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Manufactured gas began in Levin in 1911 with a coal-fired plant and then the big break came with natural gas in 1973, said chairman of Levin’s gas department Cr J.H. Lines at the opening of the new showroom yesterday.He said the development of gas in the early days was largely due to the efforts of Mr Alf Kennerley who was manager for 32 years from 1928 (Mr Kennerley was present at the showroom).
With coming of the natural gas pipeline and the formation of the Kapuni 9 utilities of which Levin was the smallest, the first industrial customers in Levin were Lane’s Hosiery and Kimberley Hospital.
He said 60 per cent of the domestic sector now used gas and there are 3500 homes with a gas main in their road frontage.
Cr Lines thanked the architect for the building, Mr Dennis Manz, the builder Mr Jim Evers and he noted that the furnishings had been largely paid for by manufacturers of appliances.
These included Rinnai Ltd, Rheem Industries, Thorn EMI and Domestic and Industrial Heating Ltd.
There was a large gathering of representatives from local industry and local authorities at the official opening of the showroom at about 9-45am yesterday.