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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

Canterbury District Law Society

Canterbury District Law Society.

This Society, which is the oldest of the kind in New Zealand, was formed in October, 1868. On the 5th of that month, a meeting of the legal profession was held in Christchurch, present—Messrs W. S. Moorhouse, Porter, F. Slater, J. D. Bamford, Nalder senior, Cotterill, Duncan, J. S. Williams, W. Wynn Williams, Fereday, Harper, Nottidge, Cowlishaw, D'Oyley, Joynt, and Dr. Foster. Mr. T. S. Duncan was called to the chair. Resolutions as to the formation of the Canterbury Law Society were passed, also one moved by Mr. W. S. Moorhouse, that the foundation should be celebrated by a dinner, a celebration which has taken place annually ever since. This Society existed till March, 1878, when, in accordance with " the New Zealand Law Societies Act, 1869, Amendment Act, 1877," it was merged into a branch of the "New Zealand Law Society" for the Canterbury District, all on the roll in 1869 being admitted as members, while others had to stand election. From the starting of the Society in 1868 till his death, Mr. T. S. Duncan was the President. Besides the work which might ordinarily be supposed to fall to this Society, it has offered annually, since 1881, to all New Zealand, a gold medal and a certificate of honour to candidates, for special ability in passing their examination for admission as barristers and solicitors. These are only awarded where special ability calls for a special recognition, and the list of those who have gained them proves that they are impartially given to any part of the colony. In April, 1882, Mr. H. D. Andrews, of Nelson, received the gold page 103medal, and Mr. F. J. Stilling, of Palmerston South, and Mr. W V. Millton, of Christchurch, received certificates of honour as solicitors, no award being made to barristers. At the September 1882 examination, no awards to either class were made. In March, 1883, Messrs W. J. Byrne and F. O' B. Loughnan, both of Christchurch, received certificates as solicitors, no award being made to barristers. In August, 1883, Mr. J. Hay, M. A. L.L.B., of Christchurch, was awarded the gold medal for special ability shown in his pass examination for barrister being the first barrister to whom it has been awarded. Mr. W. C. McGregor, of Dunedin, received a solicitor's gold medal at the same time, and Mr. H. T. Halliwell, of Dunedin, and Mr. F. Kippenberger, of Christchurch, both solicitors, were awarded certificates. The roll of members of the Society includes nearly every barrister and solicitor in the district. From first to last, 70 names have been on the list.