The Hon. Patrick Dignan
was known in Auckland as one of the oldest and earliest settlers. He was born in County Galway, Ireland, in 1814, and on attaining manhood emigrated to New South Wales in 1839. In June, 1841, he came to New Zealand in the brig “Sophia Pate,” and his name was associated with the political history of the Auckland province for over forty years. Mr. Dignan was elected a member of the first Auckland Provincial Council, and represented the Northern Division. He was a member of the Provincial Executive during the superintendency of Mr. Whitaker, also in the last years of Mr. John Williamson's superintendency, and during that of Sir George Grey, till the abolition of the provinces. He took an active part in inducing Sir George Grey to re-enter political life, and in 1879 the Grey
Ministry called him to the Upper House in recognition of his political services to the provinco. Mr. Dignan was a member of the first Harbour Board Commissioners. He was also one of the largest original shareholders of the Bank of New Zealand. Mr. Dignan was a director of the Auckland Gas Company at the time of his death, and interested himself in the progress of other local institutions;
besides filling other offices, he was a trustee of the Auckland Savings Bank. Mr. Dignan died somewhat suddenly on board the s.s. “Takapuna,” while on his way back to Auckland from Parliament on the 20th of October, 1894, at the advanced age of eighty years. He left a widow and a family of ten sons.