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OBITUARY.

ROBERT HEATON RHODES. (Lytlelton Times.) "June 1, at Elmwood. Robert Heaton LhoJei ; aged 69." Such was the simple nnour.cemeut made yesterday morning, of le death [of a gentleman whose name will rer be associated with the earliest days of !»nterbu-y, and will be respectfully relembered m Christchurob. as long as (be laihedral stands. For the doceasad's coneetioa with this Provincial dUtriot dated ■om even before the memorable arrival of le "first four ships," and to his musiSbdob ib due (be crowning glory o£ the athedrel — the tower and bells. Mr R. H. Rhodes was born at Botherbam, l Tork'hire, m the year when the battle f Waterloo brought to a olofle the trelendous struggle which had bo long been raging m the Mother Country against he Empire of the first Napoleon | a eriod so remote that it seems almost to aye ceased to belong to modern history. le followed agricultural pursuits m England ill tome time after he had attained the years f manhood, when he emigrated to Australia, rhere he remained, principally m Bydney, for ime eight or nino years. The spirit of enterrise then induced him to go still further -field, and he came to New Zealand at the nd of 1843 or beginning of 1849. He at nee settled at Purau, or Rhodes' Bay, the aine by which it soon came to be known, nd set himself to battle with all the diffi-' ulties attending the early colonist's life. lia Bnccess soon emboldened him to extend is operations, and with one of bia rothers, George, he laid the foundations of he settlement of Tiinara. They were the rst to take stock to Ihe south of the tangitata, and their estate, the Levels, soon ecame known for its thriving condition, n conjunction with another brother, William larnard, of Wellington, deceased took np large quantity of land m Canterbury, ins forming another firm of Rhodes Bros. In the death of George, m 1854, the managelent of the Tory large estates of the various rms devolved upon Robert, who by his unring energy, careful thrift, and keen foreight made skilful use of the opportunities forded him of increasing his already coniderable wealth, sni rapidly acquired aditional runs and freehold property. Nor did c confine himself to Canterbury, but his otsessions included some large estates m tho 'rovincial dittriot of Hawke's Bay. While bus devoting himself to agricultural and lastoral pursuits he was not negleotful of ther speculations, Rnd his name appeared on be lists of shareholders of many colonial ompanies. On leaving Purau, he cams to eside at Fapanui, and while " Elmrood " was being built, occupied tho house ,f the Hon. J. T. Peacock. At Papanui he levoted himself to increasing the ralue of rhat wrb then known fl» Rhodes' swamp-, but s now tbe Marshland estate, on the Canal leserve, near Horseshoe Lake. In draining his land, he expended, it is believed, somehing like £SCOO, besides giving his time, ,nd frequently his personal labor, to the fork. Though, from what has been said, it would ,ppear that a man so occupied with pushing lis fortune could have but little leisure o devote to politics, and though the ■ecent comer to Canterbury has heard io mention of the name of Rhodes m eonlection with any publio movement, yet a eference to the past political history of Canterbury shows that Mr R. H. Rhodes tos as active m political as he was n social life. In the first Provincial Jounoil of Canterbury he was chosen to rnjresent Akaros, and though his return, with hat of bis colleague, Mr Aylmer, was petitioned agninßt as soon as the Council sal, tho elections wore declared valid on October 20th, L 853. For ten years the name of Rhodes ippears m almost every division recorded m the journals of the Council, and m addition » thus fulfilling his duties as an ordinary member, he also for a time was one of the Provincial Execntive during the Superintenjency of Mr W. S. Moorhonse. Akaroa also returned him as her representative m tho General Assembly daring the fifth Parliament of New Zealand, and the years 1871, 1872, and 1873 saw him as indefatigable m the more elevated post of member of tho House of Representatives as ho had been m tbe less pretentious one of member of the Provincial Council. During the first year of his occupying his new position he had the satisfaction of seeing his brother, William Barnard, honored by being called to the Legislative Couucil. In 1878 severe illness attaokod him, and be was compelled Io resign his seat m the House, and, indeed, to seek restoration to health by visiting the Old Country, and trying tho effect of a residence on tbe Continent. He was absent from the colony about four years | and after his return, m 1878, took no further part m pnblio affairs, though his aotive mind found ample occupation m looking after the large estates he owned. But nia publio cervices word not ended | for to his munificence, as hai already been mentioned, the inhabitant! of Ohristchuroh owe the Cathedral toner and eight of tho ten hells hanging m it The other two bells were given by Mr E P. W. Miles, of the firm of Miles Bros, one Co., London, and the spire snrmountin| tbe tower is the gift of the children of Mi Qeo. Rhodes. These magnificent gifts removec from Obristohorch tha repraaoh to whioh sbi had been so long subjected, and the sneers o visitors were converted into expressions o admiration for what undoubtedly is th handsomest monumont yet eroded m Nei Zealand. The good example thus set hod th h»ppy efieot of arousing the somewha relaxed energies of other Churchmen, and th

work of building the Cathedral was resumed with cuch vigor that very coon afterwards sufficient wa> completed to allow the saored edifioe to be opnncd with the solemnity which will bB to well remembered by those who witnessed it. This noble instance of uncommon liberality on the part of one who was a remarkable example of the successful issues of self help, all tbo world knew, but the many acts of large-hearled benevolence whioh he praotieed were known but to those who were their recipients. He often gave a helping hand to the partners m some of hiß large concerns, who but for such nssistance would probably have been ruined ; and the publio acknowledgment of suoh genuine kindness has ere now been made m this City. Mr R. H. Rhodes married, m 1858, the sister of Mr E. C. Latter, and Ira7es three eons aud four daughters. The two eldest sons are receiving a University education m England, and the eldest daughter was married m 1879 to Mr W. A. Willes. The deceased had suffered from a painful illnots extending over more than ten years, hut his end was somewhat unexpected, as he had been seriously ill for only % few days. He expired early on Sunday morning. He is to be buried to morrow m the Papanui Church of England cemetery. To-night tho bells of the Cathedral will ring a muffled peal, and to-morrow tho passing bell will be tolled during tho funeral.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/THD18840604.2.21

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY., Timaru Herald, Volume XL, Issue 3025, 4 June 1884

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1,199

OBITUARY. Timaru Herald, Volume XL, Issue 3025, 4 June 1884

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