Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Gorrie Brothers




The names and lives of William Gorrie and Henry Thomson Gorrie are in the stories that are a Part of the Past of New Zealand History. 

Their stories are about past times of  bowling, chess  horse racing, the Pakuranga Hunt Club; occupations of  goldmining, timber, banking, bookselling and publishing. Their stories are about many places in New Zealand - typical of the stories of many early pioneers. Typical, also as of many of the early pioneers, information on their lives is scattered across repositories and archives.

William Gorrie was born to early settlers William Gorrie and Mary ( nee Morton ) almost as soon as their  ship had landed at Kororareka ( Russell ) in New Zealand. William's birthdate was  said to be 30 November 1840.

Kororareka 1840 Courtesy British Library  Photo Stream - New  Zealand History Flickr
The Gorrie family made a hurried evacuation from Kororareka to Auckland in 1845 aboard the cutter Trial along with  others,  including the Mair family. William would have been about five years old then. The family remained in Auckland and opened a Confectioner's Store - firstly in High Street and later Shortland Street.
Henry Thomson Gorrie was born to William and Mary in Auckland on 12 December 1849 when William and Mary were still operating the Confectioner's Store.

Auckland in 1852In  The Cyclopaedia of New Zealand, Vol 2, Auckland Province.Christchurch: Cyclopaedia Company Limited, 1902.

William was educated in Auckland at the school  of John Gorrie, his half-brother. John was the eldest son of William Gorrie senior and Mary (nee Scott -  and William's first wife deceased ) . John Gorrie’s school-  Auckland Academy- was in Coburg Street.

                                              Advertisement Auckland Academy

New Zealander, 7 July 1852, Page 1 Courtesy Papers Past, National Library NZ
 Henry or Harry or H.T. formally as he was often called, attended High-school Auckland and from newspaper accounts  it seems, achieved prizes for Arithmetic, Geography ,Latin and Bible Class.
“Arithmetic. —First Class: 2, H. T. Gorrie. Geography.— 2, H. T. Gorrie. Second Class  Latin-.—First Class: 1, H T. Gorrie Bible Class.— 2, H. T. Gorrie and James Aitken, equal.” (HIGH SCHOOL, AUCKLAND. New Zealand Herald, , 22 December 1864, Page 5)

Both spent their early occupations in the field of gold mining. William is said to have been involved in both goldmining and timber at Thames and Mercury Bay  on the Coromandel Peninsula. Along with a short spell as accountant for Brown, Campbell & Co.  

In 1870 William Brown Upton died suddenly. William Upton's  brother, John Henry Upton continued to run the business  and  with William Gorrie ( John's brother - in -law) entered into partnership of the Stationers and Bookshop - Upton & Co.) This partnership continued until about 1909 when the reigns were passed to Upton's sons.
Te-Whanganui-o-Hei ( Mercury Bay ) at Whitianga - Photo by CRB 2012
                                                                                                    
 Henry Thomson Gorrie spent his early occupational life in banking with the Bank of New Zealand. Henry aka Harry spent some time on the goldfields of the Westcoast of the South Island buying gold for the bank in places such as Lyell and Ross. In the 1880's Henry Thomson Gorrie returned to Auckland and took up the stock and auctioneering business  with his father-in-law Alfred Buckland. In the early 1900's  Gorrie became managing director of the firm which was known as Alfred Buckland & Sons.

Both brothers continued their interest in gold mining into the 1900s and filled   key roles as Director and/ or  Managing Director within many mining companies across the goldfields of the Coromandel Peninsula. The mining companies were made up of many shareholders from many walks of life.

Looking towards the hills of the  Coromandel - Photo by CRB 2012

Amongst the companies were : - Old Alburnia - Thames, The Hauraki North Gold Mining Company - Coromandel , The Midas Gold Mining Company - Kuaotuna, The Tairua Broken Hills Gold Mining Company - Tairua,  The Wairoa Gold Mining Company - Whangamata, The King of  Waihi Gold mining Company - Waihi. Along with the well known Woodstock Gold and Silver Mining and Smelter Company and Talisman - Karangahake. 

( See below compiled chart reference in data from Archives NZ and Papers Past National Library of NZ)

The Woodstock Gold and Silver Mining and Smelting Company (Limited)

2nd. place of operations is at Karangahake, in the Provincial District of Auckland in the Colony of New Zealand.
3rd. The Registered Office of the Company will be situated at the New Zealand Insurance Company Buildings, Auckland, in the Provincial District of  Auckland and Colony of New Zealand.
4th. nominal capital of the Company is thirty-six thousand pounds sterling, in thirty six thousand Shares of one pound sterling each.
5th. number of Shares subscribed for is thirty six thousand, being entire number of Shares in Company.
6tb. number of shares paid-up is nil.
7th. amount already paid up is eighteen thousand pounds.
8th. name of Manager is Dennis Gilmore MacDonnell.
9th. names and addresses, and occupations of Shareholders, and number of Shares held by each at this date, are as follows:—


Name

Place

Occupation

Number Shares

Davis, Richard Knibb

Auckland

Accountant

12,500

Tonks,  Benjamin Digby

Auckland

Auctioneer

1,600

Rogers , Edwin

Auckland

Gentleman

1,500

McMillan, Charles Cookman

Auckland

Merchant

1,000

Gorrie , Henry Thomson

Auckland

Clerk

1,000

Upton , J H

Auckland

Stationer

500

Gorrie , William

Auckland

Bookseller

500

Fraser, William

Thames

Miner

2,000

Liddell, James

Karangahake

Mine Manager

3,000

Humphreys, Thomas Mace

Ohinemuri

Clergyman

2,000

McCombie, John

Ohinemuri

Mining Agent

2,000

Heitman , John Henry

Karangahake

Miner

2,000

Lemon ,George

Karangahake

Miner

1,500

Shepherd , Alfred

Ohinemuri

Hotelkeeper

1,000

Littlejohn ,William

Ohinemuri

Mine Manager

1,000

Davidson, Charles

Karangahake

Miner

1,000

McLoghry ,Archibald

Karangahake

Mr

1,000

Moore, John H

Waihi

Mine Manager

1,000




Total: 36000

Taken before me this twenty fifth day of November, one thousand eight, hundred and eighty five C.D. Whitcombe J.P. Witness to Signature: J. W. Nichol, Jun.



Woodstock Refraction Works, Karangahake In Dept. New Zealand .Mines. and P Galvin. The New Zealand mining handbook ( with maps and illustrations ). Wellington: J. Mackay, Government Printer,1906.

Both William and Henry Thomson Gorrie held positions in the Auckland Chamber of Mines over the years , with William being one of twenty four elected to the first  Council inaugurated in 1895.
"At the annual meeting of the Chamber of Mines the following officers were elected:—President, Mr H. Brett; Vice-President, Mr Graves Aitken; Members of Council, Messrs Jas. Russell, W. A. Mercery, W. E. Bloomfield, E. E. Hunt, A. W. Griffiths, Robert Rose, W. Gorrie, Alfred  Nathan, and H. A. Gordon."  
                                             ( CHAMBER OF MINES. Thames Star, 1 September 1897, P 2)

Both also were elected  for a term to the Thames Drainage Board in the early 1900s - 1905 to 1909.

Homelife

 

William Gorrie married Lizzy Gunion in 1868 and Henry Thomson Gorrie married Blanche Buckland in 1881.
As with their occupations , both brothers followed their favorite past - times with vigour. For William it was chess and bowls. William played many a chess game with Andrew Stewart until Andrew's premature death in 1889. Both were inaugural members of the newly formed Auckland Chess Club in 1871. William played outdoor bowls , being a member of the Auckland Bowling Club and held a position of president on the Auckland Bowling Association.
Henry Thomson Gorrie showed a preference for sports involving the horse. A member of the Pakuranga Hunt Club, H.T. or AKA Harry, was Master of Hunt for two seasons.
 
Pakuranga Hunt Club: On the lawn at Mr. H.T. Gorrie's residence ( Dunkerron)The Auckland Weekly News 26 May 1899 Courtesy 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-18990526-5-1 Auckland City Libraries Heritage Images


H.T. also took part in horse racing and was  a founding member of the Avondale Jockey Club. Along with holding positions of vice-president, honorary treasurer and life member of-the Auckland Racing Club.

Both brothers died in ill health - William Gorrie in 1911 and Henry Thomson Gorrie in 1922 - both living for  " three score years and ten. "
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The War Years



The families of the Gorrie brothers were as many New Zealand families in the early 1900's impacted upon by War. Both brothers each lost two sons to wars.
William and Lizzy's son Keith Gunion Gorrie died in the Boer War - ( or South African War as some refer to it now) 1900. Neither William nor Lizzy saw the loss of another son in World War One - William Gorrie in 1918. Another son - Alan Rutherford also fought in World War One.
Henry Thomson and Blanche lost both sons  in World War One -  John William AKA Jack Gorrie in 1916 and Donald Buckland Gorrie in 1917. H.T. also gave service in the Boer War as committee member of the More Men Fund and honorary treasurer with Arthur M Meyers of the Patriotic Horse Fund
                                                                ( Auckland Star, 11 January 1900, Page 2)

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Reference Source:
Sources used to compile chart