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Alice Woodger nee Griffin     (1858 - 1938)

Wellington in the 1880's

ALICE GRIFFIN  was born 16 May 1858 in St Olave, in Horsleydown, Surrey, London. Alice aged 12 yrs  travelled with her parents Ebenezer and Mary Ann Griffin and family to Taranaki on the ship Mataura arriving at New Plymouth 11th Nov 1875.

Alice died Nov 1938 in Woollara, New South Wales aged 80 vears.

Death: WOODGER-October 19 1938 at a private hospital Bellevue Hill Alice Woodger relict of the late Richard A Woodger and loving mother of Arthur deceased and Eva of 1 View Street Woollahra aged 80 vears

Thursday 20 October 1938: WOODGER.-The Funeral of the late ALICE WOODGER late of 1 View Street. Woollahra will leave the Kinsela Chapels. Oxford St. Taylor Square. Darlinghurst, THIS THURSDAY after service commencing at 10.30 a.m.. for the Crematorium. Eastern Suburbs.


Richard Woodger was a greengrocer and had his shop opposite Parliament Buildings at Molesworth street . Before his marriage he had a partner in the business. Woodger, R. A., Seedsman and Florist, 3 Molesworth Street. Telephone 442. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. This business was established by Mr. Woodger in 1879. The building occupied is a two-story wood and iron structure, containing over 2000 square feet of floorage space. Mr. Woodger imports seeds from British markets, and choice plants from Australia. His business connections are to be found in many parts of the Colony. Born in London, Mr. Woodger came to Wellington, per ship “Euterpe,” in 1874, establishing himself as above five years later. (Src: Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District] Nurserymen)

1879 Evening Post, 31 October 1879: IMPORTANT NOTICE. THORNDON FRUIT MART, MOLESWORTH-STREET,  WOODGER AND DUFF, Greengrocers, Fruiterers, and Poulterers, Have much pleasure in announcing they have commenced as above, and assure their patrons that no efforts on their part will be spared to give satisfaction. Choicest desert fruits and fresh vegetables always on hand. Families waited on for orders, and goods delivered to all parts of the city daily. N.B.? Dealers in game and poultry ready trussed ( this latter commodity they advertised - "For Sale, Feathers any quantity, at Woodger and Duff's, Fruiterers, Molesworth-street")

Diversification of Stock: 1879 Evening Post,  31 October 1879, WANTED Known— For Sale, Feathers any quantity, at Woodger and Duff's, Fruiterers, Molesworth-street.

Their essential carrier of goods went walk-about 25 February 1880: Advertisement:  STRAYED, from Wadestown, one Grey Pony Mare, shod with leather on fore feet. Anyone returning same to Woodger and Duff, Molesworth-street, will be rewarded.

1880 MARRIAGE. Woodger - Griffin: On the 29th March, at the residence of J. Moir, Richard Arthur Woodger, to Alice Griffin, both of Wellington. Taranaki papers please copy.

The month following their marriage Richard announced - "THE PARTNERSHIP hitherto existing between us, the undersigned, as Greengrocers, &c, has been DISSOLVED by mutual consent. All accounts due to or owing by the said partnership will be settled by R. A. Woodger, who will carry on the business as usual. Signed, R. A. WOODGER, W. O. DUFF. Witness, S. Bethell. 6th April 1880".

Richard found notable patronage and expanded his business-

1880 Evening Post, 9 October, "By Special Appointment to His Excellency the Governor. R. A. WOODGER, FRUITERER, GREENGROCER, AND POULTERER, MOLESWORTH-STREET, WELLINGTON, Has Removed to more convenient premises, lately occupied by Mr. J. Fear. The Grocery, Bread, and Biscuit Trade will be carried on as usual in connection with the above." and the following month the paper stated in general news: "Mr. R. A. Woodger, greengrocer, &c, of Molesworth-street, has shown us a quantity of tomatoes, which, considering the season of the year, are of a really splendid description, being fine, large, and ripe. However,  business was tough and his timing led to financial difficulties and Richard found he was unable to meet his debts.

IN BANKRUPTCY. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW ZEALAND. WELLINGTON DISTRICT. ? In the matter of the"The Debtors and Creditors Act/ 1876," and the amendments thereof ; And In the matter of the Bankruptcy of RICHARD ARTHUR WOODGER, of the City of Wellington, Fruiterer, a Debtor. THIS is to notify that RICHARD ARTHUR WOODGER, of Wellington, Fruiterer, has this day filed a statement that he is unable to meet his engagements with his creditors, The first meeting of creditors will be held at the Supreme Court House, Wellington, on Monday, the thirty- first day of January, 1881, at 10.30 o'clock in the forenoon. Dated at Wellington this 25th day of January, 1881. HENEY HALL, Deputy Registrar. Buller and Gully, Solicitors for the said Debtor.

Accounts were asked for 1881:  Evening Post 9 February 1881: In the matter of " The Debtors and Creditors Act, 1876," and the amendments thereof; And Of the Bankruptcy of RICHARD ARTHUR WOODGER, of Wellington, Greengrocer. I HAVE to request that all Claims against the above estate shall be sent in to me not later than Saturday, the 19th instant, otherwise they will be excluded from the dividend about to be declared. GEO. BESLEY, Trnstee in the estate of the said R. A. Woodger.

Richard's debts were disposed of and he reopened for business in April 1881 - OYSTERS ! OYSTERS ! ! OYSTERS ! ! !      R A. WOODGER, the only importer of the celebrated Whangerei Oysters, has just received a supply. Evening Parties attended on. Address - R. A. WOODGER, Wholesale and Retail Fruiterer, Greengrocer, and Poulterer. MOLESWORTH-STBEET, Next to the Wellington Hotel.

Business was helped by the Hospital Committee accepting his  tender for vegetable supplies for the year. In June a closed season for game in the Wellington district, he appeared in court for breaching of the Animals Protection Act by exposing game for sale but dismissed as it had come from Auckland. July -the decsion was made to spruce up the shop front to attract custom, and called tenders from Painters and writers. In August 1881 he tried various means of diversification - became an agent for seeds for F Cooper, Nurseryman and florist and in December advertised

WANTED Known, Ice! Ice! Ice! R. A. Woodger is appointed agent for Thorndon to the Wellington Biscuit Factory. lce, 3d per pound, delivered. (Taken for granted today are many considered a basic source all the year round, but over 100 years ago the advent was heralded in the paper): 


Oct. 1883 GREEN PEAS. GREEN PEAS. New Potatoes (Hutt grown) Gooseberries Rhubarb (Canterbury) Cucumbers Asparagus R. A. WOODGER, Molesworth-Street.

For the businessman, there was the problem of sourcing product to sell: March 1884:  BUTTER. BUTTER. WANTED, a small dairy of first-class Butter ; highest price given. R. A. Woodger, Molesworth-Street.  That month the Woodgers were connected with the Telephone Exchange

August 1884 POULTRY. POULTRY. WANTED to buy, young Fowls, Ducks and Turkeys, in any quantity ; highest cash price. R. A. Woodger, Poulterer, Molesworth-street.

Richard was one of a deputation to Mr Larnach to urge the removal of the restrictions upon the importation of grapes from Australia - the minister was told that the grapes grown in that country were superior to hot-house grapes grown here, and could be sold for 1s per lb., whereas New Zealand grapes could not now be sold in Wellington under 4s per lb. The price in Christchurch was 3s 0d, and in Auckland 3s.

June 1887 OYSTERS ! OYSTERS ! ! OYSTERS Wholesale and Retail. RA. WOODGER having taken tho shop lately occupied by Mrs. Rowborry, known as Smart's Oyster Saloon, Lambton quay, will receive a supply of the celebrated WHANGAREI OYSTERS by every steamer from Auckland. Dinner and Evening Parties attended. The Trado Supplied. Country orders forwarded on reoeipt of P. 0.0. Orders, left at Mr. A. L. Fraser's, Molesworth-street, will bo punctually attendod to

 22 June 1889 - NOTICE. I HAVE sold my Seed Business (branch shop) in Cuba-street, to Mr. R. A. Woodger, Seedsman, of Molesworth-street, who will in future carry on the same. HENRY BUDDEN.

 2 June 1892 - Richard Wooger advertised FRUIT TREES ! FLOWERING SHRUBS, &c. ! Apple Trees, two and three year old Pear Trees, Plum Trees, Gooseberries and Currants, of sorts Raspberry Canes, Roses, Tea Scented and Hybrid Perpetual Azaleas and Camellias, Magnolias and Musk Trees, Lemon and Peppermint Scented Gums, Scarlet Flowered Gums, Cape Silver Trees, Pohutukawas, Lisbon Lemon Trees, Norfolk Island Pine, Cupressus Macrbcarpa, Finus Insignis, Pot Plants in great variety A large stock to select from at lowest prices. R A Woodger, Molesworth-street, Wellington

Richard is on the committee of the Wellington Horticultural show and the paper states - NEW SEEDS. R A. WOODGER has just Landed, ex S.S. Tokomaru, from London - NEW VEGETABLE SEEDS NEW FLOWER SEEDS. Also on Sale, the Largest and Best Collection of POT PLANTS in Wellington. Over 3000 to choose from, consisting of ? Choice Palms Begonias Cinerarias Cyclamens Primulas - Fuchsias &c, &c, &c. A Large Collection of FERNS, in pots and fancy baskets, for decorations, at Lowest Rates. Roses, Ornamental Shrubs, Fruit Trees, Seed Potatoes, all Best Varieties, at R. A. WOODGER'S, 3 and 9, Molesworth-street, WELLINGTON. Telephone No. 442. Catalogues and Gardening Instruction, Free on application

On the 11th November 1893, New Zealand became the first self governing country to give women the right to vote in parliamentary elections: Exercising her vote: Alice Woodger living at Molesworth Street, Wellington, Domestic duties.

"R A Wodger, 3 and 9 Molesworth Street, has for sale the largest and best collection of pot plants in Wellington - over 3000 to choose from. Ferns in great variety; pot plants for hire. Cut flowers, bouquets, wreaths, &c., on short notice"

Richard Woodger now living at 7 Sussex Square, is again in financial trouble and in March 1899 he filed a petition in bankrptcy.The amount owing to unsecured creditors is ?168 6s lid, the largest being: Mrs. W Fisher, Otaki, £37 10s ; City Council (rates), £14 15s 6d, Commercial Union Assurance Co. £14 11s 8d ; Dr. Chappie £14 6s ; Captain Popham, £11; H. C. Gibbons and Co., £9 16s 9d ; Blundell Bros. £7 ; Hay and Son, £7; H. Budden, £6 14s 2d ; J. Thomas, £6 9s Id; Andrew Given and Co., £5 9s 6d. There is one secured creditor, the Metropolitan Building Society, to whom £194 4s lid is owing, and who holds a security (leasehold of three properties in Molesworth-street), valued at £300, leaving a surplus of £105.

18 April 1899 In the bankrupt estate of R. A. Woodger, the Official Assignee calls for tenders for the purchase of the unexpired terms of certain leases in Thorndon.

In May at the Bankruptcy Court, an order for discharge was granted. R. A. Woodger, seedsman, said he had had losses in business owing to the keen competition with Chinamen. He also lost his stock by a fire two years ago, and had no insurance. He was getting occasional work now as a carpenter. A discharge was granted.

In 1900 in Letters To the Editor) Sir - Permit me space in your valuable paper in confirmation cf statements made by you and others, how easy rats are able to get ashore undetected, and thus distribute the plague amongst the other rodents. Some three years ago, a florist and seedsman in Molesworthstreet, Thorndon, received a box of plants from the other island which measured about three feet by two with a canvas hood on top to protect the plants. Now sir, this box was lifted out of the hold of a small coastal steamer on to the wharf thence to a trap and driven at a good pace to Molesworth-street and landed on the footpath in front of Mr. Woodger's shop. No sooner than it was placed down a fox terrier dog standing close by began barking around the box, and believe me, sir, out of that small box came no less than forty rats, which were despatched one after the other by this dog, and left on the road for passers by to see. What about the protectors on the hawsers of ships when we carry them ashore unseen. I am, etc., AN EYE-WITNESS. Wgtn, 17th April, 1900

The family left for Sydney, Australia  (it is thought that sister Rebecca Griffin accompanied them) It is unknown Richard's occupation there but in the Sydney Morning Herald Death notices-

WOODGER-April 30, 1926 at Sydney Hospital, Richard Arthur, husband of Alice Woodger, and father of Arthur and Ada, died aged 74 years

20 Oct 1938 Sydney Morning Herald:

WOODGER-October 19 1938 at a private hospital Bellevue Hill Alice Woodger, relict of the late Richard Arthur Woodger and loving mother of Arthur deceased and Eva of 1 View Street Woollahra aged 80 vears

Thursday 20 October 1938: WOODGER.-The Funeral of the late ALICE WOODGER late of 1 View Street. Woollahra will leave the Kinsela Chapels. Oxford St. Taylor Square. Darlinghurst, THIS THURSDAY after service commencing at 10.30 a.m.. for the Crematorium. Eastern Suburbs.


i. ARTHUR HENRY WOODGER, b. 05 Oct 1888, at Owen-street, Newtown, Wgtn; Death: aged 46 years

2 ADA EVA* WOODGER, b. 22 Oct 1890, Owen St, Newtown, Wgtn; She died 1961, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Sadly, to date, no photos have yet been discovered to remember our Woodger family.