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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]


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Insurance, one of the most important factors in the industrial and commercial life of a modern community, is well provided for in Auckland. A number of the offices are purely Australasian, but British and foreign insurance companies are also well represented in the city. The majority of the head offices in New Zealand are located in Wellington, but the branch offices in Auckland rank amongst the city's most imposing buildings. Business competition is keenest among the life offices, as each company has different tables and rates, but for fire risks the rates are uniform throughout. The New Zealand Government has long been in the field with its life insurance office, and its State guarantee; and the interests of insurers in other offices are safeguarded by legislation which provides that the foreign companies in New Zealand have to deposit sufficient security with the State to guarantee the colonial insurers. The various companies doing business in Auckland are referred to in this section.


Alliance Assurance Company. The Head office of this society is in Christchurch. The Auckland branch of the company's business is in charge of Mr. B. Kent.

Mr. Bartholomew Kent, Manager for Auckland and Taranaki of the Alliance Assurance Company, has had a varied and valuable experience. He was born at Aycliffe, near Darlington, England, in 1852 and was educated at Staindrop, in Durham, the historic seat of the Dukes of Cleveland (Raby Castle). He entered the service of the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company, the first public railway in the world, which was opened on the 27th September, 1825. Three or four years later Mr. Kent accepted a position as accountant with Messrs. Jackson, Gill and Co., of the Imperial iron works at South Bank, Middlesborough. Being deeply interested in the manufacture of iron and steel from a scientific point of view, Mr. Kent, after two years with Messrs. Jackson. Gill and Co., sought and gained entrance into the Darlington iron and steel works where he made the most of a rare opportunity of gaining a thorough knowledge, theoretical and practical, in every department of that important business. It may be here remarked that even in this Colony, Mr. Kent's exceptional experience in the iron and steel trades has been exceedingly useful. A few years ago, he drew the attention of the directors of the Bank of New Zealand to a magnificent deposit of brown hematite ore in the Collingwood district, Nelson, and was requested by them to revisit the spot to report more fully on the estate and if in his opinion advisable, to make a practical test of the value of the ore as a marketable commodity. This he did, with the result that he worked 200 tons of ore, producing bar, sheet, rod, and horse-shoe iron of the highest quality. As evidence of Mr. Kent's experience, it may be mentioned that the Darlington iron and steel works, where he was in the position of assistant to the managing director, was the largest concern of its kind in Great Britain, the weekly output being not less than 2,500 tons of finished iron. After ten years in these works, Mr. Kent resigned to assume the secretaryship, with full managing powers, of the Skerne iron and engineering company, whose premises adjoined those of his former employers. Here he remained some four years, conducting a very large business. But at this time (1880) the iron and kindred trades in England were approaching their very worst condition. Many very large firms had liquidated and failed to pay even an appreciable dividend, and Mr. Kent's directors, determined at any rate to avoid bankruptcy, instructed him to continue the business in the hope of a revival of trade, just so long as the payment of twenty shillings in the pound remained an absolute certainty for all creditors. In 1882, Mr. Kent reported that the existence of the company under these conditions was no longer possible, prompt realizations of the assets verified his estimate, and the business was ceased without the loss of a penny by any creditor, though over a thousand men and boys were necessarily thrown out of employment. After a year's holiday, Mr. Kent decided to leave the Old Land, and in 1883 arrived in Christchurch per s.s. “Ionic.” Immediately on arrival he accepted an appointment with the Union Fire and Marine Insurance company, since purchased by the Alliance Assurance company, London, of which Baron Rothschild is president. While at Christchurch, Mr. Kent was an active member of the Richmond school committee, and took a very keen interest in all musical matters. He is a prominent and enthusiastic solo violinist, and has held the leadership in the orchestra of the Auckland Choral Society for a considerable period. In Masonry he belongs to Lodge Prince of Wales, having been initiated in Christchurch as a member of the Canterbury Lodge No. 1048. He represented the Chamber of Commerce on the Auckland Harbour Board, and did good service for two years; and has been a member of the council, vice-president and president of the chamber. Mr. Kent was president of the Executive Committee of the Auckland Exhibition in 1898. He is vice-president of the Auckland Athletic Club and of the Gordon Cricket Club. Mr. Kent was married in 1876 to Miss Mary Jane Sedgwick, daughter of the late Mr. James Sedgwick, relative of Professor Sedgwick, of Cambridge, and has four children.

The Australian Alliance Assurance Company (C. E. Palmer, district agent), Bank of New Zealand Buildings, Queen Street, Auckland; chief office for New Zealand, Wellington. This branch, which controls the provincial district of Auckland, was established about 1895.

Mr. Charles Edward Palmer, District Agent for the Australian Alliance, was born in Auckland in 1872. He served from 1889 to 1896 with the Victoria Insurance Company at Auckland, and after being also with the Sun Fire Office, he was appointed to his present position in 1899. Mr. Palmer is honorary secretary to the Auckland Marine Underwriters' Association.

Guardian Fire And Life Assurance Company, Limited. Agents, Messrs T. H. Hall and Co., merchants, 23 Queen Street, Auckland.

Imperial Fire Insurance Company. Agent, Mr W. H. Armstrong, solicitor, Vulcan Lane, Auckland.

Law, Union, and Crown Insurance Company, of London. Agents, Messrs A. S. Patterson and Co., grain merchants, Fort Street, Auckland.

The Liverpool And London And Globe Insurance Company (A. G. Buchanan, agent and attorney); agency for Auckland Provincial District, Shortland Street, Auckland. Head office, Liverpool; London office, Cornhill; chief office for the colonies, 62 Pitt Street, Sydney. This company's Auckland agency was opened about 1854 by the late Mr. James Buchanan, father of the occupant of the office in 1900. In 1859, Mr. John Buchanan, a brother, succeeded to the agency, and continued to act till January, 1900, when his nephew was appointed.

Mr. Arthur George Buchanan, Agent and Attorney in Auckland for the Liverpool and London and Globe Company, was born in Parnell, in 1864, and educated at the public school, Gisborne. He joined the staff of the Auckland office in January, 1880, and succeeded to the management on his page 297 uncle's retirement twenty years later. Mr. Buchanan, who is unmarried, takes no part in public affairs.

Hanna, photo. Mr. A. G. Buchanan.

Hanna, photo.
Mr. A. G. Buchanan.

London And Lancashire Fire Insurance Company. Agents, Messrs Henderson and Macfarlane, merchants, Fort Street, Auckland.

Magdeburg Fire Insurance Company. Agents, Messrs Cook and Gray, accountants, Mercantile Chambers, Queen Street, Auckland.

Manchester Fire Assurance Company. Agents, Messrs Baker Bros., Auctioneers, Shortland Street, Auckland.

North British And Mercantile Insurance Company; agency for Auckland Provincial District, Hobson's Buildings, Shortland Street. Chief agent and attorney, Mr. J. Hugo Harrop. Head office for the colonies, 41 Queen Street, Melbourne. This powerful Scottish company has invested funds exceeding £12,000,000.

Northern Insurance Company, Agents, Messrs Macky and Heather, Commerce Street, Auckland.

North German Fire Insurance Company. Office, 107 Queen Street, Auckland. Mr. J. St. Clair is the general manager of this company.

Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society. Agents, Messrs L. D. Nathan and Co., merchants, Shortland Street, Auckland.

Phœnix Assurance Company of London ; Auckland Branch, Shortland Street; Mr. Percy Butler, district manager for the provincial district of Auckland. Head office for New Zealand, Customs Street, Wellington. This company has been represented for many years in Auckland.

Mr. Percy Butler, District Manager of the Phoenix Fire Office at Auckland, was born at Wanganui in 1862. He was educated at the Auckland College and Grammar School, and served for several years in the Bank of New Zealand. In 1884 Mr. Butler went to Queensland, and joined the New Zealand Insurance Company at Brisbane, and served that company till 1891 in different parts of Australia and New Zealand. In that year he joined the Phoenix office in Wellington, under Mr. R. M. Simpson, and continued there till he took over the management at Auckland in 1897.

Royal Insurance Company (Auckland Branch, Mr. R. A. Lusher, local manager), 145 Queen Street, Auckland. Chief colonial office, Melbourne. This office has been represented in New Zealand since 1862.

Mr. Randall Alexander Lusher, Chief Agent of the Royal in Auckland, was born at Norfolk, England, in 1836. He was brought up as a tailor, and landed in Auckland in 1862. After four years of colonial experience, he joined the Telegraph Department, and was stationed in the country until 1868, when he was placed in charge of the Auckland office, and held the position till 1880, when he joined Mr. G. W. Jones, under the style of Jones and Lusher, as agents of the Royal Insurance Company. In 1885, Mr. Jones, having retired, Mr. Lusher became chief agent. He was married, in 1862, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Knight, of London, and sister to Sir Henry Knight, Lord Mayor of London, and has had three sons and two daughters. One of his sons, of the firm of Bowring and Lusher, was killed by an explosion on the reclamation at Auckland in 1895.

The Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation, which dates back to 1720, has its head office in New Zealand at Dunedin, where Mr W. A. Walton is attorney. The office for the provincial district of Auckland is at Halliday's Buildings, Shortland Street, and Mr. E. Wynn-Williams is district agent.

Sun Fire Office, established 1710. Mr. H. Rees George is district agent for Auckland; office, Fort Street.

Fire and Marine.

Commercial Union Assurance Company, Ltd. Agents, Messrs Graham and Walker, Shortland Street, Auckland.

National Insurance Company Of New Zealand. Head Office, Custom House Square, Dunedin; Auckland branch, Queen Street. Manager, Mr. N. T. Williams. The head office of this company being in Dunedin, the extended description will appear in the Otago volume of the “Cyclopedia.” The Auckland offices are most centrally situated and well adapted to all necessary requirements. It may fairly be described as a popular office.

Mr. Norman T. Williams, the Manager, was born at the Bay of Islands, in 1864, and is a son of Mr. E. M. Williams, sometime a Judge in the Native Land Court. Mr. Williams joined the National Insurance Company in 1885, and was appointed to his present position in 1898.

The New Zealand Insurance Company (Fire and Marine). The present directors of this Company are Dr. Logan Campbell (chairman); Messrs Thomas Buddle, A. G. Horton, A. H. Nathan, Robert Rose, James Russell, and J. L. Wilson; General Manager, Mr. David Craig. This company's paid-up capital and reserve amount to £435,000, and its headquarters are, and always have been, in Auckland. It was one of the first public companies floated in New Zealand by purely local enterprise, and has been a specially well directed and successful institution. The company was established in 1859, and is older by about two years than the Bank of New Zealand. Its promoters were all Auckland residents, and its first directors were the leading professional and mercantile men in the then young and rising capital of the colony. At a meeting held on the 31st of May, 1859, the following gentlemen formed themselves into the original shareholders of the New Zealand Insurance Company:—Messrs Thomas Henderson (chairman), Thomas Russell, David Graham, James Williamson, William Crush Daldy, Hugh Coolahan, Walter K. Graham, and Captain James Stone. The following resolution was passed:—“That we, the undersigned, do form ourselves into the New Zealand Insurance Company, of which the capital shall be £100,000, and do express our intention to take shares to the amount set against our names respectively.” The amount of the subscriptions ranged from £2000 to £5000, and £52,000 was at once paid up. The first risks were accepted on the 4th of June, 1859, and the first report was submitted to shareholders on the 31st of May, 1860. The directors, amongst other things, said that “At the commencement of the year they thought that, with careful management, £2000 might be reached as the amount of the first year's income, but, including interest, more than twice that sum had been raised.” Step by step the company worked its way outwards, and it has now planted itself strongly throughout Australasia and in London, America, Africa, Ceylon, India, China and Japan, and at many of these centres it is represented by officers, natives of New Zealand, specially trained in its service. As stated, the capital of the company was at first £100,000; but in 1861 it was increased to £250,000, and again in 1874, when the business had greatly expanded, it was subscribed up to £1,000,000, at which it still stands with £200,000 paid up and reserved, and reinsurance funds amounting to £235,000. As regards paid-up capital and reserves, as well as annual revenue, the company is far ahead of any other New Zealand or Australian Company, and, as evidence of its steady progress the following net premiums for certain years are given:—

  • 1860, £3766.

  • 1865, £45,241.

  • 1875, £145,035.

  • 1885, £219,214.

  • 1895, £267,916.

  • 1898, £311,000.

The company has paid close upon £4,000,000 in losses, and three-quarters of a million in dividends. Shortly after the page 298 company commenced operations its chief executive officer, Mr. Hansard, resigned and left the Colony. He was succeeded in 1860 by Mr. George Patrick Pierce, who occupied the general manager's chair until his death in 1891. Mr. Warwick Weston, who had been branch inspector for many years, succeeded Mr. Pierce. On Mr. Weston's death in 1895 the Board conferred the appointment on Mr. David Craig, who still occupies the position.

Mr. David Craig joined the service of the company in 1867, and had been for many years its representative in Canterbury. He is a shrewd business man, and thoroughly acquainted with every detail of insurance work. Under his able administration the company has every prospect of continuing its successful career. Mr. Craig was born in Fifeshire, Scotland. When a youth he served articles to Mr. John Monteath Douglas, solicitor, Cupar-Fife. He was afterwards in the office of a leading writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, and also attended the law classes of the University—a training which has been specially useful to him through life. During Mr. Craig's long residence in Canterbury he filled many public offices. He was for a long period treasurer of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association and a City Sinking Fund Commissioner. At one time he was also a keen volunteer, and was long captain of the E Battery of Artillery. On his promotion to the general managership of the New Zealand Insurance Company, Mr. Craig had to remove to Auckland, whither he carried with him many tokens of the high esteem in which he had been held by the community of Canterbury.

Mr. D. Craig.

Mr. D. Craig.

Mr. George Nelson Pierce, Manager in Auckland for the New Zealand Insurance Company, is the eldest son of the late Mr. George Patrick Pierce, the first general manager of the company, whose life was spent mainly in its service. Mr. Pierce was born in Auckland in 1859, and educated chiefly at the Parnell Grammar School, and entered the service of the New Zealand Insurance Company in 1873 at the head office, Auckland. After being in Wellington, he was appointed manager at Oamaru, and subsequently at Perth, West Australia. In 1890, Mr. Pierce was appointed manager at Napier, whence he was transferred to his present position at Auckland in May, 1900.

Mr. Thomas James Brassey, formerly Auckland Manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company, has had a long connection with mercantile and insurance offices at the Northern Capital, and stands deservedly high in public estimation. Educated at the Auckland High School under Mr. Farquhar McRae, he entered the countinghouse of Messrs. Bucholz and Co., general merchants, and was subsequently in the employ of Mr. Morton Jones. In 1875 Mr. Brassey joined the staff of the Auckland branch of the company, with which he has since maintained such honourable connection. In 1882 he was appointed to the management of the Napier branch, remaining till 1890, when he received his present position of manager at Auckland. From the time of Mr. G. P. Pierce's death in 1891, till January, 1896, Mr. Brassey was, with but few slight intervals, continuously in the head office in the capacity of acting general manager. Besides his duties in connection with the New Zealand Insurance Company, he for several years undertook the management of the New Zealand and River Plate Land Mortgage Company at Napier, and, from January, 1890, to May, 1891, was secretary to that company at Auckland. The more onerous duties cast upon him, however, through the death of the late general manager of the New Zealand Insurance Company, Mr. G. P. Pierce, compelled him to resign the secretaryship. Mr. Brassey now resides in England as manager of the London branch of the New Zealand Insurance Company. In 1883 Mr. Brassey married Miss Russell, daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Russell.

North Queensland Insurance Company, Ltd. Head office, corner of Pitt and Bridge Streets, Sydney. Chief Office for New Zealand, Hobson's Buildings, Shortland Street, Auckland. Auckland Agent, with management of North Island business, Mr. W. J. Ronayne. The North Queensland Insurance Company has been doing business in Auckland for several years, and the offices are centrally situated.

South British Fire And Marine Insurance Company (James Kirker, general manager; A. S. Russell, local manager). Head office, 90 Queen Street, Auckland. This company has a capital of £1,900,000, with reserve and accumulated funds exceeding £230,000. The handsome building in which it carries on its business is one of the features of the city's architecture. The South British itself is a purely local institution, and might be cited as an example of the enterprise and commercial possibilities of Auckland. At the same time, its success is in a large measure due to the ability, judgment, and energy of Mr. James Kirker, the general manager.

Mr. James Kirker, General Manager of the South British Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand, is the son of Mr. James Kirker, draper, of Belfast, where he was born in 1857. He accompanied his parents to Australia in 1863 in the ship “Merchant Prince,” and, the family coming to Wellington a year later, he was educated in that city. Mr. Kirker joined the Telegraph Department, but, after six years' service, page 299 servered his connection with the department to join the South British. For some time he was in charge of the Te Aro branch, Wellington, and was subsequently appointed manager at Napier. Two years later he was sent to Adelalde to take charge of the South and West Australian branches. There Mr. Kirker negotiated the purchase of the businesses of the Commercial Marine and Adelaide Fire and Marine Insurance Companies. In 1888 he was appointed inspector of branches throughout the company's territory, and two years later this rapid promotion culminated in his appointment to the general managership of the company, which position he fills with conspicuous ability. Mr. Kirker is a member of the Northern and Auckland Clubs, and takes great interest in bowling, being a prominent member of the Auckland and Ponsonby Bowling Clubs. In 1883 Mr. Kirker was married to the eldest daughter of Mr. Lockie, retired builder, of Wellington. Of their six children, two girls and three boys survive.

Mr. J. Kirker.

Mr. J. Kirker.

South British Insurance Company's Offices.

South British Insurance Company's Offices.

Mr. Alexander Stuart Russell, Local Manager in Auckland of the South British Insurance Company, has had an extensive commercial experience, and is very well and favourably known in the insurance world. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 7th of January, 1842, and is a son of Mr. Alexander Russell, of that city. He was educated at the Glasgow Free Normal Seminary, and in 1856 was apprenticed to Messrs Rutherford Brothers, soft goods warenousemen. In M[unclear: arch] 1859, he arrived in Auckland, per ship “Excelsior,” and for the ensuing ten years he was employed by Messrs Gilfillan and Co., and rose to the position of chief saleman. He then accepted the management of the business of Messrs Must and Co., of which the late Mr. J. M. Dargaville was the resident partner, and with whom Mr. Russell maintained, to the last, the most friendly relations. For some time Mr. Russell resided in Wellington, where for a period of four years he held the position of accountant to Messrs Jacob Joseph and Co. He then returned to Auckland, and accepted the management of the Standard Insurance Company. Mr. Russell held that appointment for two years, and then for the purpose of gaining useful information in connection with the timber industry he filled the position of accountant to the Auckland Timber Company. At the end of four years he returned to the management of the “Standard,” which he retained till the 12th of February, 1887, when he accepted his present appointment. As a Mason Mr. Russell is one of the most prominent officers in the Colony. He was initiated into Lodge Ara No. 348 I.C., in July, 1865, and a third of a century ago he filled the office of worshipful master, and was re-elected. In the Provincial Grand Lodge under the grand mastership of the late Mr. G. P. Pierce, Mr. Russell held office as grand senior deacon, grand registrar, grand treasurer, and for several years as grand senior warden. On the inception of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, Mr. Russell was offered and accepted the first deputy grand mastership of the Colony. In addition to being one of the founders of Lodge Ara, N.Z.C., Mr. Russell is also a member of Lodge Ponsonby, No. 54 N.Z.C., and he was in 1897, by way of compliment, elected an honorary member of his old Lodge Ara 348 I.C. In 1894 Mr. Russell went to Scotland to undergo an operation for the improvement of his sight. The operation was eminently successful, and one of the results was a marked improvement in his general health. Mr. Russell was married in 1871 to Miss Olive Morris, daughter of Mr. James Morris, of Ponsonby, and has four daughters and three sons; the eldest son being in the employment of the Waihi Gold Mining Company.

Mr. Alfred Charles Woolcott. Accountant at the head office of the South British Insurance Company, was born in Devonshire, England, in 1860. He was brought by his parents to Auckland in February of the following year by the ship “Zealandia,” and received his early education page 300 at the Church of England Grammar School, Parnell. In 1876, Mr. Woolcott joined the staff of the Bank of New South Wales in Auckland, and served in various positions during the succeeding five years. He entered the service of the South British Insurance Company in 1882 Six years later he was promoted to the position of assistant acecuntant, and has held the office of accountant since 1890. Mr. Woolcott was married, in 1893, to a daughter of Mr. E. M. C. Harrison, of Northcote.

Hanna, photo. Mr. A. C. Woolcott

Hanna, photo.
Mr. A. C. Woolcott

Standard Fire And Marine Insurance Company Of New Zealand, Queen Street, Auckland. Branch manager, Mr. George Johnston. This company occupies offices on the east side of Queen Street, near the corner of Fort Street. Its head office is in Dunedin.

Mr. George Johnston, Manager at Auckland of the Standard Fire and Marine Insurance Company, has held high positions in the insurance world of the Northern Capital for over a quarter of a century, and for a considerable period previously was well known in commercial circles. Mr. Johnston was born in 1837 in Armagh, ireland, his father, the late Mr. Thomas Johnston, coming of a very old family. Educated at the Agricultural Model School, he entered the countinghouse of Messrs. Dunbar. McMaster and Co., spinning manufacturers, of Gilford, County Down, where he remained some eight years. On attaining his majority, Mr. Johnston sailed for Auckland per ship “Mary Ann” in 1858, securing employment with Messrs. Connell and Ridings, auctioneers. In 1863 he became accountant to Mr. S. Jones, whom he left after nine years, to assume the position of accountant and local manager of the South British Insurance Company. This was at the time of the company's Inauguration. Mr. Boardman retiring from the office of general manager in 1880, Mr. Johnston was appointed in his stead. During his ten years' occupaucy of the general managership, the business of the company was very nearly trebled, Immediately on his retirement from the South British Company in 1890, Mr. Johnston was offered and accepted his present position. He at once threw all his energies and influence into the business of the company, resulting in a large increase in the number and value of policies. During his residence in Auckland of nearly forty years, during the whole of which time he has been actively and prominently engaged in insurance and mercantile pursuits, Mr. Johnston has made many friends and a very large circle of acquaintances. At the time when Volunteering meant something serious, he was away at the “front”—represented in those days by Papakura and Drury—and for seven years was connected with the Volunteer Rifle Corps. As a Mason, he has held the office of senior warden of Lodge Ara, No. 348, I.C. He was for some time a deacon of the Beresford Street Congregational Church. In 1863 Mr. Johnston was married to a daughter of the late Mr. E. J. Matthews, builder and contractor, of Auckland, and has two sons and three daughters.

The United Insurance Company, Ltd. (Fire and Marine; A. E. Dean, district secretary), Customs Street West, Auckland. Head office for New Zealand, corner of Featherston and Hunter Streets, Wellington. This company has been represented in Auckland since about 1880.

Mr. Alfred Elliott Dean, District Secretary at Auckland for the United Fire Office, was born in 1864 at Newcastle, New South Wales. He was educated at St. Paul's School, Wellington, and at the Southland High School, Invercargill, and commenced his business career as a member of the staff of Messrs W. and G. Turnbull and Co., Wellington, with whom he continued for many years. The firm acted as agents for the United and also for the Guardian Insurance Company, and Mr. Dean gained his experience of insurance matters in connection with these agencies. In 1891, when the United Insurance Company opened a branch in the colony, he became accountant to the company, and held the position till early in 1899, when he was appointed district secretary at Auckland.

Victoria Fire And Marine Insurance Company. The Auckland offices of this company are situated at 91 Queen Street, and Mr. John Bowden is the general manager.


British And Foreign Marine Insurance Company, Limited. Agents, Messrs Macky and Heather, Commerce Street, Auckland.

Canton Insurance Company, Limited. Agents, Messrs Henderson and Macfarlane, merchants, Fort Street, Auckland.

China Traders' Insurance Company, Ltd. (Marine). Agents, Messrs L. D. Nathan and Co., general merchants, Shortland Street, Auckland.

The Marine Insurance Company, Limited; office for Auckland provincial district, Hobson's Buildings, Shortland Street, Auckland. Mr. J. Hugo Harrop, agent. Head office, London. This company has been represented in Auckland since 1894.

The Ocean Accident And Guarantee Corporation, Limited, of London, was founded in 1871. Business was established in New Zealand at Wellington in June, 1899, and in the same month the Auckland branch was opened. The local office is situated at 14 Shortland Street, and Mr. A. P. Friend is district manager.

Straits Marine Insurance Company, Limited. Agents, Messrs John Reid and Co., merchants, Fort Street, Auckland.

Thames And Mersey Marine Insurance Company. Head office for New Zealand, Grey Street, Wellington; Messrs Levin and Co., Ltd., general agents. Auckland office, Fort Street; J. A. Barber and Co., agents.


Australian Mutual Provident Society. Auckland Branch, A.M.P. Buildings, corner of Queen and Victoria Streets, Auckland. Head office for New Zealand, Customs and Hunter Streets, Wellington. This branch was established in January, 1884, and the building (formerly Hoffmann's) was purchased by the society in 1883, and was altered for the accommodation of the business. It is of three stories, of brick and cement; the ground floor is used for the branch offices, and the upper flats are let to tenants.

Mr. Clement William Hemery, District Secretary for Auckland, is one of the oldest officers of the society. He was born in the Island of Jersey, in 1847, and began page 301 his business life in Liverpool. Mr. Hemery came to Melbourne in 1868, and four years later entered the society's employment in that city, where he held the office of cashier at the Victorian branch till 1883, when he was transferred to Auckland as agency clerk. Mr. Hemery succeeded the late Mr. D. J. McLeod as district secretary in 1888. He has (1901) been treasurer of the Young Men's Christian Association in Auckland for the last eight years.

Australian Widows' Fund Life Assurance Society, Limited. Head office, Melbourne; head office for New Zealand, 6 Custom House Quay, Wellington; Auckland branch office, 105 Victoria Arcade, Queen Street. Capital, £1,500,000; annual income, £240,000. This society was founded in 1871. Mr. A. E. D'Arcy, the secretary, was formerly superintendent in the Auckland district for the Mutual Life Association.

Citizens' Life Assurance Company, Limited. Head offices, 21, 23, 25 Citizens' Buildings, Castlereagh and Moore Streets, Sydney; chief office in New Zealand, Custom House Quay, Wellington; Auckland branch office, 192 Queen Street. Mr. Odard H. Taplin is the District Superintendent for Auckland, and the resident secretary is Mr. J. Frankis Lane. An account of the company is given on page 529 of the Wellington volume of this work.

Mr. Odard Hoult Taplin, District Superintendent at Auckland for the Citizens' Life Assurance Company, Limited, was born in Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somersetshire, England, in 1870, and is a son of Mr. T. K. Taplin, a West of England gentleman. Mr. Taplin was educated by private tuition, and left England in 1890 for Sydney, where he at once joined the Citizens' Assurance Company as an agent. In the beginning of 1896 he was appointed district manager of the Auckland branch, and subsequently became superintendent. Prior to leaving England, Mr. Taplin was a member of the Second Battalion, Prince Albert Somersetshire Light Infantry, and in the matter of sport he devotes himself to shooting, cricket, football, and cycling.

Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Company; Auckland branch, Colonial Mutual Buildings, corner of Queen and Fort Streets, Auckland; head office, Melbourne; chief office for New Zealand, Wellington. Local director, Mr. Seymour Thorne George; local secretary, Mr. F. T. Ward. The district controlled from the Auckland office includes the provincial districts of Auckland and Taranaki, and extends as far south as Wanganui in the Wellington provincial district.

Mr. Frederic Thomas Ward, Local Secretary to the Colonial Mutual Life Office in Auckland, was born in 1864, in Tasmania, and was educated at the Hobart High School. He came to Dunedin in 1881, when he joined the staff of the National Mutual Life Office, and three years later became accountant to the Equitable Life of New Zealand. In 1887 Mr. Ward joined the Colonial Mutual in Wellington, and shortly afterwards was placed in charge of the Auckland office. He was married, in 1889, to a daughter of the late Mr John Kissling, of Auckland, and has one son and four daughters.

Equitable Life Assurance Company Of New York, United States of America. This company's head office in New Zealand is at Wellington, and it has branches all over the Australasian Colonies. The director resident in Wellington is Mr. H. D. Bell, the well-known barrister and solicitor, and the general manager in Australasia is Mr. C. Carlisle Taylor. Mr. Percy M. Thomson is inspector of agencies in New Zealand, and the district manager in Auckland is Mr J. R. M. Stewart. The company is considered to be financially one of the stronest in the world. It has a capital of £58,373,185; a surplus of £12,711,975; and the assurances in force amount to £219,670,088.

Mr. J. R. M. Stewart, the popular Auckland Manager of the Equitable Life Assurance Company of New York, is a son of Mr. George Vesey Stewart, of Katikati, and was born at Lisbeg House, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Ireland, in the year 1862. He received his early education at Coventry, England; came with his father to New Zealand in 1874, and finished his education in Auckland. For about nine years he was in commercial life, and in 1888 he joined the office of the A.M.P. Society, in which he attained the high position of chief agent. In the year 1900 he was appointed district manager in Auckland of the Equitable Life Assurance Company, which has in him an officer who is considered one of the most successful life insurance experts in the colony.

Hanna, photo.Mr. J. R. M. Stewart.

Hanna, photo.Mr. J. R. M. Stewart.

New Zealand Government Life Insurance Department. Head office, Custom House Quay, Wellington; Auckland branch office, 105 Queen Street. The department is described on page 533 of the Wellington volume of the Cyclopedia, and Mr. W. J. Speight, the district manager for Auckland, is referred to on pages 108–109 of the present volume.

Mutual Life Association Of Australasia. Head office for New Zealand, Wellington. Auckland office, Mutual Life Buildings, lower Queen Street. This Association is fully described in the Wellington volume of the “Cyclopedia.” The Auckland offices are handsome and commodious and were formerly the head office for the Colony.

Mr. William Lambert, District Secretary for Auckland of the Mutual Life Association, is a colonist of long standing and extensive commercial experience. Born at Islington, London, in 1847, he sailed for Sydney with his parents in 1852, per ship “Francis Walker.” His father, the late Mr. W. Lambert, established himself in that city in the business of a general printer, but some three years later came to Auckland, finally settling in Dunedin in 1856, and founding the “Otago Colonist” newspaper. The subject of this notice was educated at Christ's College and Grammar School, Christ-church, and at the Dunedin High School. His first business experience was gained in the wholesale house of Messrs. W. Watson and Sons, of Dunedin, where he remained ten years. After a similar term in Messrs. Sargood's Dunedin house, Mr. Lambert removed to Melbourne, and was appointed cashier in a large building society. A year later, in 1886, he accepted the position of manager for New Zealand of the New York Life Insurance Company, and conducted the company's business until the New Zealand branch was closed in 1894. Mr. Lambert then went into business in Wellington as manufacturer's agent and indenter, subsequently accepting his present position. A large increase in the association's business in Auckland has been developed since his advent. His experience
Mr. W. Lambert.

Mr. W. Lambert.

page 302 in connection with the New York Life Insurance Company is of great value, whilst his long residence in the Colony necessarily gives him a large personal influence. For over twenty years he took an active part in the Volunteer movement, and for some seven or eight years was captain of the Dunedin Artillery Corps—one of the finest in the Colony. In Wellington, Mr. Lambert was secretary and treasurer of the City Bowling Club and the Northern Bowling Association, and latterly of the Thorndon Club.

National Mutual Life Association Of Australasia, Limited. This company's head office for New Zealand is in Wellington, and the Auckland branch office is situated at the corner of Queen and Swanson Streets. A detailed article on the company appears at pages 539 and 540 of the Wellington volume of this work. Mr. J. B. Gou'd is the company's district manager at Auckland.

Mr. James Baring Gould, District Manager at Auckland for the National Mutual Life Association, was formerly stationmaster at the Wellington station of the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company, and is referred to in that capacity at page 353 of the Wellington volume of this Cyclopedia.

The Provident And Industrial Insurance Company Of New Zealand; head office, Dunedin; Auckland branch (Mr. W. H. Churton, manager), 28 Shortland Street.

Mr. William Henry Churton, who is a Fellow of the Society of Auditors of England, has represented the Provident and Industrial Company in Auckland since 1893.

New Zealand Accident Insurance Company (P. A. Edmiston, general manager), Auckland. Board of Directors for 1900: Messrs Thomas Buddle (chairman), C. B. Stone, F. Battley, W. S. Wilson, R. C, Carr, and J. L. Wilson. The New Zealand Accident Insurance Company was established towards the end of the year 1879. The late Mr. W. A. Thomson, then well-known in life assurance circles, was the promoter and first general manager, and the Board of Directors was composed of six leading city men of the time; namely, David Boosie Cruickshank, who remained chairman of the company until his death in May, 1895, G. B. Owen, C. J. Stone, B. Tonks, Thomas Buddle, and J. L. Wilson. As the pioneer of accident insurance in the Australasian colonies, the institution had many difficulties to contend with in its early days, but steady progress was made, and now in its twenty-second year (1901) it ranks financially as one of the strongest institutions of its size in the colonies. The head office is in Auckland, but the company's operations extend through Australasia, and there are branches and agencies in each colony. Besides general accident, the business of the company embraces sickness insurance, employers' liability and indemnity, public risk, coupon insurance, burglary and theft, Plate glass insurance, and fidelity guarantee. The subscribed capital is £20,000, of which £10,000 is paid up, the liability of shareholders being unlimited. Steady dividends have been paid from its incorporation. On the 30th of June, 1900, its reserve funds stood at £60,000, and the total assets at the same date amounted to £85,900, of which seventy-five per cent. was invested in colonial Government securities. From its establishment in 1879 the company had, up to the 30th of June, 1900, returned to insurers upwards of £200,000 in the shape of bonuses to policy-holders, and the payment of 25,000 claims. These figures are by far the largest in the annals of colonial accident insurance, and a record for this side of the Equator.

Mr. Philip Augustus Edmiston, the General Manager, was born in Kent England, but arrived at Auckland with his parents at a very early age, in the ship “Mary Anne,” Captain Ashby. He was educated at the Auckland Collegiate Grammar School and at Christ's College, Canterbury. For many years he was connected with auctioneering in Auckland and the South Island, and Joined the company as accountant on its inception. In June, 1884, on the retirement of the late Mr. W. A. Thomson, Mr. Edmiston was appointed general manager, and the records of the company show with what ability and success he has filled the position.

New Zealand Plate Glass Insurance Company, Ltd., Mercantile Chambers, Queen Street, Auckland. Head office, Dunedin. Agent, Mr. J. T. W. Stevenson.

Auckland Fire Underwriters' Association. Office, 111 Victoria Arcade, Queen Street, Auckland; Mr. H. Goulstone, secretary.

The Auckland Marine Underwriters' Association, which was reformed in May, 1900, was previously in operation for many years. Committee for 1900: Messrs J. Bowden (chairman), A. S. Russell, A. E. Dean, B. Burt, and C. E. Palmer (honorary secretary).

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