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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. Thomas Gapes

Mr. Thomas Gapes, J.P., who was Mayor of the City of Christchurch in 1894, was born in London, in 1848, and came to the colony with his parents in 1859 by the ship “Regina.” He was educated partly in England and partly in the Colony, and was associated with his father in business as glass and paint merchants. In 1889 Mr. Gapes took over the business on his own account,
Mr. T. Gapes.

Mr. T. Gapes.

page 109 and has since conducted it. Having through his family connections been associated with early pioneers of Canterbury it is natural that Mr. Gapes should take great interest in its politics, local and general, and in 1891, he made his entry into the City Council as a member, and shortly afterwards was elected Mayor. He has always taken an active part in matters of public interest, such as assisting in the erection of the memorial to the late Queen Victoria, the Bishop Harper memorial, and various relief funds, such as that connected with the wreck of the Wairarapa, which occurred while Mr. Gapes was Mayor. He was initiated a member of the Canterbury Masonic Lodge in 1886, and is also District Secretary of the Order of Foresters, of which he is a very old member. Mr. Gapes inaugurated the New Zealand Foresters' Guarantee Association, which has been financially an unqualified success, and he still retains the office of secretary. He was appointed by the Government as the first member of the Conciliation Board under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1894, and has sat continuously since. Mr. Gapes director of several building societies—namely, the Excelsior, Starr-Bowkett, etc., and also agent for the Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company, besides holding other important positions of trust. He was married, in 1876, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Prebble, of Christchurch, and has one daughter.