The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
Alliance Assurance Company. The Head office of this society is in Christchurch. The Auckland branch of the company's business is in charge of Mr. B. Kent.
Mr. Bartholomew Kent, Manager for Auckland and Taranaki of the Alliance Assurance Company, has had a varied and valuable experience. He was born at Aycliffe, near Darlington, England, in 1852 and was educated at Staindrop, in Durham, the historic seat of the Dukes of Cleveland (Raby Castle). He entered the service of the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company, the first public railway in the world, which was opened on the 27th September, 1825. Three or four years later Mr. Kent accepted a position as accountant with Messrs. Jackson, Gill and Co., of the Imperial iron works at South Bank, Middlesborough. Being deeply interested in the manufacture of iron and steel from a scientific point of view, Mr. Kent, after two years with Messrs. Jackson. Gill and Co., sought and gained entrance into the Darlington iron and steel works where he made the most of a rare opportunity of gaining a thorough knowledge, theoretical and practical, in every department of that important business. It may be here remarked that even in this Colony, Mr. Kent's exceptional experience in the iron and steel trades has been exceedingly useful. A few years ago, he drew the attention of the directors of the Bank of New Zealand to a magnificent deposit of brown hematite ore in the Collingwood district, Nelson, and was requested by them to revisit the spot to report more fully on the estate and if in his opinion advisable, to make a practical test of the value of the ore as a marketable commodity. This he did, with the result that he worked 200 tons of ore, producing bar, sheet, rod, and horse-shoe iron of the highest quality. As evidence of Mr. Kent's experience, it may be mentioned that the Darlington iron and steel works, where he was in the position of assistant to the managing director, was the largest concern of its kind in Great Britain, the weekly output being not less than 2,500 tons of finished iron. After ten years in these works, Mr. Kent resigned to assume the secretaryship, with full managing powers, of the Skerne iron and engineering company, whose premises adjoined those of his former employers. Here he remained some four years, conducting a very large business. But at this time (1880) the iron and kindred trades in England were approaching their very worst condition. Many very large firms had liquidated and failed to pay even an appreciable dividend, and Mr. Kent's directors, determined at any rate to avoid bankruptcy, instructed him to continue the business in the hope of a revival of trade, just so long as the payment of twenty shillings in the pound remained an absolute certainty for all creditors. In 1882, Mr. Kent reported that the existence of the company under these conditions was no longer possible, prompt realizations of the assets verified his estimate, and the business was ceased without the loss of a penny by any creditor, though over a thousand men and boys were necessarily thrown out of employment. After a year's holiday, Mr. Kent decided to leave the Old Land, and in 1883 arrived in Christchurch per s.s. “Ionic.” Immediately on arrival he accepted an appointment with the Union Fire and Marine Insurance company, since purchased by the Alliance Assurance company, London, of which Baron Rothschild is president. While at Christchurch, Mr. Kent was an active member of the Richmond school committee, and took a very keen interest in all musical matters. He is a prominent and enthusiastic solo violinist, and has held the leadership in the orchestra of the Auckland Choral Society for a considerable period. In Masonry he belongs to Lodge Prince of Wales, having been initiated in Christchurch as a member of the Canterbury Lodge No. 1048. He represented the Chamber of Commerce on the Auckland Harbour Board, and did good service for two years; and has been a member of the council, vice-president and president of the chamber. Mr. Kent was president of the Executive Committee of the Auckland Exhibition in 1898. He is vice-president of the Auckland Athletic Club and of the Gordon Cricket Club. Mr. Kent was married in 1876 to Miss Mary Jane Sedgwick, daughter of the late Mr. James Sedgwick, relative of Professor Sedgwick, of Cambridge, and has four children.
The Australian Alliance Assurance Company (C. E. Palmer, district agent), Bank of New Zealand Buildings, Queen Street, Auckland; chief office for New Zealand, Wellington. This branch, which controls the provincial district of Auckland, was established about 1895.
Mr. Charles Edward Palmer, District Agent for the Australian Alliance, was born in Auckland in 1872. He served from 1889 to 1896 with the Victoria Insurance Company at Auckland, and after being also with the Sun Fire Office, he was appointed to his present position in 1899. Mr. Palmer is honorary secretary to the Auckland Marine Underwriters' Association.
Guardian Fire And Life Assurance Company, Limited. Agents, Messrs T. H. Hall and Co., merchants, 23 Queen Street, Auckland.
Imperial Fire Insurance Company. Agent, Mr W. H. Armstrong, solicitor, Vulcan Lane, Auckland.
Law, Union, and Crown Insurance Company, of London. Agents, Messrs A. S. Patterson and Co., grain merchants, Fort Street, Auckland.
The Liverpool And London And Globe Insurance Company (A. G. Buchanan, agent and attorney); agency for Auckland Provincial District, Shortland Street, Auckland. Head office, Liverpool; London office, Cornhill; chief office for the colonies, 62 Pitt Street, Sydney. This company's Auckland agency was opened about 1854 by the late Mr. James Buchanan, father of the occupant of the office in 1900. In 1859, Mr. John Buchanan, a brother, succeeded to the agency, and continued to act till January, 1900, when his nephew was appointed.
Mr. Arthur George Buchanan, Agent and Attorney in Auckland for the Liverpool and London and Globe Company, was born in Parnell, in 1864, and educated at the public school, Gisborne. He joined the staff of the Auckland office in January, 1880, and succeeded to the management on his page 297 uncle's retirement twenty years later. Mr. Buchanan, who is unmarried, takes no part in public affairs.
Mr. A. G. Buchanan.
London And Lancashire Fire Insurance Company. Agents, Messrs Henderson and Macfarlane, merchants, Fort Street, Auckland.
Magdeburg Fire Insurance Company. Agents, Messrs Cook and Gray, accountants, Mercantile Chambers, Queen Street, Auckland.
Manchester Fire Assurance Company. Agents, Messrs Baker Bros., Auctioneers, Shortland Street, Auckland.
North British And Mercantile Insurance Company; agency for Auckland Provincial District, Hobson's Buildings, Shortland Street. Chief agent and attorney, Mr. J. Hugo Harrop. Head office for the colonies, 41 Queen Street, Melbourne. This powerful Scottish company has invested funds exceeding £12,000,000.
Northern Insurance Company, Agents, Messrs Macky and Heather, Commerce Street, Auckland.
North German Fire Insurance Company. Office, 107 Queen Street, Auckland. Mr. J. St. Clair is the general manager of this company.
Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society. Agents, Messrs L. D. Nathan and Co., merchants, Shortland Street, Auckland.
Phœnix Assurance Company of London ; Auckland Branch, Shortland Street; Mr. Percy Butler, district manager for the provincial district of Auckland. Head office for New Zealand, Customs Street, Wellington. This company has been represented for many years in Auckland.
Mr. Percy Butler, District Manager of the Phoenix Fire Office at Auckland, was born at Wanganui in 1862. He was educated at the Auckland College and Grammar School, and served for several years in the Bank of New Zealand. In 1884 Mr. Butler went to Queensland, and joined the New Zealand Insurance Company at Brisbane, and served that company till 1891 in different parts of Australia and New Zealand. In that year he joined the Phoenix office in Wellington, under Mr. R. M. Simpson, and continued there till he took over the management at Auckland in 1897.
Royal Insurance Company (Auckland Branch, Mr. R. A. Lusher, local manager), 145 Queen Street, Auckland. Chief colonial office, Melbourne. This office has been represented in New Zealand since 1862.
Mr. Randall Alexander Lusher, Chief Agent of the Royal in Auckland, was born at Norfolk, England, in 1836. He was brought up as a tailor, and landed in Auckland in 1862. After four years of colonial experience, he joined the Telegraph Department, and was stationed in the country until 1868, when he was placed in charge of the Auckland office, and held the position till 1880, when he joined Mr. G. W. Jones, under the style of Jones and Lusher, as agents of the Royal Insurance Company. In 1885, Mr. Jones, having retired, Mr. Lusher became chief agent. He was married, in 1862, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Knight, of London, and sister to Sir Henry Knight, Lord Mayor of London, and has had three sons and two daughters. One of his sons, of the firm of Bowring and Lusher, was killed by an explosion on the reclamation at Auckland in 1895.
The Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation, which dates back to 1720, has its head office in New Zealand at Dunedin, where Mr W. A. Walton is attorney. The office for the provincial district of Auckland is at Halliday's Buildings, Shortland Street, and Mr. E. Wynn-Williams is district agent.
Sun Fire Office, established 1710. Mr. H. Rees George is district agent for Auckland; office, Fort Street.