Obituaries published for George Yerex after he died in Tahiti in 1930 claimed his great-grandfather was a German prince who settled in what is now the American state of Georgia, when it was a British crown colony in the mid-18th Century. In truth George had much less grandiose origins. He was descended from Dutchwoman Christina Styntje Jansz, who arrived in what became Westchester County in New Amsterdam (now New York), in 1641. The surname Yerex came from Christina’s grandson Isaac Jurckse, who with his son William (George’s great-great-grandfather) was forced at the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1776 to flee from their farm in North Castle, Westchester, and seek refuge on British-held Manhattan. As United Empire Loyalists determined to remain under British rule, in 1783 the two left New York with Peter Van Alstine’s Associated Loyalists for Sorel. In 1789 William settled in what was then known as Upper Canada, in the Prince Edward county township of Hallowell, on West Lake, Lake Ontario, named after Loyalist Benjamin Hallowell, Commissioner of Customs in Boston at the time of the infamous Boston Tea Party. William established his own settlement, two miles north-west of Picton, called Yerexville, and it was there that George Manley Yerex was born in 1856.
Zealand rights to this machine, as they had gone to the de Renzy-Reed New Zealand Typewriter Company, based first in Auckland and then in New Zealand’s financial hub, Dunedin. Nonetheless George Yerex was able to sell them in the national capital and surrounds. As well, in Chicago he won the agency from the National Cash Register Company of Dayton, Ohio. George’s second trip to the US was in 1898-99. In between the overseas trips, in 1895 George took on a partner, a typing teacher called Ernest Broderick Jones (1867-1901), and the pair operated from a large building on Victoria Street, Wellington. After Jones’s premature death, George joined forces with English-born John Heaton Barker (1867-1947) and the expanded company moved to Cuba Street opposite the Town Hall. They took on a third partner, Northern Ireland-born John Beck Finlay (1862-1943).
One of George Yerex’s first major investments with his typewriter profits was to build a large home in the American Queen Anne style at 125 Western Hutt Road, Tirohanga, Lower Hutt, on Melling Hill on the slopes of the Belmont hills. It was called Keewaydin (later Lochaber) but nicknamed ‘The Wigwam’. It was here on July 24, 1895, that one of George's sons, Lowell Yerex, was born. In 1909 the typewriter importing company of Yerex, Barker and Finlay was liquidated, but George Yerex remained far from broke. In 1906 the Yerex family had moved to a large farming property at Kelston on the Wairoa River at Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty.
Lowell moved his aerial services to Mexico City. In 1931, with £11 in his pocket, but, owed wages by the two young owners of a 200hp single-engine Stinson Reliant, he took possession of the plane and formed Transporte Aéreo Hondureño. By December that year it had become Transportes Aéreos Centroamericanos SA.