Wellington Province


GILL, William

Page 518-19, 525

Mr. William Gill, Branch manager of the Alliance Assurance Company, and of the Alliance, Marine and General Assurance Company, Limited, who resides at the Lindens, Woolcombe Street, Wellington, was born at Dudley, England. After being educated at private and public schools in the Midland Counties, he was put into the service of a leading South Staffordshire firm of ironmakers to learn the business of ironmaking and manufacturing, and after passing through all its practical and mercantile stages, he removed to the Cleveland district, in the north of England, where he was for many years connected with the iron trade of that important centre. Here he rose to the position of iron manufacturer, and was closely identified with several kindred industries in the town of Middlesborough. Mr. Gill was for some years secretary of the large ironmaking and engineering company that built the original Tay Bridge, which, it will be remembered, collapsed with such fatal results. In 1879, having been engaged as Commissioner to take evidence in Australia on a most important law case between the South Australian Government and a manufacturing company in England, Mr. Gill paid a flying visit to New Zealand, and it was then he first formed the love for the Colony which caused him to make his home in the `Britain of the South.' Arriving with his family in Auckland in 1887, he joined the South British Insurance Company at their head office, and after about a year in the Northern City, went to Capetown as assistant manager of the Company's branch, and eventually became acting manager of the Johannesburg office. About the end of 1890, Mr. Gill returned to New Zealand, and soon after this he was appointed manager of the Union Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand at Wellington. He remained in this position till its incorporation with the Alliance Assurance Company in 1892 and has since continued to hold that responsible position. Mr. Gill has always take an interest in musical matters and speaks with great pride of his having been a performer, both in the orchestra and chorus, ay many of the musical festivals at Home. He was for some years a town councillor in Middlesborough, but has taken no part in municipal or political affairs in Wellington. Being an active member of the Anglican Church, he was elected on the Vestry of St. Peter's, and is one of the representatives on the Diocesan Synod, and is also on the General Synod of New Zealand. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, being attached to the Pacific Lodge, N. Z. C. While in England he took an active part in the North York Lodge, E. C. of which he became a `past master.' He is also a `past provincial grand officer,' of the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire. Mr. Gill has devoted himself entirely to insurance since he came to the Colony, and was elected chairman of the Fire and Marine Underwriters' Associations in 1893.

Alliance, Marine and General Assurance Company, Limited, Grey Street, Wellington. Branch manager, Mr. William Gill. Telephone 605. Bankers, Union Bank of Australia, Limited. Head Officer for New Zealand, Hereford Street, Christchurch. [This Company will be described in the Canterbury Volume of the Cyclopedia.]

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