William Thomas HILDRETH J.P.
- Born: 1858
- Marriage: Elizabeth Gilchrist JACKMAN in 1882
- Died: 4 Oct 1940, Karori, Wellington, New Zealand at age 82
Evening Post, Volume CXXX, Issue 83, 4 October 1940, Page 9
MR. W. T. HILDRETH
SERVICES TO CITY
The death occurred this morning of one of Wellington's oldest and very well-known citizens, Mr. William Thomas Hildreth, at the age of 82 years, over sixty of which were lived in Wellington. The late Mr. Hildreth attended the Grand Lodge Assembly at Christchurch some months ago, and was taken seriously ill. An operation was performed and he returned to Wellington by air to convalesce at his home at Karori. Since then his health had not been good and his death was not unexpected.
The late Mr. Hildreth had a full and interesting life, in his business, in public affairs, and in recreation. He and Mrs. Hildreth came to Wellington from Dunedin in 1878 and his business, the New Zealand Botile Exchange, was founded nearly sixty years ago. At one time the premises were in Mercer Street, then a lane ending on the beach, but many years ago they were transferred to Te Aro.
Mr. Hildreth's public service included office for several years as a member -of the old Karori Borough Council, leading to his election as Mayor of Karori, and later to the City Council table, where he sat from 1915 to 1919 and again from 1929 to 1931. He was also a member of the Wellington Harbour Board for several years, and apart from elected office had a lively interest in district movements. An earlier activity was his part in the old Wellington Volunteer Fire Police; with his death has gone the last of the foundation members of this body, the forerunner of the permanent city brigades of today. By coincidence the opening of the new fire station in Clyde Quay on December 1, 1937, fell on his eightieth birthday, and remark was made on that occasion of the good work he and the bucket and hand-pump volunteers had done when Wellington was still a small town.
He was a keen. Mason, the first Master of the Lodge Karori, and a Past Master of Lodge St. Andrew.
Though, not a foundation member of the Wellington Bowling Club, his name appears in the club records of nearly half a century ago. His interest extended to other sports, and he was an official of a number of management committees. No Karori club or activity was complete without the interest and support -of the late Mr. Hildreth. Mr. Hildreth was a Justice of the Peace and took a great interest in the Justices of the Peace Association.
He leaves a wife, three sons, and three daughters. They are Mr. W. T. Hildreth (Wellington), Mr. H. Hildreth (Hamilton), Mr. H. C. Hildreth (Wellington), Mrs. H. Turner (Wellington), Mrs. D. G. Meredith (Te Aroha), and Mrs. W. Moore (Palmerston North).
Noted events in his life were:
• Death Notice. Evening Post, Volume CXXX, Issue 86, 8 October 1940, Page 10
THE LATE MR. HILDRETH
There was a large and representative attendance of mourners at the funeral of the late Mr. William T. Hildreth, Karori, on Saturday. The chief mourners were Messrs. W. T. Hildreth (Wellington) and H. V. Hildreth, Hamilton, and H. C. Hildreth, Wellington (sons), A. Hildreth and H. Turner (grandsons), and Major J. Hildreth, of the Salvation Army (brother).
Major Allen Hildreth, of the Salvation Army, conducted the services in the house and at the cemetery. The Masonic service at the Karori Cemetery was conducted by Mr. P. Mc- Cluggage, Master of Lodge Karori, and Messrs. G. Laird, W. Burd, H. Johnson, and J. Hunt, all past-masters of the same lodge.
Among those present were the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. P. Fraser, Sir Charles Luke, and representatives of the Wellington and Karori Bowling Clubs, the Wellington City Council, and the Harbour Board. The Wellington Fire Police (of which Mr. Hildreth was the only surviving foundation member) formed a guard of honour.
The late Mr. Hildreth never allowed his early association with Dunedin to fade. He received his primary education at the Anderson's Bay School in the seventies, and was one of its first pupils. He was a member of the expupils' association of that school, and attended the last five or six reunions during which time he was president of the association.
Four grandsons of the late Mr. Hildreth are on active service. These are Gunner W. T. Hildreth (fourth of the name), now in Egypt; Lieutenant W. E. Moore, of the Second Echelon, England; Corporal T. Moore. First Echelon, England; and Dr. D. G. Meredith, now in camp, to leave with the next reinforcements.
William married Elizabeth Gilchrist JACKMAN in 1882. (Elizabeth Gilchrist JACKMAN was born in 1864 and died in 1945.)