Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wanted: multi-talented bush handyman

"Wanted, handy man ; must be able to milk, plough, fell bush, kill, cook, assist in laundry and teach children the theory of music. Salary, £30." (Poverty Bay Herald, 19 October 1906)

This attracted the attention of two Wellington newspapers, the NZ Truth and the NZ Freelance:

"They have some very acquisitive people in the Poverty Bay district, if the following advt. from a recent issue of the "Herald" should give ample proof ...Just "imagine " coming in from a twelve or fourteen hours' day at those light farm; field, and forest duties, to a job of ironing and folding, with a cheerful lesson in the theory of music to half-a-dozen vulgar brats, on the side, and all for 15 bob a week. But surely it is not genuine, but a throw off at some skinflint cocky."
(NZ Truth, 6 November)

"God's Own Country! ... "Poverty" Bay, too! But, why stop short at this list of desired qualifications? Couldn't the handy man teach the missus drawn threadwork and bridge. Nothing is said about languages. Doesn't even say the man must be the son of a peer or a teetotaller or a "Christian." It is supposed, however, that the applications will be so very large that a good, meek, smack-me-on-the-right-cheek sort of man will be sorted out of the heap. Milking and the theory of music, Ploughing and assisting in laundry. Thirty pounds a year!"
(NZ Freelance, 3 November 1906)


  1. LMAO
    Oh, that's a cracker!
    Was it genuine?
    I imagine it must have been as not many would "waste" money on an ad as a joke.

  2. Well, I've found the original ad, but it only went in the one day, apparently. That's not a sign that it was in jest -- ads in the Poverty Bay Herald's wanted column seemed to only be repeated now and then.

    It's a good'un, whichever way you look at it.