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OBITUARY

MR. CHARLES WILSON

The death occurred last night, after a considerable period of ill-health, of 1 Mr. Charles Wilson* a well-known Wellington resident/formerly M.P. forrthe Suburbs seat in Parliament, for some years' editor of the "New Zealand Mail," and more recently chief librarian of tho General Assembly library. The late Mr. Wilson was born at Harrogate, .-Yorkshire,. in : 1857; and: received his early education at Harrogate College. He engaged in the woollen trade in Bradford for a time, and was subsequently occupied iii mercantile pursuits in Paris and at Lille. He came to New Zealand in 1879 in the clipper ship Otaki, arriving at Port Chalmers on Christmas Day, and a few months ! later came to Wellington. • He at once 1 joined the staff of the Willis Street School, under Mr. Clement Watson, and served as an assistant master for about , a year. Keeping to tho scholastic proI fession, Mr. Wilson was appointed assistant master at Wanganui Collegiato School, under the late Mr. Bacho Harvey. Then journalism beckoned. [Mr. Wilson followed, for after three [years of moulding the minds and characters of younger Wanganui,. ho began tho moulding and direction of the opinions of their ciders, becoming associate editor,of the "Wanganui Chronicle." Next ho moved to Poverty Bay, -where ho .edited the "Gisbornc .Standard," and later to Hawkes Bay", where he became editor of the Napier "Evening Nows." By this time Mr. Wilson had definitely adopted journalism, as his. profession, and his next appointment was editor of the ','Marton Mercury," which ho founded. In 1892 he returned to Wellington as editor of the "New Zealand Mail" and assistant leader-writer on. the "New Zealand Times."

When Mr. Wilsoh'stood in the Liberal interest for Wellington in 1897 he was defeated; but he had the consolation of securing 5600 votes, a heavy poll for those days, and a degree of support that even his most sanguine friends did not expect. However, Mr. Wilson, with characteristic Yorkshire doggedness, went at it again. Early in 1898 he contested Wellington Suburbs with Mr. A. E. Atkinson. The scat was rendered vacant by the unseating of Mr v T. M. Wilford on a petition—and Mr. Wilford had beon a pupil of Mr. Wilson at Wanganui School. Mr. Atkinson was defeated after a close contest, and Mr. Wilson took, his scat among tho law-makers of the'nation. Thcro he remained until the dissolution of 1899. -At the General Election following Mr. Wilson was not a candidate for Parliament. Out of over forty applicants he was selected as Chief Librarian of the General Assembly, a position he held until his retirement in March, 1026. During Mr. Wilson's twenty-five years' experience of the • library the munber-of catalogued publications grew from 38,000 to 112,000. It was mainly duo to liia advocacy that the scope of the Parliamentary Library Recess Privilege list was greatly extended. AN ACTIVE LIFE. As schoolmaster, journalist, politician, and Public servant, Mr. Wilson led a varied but always active life, and he declared that he always found his work congenial, especially his original literary work. He had the satisfaction of knowing from visiting statesmen and others qualified to express an opinion that the selection of books at the- Parliamentary Library (for which he was almost^ in- sole charge) was made on a very high standard. Mr. Wilson kept in close touch with higher education, art, and literary life'in New Zealand. He was one of the original members of the Victoria University Council, and president of that body for two years, lie was president of the New Zealand Academy of.Fino Arts, and for over twenty-fiye years was one-of-the most activo of its mornbers. He was "a foundation member of tho Wellington Savage Club, and was among the founders of the Yorkshire Society.

On. his: .retirement from the Parlia.mentary Librarianship- in 1926, close on the age of =70 years, Mr. Wilson set out on a trip Tound the world to renew his acquaintance with the scenes of his youth. He .attended, the. World's Press' Union Conference at Geneva as repie.sonting New Zealand, and visited Switzerland, ..France, Belgium,, and Holland, spending time in Paris. =:

On his return to New Zealand Mt. Wilson, once more took up residence in Wellington, continuing his literary? hobby to the advantage of certain newspapers. His publications include " jhe-Gi-ty of Wellirigton-?'(1921), "Bamblc? in. Book-land", (1922), arid "New Eambles" (1923). i ..

, The late Mr. Wilson.leaves a widow", three sons, and a daughter (Mrs. N< A. Wiiton).: . . : .". '.'. ' ' ■ ;;;;

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19320210.2.110

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY, Evening Post, Volume CXIII, Issue 34, 10 February 1932

Word Count
738

OBITUARY Evening Post, Volume CXIII, Issue 34, 10 February 1932

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