Thursday, November 27, 2008

Avondale's Mayors

For a brief time, from 29 April 1922 until 31 August 1927, Avondale was an independent borough. During that time, we had four mayors.

James Watkin Kinniburgh (1922-1923). Born in 1858, he started his public service career in 1873. In 1910, he wrote a paper advocating the decimal system of currency. He died in Auckland in 1941. More on him here. Photo used here by permission of the Kinniburgh family.

William John Tait (1923-1927). Longest serving of Avondale's Mayors, and often erroneously termed the "first Mayor" of the Borough. He served many years on the Avondale Road Board before the Borough period, and in 1937 spearheaded the creation of the Avondale Businessmen's Association (which still continues today, after some changes of name and constitution). He ran a land agent's business, and built the Unity Buildings on the corner of Rosebank and Great North Roads in 1932. Tait Street and Tait Park are named after him.

Herbert Tiarks (1927). Living in Blockhouse Bay, he was an accountant by trade. He was extremely upset by the poll passed in August 1927 to amalgamate Avondale with the city, and resigned forthwith.

Edward E. Copsey, Mayor for little more than a week before the amalgamation. He organised the petition calling for the poll on amalgamation, and was appointed by the Borough council, then in crisis, to replace Tiarks. A farmer and market gardener, Copsey owned an extensive holding on Rosebank Road. Copsey Place is named after him.

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