Postscript to the story about George Gatonby Stead and his 1907 Spyker car

Photo: 97 year old Roland Stead gives Vincent Luisetti a silver medal won by his Grandfather, Mr George Gatonby Stead of G.G. Stead & Co, at the Canterbury Agricultural & Pastoral Association Show in 1892.

Roland Stead gives Vincent Luisetti a silver medal won by his Grandfather, Mr George Gatonby Stead of G.G. Stead & Co, at the Canterbury Agricultural & Pastoral Association Show in 1892.

George’s grandson, Roland Stead (aged 97), got in touch with Vincent Luisetti and presented him with a silver medal his grandfather won at the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association show in 1892.

The medal was awarded for Dutch Clover (variety; Colonial Crown).

Side by side images showing the front and back of the medal. Front shows wreath-like detailing around the edge, and text in the centre reads "AWARDED TO M GG Stead for Dutch Clover Colonial Crown 1892". On the back of the medal, three raised heads are carved: a horse at the top, cow on the left, and horned sheep on the right. The background is a hayfield with a plow and a haybale. Text around the edge says "Canterbury Agricultural and Pastural Association Founded 1855

Dutch Clover is a short-term type white clover that has fewer stolons than today’s clovers and a medium leaf size.  This type of clover disappeared from New Zealand when longer-lasting, higher-producing white clovers were developed.  However, limited quantities are still produced in Europe.

After discussion with Roland, more information has come to light regarding George Gatonby Stead and GG Stead and Co Grain Merchants.

GG Stead & Co purchased the Canterbury Malt works at Heathcote in 1875 (it first opened in 1871) and was responsible for much of its early development.

About this time, George also took over “The Press’ newspaper which had been running at a loss for several years. After two years at the helm, he had turned the business into a profitable operation.

George lived with his wife in a house on Papanui Road he called “Strowan House”.  This house now forms part of St Andrews College (known as ‘The Homestead’).  A large portion of St Andrews’ grounds were originally the Stead’s expansive gardens.

George Stead was an avid follower of horse racing and was the honorary secretary of the Canterbury Jockey Club.

Caricature of G G Stead, depicting him as a stern, fat man with a handlebar mustache and bulky black suit. Flags fly atop the racing stands in the background.

A caricature of George Gatonby Stead at the Canterbury Jockey Club. Printed courtesy of the Alexander Turnball Library, Wellington.
Bowring, Walter Armiger, 1874-1931. Bowring, Walter Armiger 1874-1931 :Mr Geo G Stead, Honorary Treasurer of the Canterbury Jockey Club – [Christchurch] Charles Hiorns for the Christchurch Press Co. Ltd. 1900. Press portraits no. 31.. Ref: B-094-002-d. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22715529