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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Mr. William Aitken

Mr. William Aitken, Old Colonist, was one of the worthiest and kindliest men that ever breathed. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1826, educated at the Glasgow High School, and brought up to business with the firm of Boyd and Son, calico printers, Glasgow. In 1854 he arrived in Sydney, New South Wales, and in the year following came on to Auckland in the brig “Moa.” Shortly after his arrival he entered business as a land and estate agent, and personally he invested so largely in real estate that he became the owner of more than 150 properties in the provincial district of Auckland. Mr. Aitken was a quiet man, and took no public part in politics or municipal affairs, but he was very charitable, and subscribed generously to worthy objects and institutions. He offered to present General Booth with 7000 acres of land in the Kaipara district as a settlement for the industrially unsuccessful members of Anglo-Saxon society. Mr. Aitken was a member of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, a trustee of the Auckland Savings Bank, and a vice-president of the Auckland Club. He was never married, but he took upon himself the care of the widow and family of his brother Alexander, who had accompanied him from Glasgow, and died shortly after his arrival in New Zealand. Mr. William Aitken died at his residence, “Rockwood,” Mount Eden, Auckland, on the evening of the 1st of July, 1901.