Past and Present, and Men of the Times.
The late Hon. William Barnard Rhodes
page 247 The late Hon. William Barnard Rhodes arrived in this colony in 1839, being here before the first of the New Zealand Company settlers. Previous to that period I made his acquaintance in New South Wales, where he made a great many friends, and was much respected for his genial, kindly disposition. Although many were recipients of his bounty the public knew little of his charitable deeds, his motto being, "Never to let his left hand know what his right hand did." The late honourable gentleman entered the East Indian service when very young, and remained at sea till twenty-six years of age. He then took up land in Australia. After a short time he became anxious to explore New Zealand and leaving a manager in charge of his property, he took charge of a whaling expedition, of which he was chief proprietor. The venture proved to be a profitable one. Mr. Rhodes was enabled to visit the various harbours of this colony. About two years was spent in this way, and during that time he made large investments in land in various parts of both islands, and through his great energy and enterprise became wealthy and prosperous. In 1839 the honourable gentleman made his home in Wellington, and became a most successful merchant and the owner of largo city properties, and was for nearly forty years a prominent colonist and politician, and much respected by all who knew him. The well-known residence "The Grange," beautifully situated on the brow of the Wadestown Hill, overlooking Wellington Harbour, is still occupied by Mrs. Rhodes, who is very active in all benevolent work, and takes great interest in all that will advance the social well-being of the city.