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1873–1955Welfare worker, community leader
Rachelina Hepburn Stewart was born on 22 April 1873 at Dunedin, New Zealand, to Rachel Hepburn and her husband, William Downie Stewart, a barrister. She displayed a strength of character and sense of determination from an early age. After her mother's death in 1878 and, in 1881, her father's...
Story: Armitage, Rachelina Hepburn
1880–1967School principal, educationalist
William Allan Armour was born at Dunedin, New Zealand, on 30 April 1880, the son of Elizabeth Allan and her husband, Hugh Armour, a shipwright; both had been born in Scotland. William attended Arthur Street School, where he was dux in 1893, then entered Otago Boys' High School in 1895 as a...
Story: Armour, William Allan
1832/1833?–1883Architect, surveyor, engineer
William Barnett Armson was born in London, England, probably in 1832 or 1833. He was the son of Jane Barnett and her husband, Francis William Armson, a surveyor and builder and later an architect. The Armson family is thought to have arrived in New Zealand in 1852, leaving two years later for...
Story: Armson, William Barnett
1875–1942Labourer, miner, trade unionist, politician
Hubert Thomas Armstrong (known as Tim) was born in Bulls, New Zealand, on 28 September 1875, the sixth of nine children. His parents, Mary Newcombe and her husband, Martin Armstrong, were recent immigrants from Dublin, Ireland. Mary was a nurse and washerwoman and Martin, a blacksmith by trade...
Story: Armstrong, Hubert Thomas
Hermina Arndt (known as Mina) was born on 18 April 1885 at Thurlby Domain, the family property near Arrowtown, New Zealand. She was the daughter of Jewish parents: Herman Arndt, a merchant from Pomerania, Germany, and his wife, Polish-born Marie Beaver. Herman died six weeks before Mina was...
Story: Arndt, Hermina
1859–1929Boot clicker, trade unionist, politician, factory inspector
James Frederick Arnold was born at Mount Durant, St Peter Port, Guernsey, on 6 June 1859, the son of Eliza Perry Davis and her husband, Julius Arnold, a notary public. The family emigrated to Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1864. James was apprenticed to a boot clicker in 1875. From his Methodist...
Story: Arnold, James Frederick
1928–1985Labourer, trade unionist, politician, parliamentary Speaker
Basil Malcolm Arthur was born in Timaru on 18 September 1928, the son of George Malcolm Arthur and his wife, Doris Fay Wooding. George was a foreman printer at the Timaru Herald and later a hotel proprietor. In 1946 he succeeded to a baronetcy that Queen Victoria had granted to his great-...
Story: Arthur, Basil Malcolm
1901–1984Accountant, teachers’ union official, educationalist
George Richard Ashbridge was born in Wellington on 13 August 1901, the son of tinsmith Walter Ashbridge and his wife, Mary Agnes Hart. As a young man he tried himself out in a number of occupations, becoming a cadet in the Post and Telegraph Department, then a wireless operator and salesman....
Story: Ashbridge, George Richard
1879–1965Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāti Pukenga; rugby union and rugby league player, fireman, groundsman
Albert (or Arapeta) Asher was born on 3 December 1879 and Ernest Te Kēpa Asher on 21 April 1886 at Tauranga, the fifth and seventh of eleven children. They were of Te Arawa, of Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāti Pukenga descent through their mother, Katerina Te Atirau, and their maternal grandmother,...
Story: Asher, Albert
1892–1966Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāti Pikiao leader, hotelier, interpreter, racehorse owner
John (Jack) Atirau Asher was born at Tauranga on 8 August 1892, the 10th of 11 children of Katerina Te Atirau, a high-ranking woman of Te Arawa, of Ngāti Pukenga and Ngāti Pikiao descent, and David Asher, a Jewish trader and hotel proprietor. His father was a strict parent and raised the...
Story: Asher, John Atirau
1907–1993Moriori, Ngāti Māmoe and Ngāti Kahungunu; railway worker, sportsman, dance band leader
Joey Mātenga Ashton (Āhitana), sometimes called Joseph, was born in Greytown, Wairarapa, on 3 June 1907, the only child of Kiti Karaka Rīwai (Rēwai) and her husband, Te Ao Āhitana Mātenga (Joseph Ashton), a labourer. Kiti, born on Ruapuke Island in Foveaux Strait, was of Moriori, Pākehā and...
Story: Ashton, Joey Mātenga
1908–1984Educationalist, teacher, writerEarly life and marriage
Sylvia Constance Ashton Warner (whose pen-name was Sylvia Ashton-Warner) was born in Stratford, Taranaki, on 17 December 1908. Her father, Francis Ashton Warner, had arrived in New Zealand at the age of 16 in 1877. Although his family were poor, Francis thought of...
1896–1975Senior public servant, economist
Bernard Carl Ashwin played a key role in transforming the New Zealand government's approach to economic management in the 1930s and 1940s. He was born in Paeroa on 22 September 1896, the second of eight children of Manley John Ashwin, a storekeeper, and his wife, Clara Elizabeth Foy. Ashwin...
Story: Ashwin, Bernard Carl
James Ashworth senior was born probably in 1818 at Castleton, Lancashire, England, into a Methodist family. His father was Abraham Ashworth, a farmer; his mother's identity is unknown. James took up farming, and on 11 November 1844 at Rochdale married Elizabeth Tweedale. There were two children...
Story: Ashworth, James
1909–1987Violinist, orchestral leader
Vincent Aspey, popularly known as Vince, was the first leader of New Zealand’s National Orchestra. He was born in Hindley, Lancashire, on 5 January 1909, the second of two sons of Thomas Aspey, a coalminer, and his wife, Alice Berry. The family came to New Zealand in 1911 and settled in Huntly...
Story: Aspey, Vincent
1871–1951Agricultural chemist, botanist
Bernard Cracroft Aston was born on 9 August 1871 at Beckenham, Kent, England, the son of Mary Griffin and her husband, Murray Aston, a stockbroker. Bernard came to Christchurch, New Zealand, with his parents as a boy. He received his secondary education at Christchurch Boys' High School and...
Story: Aston, Bernard Cracroft
1900–1988Rabbi, community leader
Alexander Ostroff, one of eight children of Rabbi Theodore Lionel Ostroff and his wife, Gertrude Freedman, was born in Helsinki, Finland, on 11 August 1900. Several months later the family left for London. His mother had been born in Lithuania, and his father, a noted Talmudic scholar, in...
Story: Astor, Alexander
Ian Athfield was an award-winning Wellington architect whose practice, Athfield Architects, designed distinctive and innovative houses that challenged suburban norms, as well as celebrated commercial, public and institutional projects. Athfield was the figurehead of the practice and provided an...
Story: Athfield, Ian Charles
1833–1902Journalist, lawyer, philologist, astronomer, naturalist
Arthur Samuel Atkinson was born at Hurworth, Durham, England, on 20 October 1833, the eighth of 13 children of Elizabeth Smith and her husband, John Atkinson, architect and stonemason. The family settled at Frindsbury, Kent; it was there that Arthur grew up. A close, lifelong bond of friendship...
Story: Atkinson, Arthur Samuel
1867–1956Engineer, socialist, insurance agent
Harry Albert Atkinson was born in Urenui, north-east of New Plymouth, New Zealand, on 15 October 1867, the fourth of six sons of Marion (Polly) Ronalds and her husband, Decimus Atkinson, a farmer. The Atkinsons were one of the leading Taranaki families: an uncle, Harry Albert Atkinson, after...
Story: Atkinson, Harry Albert