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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 76

The Late Sir George Grey

The Late Sir George Grey.

The death of Sir George Grey and the burial of his remains in St Paul's Cathedral have lately called public attention to the services of that distinguished Colonial Governor of Western Australia, the Cape Colony, and more especially to his brilliant career in New Zealand. From the day when I went out on duty to meet the ship in which he arrived I had the satisfaction of holding office under so able and wise a Governor, and the threat privilege of having for many years the advantage of his private friendship and of enjoying his kind hospitality at his beautiful island home, to which he retired after ceasing to be Governor of the Colony. I had also pleasant meetings with Sir George in London after his final return to England. He was then full of designs for increasing the valuable collection of classic books and rare manuscripts which he had bestowed on the Public Library at Auckland, as he had previously done at the Cape, page 37 with the desire to render those collections available for reference and instruction to the inhabitants of South Africa and the Australasian colonies, until his memory failed, so that in subsequent visits I perceived with feelings of deep regret that his once keen intellect was no longer able to grasp such lofty and benevolent ideas, and at the last he was unable to converse with any of his friends. Before his death, in the room of a London hotel, the great Colonial Governor became touchingly weak and unconscious. His memory will be gratefully held by very many colonists and natives to whom he rendered such signal political and administrative services and so much private kindness. The influence of the men whose names I have mentioned, as well as that of many ministers of religion and others holding important offices, was of great benefit to the society of a young colony, and their intimacy and friendship, as well as that of the naval and military officers and their families, on the New Zealand station rendered our social position all that could be desired. Even now we cherish intercourse with the very few of those early friends who are still alive, and hold grateful recollections of by far the larger number who have passed away.