The New Plymouth Friendly Society
has a membership of eighty-six, and substantial benefits are granted in the event of sickness or death. The accumulated funds amount to about £2000, which is invested in freehold property. Officers for the year 1906: Messrs N. Golding (president), J. Kenyon (treasurer), C. T. Mills (secretary), and an annually elected board of eight members. Meetings are held on the fourth Saturday of each month, in King Street.
Mr. Nicholas Golding,
President of the New Plymouth Friendly Society, was born in Ireland, on the 12th of December, 1817. He joined the 65th Regiment in Plymouth in 1841; six years later was sent to Hohart as a guard over convicts, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He came to New Zealand in October, 1847, as supercargo, and was the only soldier on board. After landing his stores, he remained in Wellington until the year 1851, when he was ordered to England. Three years later, he again came to New Zealand as a member of the 65th Regiment, and landed in Auckland. After ten months' service, Mr. Golding was sent to Taranaki to rejoin the 65th Regiment, with which he served until the 7th of February, 1863. On taking his discharge, he received a presentation from his comrades. Mr. Golding took part in the fight at Waireka, and in several engagements at Waitara. He subsequently joined the militia as sergeant, and served for twenty years under the Colonial Government. Mr. Golding received the good conduct medal, and also the New Zealand war medal. For a period he acted as
bailiff at the Magistrate's Court, and was for fifteen years first warder of H.M. Gaol at New Plymouth. Mr. Golding has been a member of the New Plymouth Friendly Society since its inception; he is also a Past District Chief Ranger of the Order of Foresters, and is now (1906) the only survivor of the original members of the Order in New Plymouth. Mr. Golding has been twice married, on the first occasion before he left England. Mrs Golding died in January, 1875, leaving three daughters. Mr. Golding re-married in December, 1876, and has one son, who is further referred to as an organist, in New Plymouth.