BLUNDELL, Henry Percy Fabian
Newspaper proprietor and company director.
A new biography of Blundell, Henry appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Henry Blundell was born in Wellington on 9 May 1872. He was the second son of John Blundell and Kathleen née Wills, and a grandson of the Henry Blundell who founded the Evening Post newspaper in 1865. Thus he was connected with the earliest commercial development of the city. After completing his education in Wellington he went first as a clerk in the countinghouse of the general merchants, Johnston and Co. Ltd., but a roving disposition took him abroad to Australia before the turn of the century. On his return to Wellington he took his place in the family business and became a director of the firm in 1917. For many years he was chairman of directors, and even in his ninetieth year, when he died at his home at Heretaunga on 14 August 1961, he was still a member of the directorate.
Blundell's principal interest was the family newspaper, but although public life held no attraction for him, he took a lively interest in the development of the community. He was a keen sportsman and was for half a century associated with the turf, for many years as a racehorse owner. He raced nearly two score of horses at various times with a good measure of success. His association with the Wellington Racing Club extended over 56 years. Blundell was a firm believer in the power of the daily press and its influence for good when properly managed and controlled. He was also a jealous defender of the rights and liberties of the press, as witness his active and prominent participation in the affairs of the Newspaper Proprietors' Association over a long period of years. He was in control of the Evening Post through many of its most difficult times, and his experience and judgment on the managerial side of newspapers were widely recognised and made use of by his colleagues. The name Blundell in Wellington is still synonymous with that of the Evening Post.
by Ronald Jones, Journalist and Script Writer, New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, Wellington.
- Evening Post, 14 Aug 1961 (Obit)
- N.Z. Herald, 15 Aug 1961 (Obit)
- The Press (Chch.), 15 Aug 1961 (Obit)
- Otago Daily Times, 15 Aug 1961 (Obit).