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A Great Old Timer:

THERE died, the other day in Auckland, jit the ripe old age of 83, Mr. Samuel Jackson, of the wellknown legal firm of Jackson and Russell. One of the happiest in&n on- earth, and one of the straightesl. A man who lived every day of his life and would at any time have preferred thirty-six hours to the regulation couple of dozen, A man of strong enthusiasms and prejudices merely genial. A man who thundered, like Walter Savage Lantior, from a •brave heart full of sunshine. A brotherly man who delighted in the whole British family, and looked on Briton's foes with grim derision as the scum of the earth. A man in every way worth while.

Samuel Jackson came of a sound old Yorkshire sixck, was well educated in the old-fashioned Way, and was admitted as a solicitor in England in 1853. Shortly after that, he left for Auckland. He commenced the practice of his profession there in 1855, and continued in active practice till' about a year ago, being at. that time easily the oldest practising solicitor in New Zealand. His partner, Mr. Ja,mes Russell, retired from the firm about ten years ago, on the death of his brother, Thomas Russell, Chairman of Directors of the Waihi mine. Mr. James Russell went to London and became chairman in his brother's stead.

? Samuel Jackson came of a notable family. Of his brothers, one was the famous liuglilings Jackson, the great brain-speeialist, who died about two years ago. Another brother was Major Jackson, M.H.R., who rendered notable service with the Forest Hangers during the Maori War. He was returning from parliament by sea to his home in the Waikato, about 1890, when he somehow disappeared from the vessel, and was never heard of again. The other brother, Captain Jackson, retired from the sea to become a wellknown New Zealand magistrate. Captain Jackson ran away to sea when he was a boy, and for five- and twenty years no more was heard of him. Theft a friend of the family met him in Melbourne, and suggested that it would be kindly of him to write to his father. The long-lost son wrote: "Dear Father. I hope this letter will reach you in as good health as it leaves your loving son, Thomas Jackson." ** -* •» Samuel Jackson leaves a large family, all doing well—'Mr. Saiuuel Jackson, of Oaklands, California; Mrs. Proude, of Auckland; Mr. Li. llughiiiigs Jackson, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the -New Zealand Railways • Mrs. Andrew ETanna, of Auckland; Messrs. J. H. and G. P. Jackson, now carrying on business as T. Mandeno Jackson, of Auckland; (the late) Thomas Mandeno Jackson, who died five years ago, founder of the Auckland firm just referred to; Mrs. A. , Blair, of Wellington; Mr. Thornton Jackson, of the firm of Jackson and Russell ; and Mrs. Madill, of Auckland. Old Samuel had twenty-three grandchildren living at the time of his death. #•*'** From the time of his marriage (he celebrated his golden wedding eight years ago) till the hour of his passing., Samuel Jackson lived at Orakei-road, Ifcemuera, save when he was on a* visit to England or enjoying himself elsewhere. In the early days he used to walk four miles each way daily, to and from his business; and he kept that up in all weathers till the trams came. The great friend of his manhood —the one who, stood to him closer than a brother, was Mailing, "the Pakeha Maori,' and author of that charming book, ''Old Hew. Zealand.''' Both Jackson and Maning _ lived the zest of life, and exulted in it. Once they had been spending a Week together at Waiwera, a week of incident and constant song. Then they came across the Visitors' Book, wrote their names in it, and noted in the margin. "The millennium has how lasted seven _ days._ Maiiinc had tremendous faith m his friend? privately and professionally. He used to .say,""! trust in Providence; but if Providence forsakes me I'll go to Ja-ckson and Russell." * * * * Some of old Samuel Jackson's stories about Maning were remarkable. Here is one of them. '/Maning was going along the Hokianga beach when he came across a stranded whale high and dry. Maning hadn't time to do anything with it at that moment, so he out with: his pocket-knife and cut his name large on its hide. A day or two later he came back: but: the whale had vanished —got floated free or something. Maning told me, I never heard of that hanged Whale for many vears afterwards. Then I got a letter from a firm of whalers at Green~ ock. They enclosed me a big cheque,

k Few Points on the late Samuel Jackson

and apologised for having killed one of my darned whales."

Samuel Jackson might storm and scold in his inimitable way: but no man could ever really ruffle Mm. A man of sweeter disposition never lived in this Dominion. Nothing could make him angry. The Jacksons are a gregarious tribe. Life held no richer pleasure for Samuel than to sit down to dinner on Sunday with a round score of his family. To see him .on Christmas Day with the whole crowd about him was to see a good thing. He was all irrepressible geniality and kindness of heart —true to the best traditions of his cordial county. Auckland owed the Costley bequest to Samuel Jackson. Costley had neither kith nor kin; and purposed to leave everything to Samuel Jackson and his children. To that end he bad© Samuel prepare his will. But Samuel would have none of it. "I'm cosy," he said; "leave it to Auckland/' To seven Auckland public charities . accordingly Costley left it.

But Samuel Jackson was a stickler for all his rights and privileges by precedent established. In the Auckland Club he had his own particular chair, and woe to any other member he found sitting on it. Sometimes liis fellowmembers tried good-humouredly to badger the old man. But all such attempts were vain. Samuel was as famous for the sharpness of his tongue as for the sweetness of his disposition. He had a perfectly marvellous dexterity of repartee. He Avas somewhat of a dandy in his dress; but when it came to conversational combat he loved to be in the thick of it. When the tram camo to Itemuera, Samuel promptly appropriated what he thenceforth regarded as hig own special seat, and no man of his acquaintance ever dreamed of sitting in it. But one day a college professor who didn't know him got in a station ahead and sat down there. Samuel arrived in due course, and commenced to talk. "If ever a professor was frightened out of a chair, it was then," says one who was tli ere. * * * * Samuel Jackson, as already hinted, was a stalwart patriot. When the Boer war commenced there was a room in the Auckland Club, fitted with maps, pegs, and all proper impedimenta, and known as the War Office. Here members went and talked things out from day to day. Things looked bad for the English at that stage, and old Samuel commenced to express himself with characteristic force. lie said he would gladly give twopence a dozen for every Boer killed in the war. * * ' #".'■■■" ■M- ■ Then the Club page-boy asked. "Look here, sir, is that offer open to me?" "To you or anyone," said Samuel. The boy remembered. Every cabled rumour

of slaughtered Boers went down as fact in the foot-boy's record. Four hundred killed at' Paardeburg (there may not have been five dozen), three hundred somewhere else s and Sq. on. For two or three years the war went on. Then came the peace, and to Mr. Samuel Jackson came Tommy the page-boy with an account — so many hundred dozen Boers despatched... at twopence a dozen—a total of nine or ten pounds, The old man looked. "Do I owe you the whole bloomin' lot, Tommy ?" "Yessir." And straightway Samuel wrote Tommy a cheque for the whole amount. That's the sort of man he was.

Que otter story. Old Sam was leaving for a trip to England some years . ago, and at the wharf to see him off was a Mr, Winks, a member of a big furnishing firm that was also a firm of under-takers—-Forty Winks, Samuel Jackson always called him. "Look here, Winks," cried Samuel, "I know why you're here. You're sorry. You think I'm going away to die at Home, so you won't get th© job. But you needn't worry, Winks: I promise you absolutely that I'll come back. If I don't come back I'll leave orders for 'em to fix me up in one of those lead-lined cases, the same as the old judge, and vou'U get the job anyhow. Don't voU worry, Winks!"

Samuel Jackson came back, and when lie iset foot ashore in Auckland he made straight for the nearest telephone and rang up Mr. Winks. "I'm back, Winks," he said. "Cheer up." * * * *

And Samuel Jackson has gone. Another link with the past is broken. He died at an age when it is not ill-fitting that a man should die • but sorrow will be none the less keen for that. A good man. A man's man. A man for an emergency and a man for an enduring friendship. A true Yorkshireman of the best type. No man need hope for any better epitaph.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZFL19130809.2.9

Bibliographic details

A Great Old Timer:, Free Lance, Volume XIV, Issue 684, 9 August 1913

Word Count
1,566

A Great Old Timer: Free Lance, Volume XIV, Issue 684, 9 August 1913

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