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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

Parliamentary — Mr. William Thomas Wood,


Mr. William Thomas Wood, Member of Parliament for Palmerston North, was first elected in the year 1902, when he defeated Mr. T. R. Hodder. He was again elected in 1905, when he won a memorable victory, defeating Mr. Fred Pirani by about 500 votes. Mr. Wood has always taken a keen interest in matters relating to public affairs and local government, was a member of the Borough Council for twenty-three years, and was mayor seven times. He is a member of the Wellington Harbour Board, representing an extensive district, including Palmerston North, Foxton, Feilding, Levin, Kairanga, Kiwitea, Pohangina, Oroua, Horowhenua, and Manawatu County; was a member of the Wanganui Education Board for three years; the first chairman of the Palmerston North High School Board of Governors, of which he is still a member; and for about fourteen years was chairman of the Campbell Street School. He has always taken a keen interest in the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, for one year was president, and is now a vice-president; for many years was president and vice-president of the Jockey Club, and is now a trustee; and has been for manyyears a member of the Licensing Committee. In the year 1880 Mr. Wood founded the first local lodge of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, and in 1899 was presented with a gold medal in recognition of his services; in 1883 he founded the first local lodge of Druids, was one of the promoters of the Caledonian Society, and in 1881 he was instrumental in organising the Friendly Society's Sports. Mr. Wood was born in Hobart, Tasmania, in June, 1854, and after leaving school he spent seven years at the black-smithing trade. He then came to New Zealand in the barque “Glencoe,” landed at Dunedin, and for a few years was engaged as manager under Messrs. Job Wain and Jerusalem Smith, contractors for the construction of the Port Chalmers-South railway. In 1875 he went to the West Coast and settled in Kumara, where he established himself in the blacksmithing business. While there he became personally acquainted with Mr. Seddon, and from that date until the death of the late Premier a close intimacy and warm friendship existed between them. In March, 1879, Mr. Wood removed to Palmerston North, and has since been continuously engaged in the blacksmithing business, which he established in the premises at the corner of Cuba and Rangitikei Streets. This business was conducted personally by Mr. Wood until 1900, since when he has left the practical management to his eldest son. In the year 1879 Mr. Wood married Miss Nelly Jolly, of Kumara, and has four sons and four daughters.

Bumting, photo,Mr. W. T. Wood.

Bumting, photo,
Mr. W. T. Wood.