REED, Alfred Hamish, M.B.E.
Author and publisher.
A new biography of Reed, Alfred Hamish appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Alfred Hamish Reed, who was born at Hayes, Middlesex, England, on 30 December 1875, the son of James William Reed and Elizabeth Reed, née Wild, came to New Zealand with his parents in 1887. After some experience as a kauri gum digger, he moved to Dunedin where, in 1897, he became manager of the Typewriter Co. Ten years later he entered the bookselling trade, when he founded the firm of A. H. and A. W. Reed. In 1932 he branched out as a publisher and, in 1935, as an author. Between 1935 and 1938 he edited three volumes of MSS. of J. W. Stack. He has also written The Isabel Reed Bible Story Book (1944); The Story of New Zealand (1945, seventh edition 1957); The Story of Otago (1947); The Gumdigger (1948); The Story of Canterbury (1949); The Story of the Kauri (1953); The Four Corners of New Zealand (1954); The Story of Northland (1956); The Story of Early Dunedin (1956); Walks in Maoriland Byways (1958); The Story of Hawke's Bay (1958); Heroes of Peace and War in Early New Zealand (1959); Historic Bay of Islands (1960); From North Cape to Bluff (1961); From East Cape to Egmont (1962); and Marlborough Journey (1963). In recent years A. H. Reed has undertaken some remarkable walking and mountain-climbing expeditions. He climbed Mount Egmont (aged 80), Mount Ruapehu (aged 83), Ngauruhoe (aged 85), walked from North Cape to Bluff (aged 85) and from East Cape to Cape Egmont (aged 86), and walked through Marlborough (aged 87). Reed was created M.B.E. in 1948.
In 1938 A. H. Reed and his wife established the Alfred and Isabel and Marian Reed Trust for the promotion of the Christian religion, of education, of literature, and for philanthropic and other benefits for the people of New Zealand. It now has a capital and assets amounting to about £20,000. Among other activities the trust has built up a collection of rare books and manuscripts for the Dunedin Public Library, including one of the most comprehensive collections of manuscripts and early printed Bibles in the Southern Hemisphere.
Since September 1958 the A. H. Reed Memorial Kauri Park Scenic Reserve, near Whangarei, commemorates the associations of the Reed family with the district.