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DEATH OF DR. J. WALLIS.

A MAN OF MANY PARTS.

END OF A REMARKABLE CAREER. The death, occurred on Saturday of the Rev. James Wallis, who was for many years one of the most prominent figures in the publio life of Auckland. Ho was in his 87th year. Minister of the Established Church of Scotland, surgeon, politician, and scholar, Dr. Wallis was a man of unusually vigorous character, and possessed of remarkable intellectual powers. Born in Aberdeenshire in 1825, he was educated at Aberdeen University, and gained his M.A. degree in, 1844. As a clergyman and minister of the Presbyterian Church, Dr. Wallis ministered at Dundee and Aberdeen, in Scotland, and at Essequibo and Demcrara, in British Guiana. With the object of becoming a medical missionary, be qualified in 1863 for admission as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, and two years later arrived in Now Zealand, having travelled by way of Africa and Australia, and acted as surgeon of the Rangitoto and other vessels. After a few years as minister of the old church of St. David's, Dr. Wallis built the church known as Ne-tfton Kirk, on the site new occupied by St. Benedict's Schoolroom, in East-street. He did not enter the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand; Ids attitude was independent. _ Eventually, dissension arose between him and Ins congregation; the latter fell away, and some of them established the present St. David's Church.

Prior to the disruption of his congregation, Dr. Wallis had assumed a prominent position in national affairs. He represented Auckland City West in the House of Representatives from 1877 to 1881. He entered Parliament as an Independent, and when, in his first session, a want of confidence motion was brought against Major Atkinson's Ministry, ho allied himself with Sir George Grey and contributed to the defeat of" the Ministry on October 8, 1877. His chief claim to political fame rested upon his persistent 'advocacy of women's suffrage, but ■he gained a high reputation as a vigorous and convincing speaker. In 1881 Dr. Wallis sold the kirk property, and has not preached since then. He sought a new outlet for his activity in agriculture, and until 1896 carried on a farm at Riverhead. He then returned to Auckland, and has. since resided in Urey Lynn. Some 15 years ago, Dr. Wallis and the late Mr. Adam Porter contested two city seats in opposition to '. the Seddon party, which was then rising to the height of its power;; though strongly supported they were both defeated. With this exceptional entrance into public notice, Dr. Wallis lived for many jiears a retired life. In 1862, he married Elizabeth Poole, daughter of an Edinburgh physician, and in her found an accomplished companion in his studies. Her death some years ago had a marked effect upon his later years, but though blind and frail, he continued his scholastic researches until the close of his life. He was a profound Greek scholar, and one of his dearest pleasures was to have passages read to him from a Greek testament. The late Mrs. Wallis was the author of many poems, and it -was her ' husband's desire that 'they should be collated and published. Though living a quiet life; Dr. Walli* had,alarga circle of friends, and it is interesting to note that many citizens of the older generation were 1 married by him. '*■ ';" The funeral will take place this afternoon his remains will be interred beside the grave of his wife in Waikumete Cemetery. In compliance with = Dr. Wallis'* wish, there will be no service at the grave--side, but only a funeral service, which will be conducted by the Rev. G. B. Monro, at deceased's, late residence, Peel-street, Grey Lynn.'-

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19120527.2.27

Bibliographic details

DEATH OF DR. J. WALLIS., New Zealand Herald, Volume XLIX, Issue 15003, 27 May 1912

Word Count
618

DEATH OF DR. J. WALLIS. New Zealand Herald, Volume XLIX, Issue 15003, 27 May 1912

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