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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Mr. Thomas Julian

Mr. Thomas Julian represented South Ward in the City Council from 1891 till 1899. He was born in 1843 at Driffeld, Yorkshire, where his father, the late Mr. John Julian, had a good connection as a builder; he was educated at the national school, and learned his trade with his father. Going to London in 1866, he was soon promoted to be foreman for Messrs. George Trollope and Son, builders and contractors, and afterwards filled similar places with other prominent employers. On arrival in Auckland in 1883 by the s.s. “British Queen,” he immediately established himself as a builder and contractor. Among the more important residences erected in and around the city by Mr. Julian may be mentioned those of Sir William Fox, Mr. McCosh Clark, Colonel Burton, Mr. Nathan Harker, Mr. C. B. Stone, Mrs Geo. Taylor, Mr. H. B. Morton, and, last but not least, that of Mr. Thornton of Cambridge, whose splendid establishment cost upwards of £7,000. The principal business premises erected by him include a fine row of brick shops in Symonds Street, Mr. Arkel's brewery, the City Club Hotel, the fine block containing the Naval and Family Hotel, and Mr. Powley's model shirt factory. Mr. Julian's first step on the ladder of public life was that of director of the Horse Ferry Road Board school, London—a position which gave him an insight in educational matters generally. In politics, too, he was a hard worker at that time. He was a member of Mr. Herbert Gladstone's committee, when he stood for Middlesex in opposition to Lord George Hamilton. He was also active in the cause of Mr. John Morley and Sir Arthur Hobhouse as against Mr. W. H. Smith and Sir Charles Russell. As one of Mr. Charles Bradlaugh's captains, he took an active and prominent part in the demonstrations held in Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park in connection with the great Northampton struggle. Mr. Julian was a member of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners of London, and one of the few who cast in their lot with the Society's Manchester section, when the split occurred in the seventies. In the land of his adoption, Mr. Julian has done good work as a member of the City Schools Committee, the licensing committee, the streets and finance committees of the City Council, and as a representative of the City Council on the Harbour Board. He has constantly supported the thorough prosecution of city drainage, and was instrumental in getting the Howe and Napier Streets gully satisfactorily drained and filled in—a work which had long been neglected. He takes more than a passing interest in aquatics, and has been a vice-commodore of the Waltemata Boating Club and vice-president of the Auckland Swimming Club. He was married in 1879 to Miss Watts, daughter of Mr. George Watts, miller, of Bedfordshire. Mr. and Mrs. Julian, with their son and two daughters, reside at Remuera.