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

Mr. Hyman Phineas Cohen

Mr. Hyman Phineas Cohen, J.P., formerly a member of the Napier Borough Council, was born in London, England, in the year 1837, and is a son of the late Mr. Phineas Cohen, merchant, of that city. He was educated in London, and afterwards entered his father's office, where he remained until 1859, when he came out to New Zealand, and landed at Auckland. A few months later he went to Melbourne, and proceeded to the gold-fields at Inglewood and Navarre. In 1862, when the Otago gold “rush” set in, Mr. Cohen returned to the colony, and entered into business as a storekeeper at Tuapeka and on the Dunstan. In 1867 he went to the Thames, and spent three years in that district. After a further period of three years in Auckland, Mr. Cohen settled in Napier, and opened a fancy goods store, to which he afterwards added a furniture warehouse, and subsequently an auctioneering business. During his long residence in Napier, Mr. Cohen has taken great interest in public matters, with political leanings to the liberal side; and, in Mr. Ballance's days, frequently took the chair at his meetings. He was a member of the Hawke's Bay Hospital and Charitable Aid Boards, and for a great number of years was chairman of those bodies. He was also a school commissioner, and devoted considerable attention to educational matters. For over twenty years without intermission, until illness compelled his resignation, Mr. Cohen was a member of the borough council, and for a similar period was captain of the fire police and salvage corps. He is a Freemason, and has taken the Royal Arch degree. Mr. Cohen married Miss page 313 Hannah Moss, of London, in the year 1870, and has one daughter.