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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

Mr. John Beckett Fielder

Mr. John Beckett Fielder, Secretary, Treasurer, and Registrar of the Diocese of Waiapu, was born in Finsbury Square, London, England, in the year 1839, and was educated at Dalston Academy, London. After serving as a clerk in various offices, he left England for India, joining the 70th Surrey Regiment at Rawul Pindee, in 1858, and two years later came with the regiment to Auckland. Mr. Fielder was in the detachment sent to Dunedin on the outbreak of the gold-fields in Otago, and was appointed clerk to the deputy-assistant commissary-general. In 1863 the detachment left for the scene of the Tatarai-maka massacre in Taranaki, and a few months later was ordered to Auckland, its head-quarters. He was next appointed district clerk at Otahuhu, and subsequently removed to Papakura in the same capacity. Mr. Fielder saw active service in the Waikato, under General Cameron. In 1865 the regiment was ordered Home, and Mr. Fielder, then holding the position of paymaster-sergeant, took his discharge, and entered the civil service as assistant clerk in the Napier resident magistrate's court; was afterwards appointed clerk to the bench and deputy-registrar of the Supreme Court: and two or three years later entered the Deeds Department, and became deputy-registrar of deeds and deputy-commissioner of stamps, which offices he held till his retirement from the service in 1879. He then accepted the secretaryship of the Napier Gas Company, and the management of the Hawke's Bay Permanent Building and Investment Society, having since 1867 also held the secretaryship of the Napier Building Societies, Nos. 1, 2, and 3. Mr. Fielder is also provincial corresponding secretary of the Hawke's Bay District I.O.O.F., M.U., one of the directors of the New Zealand branch of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, honorary treasurer of the Napier Bowling Club, district agent of the Royal Exchange Fire Insurance Company, and also of the New Zealand Plate Glass Insurance Company, member of the Vestry, and churchwarden of the Napier parish since the year 1866, secretary of the Waiapu Board of Diocesan Trustees, the Napier Park Company, the Napier Recreation Ground Company, and the Cemetery Trust. When the native troubles arose, Mr. Fielder joined the Napier Rifle Volunteers, and became sergeant-major. He was also present at the engagement at Omaranui, and holds the New Zealand war medal. Mr. Fielder married a daughter of the late Dr. Gibson, of Dublin, Ireland, in 1864, and has, surviving, one son and two daughters.