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Past and Present, and Men of the Times.

Mr. William Watson

Mr. William Watson, President of the Bank of New Zealand, was born at Albany, Sutherlandshire, in 1846. He entered the service of the Caledonian Bank as a junior at its Bonar Bridge Branch in 1864, and after serving there the usual three years, left it to acquire some knowledge in a merchant's office in Inverness, whilst waiting for an appointment to the service of the Oriental Bank Corporation. Early in 1868 he joined the latter bank in London, where he spent five years qualifying for service in the East, to which be was afterwards appointed. His principal business experiences in the East were gained in Ceylon and China, he having risen to be manager of the bank at Shanghai. On the liquidation of the Oriental Bank, Mr. Watson helped in China to found the New Oriental Bank, but resigned from that service after a few months, as he did not approve of their methods of business. In 1886 he became Inspector of the Colonial Bank of New Zealand, which position he held until appointed to the presidency of the Bank of New Zealand in October, 1894.