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OBITUARY.

Another old New Zealand colonist has suddenly passed away. On Saturday morning last Mr William John Warburton Hamilton was about and weU, or at least weU enough to leave hiß house and transact business. He died at about 1.30 a.m. yesterday morning. Only on Wednesday was his Btate regarded as critical, and not until the evening of that day did Drs. Prins and Townend, who were attending him, inform his famUy that no hope of recovery remained. Mr Hamilton's many friends will be glad to hear that his last hours were, on the whole, free from acute pain; his death was quiet, aud he retained consciousness at intervals almost to the last. Though for nine years Mr HamUton's connection with pubUc business has been severed, he was nevertheless one of the colony's oldest civU servants. Born in 1825 in his father's Kentish rectory, he waa educated first in ! France, and later on at Harrow. As early as 1843, however, he left England for this then very young colony. A stroke of good fortune made him Private Secre- i tary to that unpopular Governor, Captain Fitzroy, which position he also occupied for a short time under Sir George, then Captain, Grey. To the latter Governor he was indebted for the post of Resident Magistrate at Wanganui, not a very lucrative position, and an office which involved much troublesome dealing j with the Natives. About the same period Mr HamUton was engaged in surveying the coast of this island in H.M.S. Acheron. The results of his labours are to be seen in the Admiralty charts. Subsequently he was appointed CoUector of Customs in Lyttelton, and, the CivU Service regulations of those days not preventing it, was elected a member of Canterbury's first Provincial CouncU, wherein he remained until it expired in 1858. He did not seek re-election, finding the discharge of his departmental duties a fuU occupation for his time, nor did he again at any time take an active part in either Provincial or Colonial poUtics. In the early days of Lyttelton, Mr and Mrs Hamilton's names were household words among residents there, and indeed among Canterbury settlers generaUy. Kverready to show hospitality to new arrivals and kindness to anyone, the deceased gentleman laid in those years the foundation of that widespread esteem with which he has since been.regarded in this Province.. It was after leaving the Customs Office that Mr HamUton became Receiver of Land Revenue, which responsible position-he continued to occupy until, in 1874, he retired upon his pension. In Ms latter years Mr HamUton'a active and energetic temperament found interest and engrossing occupation in various ways;" partly in business, wherein he has been known as a Director of the Trust and Loan Company; and-the "Lyttelton Times" Company (Limited) ; partly in the disinterested discharge of public and other duties, in bis capacity as a Governor of Canterbury CoUege, and a zealous member of the Church of England Synod; "but quite as much, or even more, in constant and unwearied acts ■of private charity and kindness. His singularly simple,opeii; and honorable nature made, him seem to many j the very, beau ideal of a Christian gentle- i man, no. unworthy foUower of "the first | true gentleman who breathed on earth." As he never bore malice hjbißelf, so it was difficult for even the most revengeful to harbour hostiUty towards him. In consequence, though he sometimes made enemies, he, for the most part, soon lost them. His friends on the other hand he never lost, a_d in aU ranks of life, and among men of all shades, of opinion, they might have been reckoned by the score. And, as he never lost a friend, so it is also true that he never deserted one, or aUowed difference of opinion or lapse of time to estrange his regard. It may justly be said of him that he was a typical example of the class who took a leading part in the colonisation of this, i province, a class the conspicuous members: of which, as many instances have of late [years reminded us, are passing only too rapidly away.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18831207.2.18

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY., Press, Volume XXXIX, Issue 5685, 7 December 1883

Word Count
687

OBITUARY. Press, Volume XXXIX, Issue 5685, 7 December 1883

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