Mr. William Thomas,
sometime of Victoria Street East and of Ponsonby, was born at Ludlow, Shropshire, England, in 1822. He was taught the trade of a stone cutter. In 1864 he came to New Zealand by the barque “Ballarat,” and landed at Auckland, where he remained about twelve months. Then he went to the Thames goldfields and had very in different success until 1867, when he and seven others took up the ground afterwards known as the Thames-Hauraki, and then as the “Queen of Beauty.” This proved a mine of wonderful richness, as Mr. Thomas received for his share £10,000. He then began to speculate in other parts of the field, and lost the greater part of the money which he had made
out of the “Queen of Beauty.” With the remains of his fortune, he returned to Auckland, and started business as a monumental mason. He carried the business on until 1894, when he retired with a respectable fortune, and relinquished the business to his two sons, Mr. William Thomas, and Mr. Samuel Thomas, who had always ably assisted him. This business they still carry on with increasing prosperity. Mr. Thomas died at his residence, through an attack of paralysis, after three weeks of illness, at the age of seventy-eight. He left a widow and a family of two sons and three daughters. Mr. Thomas always stood aloof from party strife and politics, but took a great interest in religious matters. He identified himself throughout his life with the Primitive Wesleyan body, and was a constant attendant at the little church in Ponsonby. He was accounted a most estimable citizen, doing his duty all through life, and died deeply lamented by all classes. Mr. Thomas celebrated his golden wedding on the 1st of January, 1900, and died in June of the same year.