Life in Early Poverty Bay
Great Friend of Sir George Grey
Great Friend of Sir George Grey.
A great rush of business was being dealt with in Mr Rees's office with its large staff. And in the course of his work he was more or less connected with all the excitements. Elected to the Westland County Council, he threw himself heart and soul into the work of furthering the interests of the district. But the radiance on the future was clouding over. People began to drift away. Mr Rees's sister married Mr E. K. Tyler. His mother died. The money which had poured into the office had been lavished in the development of worthless claims. Another move was decided on and in 1869 the family moved to Auckland.
Stepping at once into a good practice, briefed in every important case, four years later elected to the Auckland Provincial Council, later appointed Provincial Solicitor, Mr. Rees was brought into intimate relationship with Sir George Grey. A page break page 139 wonderful friendship sprang up between the two idealists. On the abolition of the Provinces in 1876, Mr Rees was elected to Parliament as the Member for Auckland City East. About this time he wrote “Sir Gilbert Leigh,” a novel dealing with the Indian Mutiny and also with some of his own experiences in Australia. His successes in the Supreme Court, especially in the George Jones Jnr. libel case at Oamaru, and his celebrated speech of twenty-four hours in the House, successfuly outmanoeuvring the surprise tactics of the other side, made him well-known throughout New Zealand.