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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Auckland Corporation

Auckland Corporation.

In virtue of an Act passed by the Parliament of New Zealand in the session of 1900, municipal elections, under altered conditions, were held throughout the Colony in April, 1901.

At that date the membership of the Auckland City Council—see pages 116–121 of this volume for its previous constitution—became constituted anew as follows: Dr. Legan Campbell, Mayor; and Messrs Alfred Kidd, F. E. Baume, Charles Grey, T. T. Masefield, J. H. Hannan, Peter Dignan, C. J. Parr, James Stichbury, John Court, John Patterson, H. T. Garrett, J. W. Hewson, A. E. Glover, J. T. Julian, and Arthur Rosser, councillors.

Dr. Logan Campbell became Mayor under exceptional circumstances. He was elected as the man most worthy to fill the office during the visit of their Royal Highnesses the
White Terraces, Tarawera.

White Terraces, Tarawera.

page 1015 Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, and at the written request of thousands of citizens he agreed to stand for election, on the distinct understanding that he should be at liberty to
Hanna, photo.Dr. J. L. Campbell.

Hanna, photo.
Dr. J. L. Campbell.

withdraw into private life after the Royal visit was over, and that the ordinary routine work of the Mayor's office should be supervised by a deputy-mayor. On these conditions he was elected on the 24th of April, 1901, when he received 3517 votes. He was installed on the 8th of May, the day on which his predecessor, Mr. David Goldie, retired after two years and a half of office. Later on Mr. Alfred Kidd was elected to fill the position of deputy-mayor. When the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York reached auckland on the 11th of June, Dr. Logan Campbell, as first citizen and chief magistrate of Auckland, did the honours of the occasion with a fine old-world courtesy worthy of the city and its Royal guests. He further signalised the event by presenting to the people of New Zealand, through the Duke of Cornwall, 230 acres of land, a part of the beautiful estate of One-tree Hill, with a request that it might be known as Cornwall Park. In a memorandum attached to the deeds, which were dated the 10th of June, 1991, Dr. Campbell said: “I sign this deed of gift on the sixty-first anniversary of the year I left the Maori village of Waiomu, on the shores of Hauraki Gulf, and entered the primeval forest to carve with my axe the canoe in which afterwards I made my way to the Island of Motu Korea, my first home in the Waitemata. Since that day it has been my fortune to be at the foundation of the colony of New Zealand, to watch with deepening interest and affection the growth of my adopted country, and to share as well its struggles and its vicissitudes and its now well founded and increasing prosperity. Superintendent of the Province of Auckland in 1855, member of the Ministry formed when a Responsible Government replaced the older system of Provincial administration, to me now, as chief magistrate of Auckland, has fallen the honour of presenting our city's welcome to is Royal Highness the Duke of Cornwall and York. Thus has my whole life been not merely co-extensive, but in closest association with the development of this city and colony. As an abiding memorial of the deep gratitude and warm affection I bear to this, the country of my adoption, I have therefore desired to present Cornwall Park to be a place of public resort for the recreation and enjoyment of the people of New Zealand. The visit of their Royal Highnesses affords, I have thought, a fitting occasion for the presentation of this gift, which I now make with no other desire than that the park may be of real and lasting benefit to the people whose prosperity I have shared, among whom I have lived for sixty-one years.”

Some time after the Royal visit—namely, on the 25th of July—Dr. Campbell resigned office as Mayor. In accepting the resignation and placing upon record the salient circumstances of Dr. Campbell's tenure of office, the City Council very specially referred to the gift of Cornwall Park, and expressed its assurance that “future generations of citizens, in enjoying the benefits to arise from the public use of that great estate, would recall with grateful affection the memory of John Logan Campbell, and would justly appreciate the magnificent gift by the ‘Father of Auckland’ to the people of these islands of New Zealand.” When acknowledging this resolution of the Council, Dr. Campbell said: “I rejoice to think that Cornwall Park is worthy of all you have said; but it is a still greater joy to me that I have been able to fulfil my life ambition. Again and again, amidst the changing fortunes of my later years, there have been times when I have seen hopes long cherished elude my grasp. Yet in the end success has come, and in giving the park to the public, I have lived to receive the crowning happiness of my life. Fortune placed it in my power to obtain One Tree Hill estate at a time when an area so large could be purchased, and yet happier fortune has enabled me to keep the property intact, and finally to devote it to the end for which it was from the first designed. I will venture to hope that the purpose of Cornwall Park will be attained, that it will be found a much-needed retreat from the busy cares of city life; that the surpassing beauty of its scenery will stimulate communion with nature, and that this communion will steadily administer to an increasing love of purity and beauty, and held—as, if properly enjoyed, it most surely will help—to educate in the people a character consonant with the highest civilisation.”

Such are the chief points in the history of the most interesting mayoralty hitherto connected with the city of Auckland. The portrait here given represents Dr. Logan Campbell in his robes of office. Dr. Campbell is referred to at page 40 of this volume as one of the Superintendents of the Province of Auckland, and at other places in other capacities.

In consequence of the retirement of Dr. Logan Campbell, the City Council, at a special meeting held on the 30th of July, elected Councillor Alfred Kidd, the deputy-mayor, to be Mayor of Auckland, in terms of the thirty-fifth clause of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1900. An article on Mr. Kidd appears on page 117 of this volume. Through Mr. Kidd's election as Mayor, one of the councillorships became vacant, and Mr. J. McLeod was elected by the citizens to the position on the 21st of August, 1901.