Mr. James Bellringer,
J.P., was first elected a member of the Borough Council of New Plymouth in 1879, and was Mayor from 1889 till 1893. During the term of his Mayoralty, the jubilee of the province occurred, and Mr. Bellringer took a very active part in making the celebration a thorough success. A great many improvements were effected in the borough during his term of office. On his retirement from civic life, he was presented with an illuminated address in recognition of his services, and a group of the portraits of his fellow councillors. Mr. Bellringer was born in 1837 at Wrantage near Taunton, Somersetshire, England, where he was educated, and served his time with a leading firm of plumbers and painters, in whose employment he remained seven years. In 1857 he arrived in Auckland in the ship “Spirit of Trade,” and shortly afterwards settled in New Plymouth. He served through the Taranaki war with the 65th Regiment, and afterwards joined the Taranaki Bush Rangers, with whom he saw some active service. On the conclusion of the war he received the Imperial medal in recognition of his services. About 1865, he successfully established himself in Devon Street as a painter and decorator. Mr. Bellringer was a thoroughly representative colonist, and always took a very prominent part in public movements for the welfare of the district. He was for several years chairman of the New Plymouth school committee, chairman of the Fitzroy school committee, and chairman of the Te Henui Road Board, and of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board. Mr. Bellringer was an active Freemason, and a Past Master in the Order; and was connected with the Oddfellows for over forty years. He was a corresponding secretary of the district for over twenty-two years, a member of Excelsior Lodge for over thirty-three years, and permanent secretary for seventeen years. Mr. Bellringer was married and left a family of seven sons and four
daughters, when he died, on the 11th of June, 1901. His son, Mr. J. T.
Bellringer, is Town Clerk of New Plymouth.