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Mr Robert Gillies, one of the old identities of this district, and recently its representative in tbe House, died at his residence, Park-street, Dunedin, on Tuesday, at the comparatively early age of 50 years. All our readers will remember the dangerous attack of aneurism which compelled him to retire from his seat in Parliament and from public life in general, to the great regret, not only of his own persoual friends and acquaintances, but of a large section of the public. For a considerable period his life hung upon a thread, but ultimately he regained some measure of health, and was again seen about town. Hia death when it came was quite unexpected. He had been to his office the previous day (Monday) and appeared to be unusually well, but in the evening he complained of feeling unwell. At half-past nine on Tuesday morning one of his sons went to his room and asked him if he would not have breakfast in bed, but he replied that he felt better, and would get up and come down to breakfast. As he did not appear at 10 o'clock, his son went up to the bedroom again and found Mr Gillies lying in bed motionless, having evidently passed away peacefully. Mr Gillies was born at Rothesay, Buteshire, on July 31, 1836. He originally contemplated entering one of the learned professions, but upon his father determining to emigrate to New Zealaud, he started to learn farming. In company with his parents, he landed in Otago in November 1552, in the Stains Castle, being then in his 17th year. With his younger brother, now the Rev. W. Gillies, of Timaru, he started farming at Riversdale in this district, on the farm now owned and occupied by Mr Wm. Dunn. He took an active part in the origination of the Tokomairiro Farmers' Club, and did good work in the first ploughing match in 1856. Subsequently, Mr Gillies was connected with the Provincial Surveying Department, and was one of the first to discover gold in Otago. In 1861, he became associated with Mr Street (whose daughter he afterwards married) with a venture which ultimately developed into the wellknown firm of Gillies, Street, and Hislop, and is now the Perpetual Trustees and Agenoy Company, of whioh Mr Gillies was Chairman up to his death. He was also associated with many public institutions, and closely identified with the Presbyterian Church and many of its agencies. In 1882, Mr Gillies was returned to the House of Representatives for the district of Bruce He only sat in the House for one session, being compelled to retire by tha disease which resulted in death, bnt during that session he not only acquitted himself well, aud justified the high opinion in whioh he was held by his friends, but completely won

over many who had most strongly opposed his candidature. Mr Gillies leaves a widow and eight children to mourn their loss. The funeral takes place at the Northern Cemetery, Dunedin, this afternoon.

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Bibliographic details

THE LATE ROBERT GILLIES, Bruce Herald, Volume XVII, Issue 1759, 18 June 1886

Word Count

THE LATE ROBERT GILLIES Bruce Herald, Volume XVII, Issue 1759, 18 June 1886

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