When growing up from time to time when I gave my name to someone I was often asked if I had any any relation to the Newton King of Taranaki. Apart from knowing that someone of importance must have lived there, I never had any idea what they were talking about. After yet again being asked about the subject yesterday I bit the bullet and googled the name.
It turns out a man called Newton King (first name Newton, last name King) was born around 150 years ago and was quite a successful in business, running a company of the same name. Apparently prior to World War I, Newton King (the business) was the largest privately owned company in the Southern Hemisphere. Quite remarkable considering the small size of New Zealand.
This picture made me laugh:
And although the Newton King company went out of business during the 1987 stockmarket crash, there is still the Newton King Tanker Terminal at Port Taranaki today:
Thanks to the Puke Ariki museum for their great article on him.It feels good to put one of lifes puzzles to bed, kind of like learning why the sky is blue or why you should avoid virtual methods calls from a constructor. Now the next time someone inquires about my last name I can talk about the subject without looking like a total burk :)