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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Mr. James Job Holland

Mr. James Job Holland, sometime a Member of the House of Representatives for Auckland City, was born in Leicester, England, in 1841. The son of Mr. John Holland, he was educated at the British Schools of his native town, and learned the trade of a builder with his father, who was in a fairly large way in Leicester. In 1860 Mr. Holland came to the Colony per ship “Persia,” landing in Auckland in August of that year. After spending some time in the Otago Goldfields during the following year, Mr. Holland returned to the north and was drafted into the first class Militia, and, rising to the position of sergeant, fought with the Imperial troops. The year 1864 found him settled down in business as a builder and contractor. During the third of a century that Mr. Holland has been established, he has built quite a number of the finest buildings in Auckland. Of them the following may fitly be mentioned:—The Baptist Tabernacle, St. Benedict's Church, Newton, all the “Costley” Homes, St. Andrew's spire, the splendid offices of the Mutual Life Association of Australasia, the “Governor Browne” Hotel, the Waverley Hotel, and the Palmerston Buildings. Of the two last mentioned, Mr. Holland was contractor for the brickwork only. Though always well employed in business, Mr. Holland has found time for social and political work of no mean order, having, from very early times, held important positions on highway boards, trade associations, etc. He is a Master Mason, and a past provincial grand master of the Ancient Order of Oddfellows. Now, after an honourable connection with that body of some thirty-six years, he is the senior trustee of the Fountain of Friendship Lodge, No. 3920, and representative to the district grand lodge. He is an hon. member of the Ancient Order of Foresters, a vice-president of several football and cricket clubs, and a member and expresident of the Auckland Bowling Club. In the Industrial Provident Investment and Building Society he occupies the post of president. Of civic duties and honours. Mr. Holland has had a large share. In September, 1886, he was elected as representative of the East Ward in the Auckland City Council, and, after seven years' apprenticeship as a councillor, was chosen for the high office of mayor. In this position Mr. Holland served the city with honour and credit for three successive terms, being returned on each occasion without opposition. Among other services rendered may be mentioned, two terms on the Harbour Board, several on the Charitable Aid Board, and three years on the Auckland College and Grammar School Board and Auckland University College Council ex officio. In all these positions. Mr. Holland's special knowledge of the building trade was most useful, and he cheerfully gave the city the benefit of it. In 1885 Mr. Holland took a well earned holiday trip to England. The position he secured on the poll at the general election in December, 1896, showed how the people of Auckland appreciated their mayor's devotion to the interests of the city. He was not re-elected at the general election of 1899. In 1864 Mr. Holland was married to Miss Agnes Melvin MacKenzie, daughter of the late Mr. Duncan MacKenzie, of Glasgow, and has three daughters and three sons.