Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Mr. John Duthie

Mr. John Duthie became a Member of Parliament in 1890, when he was elected to the House of Representatives for the City of Wellington, being less than fifty votes behind Mr. George Fisher, who was on that occasion returned as the head of the poll, and nearly three hundred ahead of Mr. T. Kennedy Macdonald, who scored third place. Three years later Mr. Duthie was re-elected by a majority clnearly a thousand votes over Mr. Macdonald, who headed a long list of unsuccessful candidates, the other winning candidates being Sir Robert Stout and Mr. H. D. Bell, who occupied first and second places respectively. This was the first election under the Female Franchise Act. Few if any politicians are more generally respected than Mr. Duthie. Of course, a large number fail to see with him, eye to eye, on all points; but very many of them are nevertheless glad to repose in him their confidence, having the utmost faith in his integrity, sound financial ability, and influence in the House. Men of Mr. Duthie's class are scarce in the present Parliamene, and will become scarcer under the system of government by party. They are needed there, however. The Opposition being numerically weak, it is of the utmost importance that they be individually strong. Mr. Duthie and his colleagues have arduous duties to perform, and it is a matter of satisfaction that they are equal to their performance. The subject of this sketch was born in Kintore, Aberdeen, and educated at the Aberdeen Grammar School. There, too, he was apprenticed to the ironmongery with Messrs. Glegg and Thompson. Having completed his term, Mr. Duthie was for some years travelling in Scotland and Ireland for a Sheffield house. Coming to New Zealand in November, 1863, per ship “Helvellyn,” he landed in Auckland, and for some time acted as traveller for Messrs. Cruickshank, Smart and Co., ironmongers. About 1866 Mr. Dutbie removed to New Plymouth and started in business; about two years later extending the operations to Wanganni, where he opened a branch and conducted a growing trade for many years. In 1879 he came to Wellington, and started the large business (now John Duthie and Co., Limited), which is described at length elsewhere in the Cyclopedia, Until 1887 or 1888, Mr. Duthie retained an interest in the Wanganui business which he then disposed of to his partner, Mr. James Thain (now James Thain and Co., referred to under Wanganui ironmongers). The subject of this notice has always been ready to give his time and business capacity for the benefit of the public. While a resident of Wanganui, he was at one time chairman of the Harbour Mr. John Duthie page 262 Board. Since coming to the Empire City he has been a member of the Wellington Harbour Board for a considerable time, was chairman of that body for a term, and is a past-president of the Chamber of Commerce. He was also president of the Caledonian Society for some years. Mr. Duthie was in 1888 elected Mayor of Wellington without opposition. Besides these offices, he has held many others of lesser note. He has been largely interested in local commercial institutions. As one of the directors of the Gear Meat Company from the commencement, he did good service, and for two years was Chairman of Directors. As a Member of the House of representatives, Mr. Duthie is an indefatigable worker, seldom absent from his place, and his ability as a shrewd man of business enables him to bestow an intelligent consideration on all subjects that come before the House