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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. James Gapes

Mr. James Gapes, J.P., who was Mayor of the City of Christchurch in the years 1877 and 1881, and was ten years a member of the Council, was born at Saffron-Walden on the border of Essex and Herts, England, in 1822, and was educated there and in London. He was for twenty-two years employed by a large firm in the metropolis. While in London Mr. Gapes was intimately associated with the early pioneers of Canterbury, and took a very active part in the business of colonisation, especially in connection with the Canterbury settlement. He arrived at Lyttelton by the ship “Regina,” in 1859, and started in the glass and paint trade in Victoria Street, where he conducted the business for thirty years, and was ultimately joined by his son, Mr. Thomas Gapes, who took over the whole business in 1889. Mr. James Gapes was a member of the Christchurch Hospital Board for some time. He was initiated in Freemasonry in the Canterbury Lodge, and was an officer of the Order of Foresters for thirty-six years. Mr. Gapes was also a trustee of that Order and was attached to Court Star of Canterbury, in which he had passed the whole of the chairs. Mr. Gapes was a flautist of considerable skill, and played with the late Sir Cracroft Wilson, also a flautist, in nearly every oratorio concert given in the early days. Mr. Gapes was married, in 1843, to a daughter of the late Mr. Le Lean, and had four daughters and six sons. Mrs Gapes, who was greatly respected in the early days for her charitable disposition, died in 1888. Mr. Gapes died on the 22nd of October, 1899.

Standish and Preece, photo.Mr. J. Gapes.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. J. Gapes.