According to Victorian tradition, Edward Elworthy as the third son of an upper middle-class English family was destined for the Anglican Church. But that was not to his liking. Instead he headed for Australia in 1860 where he developed a highly successful farm before putting root down in South Canterbury four years later.
Elworthy proved an excellent farmer, taming the limestone country at Holme Station, 24km southwest of Timaru, and running sheep and growing grain on the same property.
Holme Station became a leading grain-growing run in the colony but Elworthy always looked further afield and was a founding director of the South Canterbury Refrigerating Company, a pioneer frozen-meat processor.