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THE LATE MR BALFOUR.

We take the following from the Timaru Herald, Dec. ,22:— Mr James M. Balfour, the Colonial Marine i Engineer of this colony, who unfortunately i met with his death by the upsetting of a boat on Saturday last, was a man whom it will .not be. easy to replace. Mr Balfour arrived at Timaru on Wednesday last for the purpose of inspecting the harbour works now iv course of building here, and at that time i proposed remaining until Monday, andi then going overland to Christchurch, on his way ! to Wellington. He received, however, a telegram on Thursday, announcing the death of his friend Mr Paterson, by drowning, and *, determined to proceed to Dunedin on Satur- : day to attend the funeral and look after his ' deceased friend's affairs, being, we believe, I an executor under his will. On Saturday, I about two o'clock, he had an interview with j the Timaru and Gladstone Board of Works, and soon afterwards left the shore for the steamer Maori. He who went out in the enjoyment of health and strength, and who hai written for this journal a few kindly words on the career of his friend, little | thought that some other kindly hand would L be called upon in the very next issue to f record the end of his own earthly career.

Such is life ! The two engineers who were associated together in life are now associated in death; and both killed by the very elements with which they were waging war for the security of the lives of their fellow-men. The one a bridge engineer, drowned by a rapid torrent; and the other a marine engineer, destroyed by a tempestuous sea. Mr Balfour was, we believe, about 39 or 40 years of age, and was educated at the High School, Edinburgh, and then became a pupil of Stevenson, the great Scottish lighthouse and marine engineer, to whom he was also brother-in-law. He became a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers. After great experience in Britain, he left in 1863 , for Otago under a two years' engagement, at t £1000 a year, expenses out and home. Mr Balfour came out in the Matoaka, and was accompanied by his wife. He arrived somewhere about the same time as Mr Paterson, road engineer, Mr Campbell, Principal of the High School, and Dr Hector, geologist, ali of whom came out under special engagements to the Provincial Government of Otago. Out of the four eminent men introduced into thi3 colony in the rich and pa'my days of Otago, one only remains, three having shared a like fate — death by drowning. Mr Balfour soon undertook important works after his arrival, which now remain as monuments of his genius. He built the Dog Island lighthouse, prepared plana for the Dunedin water works, and for light-houses at Mana, Farewell Spit, and Cape Campbell. He had also in hand the construction of the dry dock at Port Chalmers, works at the i Timaru harbour, and numerous other works in different parts of the colony. In 1866 he l was offered the appointment which he held I up to the time of his sad death. In manner, Mr Balfour was one of the ! most pleasant and agreeable men to be met j with. He was esteemed by all who knew him, and loved by those intimate with him. He was kindly beyond measure to those ! under him, and was honourable and honest in his profession beyond doubt. He had a fund of professional knowledge at his fingers' ends, which was ever at the service of his professional brethren. His friends have lost a brother, and New Zealand bas been deprived I of the services of a man, taking him all in all, which she will not be able to replace — liequiescat in pace.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TS18691229.2.12

Bibliographic details

THE LATE MR BALFOUR., Star, Issue 503, 29 December 1869

Word Count
638

THE LATE MR BALFOUR. Star, Issue 503, 29 December 1869

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