Tea Towel: Purerua Co Beef

  • $2000

Printed using an original Penguin Brand Corned Beef label from the Purerua Packing Co, that once operated in the northern Bay of Islands. Their canned goods were stocked and sold in the Stone Store until the late 1930s.

100% Cotton, unbleached

The Purerua Packing Co. was established by Walter Mountain in the early 20th century. A keen pugilist, Walter travelled to Australia to fight on the boxing circuit – he was even the State Boxing Champion of Queensland for a time – eventually returning to the family farm on the Purerua Peninsula (northern Bay of Islands) to take up gum digging. 

Upon exhausting the Kauri gum Walter built a cannery and produced tinned mullet, caught by local Maori at Te Tii during the summer, corned beef from the family farm in the winter, and plum pudding & jams of all descriptions all year round under the name ‘Penguin Brand’.

Legend has it that Walter was also a slygrogger, smuggling rum to Whangaroa during the temperance years. The barrels of rum were hidden in caves by day and then rowed up the coast on moonless nights by Walter’s hand -picked crew of crack rowers who were so good they were never caught!



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