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THE LATE E. W. HUMPHREYS.

We take from the Taieri Advocate the following interesting obituary notice of the late Mr E. W. Humphreys :— " All who had the pleasure of being acquainted with the late Mr E. W. Humphreys will experience great regret at the news of his death, which has just been cabled out from England. In the Strath-Taieri district, where he resided for so many years, the information will be received with special sadness, for there particularly did the people know the- deceased gentleman's many amiable qualities. Many of the people in that district counted •Mr Humphreys as their guide, philosopher, and friend, and in times of trouble and embarrassment to him they referred for guidance, confident in hjs willingness and ability to aid and

assist. Mr Humphreys was educated at Harrow, and had all the manners and instincts of a true gentleman, being particularly kind and considerate towards those who had not been blessed with the same advantages as himself. He had for many years taken an absorbing interest in political matters and was well posted up in the political history of tho colony, though up to the time I am writing of he had not taken any active part in politics, and when he did enter upon the political stage it was the outcome of a conversation with the present writer. 1 well remember spending an evening with him in his beautiful home at Garthmyl, and the conversation turned upon politics. We were seated in his library, which was well stocked with all the latest magazines and newest books, and there we discussed many political questions. I remember he felt very bitterly the newspaper denunciations that are frequently made against squatters (to which class he belonged), and particularly was he incensed against Sir Robert Stout for his views upon the land question. Mr Humphreys' views, nevertheless, were decidedly liberal ; in fact, one of his near neighbours and best friends used jokingly to taunt him with being a 'beastly Radical.' Well, while we were in the library I suddenly turned round and said to rl- o Humphreys, why do you not enter politics ? You have money, you have leisure, you have education, you have liberal ideas, then why not stand fora seat in Parliament ?' He seemed taken with the idea, and until nearly 2 o'clock in the morning we sat and discussed political possibilities. A few mouths afterwards he wasa candidate for the seat for Christchurch North, rendered vacant by the resignation of Sir Julius Vogel, and was returned at tho head of the poll. I sent him a congratulatory telegram, and in return received a letter acknowledging the telegram and admitting that his entrance into politics was the outcome of the suggestion that I had made to him. l As his return to Parliament was only at a byeelection he had no time in which to make his mark in politics, though I am sure his genial, liberal nature must have been quickly recognised by all the members of the House. At the last general election he was defeated; though, shortly afterwards, he was elected a city councillor. He made no great pretences as regards religious views, but was" a true Christian and tolerant to all creeds, as is usual with a man of travel and education ; and when the last breath left Edward Wiagfield Humphreys this world lost a kindly, generous, and true-hearted gentleman, to know whom was an honour. May the earth rest lightly on hia grave."

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THE LATE E. W. HUMPHREYS. Otago Witness, Issue 1994, 12 May 1892

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