Archie Noble might have died more than 90 years ago, but the business he established in Kaitaia is well remembered by older residents of the town.

Mary Sucich, who walked past the shop on her way to and from Kaitaia Primary School on a daily basis, said she remembered it very well as "pretty up-market," others recalling that it was routinely patronised by their parents.

The shop, where the ASB is now in Kaitaia's main street, also made a small contribution to local history via a mishap involving a night cart can.

Tony and Del Jackson bought their farm on North Rd, before World War II, from one George Bonnett, who operated the town's night cart, the 'chattels' including a substantial collection of rusted cans that were fit only for the dump, accessible in those days solely via the main street.


On one of those trips the lid of one of the cans apparently parted company with the truck, rolled across the footpath and through Nobel's front window.

The late Keith Parker, who published a series of histories of the town in which he was raised, recorded that the business was bought by a group of "leading business and professional men" after Archie Noble died. He described it as one of the most exclusive shops in Kaitaia, with double glass doors, the first in Northland, at the entrance.

Memories of Archie Noble and his shop were revived by his great-nephew, Kerry Noble, who lives in Northumberland, England, who approached the Northland Age after learning that his grandfather's brother had served with the NZEF (Anzac) troops at Gallipoli, and was buried at St Saviour's in Kaitaia (A corner of a foreign field, January 21).

Archie Noble, who never married, settled in Kaitaia and opened his business after the war. He died at Mangonui Hospital on April 3, 1927, as a result of the wounds he suffered in Egypt.