Observer, Rōrahi XXIV, Putanga 4, 10 Whiringa-ā-nuku 1903, Page 5
the frtte William Berry.
THK death of Mr William Berry, Editor of tlie New Zealand Herald, was startling and distressing in its suddenness. It cannot be said that he was in the best of health for a few days previously, but nevertheless no apprehension was felt by himself or his friends, and no one contemplated that the end was so near. That day he was in the ci.y, attending to his journalistic duties as u*nal, and, strangely enough, the issue of the Herald that announced his death also contained articles from his pen. Between ten and eleven o'clock at night he had supper with his wife and daughters, and was in good spirits, but immediately afterwards he fell in what was supposed to be a fit, and was found to be dead. It is seldom that a community is more deeply moved by the loss of a public man than Auckland was on
Saturday morning, when the fact of Mr Berry's death became known. The popular sentiment, shown by even those who had not enjoyed the privilege of acquaintance with him, was one of deep and sincere regret. Nor was this surprising. Though an unobtrusive and selfconta ned man, and one whose friendships were limited, Mr Berry had won the esteem and confidence of the citizens during the twentyseven years lie had guided the destinies of the Herald. Fie had liecome closely identified in the public mind with his newspaper. If the people were not acquainted with liim personally, they knew him by his wiitings and by the policy of the newspaper he controlled, and respected ami admired him accordingly. He sa a recognised leader of public qpinipn. The Herald is to day' largely what Mr Berry made it. Some of its success is due to fortuitous circumstances, some to good business management, but the greatest part is owing to the capable editorial control exercised by Mr Berry,
Under his direction the Herald has pursued a safe, consistent, and dignified policy. It has developed from a crude broadsheet to one of the- best-informed and most capably written journals in the Colonies, and to-day it is recognifted as the best newspaper in New Zealand. And these results were achieved only by arduous labour. Now that he is gone, it must he recognised that Kir Berry was slavish in his devotion to duty. The late proprietary realised ;the value of Mr Berry's work on the paper, but never permitted their recognition to assume adequate practical form. The present, and younger proprietary did not even grasp tha value of his work. He was advancing in years, and his ideas were possibly considered to be fossilized, for certainly he was not appreciated at his worth, which was considerable. However, the fact remains that the success of the Herald, was largely due to his
policy and labour, and that the (inn owes much to him and his devotion to its service.
The present writer, speaking from a knowledge of Mr Berry extending over his twenty - seven years' connection with the Herald, can pay high tribute to his personal qualities. He was a characteristic Scotchman, thoughtful and logical, sound in his judgment, loyal in his friendships, conscientious in following his convictions, thoroughly honourable in his dealings. He was originally a compositor on the Scotsman staff, but having a strong taste for journalism, he adopted it as a profession, qualifying himself by study and close reading. He was a man of fine literary tastes and culture, and, having travelled much and read more, was wonderfully well-informed. He wan a sound and logical writer, and hU articles played an important part in moulding public opinion. Of his domestic life, it may be Raid that he was n fond husband and a kjhd father. He leaves, a widow, three daughters and two sons to mourn their loss.