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J. V. COLBORNE VEEL.

Our readers wiil learn with deep regret of the death of Mr J. V. Colborne Veel, which took place yesterday afternoon at the meeting of the Canterbury College Board of Governors, of which the deceased gentleman was a member. A debate was in progress on the subject of the Professors' salaries. Mr Veel had taken part in it and spoke with his usual clearness and force. A few minutes afterwards, while Mr Stead was bringing the discussion to a close, it was noticed that Mr Veel fell backward in his chair and commenced breathing heavily. His condition alarmed his colleagues, who at on2B went to his assistance, the proceedings of course being abruptly suspended. A doctor was telephoned for, and Mr Kinsey carried Mr Veel from the Board room to the landing. A quorum of members then returned to the Board room, and at once amid circumstances of deep solemnity the meeting wa3 adjourned, the Chairman, iv a voice trembling with emotion, sayiug that in all probability their old friend was no more. This surmise proved only too correct after an examination had been made by Dr. Symes, who was present within five minutes from the time the deceased gentleman was taken ill. The body was removed to the Board room and subsequently taken to Mr Veel's residence in Montreal street. The deceased had been attended by Dr. Meares, who had told him that hia heart was weak, but no one who knew him was at all prepared for so sudden a death.

Mr Veal was of English parentage, sixtyfour years of age, and belonged to the old Gloucestershire family of Veels. He graduated at Oxford, and after taking his M.A. degree left the Mother Country for New Zealand, where he arrived iv 1857. He had originally been intended for the Church, but never took Holy Orders. Soon after arriving in Canterbury he joined the staff of the Press aa sub-editor, succeeding Mr (now Professor) Sale, of Dunedin iv that position. He next became leader writer and then editor, and except for a few mouths iv 1868, when he occupied a similar position on a paper which he and Professor Sale conducted on the West Coast, he remained editor of the Press until the middle of 1878. Oj the 26th November, 1875, he was elected a member of the Canterbury College Board of Governors. When a young man he was a successful athlete, and won the light-weight sculls at Oxford. He was a chess player, and towards the end of the '60's he was a member of the Chess Club which held its gatherings in the old Public Library, when Messrs W. D. Wood, H. Hockkam, G. G. Stead, and the late H. J. Tancred were active members. Mr Veel's disposition was reserved and retiring, and he never sought to obtrude himself on public notice, but he took a keen interest in social and political questions. When the colony was st ill formulating its policy as to education he took an active part in guiding public opinion on tbe subject, aud was a warm and able advocate of our national system. When the Rev. Mr Habens was appointed to his preseut position as Inspector-General of Schools, Mr Veel was offered and accepted the appointment vacated by him as Secretary to the North Canterbury Education Board. He held that position ever since, and was about two years ago made principal of the Normal School. He conducted it most successfully. In the cause of education, indeed, he was an enthusiast. He spared no pains to improve the institutions with which he was connected, and teachers and scholars alike found him a kind and sympathetic friend. Asa journalist Mr Veel had a very clear grasp of political principles, and be applied those principles to the solution of the various problems of the day with marked ability. His style was lucid and polishod, and when he retired from the editor's chair of this journal into official life, journalism in New Zealand lost a bright ornament. As a private citizen Mr Veel, in an unassuming way, exerted a wide influence for good. He was a loving father, naturally very kindhearted, and there are many instances of his generosity and charity. In whatever he did he always endeavoured to act with justice and fairness, and this was the trait which perhaps came out most strongly in his official transactions. We have already said that Mr Veel had been warned by his medical adviser that he was suffering from a weakness of the heart. Recently be had a slight illness, but had apparently recovered from that, and resumed the active discharge of his duties, literally dying at his post in serving the cause of education which he loved so well. During the past week he had seemed even brighter than usual, aud yesterday, before going to the j College Board, had delivered two lectures ! at the Normal School. He leaves a widow and one son aud three daughters—the son and one daughter being married—to mourn their loss.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18950730.2.31.14

Bibliographic details

J. V. COLBORNE VEEL., Press, Volume LII, Issue 9170, 30 July 1895

Word Count
844

J. V. COLBORNE VEEL. Press, Volume LII, Issue 9170, 30 July 1895

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