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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Mr. James McRoberts Geddis

Mr. James McRoberts Geddis, of the Hansard staff, was born in Belfast, Ireland, and arrived with his parents in Auckland in 1864. Before he was thirteen years of age he had entered the office of the New Zealand Herald, and, having shown some expertness in the reading of manuscript, soon attained to the position of assistant reader, and in his eighteenth year became junior reporter. At the beginning of 1878 he left the Herald to accept a situation as reporter on the Dunedin Evening Age, which was then being edited by Mr. A. W. Hogg, now M.H.R. for Masterton, and, after working for thirteen months on that paper hs was offered and accepted the position of chief reporter of the Auckland Star. In the beginning of 1888 Mr. Geddis wrote for that monumental work “The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia” nearly the whole of the letterpress devoted to New Zealand, his share embracing a history of the Maori wars from Heke's war onward and also the whole of the descriptive account of the Colony. In June, 1888, a vacancy having taken place on the Hansard staff, Mr. Geddis was selected by the Reporting and Debates Committee from a number of candidates to fill the vacant position, and accordingly severed his long connection with the Star. During the recess of 1889 he visited the South Sea islands and embodied his impressions in a series of articles entitled “The Summer Isles of Eden,” which he contributed to the New Zealand Herald. In the recess of 1891 he was employed as secretary and shorthand writer to the Native Land Laws Commission.