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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. George Warren Russell

Mr. George Warren Russell, J.P., and Member of the House of Representatives for Riccarton, was born in London in 1854, arrived in Tasmania when an infant with his parents, and came to New Zealand in 1865. For some years he resided in Invercargill, where he entered the office of the “Southern News” as a lad, and removing to Wellington, joined the staff of the “Evening Post,” where he served an apprenticeship as a compositor. Subsequently, Mr. Russell became a probationer for the Wesleyan Church ministry, and was stationed, successively, at Gisborne, New Plymouth, and Hokitika. Disapproving of the itinerant system, and through a change of views, Mr. Russell retired from the Church without ordination, and joined the staff of the “Wellington Chronicle” as sub-editor. Subsequently, with his brother John, he established the “Manawatu Herald” at Foxton, and afterwards bought the “Manawatu Times” at Palmerston North. Mr. Russell, subsequently, removed to Cambridge in the Waikato, where he established the “Waikato News.” Having sold his interest in this journal, he removed to Christchurch, and became senior partner in the firm of Russell and Willis, in Cathedral Square; this partnership existed till March, 1898, when, having purchased the “Spectator,” Mr. Russell retired from the firm. Several times Mr. Russell contested constituencies for a seat in Parliament before succeeding at Riccarton. His first contest was for the Foxton seat in 1881, when he was third on the poll out of six candidates, defeating Sir Walter Buller and Dr. Newman. In 1887 he unsuccessfully contested the Waikato seat against the Hon. J. G. Whyte. He was first returned for Riccarton in 1893. At the general election of 1896, Mr. Russell was defeated for Riccarton by the Hon. W. Rolleston, but he, in his turn, defeated that gentleman at the elections of 1899. As an author, Mr. Russell has published a manual of the “Duties of Life,” which is on the list of books that may be used in the Government schools of the Colony. This volume is intended to teach ethics, morality, and duty, without dogma, and is an attempt to bridge the distance between the purely secular system of education and the teachings of the Bible. Mr. Russell is a member of the Board of Governors of Canterbury College. He was married in 1879 to a daughter of Mr. G. M. Park, of Hokitika, and has a large family.

Standish and Preece, photo.Mr. G. W. Russell.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. G. W. Russell.