Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

THE PASSING OF A CENTENARIAN.

«. v DEATH OF MR. C. J. PHARAZYN. AN INTERESTING LIFE HISTORY. •Shortly before midnight last night, New Zealand's oldest colonist and Wellington's oldest citizen, Mr. Charles Johnston Pharazyn, passed away. Had he lived until the 11th October next, Mr. Pharazyn would have attained unto his 101 st year. Writing last year upon the celebration of Mr. Pharazyn's centenary, this journal remarked that the circumstance that the City of Wellington could claim as a citizen of over sixty years' standing, still in full possession of his faculties and enjoying almost vigorous health, one who had passed a hxmdred years of life was worth more than passing notice. It was on the 11th October of last year that Mr. Pharazyn beflame^a centenarian, and he was hale enough on that day to personally receive calls from many old friends. His long and active life was remarkable for the good health which accompanied it, though Mr. Pharazyn started life as a delicate boy. His. sight remained good 1 almost until t the last, he being able at times to read without the aid of spectacles, and he was able to take his little constitutional walk abroad, until yesterday week. A week ago he took to his bed, and last nigj)t there came a general collapse of a remarkable constitution. For some years Ihe deceased gentleman had been living it Seacroft (Hobson-street), the home of ais daughter-in-law, Mrs. W. Pharazyn. Mr. Pharazyn was three times married,* his third wife being Miss Jessica Rankin, an English poetess, who came out to Wellington in 1867. None of the deceased gentlemau's four sons (Messrs. Robert, Edward, Charles, and William Phavazyn) surrive him Ho leaves five grandsons, four granddaughters, two great grandsons, and one great granddaughter. The story of Mr. C. J. Pharazyn's long life is full of interest. He was wont to look back with prido upon the fact that among the great achievements of the Avorld, he had himself witnessed the birth, progress, and ultimate development of a now flourishing colony, and had personally helped to build up the capital city of that colony. "Mr. Pharazyn was the son of a London merchant, was educated at a private academy in the great metropolis, held a desk for a short time in Lloyds, and later became partner with an uncle in an insurancebroking business. He was in hie thirtyninth year when he decided to come out to New Zealand. He and Mrs. Pharazyn and their three children took passage on the barque Jane, au unseaworthy craft of 356 tons, in command of CaptaiD Stobs. The barque had to be run into Rio de Janiero in a sinking condition. There the captain wanted to abandon her, but Mr. Pharazyn insisted upon repairs being effected, and he assisted towards the cost' of tfye work. When the vessel resumed her voyage she was actually bound with chains to keep her together ! An incident of the second portion, of the^voyoge was tho becalming of the Jane, so, close to the vessel containing Sir William Fitzherbert, Dr. Featherston, Mr. Mason, and other colonists also Wellington-bound, that formal calls were paid- between the two ships. Port Nicholson was reached on 24th May, 1841. The Jane had been given up for lost. Mr. Pharazyn was noted throughout his life as a "stickler for principle," Assessment and other Law Courts knowing him well. An evidence of this trait was given immediately upon landing. He made a claim upon the owners of the Jane for a refund of the money he had contributed towards getting her out of Rio. The bank upon which rested the responsibility of the Jane's claims refused payment. The claimant set out for Sydney, and there pushed the claim to a successful issue in the Courts. With the money there received he purchased much merchandise, and on returning to Wellington received a big profit on the transaction. It was during this periodic! his life that the following anecdote was recorded : — A small boy went into Ms. Pharazyn's shop, and asked for*"a quarter of a pound of salt pork," and mother wants the fat well mixed With the lean." That incident was said to have taken, all desire for further shopkeeping from the ex-insurance broker. Giving the boy the first piece of pork that came to hand, he said : "There, tell your monther to take it out of that, and she is not to send you here any more, as I have done with storekeeping." The desire came to Mr. Pharazyn to go upon the land, and he did so in the Palliser Bay district in partnership with Sir William Fitzherbert. The shores of the bay were leased by tho partners at £12 per annum. The squatters ran 500 sheep on 5000 acres, and flourished. During a trip to England the partnership was dissolved, and upon his return Mr. Pharazyn became a city merchant, entering into partnership first with Mr. (later the Hon.) John Johnston, and subsequently with Mr. Levin, sen. In 1869 Mr. Pharazyn was called to the Legislative Council by the Stafford Government, two years later he retired from city business, ahd in 1885 he retired from political life. His son Robert wa!s appointed to fill the vacancy in the Upper House. Since 1885 Mr. Pharazyn lived in retirement, and took no part in public affairs, though he evinced much interest in life at home and abroad. A man of much wealth, he was not noted for any big deeds of generosity, but it is said of him by those who knew him best that he did much good in a quiet, unostentatious way, and spent money freely upon deserving cases which were brought under his notice. The deceased gentleman is to be buried to-mor-row afternoon in the Svduer-street Cemetery.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19030817.2.25

Bibliographic details

THE PASSING OF A CENTENARIAN., Evening Post, Volume LXVI, Issue 41, 17 August 1903

Word Count
963

THE PASSING OF A CENTENARIAN. Evening Post, Volume LXVI, Issue 41, 17 August 1903

Working