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The Gisborne Photo News




Fred Tate, woolbuyer was born and educated in Hastings. A keen rugby player in his youth, he never reached great heights due to his size but enjoyed it nonetheless. He left school at 17 and moved to Gisborne where he met his future wife Iris (McNee). For 10 years he was a woolclasser with Gisborne Sheepfarmers under Wool Manager Frank Martin. The offer of a job at Tolaga Bay was the catalyst that sent Fred out on his own. He had just built his own home and first son Peter was born, so Fred set up in business in Mill Road in a woolstore previously owned by Maurice Bickford. Fred Tate Limited moved to Banks Street in the Industrial subdivision 22 years later. The business employs five to eight people and where once there were busy periods, the industry is now busy all year. Fred has always employed students born and bred in Gisborne therefore ensuring he keeps them during university holidays for several years. Many, such as Dr. Patrick McHugh, Ross Kane, Colin Quigley, David White and Blair Purcell are still in Gisborne. Racing is one of Fred's favourite pastimes and he has owned horses and always had an interest in one or two. Committee member and treasurer for the past 15 years of the Poverty Bay Turf Club, he has been to several Melbourne Cups and enjoys the atmosphere of the Australian racing scene. Fred relaxes with a game of golf whenever he can and he also enjoys shows when wife Iris "drags him off" to one. A recent highlight was Phantom of the Opera. Son Peter is in the business and the other son Barry works in a gold mine in central Australia. Retirement seems out of the question for this practical man who believes in actions speaking louder than words. He is a pleasure to meet, an unassuming gentleman who has quietly gone about his business in this district. He works long and hard, expecting and achieving an honest days work from employees, for those are the qualities of Fred Tate himself.


Fred's right-hand men, buyers Nigal Moore (Left) and Peter Tate.