation stone of the new _ building. (Hear, hear.) Ho trusted that his mother might be long spared to see the continued success of the firm ofG. Wood, Son, & Co. There wero two other sons, and bis wish aud that of his partners was thnt they might come along somo dav and take an active part in the cou ccm. That was his father's wish also. (Hear, hear.) Mr.*. Woon then declared tha stono to ho well and truly laid, with a hnndsomo silver trowel presented her by tho firm, on which was engraved 'Presented to Mrs. Gilbert Wood on the occasion of the laying of tho fonndation-stojie of G. Wood, Son, & Co.'s warehoiiMC, 2»ortn-terracc, Adelaide. August 12, 1S9G/' At the instance of Mr. G. K. Soward three cheers were given for Mrs. Wood. Mr. J. Gartbsll, one of tho partners of the firm, thanked Mrs. Wood for being present and for laying tho fonndation-stone. As Mr. Wood had said, he trusted that success might follow them in the future as it bad done in tho past. (Cheers.) The company then adjourned to tho South Australian Hotel, where, over a glass ' of champagne, several toasts were honoured. Among those preseut wore:— Sir E. T. Smith, Messrs. P. Wood, J. Gartrcll, W. H. Phillipps, K. S. Young. E. J. Fidford, L. J. Davics, W. Taylor, R. McKwin, S. Gollin, J. Henderson, G. K. Soward. J. English, J. Kaine?. E. Spicer, A. £. Jolley, J. H. GartrelJ. S. Tom kinson, R. O. B. Todiuan, G. C. Wood, W. A. Wood, W. Barlow. H. Martin, J. G. Jenkins, T. Pope, C. Warren. C. E. Martin, C. Nohlo, K. G. Alderman, andF. Martin, and the Rev. T. Hope. Sir. E. T. Smith, received with cheers, submitted tho toast of ''Success to the firm of G. Wood, Son, &. Co.' Why he was thus honoured ho did not know, unless it aroso from the fact that the founder of the firm was a very old personal friend of bis. He knew him intimately forty year* ago when he commenced business iu Kundlc-strcet. In 1S07 Mr. Wood found it necessarv to enlarge his buildings in Rundlc-strcct. Those addi tions ' gradually went on, and the business increased with thftm. . Ho thought the Jato Mr. Wood acted wisely in taking into partner ship two gentlemen who for so many years bad served him so honourably and faithfully. He alluded to Mr. Peter Wood and Mr. James Gartrell. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Wood's death in 1S5G was not only a great blow to the firm, but a loss to society and all those who admired a true and honourable man— (Hear, hearrr ono of whom it might truly be said that his word was his bond. The business since the late Mr. Wood's death had been conducted on the same lines, and by zeal and assiduity it had so grown that now the firm was conv pelted to erect an extensive and modem waro house. He heartily congratulated the firm on
the great success that had attended their efforts up to tho present time, und wished them every prosperity iu tho future. ? (Cheer*) Messrs. W. H. Phillups, S. Toxkisms, T. Poi'E, aud 0. Warr£.v. one of the old servants of the firm, supported tho toast, which was drunk in bumpers. Mr. P. Wood, received with applause, in acknowledging the | compliment said gathered around him he- noticed many old - friends. Some of thom he had known ah boys, notably Sir Edwin Smith, JMessru. Phillippa, Tomkinson, Spicer, and others It was pleasing to go over the past history of thu firm, when it had beon one of such great suc cess. '. Th»t success was mostly owing to tho fact that the foundation of tho original firm wo3 laid on the best lines; (Hear, hear.) Tno ship of G. Wood, Son, & Co. was built of the best timber. (A Voice—' Wood.' Laughter and cheere.) Mr. James GARTKBrx said he had noticed a trade mark in the shape of a tree with the motto, ' While I live fit grow.' Their trado mark was an anchor, which meant sure and steadfast. Blended with hope the motto of sure and steadfast had beon to them what the trade mark of the tree with thu motto 'While I live I'll grow' had been to its owners. Language could not express his and his partners' gratitude to the employes for their loyalty to the firm. Ho endorsed all tho re marks of Mr. Peter Wood, yea,. more with reference to his late worthy master and subse quent partner, Mr. Gilbert Wood. (Hear, hear.) He hoped that in that business or in any other they carried on that they would bo actuated by the same noble principles that guided the founder of tho firm, and that when the time arrived for them to lay down tho refcss of government they would have left impressions on the sands of time. (Cheers.) Mr. P. Wood proposed tho health of 'The Architects,' and Messrs. G. K. Howard and J. English responded. Mr. J. Gaktrell submitted the toast of ' The Contractor,' and Mr. Martix replied. The gathering then dispersed. . While tho guests were being entertained Messrs. Wood, Sou, & Co. invited all the workmen engaged on the building to join iu tho festivities. Tho toast of ' Success to the Firm'1 was heartily druul:.. ?