Claude Weston

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Claude Weston

WESTON Claude Horace op 640x804.jpg
Portrait of Claude Weston
2nd President of the National Party
In office
1936–1940
Preceded bySir George Wilson
Succeeded byAlex Gordon
Personal details
Born(1879-12-28)28 December 1879
Hokitika, New Zealand
Died10 November 1946(1946-11-10) (aged 66)
Wellington, New Zealand
Political party National
Spouse(s) Agnes Louisa Weston
Relations Thomas Shailer Weston Jr. (brother)
Warwick Weston (uncle) [1]
Tom Shand (son-in-law)
Parents Thomas S. Weston

Claude Horace Weston DSO KC (28 December 1879 – 10 November 1946) was a New Zealand lawyer, a lieutenant-colonel in World War I, and effectively the first president of the National Party (1936–1940).

Distinguished Service Order UK military decoration

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Since 1993 all ranks have been eligible.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

Contents

Early life

Major Claude Weston (sitting) with his horse Billy in Egypt, in February or March 1916. The two other soldiers in the picture are Billy's groom and Weston's batman (servant). Claude Horace Weston horse.jpg
Major Claude Weston (sitting) with his horse Billy in Egypt, in February or March 1916. The two other soldiers in the picture are Billy's groom and Weston's batman (servant).

Weston was born in Hokitika in 1879. [2] His parents were Maria Cracroft Weston (née Hill) and Thomas S. Weston, and judge and later a member of the House of Representatives for electorates on the West Coast of the South Island. [3] Claude Weston received his secondary education at Christ's College and graduated with LL.B. from the Canterbury University College. [3] Weston was a Captain of the Taranaki Rifles. [4]

Hokitika Place in West Coast, New Zealand

Hokitika is a township in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island, 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River.

Thomas S. Weston New Zealand politician

Thomas Shailer Weston, often referred to as Thomas S. Weston, was a judge and 19th-century Member of Parliament from Westland, New Zealand. Weston was the patriarch of one of two dominant Canterbury families of the legal profession.

New Zealand House of Representatives Sole chamber of New Zealand Parliament

The New Zealand House of Representatives is a component of the New Zealand Parliament, along with the Sovereign. The House passes all laws, provides ministers to form a Cabinet, and supervises the work of the Government. It is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets and approving the state's accounts.

Together with his elder brother Thomas Shailer Weston Jr., he took over his father's legal practice in November 1902, with offices in New Plymouth, Inglewood, and Waitara. Their firm was known as Weston & Weston. [5] He was appointed crown prosecutor in 1915. [3] In the same year, he joined the Wellington Infantry Battalion and embarked on 14 August for Suez in Egypt. [6] He became a lieutenant-colonel and was awarded a Distinguished Service Order in the 1918 New Year Honours. [7] The citation reads: [2]

Thomas Shailer Weston was a member of the New Zealand Legislative Council from 17 June 1926 to 20 January 1931, when he committed suicide aged 62 years. He was appointed by the Reform Government.

New Plymouth City in Taranaki, New Zealand

New Plymouth is the major city of the Taranaki Region on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is named after the English city of Plymouth from where the first English settlers migrated. The New Plymouth District, which includes New Plymouth City and several smaller towns, is the 10th largest district in New Zealand, and has a population of 74,184 – about two-thirds of the total population of the Taranaki Region and 1.7% of New Zealand's population. This includes New Plymouth City (58,300), Waitara (6,483), Inglewood (3,380), Oakura (1,359), Okato (561) and Urenui (429).

Inglewood, New Zealand Place in Taranaki, New Zealand

Inglewood is a town in the Taranaki Region of New Zealand's North Island. The population was 3,246 in the 2013 census, an increase of 156 from 2006.

He was severely wounded in the war and was eventually discharged as unfit for further service. He wrote a book about his war time experiences, Three Years with the New Zealanders, which was published in 1918. He returned to New Plymouth, where he resumed law practice, but also engaged in farming. [3] He was commandant of the New Zealand command of the Legion of Frontiersmen from 1926 to 1933, [8] and was chairman of the New Plymouth repatriation committee. [9]

Legion of Frontiersmen

The Legion of Frontiersmen is a voluntary service formed in Britain in 1905 by Roger Pocock, a former constable with the North-West Mounted Police and Boer War veteran.

He resigned as crown solicitor in New Plymouth in 1931 before he moved to Auckland. [9] At the end of 1933 he moved to Wellington. [10]

Auckland Metropolitan area in North Island, New Zealand

Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. The most populous urban area in the country, Auckland has an urban population of around 1,628,900. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. Auckland is a diverse, multicultural and cosmopolitan city, home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. A Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.

Wellington Capital city of New Zealand

Wellington is the capital and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 418,500 residents. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. It is the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, and is the world's windiest city by average wind speed.

Weston was sworn in as King's Counsel on 12 March 1934 at the Wellington Supreme Court. Others who took silk at the same ceremony were Alexander Howat Johnstone and John Callan. Michael Myers as Chief Justice presided, four other judges sat on the bench, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives (Charles Statham) and the Minister of Justice (John Cobbe) attended in official capacity. [11] In 2013, the Crown Law Office published a list of King's and Queen's Counsel appointed since 1907, but Weston is missing from that list, [12] and according to the Law Society, he is the only omission on the official list. [13] By coincidence, a Claude Weston from Sydney, New South Wales was appointed King's Counsel just a month earlier. Whilst they were not related, they later met. [14] [15]

High Court of New Zealand Court in New Zealand

The High Court of New Zealand is the superior court of New Zealand. It has general jurisdiction and responsibility, under the Senior Courts Act 2016, as well as the High Court Rules 2016, for the administration of justice throughout New Zealand. There are 18 High Court locations throughout New Zealand, plus one stand-alone registry.

John Bartholomew Callan was a Dunedin lawyer and member of the New Zealand Legislative Council for one seven-year term.

Michael Myers (judge) New Zealand chief justice

Sir Michael Myers was the sixth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Zealand from 1929 to 1946 and served occasionally as Administrator of New Zealand from 1930 to 1941. He was the first person of Jewish descent to hold this position. He sat on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1936.

Political activitiy

The United Party (known as the Liberal Party until 1927, except for a short period between 1925 and 1927 when it used the name "National Party") and the Reform Party were in a coalition, known as the United/Reform Coalition, since 1931. Weston was one of the key figures who organised a conference for 13 and 14 May 1936. Together with two others, he drew up a draft constitution prior to the conference, and he was chosen as chairman for the conference. The outcome was the formation of the New Zealand National Party through the merger of United and Reform. [16] At the conference, Weston proposed Sir George Wilson as the party's president, and the motion was carried. Within a week, Wilson was forced to make a decision between the presidency or a directorship of the New Zealand Insurance Company, and Wilson decided in favour of the commercial appointment. [17] The presidency thus transferred to Weston, [3] who had the task of overseeing the establishment of the party's Dominion organisation, [18] and he was one of the trustees of the party's periodical, The National News. [19] Whilst The National News performed an important part during the party's formative years, the venture was expensive and following the 1938 election, it was changed to a quarterly schedule, before being discontinued in September 1939 just after the outbreak of the war. [20]

The seven-member Dominion publicity committee, of which Weston was a member, engaged three advertising companies to jointly prepare for the 1938 election. Two of those companies, John Ilott and Charles Haines, [21] remained joint agents for the National Party until 1973. [20] Weston was succeeded as president by Alex Gordon in 1940. [22] Weston was also the first chairman of the Wellington Division of the National Party (1936–1937). [3]

In the 1946 election, Weston was a candidate for the National Party in the Wellington Central electorate. He died suddenly on 10 November 1946 in Wellington and was replaced as a candidate by his wife, Agnes Louisa Weston. [3] The election was won by Charles Henry Chapman of the Labour Party. [23] His wife was later appointed onto the New Zealand Legislative Council as part of the suicide squad. [24]

Weston was New Zealand consul to the Netherlands and was appointed Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. [2]

Family

Weston married in 1905. [25] His wife was born Agnes Louisa Steuart, the daughter of Fred J. Steuart, who was at one time Mayor of Stratford. [26] [27] The funeral service for Weston was held at St. Paul's Cathedral, [25] after which he was cremated. [28] His wife died in 1972 and was also cremated. [29]

His daughter, Claudia Lillian Weston, trained to become a medical doctor. On 8 February 1937, she married Tom Shand, who became a member of the House of Representatives in the 1946 election for the Marlborough electorate. [30] [31]

Bibliography

Notes

  1. Scholefield 1940, p. 484.
  2. 1 2 3 "Weston Claude Horace". The Pro Patria Project. Archived from the original on 2 August 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Gustafson 1986, p. 389.
  4. "The Defence Act". Wairarapa Daily Times . XXVIII (7675). 27 January 1904. p. 6. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  5. "Partnership Notice". Taranaki Herald . L (12134). 29 November 1902. p. 5. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  6. "Claude Horace Weston". Auckland War Memorial Museum . Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  7. "The New Year Honours". Otago Daily Times (17202). 3 January 1918. p. 3. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  8. "Past Commandants". Legion of Frontiersmen . Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  9. 1 2 "King's Counsel". Auckland Star . LXV (59). 10 March 1934. p. 10. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  10. "King's Counsel". The Evening Post . CXVII (59). 10 March 1934. p. 14. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  11. "New "Silks"". The Evening Post . CXVI (60). 12 March 1934. p. 8. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  12. "Queen's Counsel appointments since 1907 as at July 2013" (PDF). Crown Law Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  13. "Crown Law lists Queen's Counsel appointments since 1907". my.lawsociety. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  14. "New King's Counsel". The Sydney Morning Herald (29, 982). 6 February 1934. p. 10. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  15. "News of the Day". The Evening Post . CXXXVII (95). 22 April 1944. p. 6. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  16. Gustafson 1986, pp. 8f.
  17. Gustafson 1986, p. 14.
  18. Gustafson 1986, p. 167.
  19. Gustafson 1986, p. 195.
  20. 1 2 Gustafson 1986, p. 196.
  21. Phillips, Jock (13 July 2012). "Advertising - Advertising agencies, 1891–1970". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  22. Gustafson 1986, pp. 38, 289.
  23. "The General Election, 1946". National Library. 1947. p. 11. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  24. Wilson 1985, p. 166.
  25. 1 2 "Obituary". The Evening Post . 1946. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  26. "The Fallen and the Wounded". North Otago Times (13692). 6 October 1916. p. 2. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  27. "The Stratford Railway". Auckland Star . XXXII (75). 29 March 1901. p. 2. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  28. "Details". Wellington City Council . Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  29. "Details". Wellington City Council . Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  30. Templeton, Hugh. "Shand, Thomas Philip". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  31. Wilson 1985, p. 233.

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References

Party political offices
Preceded by
Sir George Wilson
President of the National Party
1936–1940
Succeeded by
Alex Gordon