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In 1963 Don Galbraith joined the family firm after qualifying as a motor engineer. In 1964 Norm, Doug and the two Don's (Galbraith and Gemmell) took off on an ocean yacht race in the family boat TARA leaving poor Gordon and Ron Meynell holding the fort. "Between 1965 to 1977 we plumbed, dug drains, built factories and houses, installed oil central heating and built one or two boats. Doug also tried his hand at retail, opening a ship chandlery." In 1971 Norm Galbraith developed the site in Lake Road and Galbraith Plumbing relocated to 30 Barrys Point Road, having bought the property from Jack Taylor (Takapuna Drycleaners). "The only improvement on the property was a burnt out ex-army Nissan hut that we made water tight," says Don. "This was our home for a few years before building our present factory." In 1977 Doug Galbraith made the cunning call to migrate to Kerikeri, in the sunny north, starting in horticulture and ending up farming. Between 1978 and 2000 Don continued to run the company, focusing on plumbing maintenance and sheet metal including marine stainless fabrication, thanks to Graham Beck’s skills. In 1985 Don and Louise Galbraith's son Scott joined the firm and qualified as a plumber. In the late 90s Scott hankered for a life in the marine industry and qualified as a yacht master. Sadly Norm Galbraith passed away in 1999 after six years of illness. In 2000, Don decided, after working in the service industry for 40 years, to pass the baton on and offered to sell the plumbing business to employee Kelvin Houten while keeping the sheetmetal side trading as Galbraith Beck Limited, for Graham to manage and see out his working life. As at this date Graham has been working for Galbraiths for 51 years. Today Galbraith Plumbing and Drainage is owned and managed by Kelvin Houten and his wife Heather and family. It remains a business focused on high levels of workmanship and service. The company enjoys a strong customer base that appreciates their expertise around plumbing, plumbing maintenance, drainage and drainlaying. Kelvin and Heather have a team of 9, including an apprentice, qualified plumbing and drainage tradesmen, labourers and office support staff. "I am proud to now own this business that has such a heritage," said

Kelvin Houten and Don Galbraith.

Kelvin Houten in April, just prior to the celebrations. "I started with the business straight out of school as an apprentice myself over 33 years ago. It was a thrill when Don passed the business over to me in 2000 and it is very satisfying that Heather and I have been able to keep it running very successfully. We have a great team and some very loyal customers to thank for that." But Kelvin and his team are certainly not sitting still. They are always keen to talk to new customers. They undertake new, maintenance, domestic, commercial and renovation – plumbing and drainage work. And those new customers can rest assured that they will get the very best job – from a business that has now been part of the North Shore for over 100 years. Contact: Galbraith Plumbing and Drainage – 30 Barrys Point Road, Takapuna. Phone 489 8002 or visit

100 years experience servicing Auckland’s plumbing and drainage needs. • Plumbing and drainage work - new, maintenance, domestic, commercial, renovation • Blocked drains - machine cleared • Stormwater and flooding • Spouting and roofing • Council defective drainage notices

today s u l l Ca gation i l b o no for a ote! u q E FRE

Ph 489-8002 or email:

N2576 Galbraiths HP Channel Mag ad.indd 1

23/04/14 11:22 am Issue 43 - May 2014


Channel Magazine Issue 43 May 2014  

Channel Magazine Issue 43 May 2014

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