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Grand Old Man of the River Caesar Roose

Stuart, Margaret and Jeanette Thomas

Published by J Thomas., Mercer, NZ, 1986
Condition: VG+ Soft cover
From BOPBooks (Tauranga, BOP, New Zealand)

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About this Item

Caesar Roose (CR) was born at Mercer, on the banks the Waikato River, NZ's longest , in 1886 and his life was to be linked with the River through his determination to develop it as a transport corridor servicing a large and prosperous region of the North Island. A short-lived venture with a small, unsuitable boat was unsuccessful and two years later, in 1904, he had his first river boat built. CR named her Rawhiti, a name to become familiar. In 1922 the Roose Shipping Company was established and by 1925 a second Rawhiti was introduced to the river. The fleet increased when CR purchased the defunct Waikato Shipping company, securing some of the craft, as well as the shipping licence he sold to it five years earlier. CR's operations survived the Great Depression, even experiencing some expansion. Now well established on the river CR's vessels carried cargoes of all types, ranging from agricultural products, coal and sand, benzine (petrol), timber, fertilisers, passengers and general cargos. The Waikato was navigable upstream from Port Waikato to Hamilton and Cambridge and cargo to and from other parts of the country could be trans-shipped on coastal steamers at Port Waikato, on the Tasman Sea. Excursion trips on the river by the paddle steamer Manuwai were popular, going up-river to Cambridge to downstream to Port Waikato, sometimes with up to 500 passengers aboard. After WWII CR purchased LST 283, a US Navy tank landing ship laid up at Hawaii. Buying this large vessel, a veteran of the Normandy landings and active service in the Pacific, was a complicated process regarding financial and official formalities. These obstacles overcome, or avoided, the LST sailed for NZ early in 1948 arriving at Port Waikato in mid-February after a three week voyage. She had aboard 140 ex-US Army trucks destined for a Hamilton buyer. In NZ the LST faced another round of "bureaucratic red-tape" before being renamed Rawhiti III. The ship was eventually to return across the Pacific -- CR sold her to the Peruvian Navy in 1951, making the voyage back to San Francisco with a cargo of scrap metal. A smart and innovative businerssman, CR was also comminity spirited and a benefactor. He donated land to community causes in the Mercer area, was a generous supporter of the Health Camp movement formed in the late 1920s. He was a visionary too, with plans to link the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours with a canal. He was a member of the Auckland Harbour Board 1947 -1961 and in retirement persued his canal plan. CR died in 1967 have turned a dream into reality and leaving his mark on the community he served as the Grand Old Man of the River. The book was prepared for a celebration marking the centenary of CR's birth. His daughter Jeanette Thomas told the story of his lfe to the author, Margaret Stuart, who also had access to Roose family records and recollections, the reminiscencs of those who knew , worked with or for CR and the company/family records held in institution or private collections. A scarce publication, tracing the development of an almost unique river transport operation and contracting business. First edition of 1986, 43 pages including chronology, five appendices and sources, 61 b/w photos, two maps, family tree, two page reproduction of a Roose feature with sketches of connected personalities published in The NewZealand Observer, November 1925. ( The 16 glossy pages carrying photographs are not included in the pagination).Colour card covers are VG+ with light sunning to spine area, the colour front cover painting by John Speedy shows Rawiti II about to tie up at Hamilton, the rear cover painting shows a Maori canoe at the river bank. Text section is excellent, no inscriptions. Size: 29.5cm By 21.5cm. Bookseller Inventory # 004689

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Grand Old Man of the River Caesar Roose

Publisher: J Thomas., Mercer, NZ

Publication Date: 1986

Binding: Soft Covers

Illustrator: Photos. Maps, Tables Etc

Book Condition:VG+

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Edition: 1st.

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