Sir John Hall – pioneer, politician and champion of the women’s suffrage movement
- Date: Thursday, 28 September, 2017
12.10 to 1pm
Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets
- Contact Details:
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Hororata’s Terrace Station archives contain John Hall diaries, 1850 - 1907 and some personal correspondence, extensive station records from the 1860s to early 1900s and material relating to family members. As the guardian of this archive which is the source of continued researched in Sir John Hall’s original home in South Canterbury Kate Foster will discuss his family background, education, reasons for immigration and explore why he may have felt granting women the vote was important. She will also speak of what she knows of his interactions with Kate Sheppard.
John Hall was born in Hull in 1824. He was educated in Switzerland, France and Germany and from the age of 16 worked in London. He immigrated to New Zealand in 1852 and from his arrival until his retirement in 1894 he was almost continuously engaged in the administration of public affairs. He was the longest serving member of the Canterbury Provincial Council, first chairman of the Christchurch Municipal Council, member of the General Assembly for nearly forty years. He first sat in the House of Representatives in 1856 and held cabinet rank several times. He was premier of New Zealand 1879 – 1882 following which he was knighted for his services to the country. His most notable achievement was his leadership of the campaign which won all women in New Zealand the parliamentary vote in 1893.
Kate Foster is a great granddaughter of Sir John and Rose, Lady Hall and lives with her husband Richard in the Hall family home at Hororata in Canterbury. They are surrounded by portraits, paintings and pleasurable reminders of those colonial pioneers. Kate is keeper of the family stories and co-founder with Richard, of the Terrace Station Charitable Trust. In 2015 Kate was awarded the Rhodes Medal by the Canterbury History Foundation. This is given to a non-academic historian for their contribution to Canterbury history.
Sir John Hall