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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. Rookwood Comport Bishop

Mr. Rookwood Comport Bishop, J.P., F.I.A.N.Z., Secretary of the Christchurch Gas Company, is one of the very early settlers of Canterbury, having arrived with his father, the late Mr. C. W. Bishop, in 1850 in the ship “Charlotte Jane,” the first of the now historical “four ships” which brought the first “pilgrim fathers” to Lyttelton. Born in 1847, at Bermondsey, London, the subject of this notice was educated at Christ's College, and was brought up to mercantile life in Australia. He was engaged with a land and estate agent and surveyor, had a seven years' experience on the West Coast diggings, and was for some time in the Justice Department. Mr. Bishop returned to Christchurch in 1872, and joined his father in business as an accountant and commission agent. The late Mr. Bishop was secretary to the Christchurch Gas Company from its inception until his death, when Mr. R. C. Bishop succeeded to the position, which he still holds. He was a member of the Christchurch City Council for Northeast Ward for a number of years. As a resident of New Brighton, he took an active part in promoting the incorporation of his district into a borough, and was elected its first mayor, being returned unopposed for a second term at the end of 1897. Mr. Bishop has also been an active Volunteer both on the West Coast and in Christchurch. At the age of eighteen he was sergeant in the original No. 2 Rifle Corps. After his return to Christchurch, he was captain of the City Guards, from which he retired after many years' service. Mr. Bishop has taken a very active interest in page 348 the Industrial Association of Canterbury, as member of the committee, vice-president, and as president. He has been president of the Linwood Football Club, was formerly president, and is now vice-president, of the Richmond Swimming Club, New Zealand Cyclists' Touring Club, New Brighton Tennis Club, and president of the Christchurch Cycle Club. As a member of the craft he was initiated in the Westland Kilwinning Lodge, and is now attached to Lodge St. Augustine No. 4, N.Z.C., in which he has filled the various chairs, was president of the Canterbury board which was instrumental in bringing into force the New Zealand constitution; is past senior warden of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, and past president of the Board of Benevolence. Mr. Bishop was one of the original members of the Incorporated Institute of Accountants of New Zealand, of which he is a Fellow.