Wellington Province


ORR, John Forbes

Page 1070

Orr, John Forbes, Settler, Johnsonville. Born in 1834 at Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, Scotland, and apprenticed at the age of ten years to a baker, after serving five years, Mr. Orr worked at his trade in Glasgow for four years, when he shipped for the Crimea on a transport ship engaged in conveying troops and sick and wounded soldiers. For a quarter of a century he followed the sea, becoming cook on sailing vessels and on steamers, visiting many Australian and New Zealand ports till 1872, when he settled in Wellington. As a restaurant keeper he was in business for five years in Lambton Quay opposite Barrett's Hotel. In 1877 Mr. Orr built the Buffet, a wood and iron building, which was burnt down on New Year's Day, 1888. The present substantial three-story brick structure, nearly twice as large as the first, was conducted by him with success till March, 1896, when the property was leased. In 1892 Mr. Orr purchased the property - twenty-four acres in extent - in which he resides at Johnsonville. The house and grounds are among the most prominent in the district, a large vinery having been added. Mr. Orr has been married twice - in 1856 to Miss Margaret Anderson, of Greenock, who had five children, of whom three sons survive - and in 1877 to Miss Manson, of the Shetland Islands, by whom he has three sons and three daughters.

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