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DEATH OF MR. GEO. GRAHAM

By Telegraph. Association.—Copyright.

London, February 18. The death is announced of Mr. George Graham, at one time a New Zealand legislator.

I Another old identity bus joined the great, majority after a long and eventful life, in the person of Mr. George Graham, formerly of Auckland,, in his 90th year. He was born on December 10, 1812, at Frogmore, Berks, England, and had seen no less than five monarchs succeed to the throne of England. His grandfather was a Government interpreter between the Scots and English, and he was proud of his descent from the Grahams of the Borders. To the recommendation of George the IV. Mr. Graham owed Ids preferment in early life. Having received an appointment in the Royal Engineers, he remained in the Imperial service for about 25 years. In 1835 he was in Ireland, and saw troublous times there. He was ordered to New Zealand in " the early forties," and -witnessed the first Maori disturbances. When Auckland was laid out Mr. Graham's influence enabled him to have the area of the Albert Barracks greatly enlarged. He claimed that no such fortification was necessary, but the site would, he argued, make in the future a splendid park, and thus, through his foresight, we retained what would have been sold as lots. The hill contained about 25 acres, and was enclosed by a stone wall, the work being done, under Mr. Graham, by the Maoris, who thus made their first attempt at masonry. At the time of the first Chinese war he was ordered to China, and whilst there, sustained a great shock to his system, through the horror caused by the burial alive of a fellow lodger. The doctor advised Mr. Graham, whose nerves seemed to have been completely unstrung, to resign and return to New Zealand. Restored to health, Mr. Graham was most successful in farming operations at Maugere. He was elected the first member for Newton in the House of Representatives. Here he was a vigorous member of the Opposition, and consistently defended the causes of the Maoris. His political opponents dubbed him "Maori Graham," a cognomen which grew to-be a, complimentary one, although applied in the first instance in derision. At the Waikato war Mr. Graham pleaded to be allowed to pass the lines to confer with Wiremu Tamihana, the great Maori warrior. Having at last obtained permission to go, as General Carey said, with "his life in his hands," the result of the interview was a complete success. Thompson and his followers ranged themselves under the Union Jack, and signed a peace covenant. General Carey presented Mr. Graham with the pen that was used, and said that lie " deserved the thanks of both Imperial and colonial Governments." Although his duties in the Royal Engineer Department resulted in his being ordered from one part of the world to another, he looked upon New Zealand as his homo. He had splendid business ability and amassed a. considerable, fortune. He had nine children, 45 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren, most of whom are now resident.in the province of Auckland. Mr. Graham was twice married, and for some years past has resided at " Hove," Brighton. Sussex. Here he died full of years and honours, leaving a widow and daughter there to mourn their loss. His surviving sons are: William A. Graham, of Hamilton ; John H. Graham, of Buckland; James B. Graham, of Auckland, solicitor Robert T. Graham, of Auckland; Richard E. Graham, at present in Perth, West Australia.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19010220.2.48

Bibliographic details

DEATH OF MR. GEO. GRAHAM, New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 11581, 20 February 1901

Word Count
585

DEATH OF MR. GEO. GRAHAM New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 11581, 20 February 1901

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