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

Former Members Of The House Of Representatives

Former Members Of The House Of Representatives.

Mr. John Parkin Taylor was elected a member of the House of Representatives for Wallace in 1859. He assisted in bringing in the New Provinces Act, which constituted Southland as a separate provincial district. Mr. Taylor became a member of the Southland Provincial Council, and was elected Superintendent in 1864. On first coming to New Zealand he settled in the Nelson district, whence he removed to Southland, where he took up a sheep run on Jacob's river, in the Riverton district in 1858. Mr. Taylor built a handsome residence known as “Waldeck,” where he died after suffering some years from declining health.

Mr. Cuthbert Cowan , J.P. and sometime Member of the House of Representatives for Hokonui, was born at Ayr, Scotland, and finished his education at Glasgow University. He joined the Union Bank of Scotland at Ayr and was subsequently transferred to Glasgow, where he remained several years. In consequence of ill-health, he came to New Zealand in 1857 by the ship “Burmah,” and purchased, in conjunction with the late Mr. James Macandrew, the Okaiterua run, Hokonui district, which they subsequently sold to Mr. Joseph Clarke, of Melbourne. Mr. Cowan bought his present farm of 2400 acres in 1876 and engaged in mixed cultivation and the breeding of Romney Marsh sheep, at the same time devoting active attention to the progress
Protected. Ross, photo.Corner Of Dee And Tay Streets, From Old Custom House.

Protected. Ross, photo.
Corner Of Dee And Tay Streets, From Old Custom House.

page 793 of his district. He first entered political life in 1860, and represented Hokonui in the General Assembly during 1884–90. At the general election of 1896 he unsuccessfully opposed the Hon. J. G. Ward (now Sir Joseph Ward) for the Awarua seat. He represented Oreti in the Southland Provincial Council for many years. Mr. Cowan has been a consistent supporter of true Liberal measures, but is strongly opposed to Mr. Seddon. He supported the
Mr. C. Cowan.

Mr. C. Cowan.

District Railways Purchase Bill of the Stout-Vogel Government, the Waimea Plains railway being in his electorate. Mr. Cowan represented the colony at the Australasian Stock Conference held in Melbourne in 1889, and was one of the promoters of the Southland Frozen Meat Company. He was married in 1869 to a daughter of the Rev. George Wallace, of Durrisdeer, Dumfries-shire, and has five children, the eldest of whom is married and resides in Scotland.

Mr. John Robert Cuthbertson represented Invercargill in the House of Representatives during the Parliament of 1873–75. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1834, educated at the Glasgow Academy and University, and brought up to mercantile life in his native city. In 1854 he came out to Melbourne, where he engaged in commerce till he left for Southland in February, 1860. Mr. Cuthbertson at once took up land in the Waiau district, where he was joined in the following year by his brother, Mr. R. F. Cuthbertson. The brothers entered into partnership as sheepfarmers, and carried on business as such until 1876. Mr. J. R. Cuthbertson had previously moved to Invercargill, where, after a while, he became a member of the firm of Macrorie and Cuthbertson, auctioneers and land agents. He was prominently connected with the Provincial Council of Southland from the 1st of April, 1861, when the district became a separate province. At one time he held the portfolio of Public Works in the Provincial Executive, and during his term of office the railway line to the Bluff was taken in hand. In November, 1862, Mr. Cuthbertson left on a visit to Scotland, and did not come back to the colony till the end of 1864. During this period the public works policy of the province had been rushed forward, and the Treasury was in a condition of distress and difficulty. Mr. Cuthbertson again entered the Council, and once more took a prominent part in local affairs. During the absence of the Superintendent at the General Assembly, in Auckland, he acted as Deputy-Superintendent. It was a troublous time; some of the contractors were pressing for the payment of their contract money, and an attempt was even made to put the bailiffs into the Government offices. However, by Mr. Cuthbertson's directions the windows were barricaded, and the matter was subsequently compromised by issuing to the contractors land orders, entitling them to purchase land; nominally, at 20/- an acre. Later on Mr. Cuthbertson entered the arena of colonial politics, and as a graceful and persuasive speaker, made his mark in Parliament. Many looked upon him as fitted for, entitled to, and likely to obtain a seat in the Government; for this, however, he did not remain sufficiently long on the political stage. For some time before he entered into partnership with Mr. Macrorie, he was editor of the “Southland Times,” in which he wrote with as much polish, penetration and perspicuity as he spoke in Parliament. Mr. Cuthbertson died in 1882.

Mr. Horace Bastings , who represented the Walkaia constituency in the House of Represetatives from 1875 to 1882, is the third son of Mr. William Bastings, of Islington, London, where he was born in 1831. He was educated at Christ Hospital Blue Coat School, and emigrated to Melbourne with his father in the ship “Medway,” in 1849. Mr. Bastings was engaged in mining and store-keeping on the Victorian diggings until his departure for New Zealand. During his residence in Victoria, he was elected mayor of Brunswick. In 1850, he married Emma, third daughter of Mr. Samuel Aldred, of Bungay, Suffolk, and their family of three sons and one daughter have settled down In New Zealand. Mr. Bastings arrived in Dunedin per s.s. “City of Hobart” in 1862, and settled at Lawrence, where he built the Commercial Hotel, and the Black Horse brewery at Wetherstones. He also purchased the entire interest of Cobb and Co.'s line of coaches in the South Island. In 1876, he became senior partner in the well-known firm of Bastings. Leary and Co., auctioneers and financial agents, Dunedin. From the time of his arrival in Dunedin in 1862, until his departure for Sydney in 1882, Mr. Bastings took a very prominent and active part in general and local politics. In 1863, he became a member of the old Town Board of Dunedin, and retained his seat until the board gave place to the present system of municipal government. He was elected to the Provincial Council of Otago in 1864 by the Tuapeka electorate, and continued to represent that district until the abolition of the provinces. During that stirring period he filled successively the positions of Provincial Secretary, Secretary for Lands and Works, and Secretary for the Goldfields, displaying throughout marked administrative capacity. He was also, for many years. a member of the Otago Waste Lands Board and Commissioner for the Classification of Lands. After the Municipal Corporations Act came into general operation, Mr. Bastings was among the first mayors elected, and was Mayor of Lawrence for six consecutive years. In 1875 he was returned by the Waikaia constituency to the General Assembly, and on the passing of the Education Act, was chosen a member of the first Education Board of Otago; he was also for some time chairman of the Tuapeka County Council. Before the reunion of Southland with Otago, Mr. Bastings, together with the Superintendent, Mr. Macandrew, officially visited Southland to arrange the terms of reconstruction. During his residence in New South Wales, Mr. Bastings, in conjunction with the well-known cable engineer, Mr. George Dunean (afterwards of Dunedin), constructed the first cable tramway at the North Shore, Sydney. After that important work had been completed, he proceeded to Melbourne and constructed the Bacchus Marsh-Ballan railway at a cost of £225,000. He then returned to New Zealand and entered into business as an auctioneer page 794 in Auckland. In consideration of his services in support of a Bill authorising the construction of the Tapanui railway, Mr. Bastings was presented with a purse of five hundred sovereigns and a silver coffee service, and a banquet was tendered to him in 1877; and the manufacturers of Dunedin made him a presentation of a very handsome drinking cup suitably inscribed. Mr. Bastings has identified himself prominently with the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, and in 1897 was elected Provincial Grand Master for the Otago district. He was initiated into Freemasonry in Lodge Kilwinning, S.C., Dunedin, and now holds the rank of Past Master. In 1896, he revisited the Mother Country after an absence of forty-eight years. On his return from England, Mr. Bastings settled in Invercargill, where he is now (1904) proprietor of Deschler's Hotel.
Dr. Samuel Hodgkinson , M.R.C.S. (Lond.), sat in the House of Representatives as member for Riverton in the Parliament of 1876, and he was returned for Wallace at the general elections of 1887. Dr. Hodgkinson was born in Nottinghamshire, England, in 1817, studied for the medical profession at London University College, where hogained honorary certificates in anatomy, surgery, and botany, and became a member of the Uoyal College of Surgeons in 1840. He proceeded to Nelson in 1842 as surgeon-superintendent of the New Zealand Company's ship “Bombay,” and was afterwards in practice in England. In 1846 he was appointed by Her Majesty's Colonisation Commissioners, surgeon-superintendent of the emigrant barque “David Malcolm,” which arrived at Adelaide in January, 1847, with two hundred immigrants. In 1847, he moved on to Port Phillip, Melbourne, but four years later returned to New Zealand, and entered into pastoral pursuits in Canterbury. He revisited England in 1854 and actively promoted emigration to the Colony, and published a pamphlet on the province of Canterbury. On his return in 1857 he resided in Auckland for two years, when he removed to Southland and again resumed country life. He was elected to the Provincial Council of Southland in 1864, and joined the provincial executive in 1865. Dr. Hodgkinson has been foremost in all progressive movements, has always advocated a liberal policy, and in many of his views was often in advance of his time. He has been a prolific contributor to the press, and has published from time to lime a number of useful and able pamphlets on political questions, including an Elective Executive, reform of the Legislative Council, and of local government. Dr. Hodgkinson is now (1904) enjoying a green old age, with a mind still vigorous and clear.

Mr. James Parker Joyce , who was at one time a member of the House of Representatives for Wallace, and afterwards for Awarua, was in Parliament altogether for about twelve years. Mr. Joyce, who was well known as a journalist in Southland, was born in 1835, in Southampton, England, where he was educated, and became a Customs officer. In 1858 he emigrated to Victoria and settled in Southland about 1858. He was Clerk of the Town Board of Invercargill for a year or two in 1864–5. Mr. Joyce was afterwards editor of the “Southland Times,” and later on became one of the proprietors of the “Southland News,” of which he was editor for many years. He took considerable interest in the Southland Horticultural Society, and was a member of the committee. Mr. Joyce was married, in 1862, to Miss Caydzien, of Edinburgh, and at his death, on the 16th of January. 1903, left three sons and three daughters.

Mr. James Walker Bain , who represented Invercargill as a member of the House, of Representatives, during the Parliament of 1879–81, was born in Edinburgh. Scotland, and came to Port Chalmers, with his parents, in 1859, by the ship “Jura.” He was a compositor by trade, and worked as such for two years in Auckland, after his arrival in New Zealand. From Auckland he removed to Invercargill, and became a partner with Mr. Smallfield, in the “Southland News.” In 1861 the firm sold the paper to Messrs Hartnett and Company, of Dunedin. and Mr. Bain revisited Scotland. Two years later he came back to Southland, and became proprietor of the “Southland Times,” which he held till 1880, when that journal was bought by a company. In 1883, Mr. Bain was elected to the Invercargill Borough Council, and was mayor during the following year. He was prominently known in Southland for nearly thirty years as president of the Southland Building Society. Mr. Bain also served as a member of the Southland Education Board. His death occurred suddenly on the 29th of September, 1899.

Mr. Joseph Hatch , who was a member of the House of Representatives for Invercargill from 1884 to 1887, was born in London in 1838. He was brought up as a wholesale druggist, and after six years' experience in Melbourne, arrived in Southland in 1863. Mr. Hatch engaged in the drug trade in Invercargill, and his name is well known in connection with a proprietary sheep-dip. He has also been interested in the oil trade? from the Macquarie Islands. Mr. Hatch served for six or seven years as a volunteer, first in Melbourne and then in Invercargill. He was for a number of years a member of the Invercargill Borough Council, and was mayor in 1878. Mr. Hatch was married, in 1872, to a daughter of the late Mr. Henry Wilson, of Melbourne, and has, surviving, three sons and three daughters.

Mr. James Whyte Kelly was born in Carluke, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1855, where he was educated and early apprenticed to the tailoring trade, at which he afterwards worked in Scotland and England. In 1875, Mr. Kelly married Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. James Millar, of Motherwell, Lanarkshire, and very shortly afterwards emigrated to New Zealand by the ship “Alder Grove,” which arrived at Port Chalmers in July, 1875. Mr. Kelly was transferred to Invercargill with other passengers and commenced to work for Mr. Thomas Millar, tailor, with whom he remained until 1890. Mr. Kelly was then invited to contest the Invercargill seat as a Labour candidate in opposition to Messrs H. Feldwick and J. W. Bain, both former members of the House of Representatives, and he was returned by a majority of 116 votes. In 1893, he was re-elected by a majority of 1241 votes, his opponent on that occasion being Mr. Joseph Hatch. At the general election in 1896, Mr. Kelly was again returned, beating Messrs W. B. Seandrett and John Sinclair (a nominee of the Ministry). Mr. Kelly was succeeded at the general election of 1899 by Mr. J. A. Hanan.

Mr. Michael Gilfedder , J.P., was a member of the House of Representatives for Wallace from 1896 to 1902. He was born in 1865, and was brought up to agriculture in the One Tree Point district. Afterwards he became a school teacher, and followed that profession for ten years. At the general parliamentary election of 1902 he was defeated by Mr. J. C. Thompson. Mr. Gilfedder then studied for the Bar, and was admitted as a solicitor in February, 1901.