Thursday, November 27, 2008

R. F. Bollard (1863-1927)

Richard Bollard, Avondale-born and son of John Bollard, the first chairman of the Whau Highway District, died on 25 August 1927 of pneumonia after contracting influenza. The following is an obituary published that day in the Auckland Sun.

The late Richard Francis Bollard was born in Avondale in 1863, and his mother, Mrs. Bollard, sen., widow of the late Mr. John Bollard, once M.P. for Eden, lives still in the old family home in Rosebank Road, where the late Minister of the Crown was born.

Richard Bollard was educated in the public schools and under private tuition. He became clerk of the Avondale Road Board, of which his father was chairman for about 30 years. He resigned that position after seven years, and established himself in the Waikato, going into a large timber milling business near Taupiri in partnership with Mr. J. W. Bailey.

Taking up farming, he settled at Tamahere, and began his public life as a member of the Kirikiriroa Road Board and the Waikato County Council, of which eventually he became chairman. He was also a member of the Waikato Hospital Board.

When the Raglan electorate was constituted in 1911, Mr. Bollard became its first representative in Parliament, and he has continuously represented that electorate ever since. In politics he soon came to the fore. He was appointed Junior Government Whip in 1918 and Senior Whip in 1919. From that office he was promoted to cabinet rank as Minister of Internal Affairs in 1923.

Mr. Bollard was in his youth a keen sportsman, particularly interested in cricket and rifle shooting, but he was a fine pheasant shot also. Only recently the Otaki Maori Racing Club elected him a patron and the Wellington Trotting Club in his honour recently put the Bollard Handicap on the programme for the spring meeting.

The Bollard family have been closely associated with Anglicanism and the late Minister of Internal Affairs was a lay reader in the Tamahere Anglican Church.

The late Minister leaves a widow, who was formerly Miss Louisa Dakin, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dakin of Avondale. His two sons are Mr. J. R. Billard, of Tamahere, and Mr. Harold Bollard, of Wellington. His daughters are Mrs. Hunter, Mrs. Duncan Bennett, Miss Muriel Bollard and Miss Madge Bollard, all of whom reside in Wellington.

Mrs. John Bollard, mother of the late Mr. Bollard, still lives in Avondale. Other members of Mrs. Bollard’s family are Mr. W. Allen Bollard, artist, Dunedin; Mr. Ben Bollard, Auckland; Mr. A. E. Bollard, of Campbell and Ehrenfried, Ltd., Auckland; and Mr. Harold Bollard, of the Northern Steamship Company, Auckland.

The late Mr. Bollard’s sisters are Mrs. J. W. Bailey, Mrs. Charles Waters, Mrs. John Mills, Mrs. D. V. Russell, all of Auckland; and Miss Bollard, who lives with her mother at Avondale.

When the House resumes to-morrow afternoon formal expressions of regret at the death of the Minister of Internal Affairs will be made by members.

The Prime Minister [Gordon Coates] was just leaving his home this morning to be present when the House in Committee was to resume when he was informed of the serious condition of Mr. Bollard, and hurried to the late Minister’s home, just in time to be present at his passing, which occurred at about 8.51.

On arrival at Parliament Buildings Mr. Coates conferred with all parties, and when the House met at 9.30 am immediate adjournment was unanimously agreed upon.

“Any formal contribution members may feel inclined to make to our late colleague can be better conveyed to-morrow,” said the Prime Minister. “I feel I am expressing their views when I say that none of us are really in a mood to express what we would like at the moment.”

Mr. H. E. Holland, Leader of the Opposition, agreed with Mr. Coates’s suggestion, which was formally adopted, and the House adjourned.

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