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OBITUARY., Issue 10430, 27 September 1897
JOHN I.ILLIL r[[J.T,r?, | By the death of this well-known and I highly-respected* settlor, which took place | at 0.00 a.rn, (o-day, another Wank occurs I among liunedin public man which will not j easily lie filled. Particularly in the Harbor | fWatd this will be found the case. Mr | Gillies was born in January, 18112, the year jor the Reform Hill—a fact which he kept, i steadily in view as a particular era in his | career. ills father was about that period | appointed town ••!erk of the Royal Burgh of > Rothesay, holding the position until his | resignation in 1872, when, with the other j members ot hsa family, he emigrated to j i-'tdgo, 1 oilii L. not, however, being in the number. So far as education was concerned, the parish school, previous to the Disruption in 1843. and a subsequent training in Soougall’s Academy constituted the whole of his academic training. In 1845. he was employed in the Western Bank of Scotland, gaining thereby a thorough knowledge of accountancy, towards which his mind was naturally bent. The desire, however, for a wider experience and to open up a better field for the congested inhabitors of Scotland caused him to throw up his situation, and by the barque Ring William he sailed fr*m London for Adelaide in 1851, the vessel arriving in August of that year. His destination, however, was Victoria. The trade between the Mother Country and the colonies was not at this time sufficient to lay on a ship direct for one port, so on the 500-ton vessel arriving at Adelaide Gillies got employed as an O.S. from thence to Melbourne, and, with a few mates, engaged to go inland on a sheep and. cattle run. Vicissitudes followed, and then the gold discoveries attracted attention, to wnich himself and party naturally gravitated. The turbulent period of mining in Victoria _ had for him a special interest, and in the turmoils he took an active part. Getting wearied of this profitless mode of life, he then betook himself to literary enterprise, and was for a while copneoted with the ‘Geelong Advertiser,’ a newspaper which he successfully piloted, and, wisely getting married, he left Australia, arriving in Dunedin by the Gil Bias in September, 1855. Farming iu Tokomairiro took up hia undivided attention until the discovery of Gabriel's Gully in 1861, when the fever attacked him. He was among the first on the field, and became the leading spirit, under whose rule the original diggers willingly submitted to the first Prohibition law passed : ‘‘No spirituous liquour allowed on the goldfields.” This continued in force for less than a week. His superiority on the diggings was not of long duration, as the advent of more experienced miners from Victoria caused his influence to subside.
Emerging from his semi-rural and goldfields life, Mr Gillies entered the political arena in 1863, when he was returned as one of three members for theTokomairirodistriot. the second session he attained the office of Provincial Treasurer, and even those opposed to him gave full credit to his financial ability, which at the time required a very expert man in figures to guide affairs. A reaction taking place, he retired from provincial politics for a season, and it was not till 1869, when he was returned for Tokomairiro as successor to Mr Muir, that a prominent appearance was again made by him taking an active part in every question cropping up. A keen fight took place during this Council for the position of immigration agent lo proceed to Britain, for which Mr Gillies was a candidate, resulting in a lie in the voting, the result being that the appointment was abandoned. The Council dissolving by effluxion of time, a new election ensued, and Mr Gillies was returned as representative of the town of Milton, a new constituency. At the first meeting of the new Provincial Council he was elected Speaker, ond continued to hold the office until the unfortunate abolition in 1876. In political life he was certainly ambitious, as in 1873 he entered into a contest with Mr Macandrew for the Supcrinteudeucy unsuccessfully, the consolation coming, however, in being returned us M.H.R. for Waikoueiti as successor to Sir David Munro. In 1875 Mr Gillies entered on a new capacity—secretary to the Harbor Board, then newly formed—and this position he has held until his death, for more than a majority in years; and during the whole period it can safely be said no man in a public capacity devoteii more time, sacrificed more interest, labored more industriously than he did in the success of his Board. He made it, in fact, o “fad, 5 and many in judging his actions suggested blame where zeal only conld be attributed It will be a matter of grave consideration for the Harbor Board to select a sue* ceasor. Mr Gillies had the interests of his Board as his primary duty, he made himself acquainted with every detail, knew every member in the employ, held their almost unanimous confidence and respect, had a grasp of (in fact, originated) the fiscal policy relative to both employes and the Board, and kept himself abreast of all mercantile movements, both in ship and machine construction, navigation, and telegraphy, so as to be looked on as an authority. Mr Gillies leaves a family of three sons and four daughters, all settled in life. His wife predeceased him by many years. In school committees, floral shows, aquatic sports, agricultural societies, and unfortunately in gold mining, he was ever an enthusiastic and contributing supporter, of which the records are abundant. Mr Gillies’s last illness, which was of a complicated character, extended over the long period of eleven months, during which time he was confined almost exclusively to the house; but although his bodily infirmities were great and oftentimes severe, happily his mental vigor continued unimpaired, and ha was able and ready at all times to give his advice and assistance to the Harbor Board. The funeral takes placs on Wednesday. ___ 1.M.1,
JOHN ALLAN. A settler who was well known to the farming community died at his residence, Maori Hill, this morning. We refer to Mr John Allan, late of Taurima, and eldest son of the late James Allan, of Hopehill. He sold out of his Taurima property in March last, and about two mouths ago came to reside in Dunedin. The cause of death was a heart complaint. Deceased leaves a tvidow —a daughter of Mr John Reid—and two children to mourn his loss.
OBITUARY., Issue 10430, 27 September 1897
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