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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]

Mr. Henry Duncan

Mr. Henry Duncan . J.P., is the only surviving son of the late Mr. John Duncan. He was born at Sneddon, near Paisley, Scotland. came to New Zealand with his parents in the “Mooltan.” and was educated at Dunedin. In those days the young colonial had to tackle hard work at an early age. and when a little over fourteen Mr. Duncan was engaged in carting firewood in and around the city, and carted it with the primitive bullock and dray. On the breaking out of the Gabriel's Gully rush, Mr. Duncan was the first to take a load of provisions into the goldfield, He subsequently started dealing in cattle and horses, and was also engaged in road contracting and in bridge building. After some years spent in these occupations. Mr. Duncan started butchering, and carried on the business for eighteen months. Subsequently he became engaged in several mining ventures, which did not prove so successful as he anticipated, and has practically lived in retirement at his residence in North East Valley since 1897. Mr, Duncan has always taken an interest in the public affairs of his district. He was a member of the old North East Valley road board, a member of the Council after the district was formed into a borough, and was Mayor for the year 1902–1903. Although on several occasions asked to stand for Parliament, he has. so far. not acceded to the request. Mr. Duncan is by conviction a strong Imperialist and a supporter of Mr. Chamberlain's policy of inter-imperial preferential trade. He is an old volunteer, and was a member of the old North Dunedin corps for many years, retiring with the rank of colour-sergeant. Mr. Duncan has taken an active interest in educational matters, and is a strong supporter of the present free and secular system. He married a lady from Victoria, and there is a family of two daughters and one son. Both, the daughters are married.