The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
Member Of The House Of Representatives. — Mr. Walter Symes
Member Of The House Of Representatives.
Mr. Walter Symes, Member of the House of Representatives for the Patea electorate, was first returned to Parliament as member for Egmont in the year 1896, and he was re-elected for the same constituency at the general election of 1899. In 1902, however, he stood for Patea, for which he was elected, and was re-elected at the general election of 1905. Mr. Symes was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1852. While he was an infant he was brought to Taranaki by his parents, and received his education in the provincial district of Taranaki, and at Nelson and Wanganui. As a youth he was articled to a lawyer, who, however, died without leaving a will, and he was therefore unable to get his articles assigned. Mr. Symes then took to auctioneering, and was in business for about four years in Wanganui and Palmerston North. Then he bought into a sheep run on D'Urville Island; but after five years returned to Taranaki, and settled down to farming at Waverley. While a resident in that district he became interested in local politics, and was for some years a member and chairman of the Wairoa Road Board. He was also elected to the Patea County Council, of which he was chairman for nine years. In the year 1890 Mr. Symes acquired interests in the Stratford district, and was a member of the Stratford County Council for six years. He took up land at Toko in 1890, and five years later settled on his estate, which he farmed till 1900, when he sold out and took up his residence in the borough of Stratford, where he has engaged in insurance and general agency work. Mr. Symes married a daughter of the late Mr. John Treweek, an old colonist, who came to New Zealand in the year 1840, and died at Kakariki at the age of eighty-four; and has one son.