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DEATH OF SIR CHARLES JOHNSTON

Sir Charles J. Johnston, M.L.C.. Speaker, of the Legislative Gonncil, died this afternoon, after an illness which had extended over a considerable period. The deceased gentleman was, made' a •K.C.M.Gr. shortly before the last official list of Birthday Honours was -announced.

More particularly in the early days Sir Charles Johnston occupied a prominent position in municipal and poli-' tical life. He was torn ,at Wellington in 1845, and his father was the Hon. John Johnston, 'whose family,' according' to "Burkes Colonial Gentry," claims descent, from the Johnstons of Annandale, through an Ayrshire branch. The deceased was educated at the Catholic College of St. Mary, Derbyshire, England, and later at Kensington College. As far back as 1864 he returned to New Zealand and took part in the business of Messrs. Johnston and Co., shipowners and merchants, of which his father was the founder. Those were the days of enterprise and high colonial endeavour, and young Johnston's educationand splendid physique soon broughfrhim, up into the front rank. Shortly after his return to New Zealand he married Miss Alice Featherston, daughter of the late Dr. Featherston, one of the most prominent public men of those days, and the first Superintendent of the Wellington Province. Afterwards, Dr. Feather-f ston did good service as our first AgentGeneral. It was in 1882 that the late Sir Charles first came into public prominence ; he was elected ii-ember of the House of Representatives for the now extinct seat of Te Aro, and he sat in that capacity until 1886. In 1890, the Jubilee year of the city, he was Mayor of Wellington, and those who remember him in that capacity speak in high terms of his administrative ability. In JB9l he again; entered the political arena—this time as a member of the Legislative Council. He was;,one of the last of the "life member" regime. Apart from political and municipal affairs, the late Sir Charles Johnston took a keen. interest in volunteering, and on'the ■formation of the Wellington Brigade ■■'■ he- was ■ appointed captain; afterwards ho held the rank of Captain-Commandant on the Active Reserve. He succeeded the late Sir Charles Bowen as Speaker "of . the" Legislative. Council in July, 1915, and held that position with dignity and distinction, although for some time past failing health interfered considerably with his attend-' ance. ■•; Possessed of a" fine'^presence, and of a kindly, courteous,- but withal .businesslike disposition, the late Sir Charles Johnston will go down to pos-' terity as one of the men who-never spared "himself whon the interests of the colony.or the city called. In local and general politics-his rule was commonsense, and always he avoided the limelight.; . In Parliament he was, in his own quiet way, exceedingly popular. The .'family of the ■ ■< deceased has a splendid military record. Two sons have Keen killed in the war—Brig-adier-General Earl Johnston and Corporal Johnston.. .There.. are three sons on active service—Lieutenont G. F., Johnston, Harold J. Johnston, and Featherston Johnston. Mrs.- Arthur Duncan and Mrs. Gathorn-Hardy are daughters. Miss Johnston (Fitzher-bert-terrace, Wellington) and Lady Perceval ; (wife of -Sir Westby Perceval,. England) are' sisters. ...The .Jate., / ;Hori,r Walter Johnston, formerly Minister of Public Works, and for very many" years a prominent figure in business circles in Wellington, was a brother. Lieutenant G. F. Johnston recently returned to New Zealand with his fatter, who had gone to' the United States to undergo an operation and medical treatment. As a mark of i respect, the flags', over' the various Government offices in ?Wel-' Jington are afc half-mast this afternoon.-

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19180613.2.52

Bibliographic details

DEATH OF SIR CHARLES JOHNSTON, Evening Post, Volume XCV, Issue 140, 13 June 1918

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588

DEATH OF SIR CHARLES JOHNSTON Evening Post, Volume XCV, Issue 140, 13 June 1918

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