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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. John Anderson

Mr. John Anderson, who was Mayor of Christchurch in 1869, and a well-known figure for many years, was born at Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, 1831, and apprenticed to the blacksmith's trade at an early age. He attended and studied hard at evening classes, and gained a diploma and medal from the School of Art. On the for mation of the Canterbury Association, he became one of the pioneers of the settlement, and arrived in the “Sir George Seymour,” one of the “first four ships.” Soon after his arrival, Mr. Anderson established a blacksmith's shop on the plains, “amidst fern, flax, and tussock,” not far from the site of the present Barbadoes Street bridge. A few years later he bought the section extending from Cashel to Lichfield Streets, on which has since been erected the Canterbury Foundry, now conducted by his sons. This was the first foundry in the provincial district, and it has often been styled the pioneer of the engineering industry in New Zealand. Mr. Anderson was a member of the first town board, and was also the second mayor of the city. He was one of the promoters of the New Zealand Shipping Company, and continued to be a director till within three months of his death, which occurred on the 30th of April, 1897. Mr. Anderson was also a director of the Christchurch Gas Company, and the Alliance Insurance Company, and was at one time president of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Lyttelton Harbour Board, and chairman of the first licensing committee page 106 He was prominent in connection with the Presbyterian Church, and for many years a trustee of properties belonging to that body in Christchurch. Mr. Anderson retired from business in favour of his sons some years before his death.