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OBITUARY.

MR ROBERT THOMPSON. former member for marsden. The death touk place ;.t 5.15 p.m. yesterday, ::t his residence, "Pentland Iloa.se,'' Whiingarei, of Mr Robert Thompson, o-M.fl.R. for Marsden, who was well known us :i pioneer settler and public man in the Whangarei district. Mr Thompson was born in the year 1840 at Newtown Butler, Jive miles west of Clones, Fermanagh Countv, Ulster, Ireland, his father, Mr W. Thompson, being a farmer in that district. Upon completing his educational course the late Mr Robt. Thompson went to the West Indies to learn sugar planting, devoting live years to that industry and then deciding to try his fortune in Australia. After visiting his native town upon his return from the Indies and also paying visits to relatives in Canada he set forth for Australia and arrived there in the early part of 18(54, putting jn four years on a sheep station at Yarko (district of Yankc Creek, which joins the Murrumbirlgee River, New South Wales). Mi Thompson soon discovered that though Australia was a potentially great country it was more adapted for the capitalist in those days than for those following general avocations. He thcreI fore decided to try his luck in New Zealand. Arriving in Whangarei in 1870, he was so captivated with the climate and prospects of the district generally that he purchased a farm at Maunu, knoiwn as "Puriri Park," where he carried on farming for several years, but as farming in those days was a '' slow game," he decided to commence business in Whangarei as an auctioneer and general commission agent. Being a sound tinancer, and giving close at- | tention to business he sooii established a large connection with stock owners and farmers and became the loading rjan of Whangarei town and county. Mr Thompson took •_ prominent part in local politics and became the chairman of the Whangarei Town' Board and later was elected a member and chairman of the Whangarei County Council, which positions he filled with success for six years. In .1887 he was induced to become a Parliamentary candidate for Marsden and was returned in the Liberal interests. He continued to represent Marsdont, for 15 years, when the electors declared themselves in favour of the Reform candidate, Mr F. Mander, as their representative. During his Parliamentary career Mr Thompson was known as "Marsden Thamps>on." He was a forceful and fluent speaker and commanded the attention of the House on many public questions of the day. He always advocated the development of country districts by means of road and bridge construction to enable backblock settlers to have access to their markets. Many of the bridges, wharves and roads now in existence in Whangarei county were constructed and built out of Parliaments ry grants during tlie time he represented Marsden. Mr Thompson advocated and supported the construction of the Whangarei-Hikurangi-Kawakawa railway, its exi tension to the Hokianga waters and its | connection with deep water and the port of Whtngarei.

On his retirement from politics Mr Thompson revisited his native land, but was not enamoured of the conditions then existing in Ireland and scon returned to the land of his adoption. He also visited Australia several times during his public career.

In addition to the positiors referred to held by the deceased, he was a life member of the Whangneri High School Board of Governors, p,nd for many yenrs a member of the Auckland Crown ' Lands Board, where lie did good service in opening up the .waste lands of the North under the various tenures of the Land Act. He was successful in obtaining from the Crown some 1700 acres of the Pukenui forest in the Whau Valley as a water reserve for the borough of Whangrrei. He was associated with the Whangarei Public Library and Reading-room when these institutions were in their infancy, and was instrumental in oVtaining a Government grant towards improving their facilities. When the North Auckland Hospital and Charitable Aid Board was constituted some .'52 years ago Mr Thompson was one of its members to attend the first meeting of the board at Ivawakawa, where as chairman he was instrumental in fixing Whangarei as the central office for the board's meetings. The deceased took an interest in the volunteering movement in Whangarei ind also encouraged rifle shooting. The Thompson Cup is still being annually competed for by members of the Whangarei High School Cadet Corps. He favoured clean and manly sport and was for a time president of the Whangarei Racing Club. Mr Thompson was one of those who assisted in the formation of the Whangarei Bowling Club and was elected its first president in 1901.

The deceased gentleman was a prominent Freemason in the early days being one of the founders of Freemasonry in Wliangarei :uid district, and

was for some years Master of Lodge 16-17 E.C., where lie made many friends in the Craft and was prominent in promoting the lodge 'a social functions. . As a hobby Mr Thompson devoted considerable time to orange and lemon culture iinrt at one time his citrus orchards were the show places of Whangarei. previous to cutting up his estate. Mr Thompson married Miss Aubrey, whose father resided at the Whangarei Heads, and was the first Resident Magistrate appointed for the Whangarei district. Mrs Thompson predeceased her husiband about eighteen years ago. The deceased had for some timo experienced indifferent health and when the end came he passed away peacefully. He leaves an only child, Mrs (Dr.) Bmton Sweet, of Remuera, Auckland, and two giandehildren to mourn their loss. The interment will take place at the Ketenikau Cemetery, Kamo, and the obsequies will be of Masonic character. At the Whangarei County and Municipal Buildings, the "Advocate" Offices and other premises in town flags are flying at half-niast as a mark of respcct to the memory of the deceased. The funeral will leave Mr Thompson's late residence, Norfolk street, at 3.45 p.m. to-morrow. Sunday.

EDWAED MILLINGTON The death took place at Papatoetoe yesterday of Mr Edward Millington, in his 76th year. Mr Millington was veTy well known in ths Whangani. district. He was bom in England and came out to New Zealand when a yo man and took up land at Buatangata, after which he joined the teaching profession and was appointed headmastei of the Kuatangata school. He will, however, be better remembered as headmaster of the Kamo school, which position he occupied for upwards of 20 years. Subsequently he retired on superanuation from the headmastership of the Maunu school. Since then he hxt spent his time amid various members of his family, of whom there are two sons, Harold, who is fanning at Papatoetoe, and Walter, manager of the Whangarei Dairy Company, and two daughters, Mrs Walter Cutforth, of Papatoetoe, and Miss Ellen, a teacher in Auckland. Mr Millington's wife predeceased him about fourteen years ago. About seven weeks ago Mr Millington suffered a slight paralytic stroke, which necessitated his lying up at his son's place in Whangarei. He suffered little or no pain, and recovered.- sufficiently to take advantage of a change of air and went to his daughter's home at Papatoetoe. He became ill again shortly afterwards and was confined to his bed up to the time of his death, but fortunately he suffered very little. Though of a quiet and unassuming nature, Mr Millington was a man of sterling character and genuine worth, and was held in very high esteem and deeply respected by all who were acquainted with him. The funeral will leave the home of Mr W. H. Millington at 11 aan. on Monday for the Kamo cemetery.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NA19220422.2.19

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY., Northern Advocate, 22 April 1922

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1,268

OBITUARY. Northern Advocate, 22 April 1922

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