This is my GG Grandfather Samuel Middlebrook who very nearly perished in an industrial accident.
ACCIDENT AT KATIKATI SAW-MILL.
Bay Of Plenty Times
8 July 1903 Page 2
Messrs Bond Bros, started their saw-mill on Wednesday last, and I regret to state that Mr Samuel Middlebrook met with a most dangerous and painful accident on Thursday. He was engaged as stoker to the engine, and one of the journals having become heated he knelt down to feel it, when a key on a short shaft caught his shirt and carried him round 5 he was discovered, apparently dead, on the floor, covered with blood, and all his clothes stripped off, even to his socks. Though life was believed to be extinct, an urgent message was sent to Dr Slater, of Waihi, who arrived at the mill two hours after receipt of the message. He put in seven stitches in the side of his leg and had him removed on a stretcher to his own home, carried by ten men in relays. He did not recover consciousness for some hours, and has no recollection whatever of anything that occurred after examining the journal of the shaft. The patient is I am happy to state, progressing most favourably, and sleeps soundly all night and through the greater portion of the day. This painful accident only bears out the anticipations I have persistently expressed in your valuable columns, that such must inevitably occur when our local saw mill and other industrial works get into full swing, and we have this example on the second day after the start it is hard to know whose turn will be the next, and yet our settlers appear callous and listless in starting their Medical Club, not following the example of Te Puke, Whakatane and Opotiki, though the idea first originated in Katikati. Mr Middlebrook is much respected here, he is married to a daughter of Mr Stewart Rea, a member of the No 1 Party, and has a large grown up family. He had been for some years engaged in gold mining, in the pursuit of which occupation he met with considerable success.