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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. Arthur Alfred Smith

Mr. Arthur Alfred Smith, who was well known for about thirty years as the Officer in Charge of the Immigration Barracks in Christchurch, was born in 1830 at Vauxhall, Surrey. He was educated at the national schools in Stockwell, and brought up as a candle manufacturer. Mr. Smith arrived in Lyttelton in the ship “Roman Empire” in 1860, and joined the police force, in which he became sergeant, and was placed in charge of the Immigration Barracks, from which position he did not retire till 1892. It is estimated that at least 20,000 immigrants passed through the barracks during Mr. Smith's term of office. He was married in 1854 to a daughter of Mr. Richard Atkins, of Vauxhall, Surrey, and has seven sons and one daughter.