The town was -plunged in grief and mourning yesterday afternoon when the sad and startling news reached town that Mr Joseph Petries, Mayor pi Greymouth, had passed away at a private hospital -in- Wellington. As soon as the news got abroad fla^s were lowered half-mast, .and all outward signs of mourning; were exhibited. Some two or three weeks ago Mr Petri_e, left for Wellington on business connected with the flotation ot me Wallsend .Colliery, a that would have advanced the district considerably, lie was in his usual state oi health and confident of being successful in his mission. He was out at Newton and when returning to his hotel" was knocked off a tram and in falling was struck in the stomach with the step which caused internal injuries. He was taken tp a private hospital and the best medical advice sum : moned. The injuries were pronounced to be serious and his wife immediately left for Wellington, followed shortly afterwards fey members of the tarn* ily. The public were anxious as to his condition, but telegrams of a very reassuring nature began to arrive, am it was thought Mr Petrie had passe< the corner, and was on the fair^ road to recovery. Even as late as Saturday his condition was reported to be satisfactory. Yesterday corning, however, a telegram was received that he had had a relapse and the worst was feared. At four o'clock the telegram arrived announcing that he had passof Mr Petrie removes from our midst one of the most prominent figures in our public life, ami Ss demise will be sincerely moaned He wds of "a bright and cheerful disposition and possessed a considerable amount of energy. He was known favorably from one end of the Coast to the other, and although # all did no agree with his political views, yet all admitted his determination and persevancc in carrying out to a. successful issue anything he took in hand. He had a strong personality, and was Sways alert for the welfare of the town. His public career is of many years standing. He has been before the public for. the last 34 years anc during that time had filled almost every position that it was P<> Sslbl E,J°' He was a native of Aberdeensnire, Scotland, and was born in the year 1848 and arrived in New Zealand in the ship "Silistria" in iB6O. Deceased for some years followed the rushes on the Otago goldsfields, and visited Gabriel's Gully^ He arrived on the West Coast in the year 1865 and after spending some time in Hokitika, arrived in Greymouth. He was a journalist by profession and it was not long before he assumed editorial control of the "Evening Star," a position he held at the time of his death. As a journalist he placed before the public his views fearlessly, and advocatec many reforms for the future welfare of the town and district. As a public man he was always to the front. His first step Into public life was as a member of the Greymouth Borough Council 34 years ago, and he has held a seat continuously ever since. During- that term he twice occupied the Miyoral seat, arid held the Position at the time of his death, being re-elected unopposed. His experience as a member of the Borough Council made him acquainted with the requirements of the place, and as he had great faith in the future of the. town Jic brought forward many progressive schemes. He took a keen interest in education, and was a member at the inception ot the Education Board He held the % "position until about two years; ago, and during that period did his utmost to advance education in this district. He was also an enthusiastic volunteer, and was for years Lieutenant of the Grey Navals, and afterwards Captain of the Gres Volunteers. As a fireman he was most energ£tic having joined the Brigade as an active fireman in 1872. He held the position of lieutenant for eleven yeaTS, and at the time of his death was a Fire Inspector. He was a member of the Grey Harbour Board for over 20 years, and in this connection did much for the place. In regard to the Lagoon docks, now under construction, he was the prime mover, and his aim was to see a deep sea harbour made at Greymouth, but death has intervened without his wishes being realised. He also held a position on the Hospital trustees, and the beautiful hospital that is erected to-day had in him > **.rong advocate. He was always 'I/^.al of the unfortunate people who entered the institution, • and used his position on the Trustees to grant them many comforts. As a member 'of the Grey Jockey Club and Trotting Club he did much to further the sport. He was an enthusiastic member afld his deliberations at the annual conferences did much to bring the standard up to Its present high position. He was a member of the Licensing Committee and in fact held every possible position in the town. Deceased was a strong believer in Friendly Societies and was never tired in advising young men to became members. He was one of the original members who signed the Charter of the Star of the West Druids Lodge, and for many years held the position of A.D. Under his management- the lodge nourished, and to-day it holds the strongest position on the Coast.
In 1887 Mr Petrie represented this district in Parliament for three years, and his term of office was marked by much ability and brilliancy. Three years ago he contested the Grey seat against Hon Mr Guinness. It will be within the recollection of all the plucky iight he put up, and although defeated, it showed he had a very large following, and his supporters were delighted with the grasp he had of public matters generally. Deceased during his long residence In this town had many public favors bestowed upon him, and in all cases he carried them out to the satisfaction of the people who entrusted them with their affairs. His public duty was well performed, and he dies with the full honours of his position. In social life he had many friends who recognised in him sterling qualities and who will to-day sincerely mourn the death of a true friend. He was of a hopeful nature and always looked on the bright nature and alwayslookedshra failure. His persistency in life enabled him to overcome obstacles that many a man would have gone under with^ His private life was one of happiness. He was a loving husband and a devoted father and the family circle will now miss a loved and cherished one.
To the bereaved the heartfelt sympathy of the entire Coast will be extended in this. their sad loss, and it to be hoped that the genuine sympathy will soften the heavy blow that nas fallen on them. Deceased leaves a widow and five children, two sons and three daughters.
The remains will be brought to| Greymouth by the Manourika arriving here on Thursday, and laid toj bright side of life and nevcr._c.:>uri.cd rest in the Greymouth cemetery.
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OBITUARY., Grey River Argus, 5 May 1908
OBITUARY. Grey River Argus, 5 May 1908
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