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OBITUARY

MR. JOHN DUTHIE The death of the Hon. John Duthie, M.L.C., which occurred at his residence, Nai Nai, Lower Hutt, to-day (the outcome of a heart affection which has been in evidence for some time past), removes from the commercial and political world of New Zealand one of its most strenuous figures. As a business man and a politician, Mr. Duthie has played a big part in the history of New Zealand during the past fifty odd years. ' Born in 1841 and educated at Kintore, Aberdeen, he was apprenticed in that historic city as an ironmonger to the firm of Messrs. Glegg and Thompson. After completion of his term he travelled for some years in Scotland and Ireland for a Sheffield firm, and in November, 1863, he came out to New Zealand in the ship Helvellyn, which landed its passengers at Auckland. His business abilities secured him early employment. His first engagement was with Messrs Cruickshank, Smart and Co., ironmongers, for whom he acted as traveller, and it is recorded of him that he was one of the most successful travellers the firm had. Some three years later he started in business on his own account at New Plymouth, and two years afterwards founded the firm of Duthie and Thain at Wanganui. It was the wholesale ironmongery line, and colonists of that day paid tributes to the excellent and businesslike method in which it was conducted. Somewhere in the early 'eighties Mr. Duthie sold out his interest in the concern to his partner, Mr. James Thain, and came to Wellington, where he had already started the career of the firm of Duthie and Co. It was not long before Mr. Duthie found that his metier lay in public life, and he engaged in municipal activities with the same vigour that had ensured his success in the commercial world. He filled the Mayoral chair in 1887 and 1888, and incidentally occupied 'the positions at various dates of Chairman of the Harbour Board and President of the Chamber of Commerce, besides being a prominent member of the Caledonian Society, director (and for two years chairman) of the Gear Company, besides taking an active and prominent part in all matters that concerned the public welfare. Naturally, politics appealed to a man of his nature, and from the position of Mayoralty to a seat in the House was a short step. In 1890 he was elected one of the members for Wellington City. That was the year that the late Sir Harry Atkinson was compelled to give way to the wave of Liberalism that swept over the country under the leadership of John Ballance, but Mr. Duthie's sympathies were opposed to the new era, and during the whole of the time that he occupied a seat in Parliament he was never in full, sympathy with the Liberal Administration. In 1893 he was reelected a member for Wellington, by a majority of nearly a thousand over his nearest opponent, the other winning candidate being Sir Robert Stout and Mr. (now Sir Francis) Bell, who occupied the first and second seats respectively. This, it is interesting to note, was the first election in which the female franchise was exercised. At the General Election of 1896 Mr. Duthie did not seek re-election, birt he was returned again as a member for Wellington in 1898, and represented the city, with one interval, until 1905, when he was defeated for Wellington North by Mr. C. H Izard. Since then Mr. Du'thie did not stand for a seat in the House, but in June, 1913, he was appointed by the Massey Government to a seat in the Legislative Council. Stern, "strong, and unyielding, once he had made , up his mind, the late Mr. Duthie's personality constituted one of the outstanding features of the Parliamentary period when Seddon and Seddonism were at once the pride and the detestation of conflicting parties. To him Seddon and Seddonism were "anathema," and he voiced his opinion, in and out of Parliament, with a vigour and directness that could never be mistaken. Believing always, honestly and sincerely, that he was right (and that, therefore, everyone who did not see eye to eye with him must be wrong), he ploughed his own political furrow, undeterred by party considerations, always stressing the point that what was not commercially expedient or profitable could not, and should not, be regarded as politically expedient or profitable. Unsparing of his own energies, he was merciless in his political retaliatory methods, and during - practically the whole time of his Parliamentary career he was rightly regarded as one of the keenest critics that sat on the Opposition benches, but he will be remembered as a man of sterling honesty and probity, commercially and politically, and one of the best types of public men that New Zealand has had the good fortune to have enrolled amongst the ranks of its citizens. He leaves a family of one daughter — Mrs. T. T. Miller, wife of the manager of the Bank of Australasia at Dunedin— and six sons : > Messrs. W. G. Duthie, John Duthie, and Edward Duthie (Wellington), Alfred Du&bie (who is farming at Ohingaiti), Henry Duthie (who is in business at Palmerston North), and Leonard Duthie (who is fruit-farming at Wakefield, Nelson). The flags at Parliament Buildings, the Town Hall, and the Harbour Board offices were flown to-day at half-mast out of respect to late Mr. Duthie's memory. The interment will be private. THE MAYOR'S TRIBUTE. The Mayor (Mr. J. P. Luke), referring to-day to the late Mr. John Duthie, said his death was not only a loss to the community but a loss to himself personally. He "had known Mr. Duthie as a friend all tho time he had been in Wellington, and had had extensive business relations with his firm. No sooner had Mr. Duthie started business in Wellington than it was recognised that he was a man of the very highest integrity and uprightness. His word was his bond. No matter how the market went, no matter what happened afterwards, he stood to his agreement with his customer and carried out his obligation in its entirety. As he was in business, so he was in politics and public affairs generally. He had been called a Conservative. So he was, for he no doubt felt the influence of the school of prudence and caution in which he had been trained ; but any genuine reform for the enduring benefit of the community met with his whole-hearted sympathy and interest ; but he always wanted to see clearly that the end of the journey would be satisfactory and not end in illusion. In Parliament he stood at all times firmly to his principles. Once he nailed his colours to the mast there they stayed. They might be shot away, but they weie never hauled down. "Mr. Duthie has gone," added the Mayor, "but he has left a splendid re,corcl behind him for the middle-aged and young men to copy — as a business man and as a public man." MR. J. A. DONALDSON At his residence in Kilmore-avenup. at 9 o'clock this morning, Mr. James Alexander Donaldson, who was born on tlin Ohiro-road 53 years ago, passed away. On completing his education the deceased learned the grocery trade, and carried on business in Cuba^street, and later ay

the corner of Arlington and Hopperstreets, until eighteen months ago, when he retired on account of ill-health. Practically ever since then he had been con fined to bed with consumption of the spine. Mr. Donaldson was a fine musician, and for a great many years belonged to the Garrison Band. " He was also for five years a member of Fuller's Vaudeville Orchestra. By his death. Court Sir George Grey (Foresters) loses one of its prominent members. Deceased has left a widow and a family of five sona and three daughters. The eldest (Arthur) is accountant for Messrs. J. O'Brien and Co., the second (Sydney) left with the 7th Reinforcements, ana thfc third (Fred.) is in the Wellington City Tramways Department. MR. EDWARD STAFFORD The death of Mr. Edward Stafford, barrister and solicitor, which occurred at Wellington this morning, removes from the legal world of New Zealand a wellknown member. His parents came to New Zealand in the Aurora, one of the five ships despatched from England by the New Zealand Company, which arrived here on 22nd January, 1840, and ho was bom at Wellington four years later. After leaving school he had a brief experience at farming, and then was articled to the late Hon. R. Hart, with whom he subsequently remained for some time as chief clerk. Having duly qualified in 1870. he entered the Crown Law Office, and as Assistant Crown Law Officer drafted a large number of the measures which are now on the Statute 800k — the Administration Act, for instance. He also acted as the first Examiner of Titles in Wellington under the Law Transfer Act (a very onerous position in those days) and as DeputyCommissioner of Stamps. Later he entered into business with Mr. (later Sir Patrick) Buckley. The firm subsequently took in Mr. William Barton, and, on his retirement, Mr. H. S. Fitz-> herbert, and, on the latter's retirement, Mr. C. H. Tread well. When Sir Patrick Buckley was elevated to the Supreme Court Bench Mr. W. H. Field joined the firm. Then Mr. Field entered into private practice. Mr. Treadwell also retired, and for the past two years the firm lias carried on business under the title of Stafford and Stafford, Mr. Sidney Stafford being the junior partner. Mr. Stafford made only one attempt to enter Parliament, when he was defeated by thp Hon. C. J. Jolinston, but from 1879 to 1882 he was a prominent member of the City Council, and had much to do with the bringing into operation of the Wainui water scheme. As a lawyer the late Mr. Stafford was regarded as the ablest authority in New Zealand on matters relating to real estate, and generally he was considered to be "sound" to a degree. He was the oldest practitioner at the Bar in Wellington, if not in New Zealand, and had occupied with ability and dignity the high positions of president of the Law Society and a member of the Council of Law^ Reporting. Latterly the late Mr. Stafford had developed a more retiring disposition. A voracious reader of what may be styled "solid" literature, lie made a special study of matters relating to the war, and his views on that question were well worth hearing. "A legal landmark " was the expression used by a prominent lawyer when informed of the late Mr. Stafford's death this morning, and the general impression was that he would bfe a loss to the legal community. He leaves a widow and three childrenMr. Sidney Stafford, and the Misses F and E. Stafford— and three grandchildren. c , The remains of the deceased will be interred in the Bolton-street cemetery at 9 o clock to-morrow morning.

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Bibliographic details

OBITUARY, Evening Post, Volume XC, Issue XC, 14 October 1915

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1,833

OBITUARY Evening Post, Volume XC, Issue XC, 14 October 1915

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