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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]



Roslyn was formed into a municipality in 1878, and was divided into Sunnyside, Waverley, Kilgour, and Linden wards. It lies west of the city of Dunedin, from which it is divided by the Town Belt. In addition to being one of the most picturesque and healthy boroughs in Otago, Roslyn has a magnificent view of Dunedin and the harbour. The various steamers passing to and fro, and the yachts engaged in friendly rivalry in the harbour, are all within view of the residents, who can sit in their windows or garden summerhouses, and enjoy a parorama replete with colour, life, and interest. A large part of the Kaikorai Valley lies within the district, which includes in its local industries, the well known Roslyn Mills, with their hundreds of workers and ramous woollen goods. Roslyn has also a fellmongery, a furniture factory, and a factory for the manufacture of flock. The town has endowment reserves in the Waipori survey district, and others in the borough, which are let for grazing purposes; also a recreation reserve in the borough. There are Presbyterian, Baptist, and Wesleyan churches, and St. John's Anglican church, with its two affiliated chapels, St. Albans and the Church of the Good Shepherd. The Kaikorai and Wakari public schools are within the limits of Roslyn; and a public library, managed by trustees, and not under municipal control, is well patronised, and promises to grow into a larger institution. The local volunteer fire brigade, which is subsidised by the corporation, has a station house and a steam fire engine. The Kaikorai Brass Band, which recently won the first prize in the band contest, at Palmerston North, and the members of which gained most of the prizes allotted for individual performances, has its headquarters at Roslyn. Roslyn installed the first electric tramway service constructed in New Zealand; it operates along High Street, and has recently been extended into a portion of Maori Hill. There are also two cable tram services in operation, connecting Roslyn with the city. Roslyn is bounded on the north by the borough of Maori Hill; on the south and west by the county of Taieri; and on the east by Dunedin and the Town Belt.

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The Borough Of Roslyn has an area of 2,000 acres, and a population of 5,000; dwellings, 1,023; ratepayers, 1,019; rateable properties, 1,172. Its annual rateable value is £31,697. The general rate is 1s 6d in the £; lighting rate, 1 1/2d; and the sanitary rate, 3d in the £. On the 31st of March, 1903, the borough's assets amounted to £1,516 17s 9d; liabilities, £3,854 18s 3d. It has twenty-three miles of made streets. The first Mayor of Roslyn was Mr James Kilgour, who has been succeeded, successively, by Messrs A. H. Ross, N. Y. A. Wales, A. C. Begg, R. Chisholm, L. Kemnitz. D. Scott, A. Matheson, John Liddell, Robert Watson, and the present Mayor, Mr. Thomas Mackenzie, M.H.R. The present councillors are Messrs A. C. Begg, G. Calder, D. Dawson, T. Howard, J. Shuttleworth, J. Hunter, J. Wedderspoon, J. Sim, A. McMillan, D. Sutherland, A. Washer, J. H. F. Hamel, Mr. Charles Wedge is Town Clerk.

His Worship The Mayor , Mr. Thomas Mackenzie, M.H.R., was first elected Mayor of Roslyn in 1901. He is also a member of the Otago Education Board, Hosptal and Charitable Aid Board, and a member of the Hospital Trustees, treasurer of the High School Board of Governors, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Governor of the Imperial Institute, London, and president and vice-president of several local football and cricket clubs. Mr. Mackenzie was first elected to the House of Representatives in [gap — reason: illegible], for Clutha, and represented that district for nine years. In 1889 he was appointed a Commissioner by the New Zealand Government to proceed to England, and enquire into the produce trade; previous to that appointment he represented the New Zealand Government at the Sydney Centennial Celebrations. In 1896 Mr. Mackenzie again visited England, where, he remamed for three years, representing several colonial mercantile firms, chiefly in the wool and grain business, and during that time he exposed and stopped a good many frauds in connection with the New Zealand meat trade. On his return from the Old Country he was elected to represent Waihemo, in the House of Representatives, and at the last general election, in 1902, he was returned as member for Waikouaiti. He was a member of the Tariff Commission, Education Commission, and is chairman of the Extension of Commerce Committee, set up by the House of Representatives. As an explorer, Mr. Mackenzie has contributed a great deal of valuable information to the Government of this country. In 1885 he explored the Tautuku forest; in 1888 he explored the wild country between Milford Sound and the head of Lake Te Anau, and was associted with Mr. Quinton McKinnon, when that gentleman discovered the pass into that primeval and romantic region of New Zealand. In the same year Mr. Mackenzie had charge of the relief party that searched the Matterhorn mountains for Professor Mainwaring Brown, and at that time discovered a pass between Lake Manapouri and Hall's Arm on the West Coast. When Quinton McKinnon was lost, in 1891, Mr. Mackenzie had charge of the expedition that was sent out in search of that explorer, but they were unsuccessful in finding the body, although McKinnon's boat and equipments were found. Then, in 1894, when there were further explorations between Manapouri and Dusky Sound, three passes were discovered, and in 1896, Mr. Mackenzie went from the West Coast and completed those explorations; in connection with which he submitted maps and papers to the Government, with a description of the geology, flora and fauna of that absolutely unknown country, to most of the mountains, rivers and lakes of which he had given names. Mr. Mackenzie is the son of Mr. David Stewart Mackenzie, and was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1854. He arrived in New Zealand with his parents in 1858, in the ship “Robert Henderson,” and was educated in Dunedin. During his time he has followed many occupations, including commerce, bush farming, and surveying. Since 1886 he has been a prominent figure in public life. Mr. Mackenzie was married, in 1884 to a daughter of Mr. Charles Nantes, of Devonshire, England, and has a family of five sons and two daughters. His only brother is Assistant Surveyor-General, in charge of the Auckland land district.

Mr. T. Mackenzie, M.H.R.

Mr. T. Mackenzie, M.H.R.

Councillor Alexander Campbell Begg , J.P., has been a member of the Roslyn Borough Council at different periods since 1873. He is elsewhere referred to as a member of the Otago Harbour Board.

Councillor George Calder who was elected to the Roslyn Borough Council in 1903, is also a member of the Kaikorai school committee.

Councillor David Dawson , who was elected a member of the Roslyn Borough Council, in 1900, was born in Montrose, Scotland, in 1856, and came to New Zealand in 1883. He now carries on business as a jeweller and optician at 24 George Street. Mr. Dawson is also president of the Kaikorai Orchestral Society.

Councillor Thomas Howard was elected to the Roslyn Borough Council in 1903, and is a member of the Lighting Committee. Mr. Howard is also a member of a special committee which was organised to find ways and means of carrying out several important works in the borough.

Councillor Joseph Shuttleworth was elected to the Roslyn Borough Council in 1900, and is a member of the Works and Finance Committees.

Councillor Joseph Hunter was appointed Deputy-Mayor of Roslyn in April, 1903, and has been a member of the Borough Council since 1897. Mr. Hunter is a member of the Works and Roads Committees.

Councillor John Wedderspoon was elected to the Roslyn Borough Council in 1897, and is a member of the Works Committee. Mr. Wedderspoon was born in Edinburgh in 1838, and was brought up on his uncle's farm at Trinitygask, and educated at the parish shool of that district. He served an apprenticeship to the wheelwright and joinery trade in Perth and Glasgow, and remained in the latter city for seven years. In 1860 he came to Port Chalmers by the ship “Pladda,” and after a considerable time spent in working for various contractors, he accepted, in 1872, the position of factory manager with Messrs Findlay and Co. (now J. Murdoch and Co.), and has remained with that firm ever since. Mr. Wedderspoon is a life director of the Dunedin Caledonian Society, of which he has been president and vice-president. As a bowler, he is an active member of the local Caledonian Bowling page 413 Club and has also filled the offices of president and vice-president of that body. He was married in Glasgow, and has, surviving, a family of two sons and two daughters.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Councillor J. Wedderspoon.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Councillor J. Wedderspoon.

Councillor James Sim , who was elected to the Roslyn Borough Council in 1889, is a member of the Lighting Committee.

Councillor Alexander Mcmillan was elected to the Roslyn Borough Council in 1901. He is a member of a Special Committee, and was formerly on the Works and Finance Committee. Mr. McMillan was a member of the Ravensbourne Borough Council for a number of years. He was born in Inverness-shire, Scotland, in 1850, and arrived in New Zealand by the ship “Alpine,” in 1859. He received most of his education in Dunedin, chiefly at Mr. Livingston's school, and was apprenticed to the painting trade, with Mr. H. S. Fish in 1866. After twelve years with Mr. Henry Walden, oil and colour merchant, he accapted the position of traveller for Mr. Andrew Lees, painter and decorator, and oil and colour merchant, and remained with that gentleman for ten years, acquiring considerable knowledge. In 1900, Mr. McMillan established himself in business as a painter, paperhanger, etc., in St. Andrew Street, where he keeps an up-to-date assortment of all painters' requisites. His private address is Littlebourne road, Roslyn. He was married, in 1875, to a daughter of Mr. George Cradduck, of Maidstone, Kent, England.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Councillor A. mcMillan.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Councillor A. mcMillan.

Councillor David Sutherland was elected to the Roslyn Borough Council in 1902. He was born in Elgin, Scotland, in 1849, and was educated at Invergordon and Tain. He was brought up to farming, and came to New Zealand in 1873, in the ship “Dover Castle.” For nine years after his arrival, Mr. Sutherland was engaged in farming and contracting, in the Taieri district, but in 1899 he opened his present business as a grain and produce merchant in High Street Roslyn. Mr. Sutherland was married, in 1884, to a daughter of Mr. F. McIver, and has three sons and two daughters.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Councillor D. Sutherland.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Councillor D. Sutherland.

Councillor Alfred Washer was elected to the Roslyn Borough Council in 1902, and is a member of the Lighting, Works, and Finance Committees. Mr. Washer is elsewhere referred to in the Military Section of this volume.

Councillor John H. F. Hamel was elected to the Roslyn Borough Council in 1903, and is a member of various sub-committees. Mr. Hamel is secretary of the Otago Chess Club.

Mr. Charles Wedge , Clerk to the Roslyn Borough Council, has occupied that position since 1882. Before coming to the colony, in 1880, Mr. Wedge was a mine manager and surveyor in the Old Country.