Mr. James Bellringer,
J.P., was first elected a member of the Borough Council of New Plymouth in 1879, and was Mayor from 1889 till 1893. During the term of his Mayoralty, the jubilee of the province occurred, and Mr. Bellringer took a very active part in making the celebration a thorough success. A great many improvements were effected in the borough during his term of office. On his retirement from civic life, he was presented with an illuminated address in recognition of his services, and a group of the portraits of his fellow councillors. Mr. Bellringer was born in 1837 at Wrantage near Taunton, Somersetshire, England, where he was educated, and served his time with a leading firm of plumbers and painters, in whose employment he remained seven years. In 1857 he arrived in Auckland in the ship “Spirit of Trade,” and shortly afterwards settled in New Plymouth. He served through the Taranaki war with the 65th Regiment, and afterwards joined the Taranaki Bush Rangers, with whom he saw some active service. On the conclusion of the war he received the Imperial medal in recognition of his services. About 1865, he successfully established himself in Devon Street as a painter and decorator. Mr. Bellringer was a thoroughly representative colonist, and always took a very prominent part in public movements for the welfare of the district. He was for several years chairman of the New Plymouth school committee, chairman of the Fitzroy school committee, and chairman of the Te Henui Road Board, and of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board. Mr. Bellringer was an active Freemason, and a Past Master in the Order; and was connected with the Oddfellows for over forty years. He was a corresponding secretary of the district for over twenty-two years, a member of Excelsior Lodge for over thirty-three years, and permanent secretary for seventeen years. Mr. Bellringer was married and left a family of seven sons and four
daughters, when he died, on the 11th of June, 1901. His son, Mr. J. T.
Bellringer, is Town Clerk of New Plymouth.
Mr. William Cottier,
who was a member of the New Plymouth Borough Council for several years, was born in the Isle of Man in 1811, and went with his parents, in 1852, in the barque “Tancred,” to Australia, where he spent the early part of his life on the goldfields. For some time Mr. Gottier was trading in a small vessel in and about Victoria. In 1863 he was attracted to New Zealand by the Dunstan goldfields in Otago, and was the first to apply for a patent for improvements in certain mining machinery. During the same year, he removed to Taranaki, served throughout the war with the military settlers, and received eighty acres of land for his services. On the corps disbanding, he decided to
A Pioneer's Hut.
settle in Taranaki, and for several years conducted the canteens south and north of the town. He then commenced hotel-keeping, and conducted the Taranaki Hotel until 1872, when he took over the Masonic Hotel, and ten years later entered into possession of the Criterion Hotel, which he carried on successfully for fifteen years. He leased the “Criterion” in 1897, and afterwards lived in retirement at “Mona,” on the Carrington Road.
The Late Mr. W. Cottier.
Mr. Cottier always took a lively interest in all matters beneficial to the province of Taranaki. He was for many years a director of the New Plymouth Investment Society, and was one of the promoters of the gas company. Mr. Cottier was married, and had eight children, who became known in musical circles as talented performers. He died suddenly, at New Plymouth, on the 13th of December, 1905.
Mr. Abraham Goldwater,
who represented the West Ward in the New Plymouth Borough Council for over six years, was born in Auckland in 1858, received his education there, and commenced his business life with L. D. Nathan and Co, with whom he remained twelve years, first as clerk in the warehouse, and afterwards as traveller throughout the province of Auckland. It is now (1906) nearly twenty years since Mr. Goldwater began business as a wine and spirit merchant and general importer in New Plymouth, and he has since built up a very satisfactory connection. He has always willingly given his co-operation in promoting the welfare of the district. Mr. Goldwater is married, and has one daughter.
Mr. Walter Henry Scott
was born in London, on the 9th of October, 1828, where he learned the builders' trade. He arrived in New
Plymouth in 1854, by the barque “Cashmere,” and started in business as a contractor in Devon Street. When the native troubles broke out. Mr. Scott joined the Taranaki militia, commanded by Captain William King,
and was present at the battle of Mahoetahi, under Major-General Pratt, C.B. He served through the whole war, and received the New Zealand war medal. About 1865, Mr. Scott was elected a member of the old Town Board, and, seeing the unfair treatment it received from the Provincial Council, he agitated for over two years to establish a municipality, and, after great opposition, successfully carried his point, Mr. Standish, the well known solicitor, being elected first Mayor. He was also partly instrumental in getting Egmont Street formed into Devon Street, through Mount Elliott. Mr. Scott was a member of the old Town Board for seven years, of the Borough Council for six years, was for three years connected with the Harbour Board, several years on the Licensing Committee, and for four years a member of the school committee. He retired some years ago from public life, and has since devoted his whote attention to business. In the year 1852, he married, and came to New Zealand on account of the health of Mrs Scott, who died in 1892, leaving three sons and three daughters.
Mr. Joe Ward,
J.P., was elected to the New Plymouth Borough Council as member for West Ward in 1892, and was chairman of the Library and Fire Prevention Committees. Mr. Ward was born in Dorset, England, in 1824, and arrived in New Plymouth
with his parents by the ship “Ismandra,” in February, 1812. In 1851, he established the well known cooperage now carried on by his son. On the breaking out of the native war, Mr. Ward joined the Forest Rangers, and took a very active part in the campaign, was present at the engagement at Waireka at Mahoetahi, and received the New Zealand medal in recognition of his services. At the close of the trouble, Mr. Ward again started his cooperage, with machinery mostly of his own construction, and he yearly manufactured about 15,000 butter kegs; but owing to ill-health he found it necessary to retire from active business, leaving his son in charge of the factory. Mr. Ward has been an Oddfellow for nearly fifty years, is one of the oldest members of the Order, has held various offices, and is Past Provincial Deputy Grand Master. He is also a Freemason. He was one of the members of the New Plymouth Harbour Board appointed by the Government, and received his commission as a Justice of the Peace in 1892. Mr. Ward could relate many interesting stories of the early days, and exciting experiences during the native disturbances. He married a daughter of the late Mr. P. Moon, a well known settler, and has four sons and six daughters. Three of his sons are in business in New Plymouth, and four of his daughters are married.