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SIR JOHN ROBERTS

RECORD OF PUBLIC SERyiCE

(By Telegraph—Press Association.) DUNEDIN, This Day. Tho death occurred last evening, after a brief illness, of Sir John Roberts, in his 89th year.

Sir John.Roberts had a' record of public service which is attained \by few men. He was born in Selkirk, Scotland, iii October, 1845, arid after being educated/ in his native town and in Edinburgh, ho wont to Australia in 1864,' and spent four years there*stadyiug the/wool business and station man: agemeiit, finally coming to puuedin in 1868, wh<en tho well-known firm of Murray, Roberts, and Company was established. : His first appearance in public life was in 1874, when he sat oa the provincial Council. He was for ten yoars a member, and for many years chairman of tho Taiori County Council, and was actively associated1 with the Dunodin and South Seas Exhibition in 18^9 and 1890, of which he was president. Ho became Mayor of Dunedin in, 1889, and two years later received the honour of C.M.G. from Queen Victoria. In 1920 the additional honour of a knighthood was conferred on him. A keen interest in the welfare of the University of Otago kept him on the council, of tho university almost continuously from 1885 till 1921, and he was actively connected for years with both the Otago Harbour Board and the Chamber of Commerce. One of his particular enthusiasms was; the Otago Agricultural and Pastoral Society, and ho was a nicmbe* of the original executive. Ho held the position of president for no fewer than four periods. Added to this list of public interests arc many largo and flourishing business enterprises in the establishment and development of which he .took a large' part, among them being the firm of Murray, Roberts, and Company, the New Zealand Refrigerating Company, the Mosgiel Woollen Factory Company, the Union Steam Ship Company, the Milburn Limo and Cement Company, the Dunedin Saleyards Company, tho New Zealand Hardware '•■ Company, the Colonial Bank, and Ponaghy's Rope and Twine Company, Ltd. In the commercial sphere his name will be chiefly honoured for the connection of his firm (Murray, Roberts, and Co.) with the earliest shipments to England of frozen mutton and lamb, as well as for the foundation of the Mosgiel Woollen Factory Company, of Dunodin. The woollen company was formed in 1873, and Sir John, then 26 years of age, was appointed chairman, and he held that office continuously for more than sixty years. In June, 1932,' in the royal borough of Selkirk, Roxburghshire, Scotland, Sir John Roberts was admitted to the select company of freemen of his native town. Iv 1870 he married Miss Louisa Kettle, daughter of Mr. Charles H. Kettle, New Zealand Company surveyor, who laid out the city of Wellington. Thero are four sons. Mr. James Roberts is head of tho firm in Dunedin, Sir Alexander Roberts in Wellington, and Messrs. J. and 0. Roberts, of the firm in tho Old Country. The eldest-son, Mr. George Roberts, died many years ago. The four daughters of: the family are Mrs. Menlovej of Athol, Southland, Mrs. Hunter Weston, of Tinraru, Mrs. Winston Barron, of Hastings, and .Mrs. Wilfred Stead, also of Hastings.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19340914.2.111.4

Bibliographic details

SIR JOHN ROBERTS, Evening Post, Volume CXVIII, Issue 65, 14 September 1934

Word Count
528

SIR JOHN ROBERTS Evening Post, Volume CXVIII, Issue 65, 14 September 1934

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