SIR WILLIAM FRASER DEADUSEFUL PUBLIC CAREER.. [BY TELEGRAPH. —SPECIAL REPORTER.] WELLINGTON, Monday. Sir William Fraser, a member of the Executive Council and of the Legislative Council, and a former Minister for Public Works, died this morning at the age of 83. He led an active life until five weeks ago when he was seized wit illi ness in his office in Parliament Building and was taken to a private hospitaL As 1 he appeared to bo much better he left the hospital a fortnight ago, tut was I obliced to return, and it was apparent This friends during the last few days I that he had little hope of recovery.
Sir William Fraser, who has been a prominent figure in New Zealand politics for almost 30 years, , . a native of India, where was born in 1840. His father was Captain Hugn Fraser, of the sth Madras Light Infantry. He was educated at the Elizabeth College, Guernsey, the Victoria College, Jersey, and Lycee de St. Brieux, Brittany. He arrived in New Zealand as a youth in 1858, and proceeded to Otago, going at that time to an uncle in the Shag valley district, In 1862 he settled in Central Otago, where he was for many years engaged in pastoral pursuits. He at one began to take a keen interest m locai public affairs, and in 1866 was elected member for the Dunstan seat in the Otago Provincial Council. He remained a member of the Council for four years. In 1876, when the Provinces were abolished and the county system was established, he was elected member for Dunstan m the Vincent County Council, and he was for 10 years chairman of that council. He first entered the Houso of Representatives in 1894, having been returned as member for Wakatipu at the general election of the previous year, after the retirement of the late Hon. Thomas Fergus. He contested the election against the Hon. W. J. M. Larnach, and Mr. J. O'Mera. He came into the House at an interesting stage in the politics of the country. Parliament included m.my notable men, the late Mr. Richard Seddon being Prime Minister, who entered the House at the same time. The present Prime Minister was then the member for Waitemata. Sir "William Fraser was a member of the New Zealand Assets Realisation Board, appointed to administer certain assets of the bank after | the Government's connection with that I institution was established in 1894. In ; 1912 he took office in the Ministry formed iby Mr. Massey as Minister for Public I Works, Mines, and Industries arid Com- ! merce. He held the portfolio of Public I Works in the National Government, which ' was formed in 1915. He was knighted in 1918. His decision to retire from | active participation in politics was an--1 nounced in October. 1919. He did not seek re-election at the 1919 general elections, and in .December of that year he was appointed to the Legislative Council. He retained his portfolios for some time after his retirement from the House, and he has since temporarily administered one or two departments for short periods. He was acting-leader of the Legislative Council during the absence in England of Sir Francis Bell throughout the 1922 session, and remained a member of the Executive without portfolio to the time of his death. For some years he had been a director _of the National Mutual Life Association of Australasia. Sir William Fraser was married in 1871 to a daughter of the late Mr.- Alfred Chetham Strode, Dunedin. His wife died many years ago. Sir William is survived by a daughter, Miss Fraser, of Wellington. The funeral will leave the Legislative Council Chamber, Parliament Buildings, at 9 15 a.m. on Wednesday for St. Paul's Ataglican pro-cathedral, where a short ear vice will be held. Afterwards the cortege will leave for Karori ..Cemetery.
SYMPATHY OF THE HOUSE.
TRIBUTE BY MR. MASSEY.
'H.---SPECIAL REPORTER.] ELLIN TON. Monday,
" By the death of Sir William Fraser this morning, there came to an. end one of the most useful careers in the history of , this Dominion," said the Prime Minister, on rising to move the following motion in the House of Representatives this afternoon: " That this House reoords its sense of the distinguished services rendered to New Zealand by the late Hon. ! Sir William Eraser, a member of the Executive Council and of the Legislative Council, formerly a member of the House of Representatives, and! for some years a Minister of the Crown, and respectfully tenders to his relatives the assurance of its sincere sympathy with them in their bereavement.
Mr. Massey said he had known Sir William intimately. They had taken the oath together on entering the House in June, 1894. They had been members of the same party for many years, had worked continuously together, and for long they had occupied the same bench. Sir William had been a Minister of tho Crown from 1912 practically until the time of his death. He was elected to the Provincial Council of Otago in the very early days, and even then he was looked upon as one of the ablest and' most trusted public men •in the province. On his election to the House of Representatives he soon made his mark. As Minister for Public Works ho was known from one end of the country to the other, and was greatly respected. He was a loyal and citizen of the Empire, and of the Dominion. He was a gentleman in every sense, and was trusted and respected. He had gone to his rest full of years and honour, leaving behind him a reputation which present and future public men would do well to emulate. • The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. T. M. Wilford, in seconding the motion, said he agreed with all the Prime Minister had said. He was a man who. was fortunate in having a first-class education, which undoubtedly contributed to the high place ho took in public life. For two years during the war the speaker had the honour of being associated with him, and he know from what took place then that the Prime Minister's tribute was well merited, and well reasoned. The Leader of the Labour P«.rty, Mr. H. Holland, and other members of the House, made sympathetic reference to the worth of Sir William Fraser.
The motion was then carried, and the House adjourned until this evening.
Permanent link to this item
VETERAN LEGISLATOR., New Zealand Herald, Volume LX, Issue 18453, 17 July 1923
VETERAN LEGISLATOR. New Zealand Herald, Volume LX, Issue 18453, 17 July 1923
Using This Item
NZME is the copyright owner for the New Zealand Herald. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence . This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of NZME. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Auckland Libraries and NZME.