Wellington Province



Page 674

Mr Thomas Ballinger. The Managing Director of the Company which bears his name, was born in London in 1852, and is the second son of the late Mr J. Ballinger, for many years well known in Wellington. The family left London for Victoria in 1857 and remained there for a few years, during which time the subject of this notice made use of such educational advantages as offered themselves in the early days of that colony. It was not long, however, before the attention of Mr Ballinger, senr., was attracted to New Zealand at the time of the gold fever, and subsequently he reached Invercargill at the time of the `rush' there. His family soon followed him in the `Seashell,' a smart sailing craft which accomplished the trip in six days, considered a wonderfully short time for a `sailor' even now. The old `Hero,' a steamer probably better known to early colonists than any other - was coming across at the same time bringing a letter to Mr Ballinger to acquaint him of the sailing of his family; but the two vessels arrived at the Bluff almost simultaneously. Mr. Thomas Ballinger learned his trade with his father in Invercargill; Dunedin, and finally Wellington, the removal of the Capital City being contemporaneous with that of the Government. Socially and in a semi-public way, Mr Thomas Ballinger has done a good deal of useful work. He is a member of St. Peter's Vestry, and was a committee man of the Wellington Industrial Exhibition of 1885. Of the Exhibition now being got up, Mr Ballinger is a member of the Executive, and in the Wellington Industrial Association he holds a similar position. In matters of recreation too, he has taken a considerable interest. Some years ago `Thomas Ballinger's Cricket Club' composed of himself and employees, carried off many a victory against other trade clubs. More recently, however, Mr Ballinger has given attention to bowling. He is treasurer of the Wellington Bowling Club; and is always among those chosen to play for the honour of the capital. He was the fortunate `skip' of the rink that won the `champion fours' in the last Northern Bowling Association tournament held in Auckland at which there were representative teams from Sydney, Invercargill and Christchurch, besides teams from all parts of the North Island. In 1875 Mr Ballinger married Miss E. J. Browne, daughter of the late Mr. George Browne, builder. The family consists of four sons and two daughters. The elder daughter in 1895 carried off an Education Board scholarship, being the youngest competitor to secure that honour. Three of the sons are associated in the Company's business.

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