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H. W. Packer.

jEtat 59. As tliis nineteenth century draws to a close, many old Canterbury settlers drop off, leaving vacancies which can ill be filled. The latest of these sad occurences ' is the death of Mr Henry William Packer, ■who died peacefully this morning at his residence, Somerfield, near Cashmere, at the as;e of fiftynine. His death was brought about by heart disease, contracted during last Easter holidays. From this he has never thoroughly recovered, but it only confined him to his house during the past month, and to his bed only the last two weeks. Mr Packer was one of those men to whom Canterbury owes a great deal. He was never backward in assisting, to the best of his ability and to the extent cf his means, any movement which he deemed of use to the community ; in fact, few men have been so truly philanthropic in principle a3 he, and few have displayed that largeness of heart and charity which he did. The deceased gentlemen arrived here on March 31, 1857, in the ship Travancore, which brought a number of good Colonists to the shores of Canterbury; His father, Mr Richard Packer, resided at Clavcrton, near Bath, but elected to come to this Colony to better his position, and being soon employed as Church Steward here, he proved himself the right man in the right place. Mr H. W. Packer, then a young man of twenty, was first engaged in assisting his father, but he subsequently started in business for himself as a brewer, by erecting and carrying on the Albion Brewery, on the site in Cashel street now occupied by the D.1.C., and which he subsequently sold to Messrs H. S. Brown, and Co. During this period Mr Packer had acquired that lovely estate on which he has resided ever since, and when he sold the brewery he retired to it. He devoted himself since then to the management of his numerous town and country properties. Mr Packer was a consistent supporter of and active worker in music from the firtt. A capital player of the cornet, his services were always willingly given at any concert, oratorio, or other performance, and he personally conducted the Cecilia Harmonic Society during a great portion of the time that the Society existed. He also took a lively interest in the formation and. management of the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry when it was first started, and was elected the first Captain of the Coipa, which office he held for a numuer of years. The once useful Benevolent Aid Society almost owed its existence to Mr Packer's energy, and during its term o£ existence there wai no mcr; regular attendant at its meetings, and certainly no more liberal donor than he. A thorough Churchman and regular attendant at its services, Mr Packer for years represented the Sydenham parish on the Diocesan Synod, only resigning the position when, in 1883, he left here on a lengthened visit to the Old Country. During that time Mr Packer was one of the members of the Board of Church Property Trustees, and attended zealously to those duties, which his business-like habits and general determination of character rendered the more valuable to the Synod. Mr Packer has often been asked to allow himself to be nominated for Parliament, but has always steadily declined to have anything to do with politics, though his advice on many important public questions has always been cheerfully given. He leaves a widow and seven daughters to mourn his loss, and it may be noted that his funeral will leave Somerfield on Monday afternoon for the Barbadoes street Church of England Cemetery.

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Bibliographic details

H. W. Packer., Star, Issue 6989, 18 October 1890

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H. W. Packer. Star, Issue 6989, 18 October 1890