On 12 September 1910, at 175 Manchester Street, the first Para Rubber shop opened.
George Waldemar Skjellerup was born in Cobden, Victoria, Australia in 1881. In 1902, just before his 21st birthday, he arrived in New Zealand and began working in Dunedin at a bicycle shop. Within a year, it was another change of scenery for George – moving to Canterbury where he later worked for Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company.
With his hard earned money and an inheritance of £400 his wife received, he had the money to start his own company in 1910 – The Para Rubber Company. Para, in Brazil, was at that time a major source of rubber and George referenced it in the name.
Para Rubber’s slogan in 1910 was “We have it in stock, will get it, or it isn’t made of Rubber”!
George was known as a kind man who gave generously and believed in family values. At his death in 1955 following a heart attack while in holiday in Somerset, England, Para Rubber had over 1,000 employees who George treated as family.
For a more in depth look at Para Rubber, please check out the attached link: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/para-rubber/
*Image courtesy of Para Rubber – http://www.pararubber.co.nz/