Royal Reels: Gambling


The cover has a corner advertisement for Pender Bros. Pty. Ltd., Timber & Hardware Merchants, Manufacturers of Apiarists Requirements, West Maitland. The red 2d KGVI stamp is cancelled with a WEST MAITLAND/ 22 APR 39 9 PM roller cancel and it is taxed with a red N.S.W./ T in a Shield. It is addressed to Mr. Charles Tivor Caikos, Kedeizet Pet M, Hungary, which is partially crossed out with blue crayon and the re-address is illegible. Two postage due stamps, one 20 Filler, the other 8 Filler have been applied and postmarked in Hungary, an amount shown as ‘28f’ in blue crayon. There is a penned manuscript ‘retd unclaimed 10/8/39 and there are several red DEAD LETTER OFFICE/ SYDNEY N.S.W. handstamps (Figure 1)

The reverse has two Budapest (Hungary) datestamps, the configuration of both were difficult to interpret, other than they definitely arrived in May 1939, one of which was part of a roller cancel, which included a depiction of flowers. The cover was then sent to Vacz (Hungary) in June 1939, prior to being sent back to Australia (Figure 2). 

The above para was the most comprehensive one I found about the business which is surprising when one considers its importance for Australian beekeepers, and one of its founding brothers is noted simply as W.S. Pender, later identified as William Stanley Pender, who was the dominant brother, and he certainly was most frequently cited in the press. W.S. Pender (1846-1931) was the founder and director of the firm and he was the founding editor of The Australasian Beekeeper. He was the longest serving editor of the Journal, which was devoted to bees and the interests of the honey producer, from July 1899 to October 1931, in the year of his death.

There was a short write-up of him in The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday,14 October 1931, page 12, which was headed APIARIST’S DEATH. WEST MAITLAND, Tuesday. Mr. William Samuel (sic), a member of the firm of Pender Bros. Ltd.,and one of the best known residents of the Maitland district, died at his residence, Bolwarra, after only five days’ illness from pneumonia. Mr. Pender was widely known throughout Australia, and in other countries for his work in connection with the bee keeping industry, on which he was regarded as one of the best authorities in Australia. He did considerable research work on the subject. Mr. Pender was actively associated with West Maitland Presbyterian Church of which he was an elder for 37 years. He had held every office in the church. A picture of William Stanley Pender is seen in Figure 3.

The Pender name flourishes in the Maitland area, and the identification of W.S. Pender’s brother’s name(s) has not yet been proven, nor have I found the starting date for the firm of Pender Bros until I came across a recent advertisement for ‘Pender Beekeeping Supplies’. Their website states that: “The name Pender & Beekeeping goes back to 1892 where Pender Bros. started out in Maitland New South Wales, with a small timber yard and mill producing timber for the local community. This was the birth of Pender Bros. supplying beekeeping supplies to the local beekeepers and later supplying beekeepers Australia wide.” This new site repeats the information about the firm being the largest beekeeping company, the business being sold by the family to its workers, it then being called Pender Beekeeping, and moving its premises to Rutherford west of Maitland. Continuing with their quote:

“About 1989 the business was sold and the name was changed to Pender Beegoods, the business continued till 1998 when a fire destroyed the factory. After this the business scaled down closing the sheet metal section (and) with this, ceasing the manufacturing of extractors and honey tanks. In late 2002 we purchased the business shifting from Rutherford to Cardiff, Lake Macquarie (Newcastle), the name changing to Pender Beekeeping Supplies.” The owner supplies his name as ‘Peter’ and his inventory for beekeeping supplies attest to the fact that he has built up the business considerably. I emailed him, sent him a copy of figure one, and no reply has been received.

Addendum (July 2010): Another website has been found which is of relevance. “After a visit to England and the United States, and other countries, Messrs W.S. and G.T. Pender have returned for Australia. They have been making enquiries abroad in regard to possibilities of the British market for Australian honey. Mr. G.T. Pender said yesterday that a plant for the treatment of honey, which had opened at Mitcham in England on behalf of Australian competitive interests, had been sold to a private firm, which in future would handle all Australian honey for Britain through the pooling organization of South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. Mr. G.T. Pender made a second visit to Jugoslavia where he obtained 14 queen bees of the Carniolan strain. He landed 13 of the bees alive in Australia and they will be distributed in all honey producing States”.

Another site was found at The Canberra Times (ACT) on Friday 11 June 1948, page 2, dated Sydney, Thursday. “ Mr. George T. Pender, of Pender Bros., West Maitland, has donated £1,000 to the Hawkesbury Agricultural College to establish an annual prize and scholarship in the agriculture diploma courses. This will be known respectively as the W.S. Pender Memorial Prize, and the W.S. Pender Memorial Scholarship….the annual prize will be awarded for proficiency in agriculture, while the scholarship, which will be of a value of £20 a year will be awarded to a selected candidate interested in beekeeping. The first scholarship will be open for competition in January next”. A brother found!

Categories: Business