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MINING LINK BROKEN.

HON. J. GRIMMOND'S DEATH. __—. WJEST COAST IDENTITY. GOLD RUSHES IN EARLY DAYS. [by telegbaph.—OWN cobrespoki>ext]. WELLINGTON. Friday. The sudden death at Ross, on Thursday evening, of the Hon. Joseph Grimmond, M.L.C., severs what might be the only human link that connected the goldfields of California, Australia, New Zealand and Yukon. IMr. Grimmond had an adventurous career. Born at Drogheda, Ireland, 81 years ago, he was trained as an engineer. He landed in Melbourne at the age of 16, and went to the Ballarat goldfield at the height, of the fever. When the rush at Gabriel's Gully set in he went there in 1861, and followed the rush with success. Two years later he went to the Whakamarina field, going

thence to the West Coast gold field at Ross, where he settled, with one brief intermission, for 60 years. At some time, according to friends in Wellington, he visited the Californian field. In 1897, when the Klondyke rush attracted attention, he went there and encountered terrible experiences through being snowed up in the famous Chilcoot Pass, where hundreds of goldseekers perished.

Mr. Grimmond's name has been closely associated with the municipal and political history of the West Coast. He was mainly instrumental in having the Timber Commission set up. In 1897 he defeated John Beval for the Hokitika seat, which he retained until the dissolution in 1890. The late Mr. Seddon, who held the Kumara seat, contested Westland in the 1890 election against Mr. Grimmond. Mr. Seddon had a majority of 338 in a vote of 1600. It was at this election that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sir Maurice O'Rorke, was defeated.

In 1896 Mr. Grimmond again. contested the Westland seat, but was defeated hy Mr. Seddon by a greater margin than before. The story is told concerning this election that a farmer came into Ross just before polling day. A friend remarked: "I suppose you are voting for Grimmond?" "Great heavens," ejaculated the farmer, "is old Dick dead?" In 1918, during the regime • of the National Government, members of Reform and Liberal ■ Parties were simultaneously appointed to the Legislative Council. Mr. Grimmond was one of Sir Joseoh "Ward's nominees. Since that time, said Sir Francis Bell tofiay, Mr. Grimmond wias £he most popular member of the Council. He was a lover of all forms of sport, but spent a good deal of his spare time at billiards. Last session he won tho. Legislative Council championship. He was chairman of the Goldfields Committee of the Council- . , La.st year, in spite of his advancing v«u-s, Mr. Grijnmond personally conducted a Parliamentary party (up the Franz Josef Glacier. The party included Sir Francis Bell and the Hon. W. Downie Stewart. ' He was active up to the time of his death, which caused a profound shock to his friends .in Wellington. Mr. Grimmond had many business associations with the gold-mining industry. He -was very successful, and held large holdings in mining companies, including ihe Ross United, Band of Hope, and Mount d'Or. as well as being part owner of the Back Creek and Kanieri water races. Mr. Grimmond was married twice. His second wife was a daughter of the late Mr. Duncan Macfarlane, one time magistrate for Hokitika.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19241129.2.115

Bibliographic details

MINING LINK BROKEN., New Zealand Herald, Volume LXI, Issue 18879, 29 November 1924

Word Count
540

MINING LINK BROKEN. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXI, Issue 18879, 29 November 1924

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