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Branch history

15 May 2018

Nelson Presidents, 1885 -

Presidents of the Nelson District Law Society (12 August 1885 to 31 January 2009) and the Nelson branch of the New Zealand Law Society (from 1 February 2009):

YearPresidentYearPresident
1885-86Lowther Broad1953-54IE Fitchett
1886-87Lowther Broad1954-55IE Fitchett
1887-88Lowther Broad1955-56HG Brodie
1888-89Lowther Broad1956-57HG Brodie
1889-90Lowther Broad1957-58JH Reaney
1890-91Lowther Broad1958-59JH Reaney
1891-92Lowther Broad1959-60JH Reaney
1892-93Lowther Broad1960-61IL Moore
1893-94Henry Wirgman Robinson1961-62IL Moore
1894-95Henry Wirgman Robinson1962-63PD Connery
1895-96Henry Wirgman Robinson1963-64WD Hunter
1896-97Henry Wirgman Robinson1964-65WD Hunter
1897-98Henry Wirgman Robinson1965-66WD Hunter
1898-99Henry Wirgman Robinson1966-67TG Ralfe
1899-00Henry Wirgman Robinson1967-68TG Ralfe
1900-01Henry Wirgman Robinson1968-69JD Williams
1901-02Henry Wirgman Robinson1969-70JD Williams
1902-03Henry Wirgman Robinson1970-71RB Rainey
1903-04Henry Wirgman Robinson1971-72RB Rainey
1904-05H Eyre-Kenny SM1972-73CJ Harley
1905-06H Eyre-Kenny SM1973-74CJ Harley
1906-07H Eyre-Kenny SM1974-75Ronald Alan Fletcher
1907-08H Eyre-Kenny SM1975-76Ronald Alan Fletcher
1908-09Charles Yates Fell1976-77HJ Smith
1909-10Charles Yates Fell1977-78HJ Smith
1910-11Charles Yates Fell1978-79RJH Siddells
1911-12Charles Yates Fell1979-80RJH Siddells
1912-13Charles John Harley1980-81DJF Slow
1913-14Charles John Harley1981-82DJF Slow
1914-15Charles John Harley1982-83RD Symns
1915-16Charles John Harley1983-84RD Symns
1916-17Charles John Harley1984-85JA Doogue
1917-18Charles John Harley1985-86JA Doogue
1918-19Charles John Harley1986-87Hamish Watson Riddoch
1919-20Charles John Harley1987-88Hamish Watson Riddoch
1920-21Charles John Harley1988-89Graeme S Williams
1921-22John Patrick Hayes1989-90Graeme S Williams
1922-23John Patrick Hayes1990-91David W Farnsworth
1923-24John Glasgow1991-92David W Farnsworth
1924-25John Glasgow1992-93Brian J Nelson
1925-26John Glasgow1993-94David J Maze
1926-27CR Fell1994-95Brian R Smythe
1927-28CR Fell1995-96Dennis E Creed
1928-29Edward Burns Moore1996-97Christopher Norman Tuohy
1929-30William S Milner1997-98Joanna E Maze
1930-31Gordon Samuel1998-99John Charles Statham Sandston
1931-32William Carrol Harley1999-00Ross Hannay McKechnie
1932-33CR Fell2000-01Anthony John Dean Bamford
1933-34John Glasgow2001-02Steven Julian Zindel
1934-35WV Rout2002-03Austin Matthew Powell
1935-36Gordon Samuel2003-04Graeme Mark Downing
1936-37William Carrol Harley2004-05Frank Freeman
1937-38William Carrol Harley2005-06Chris Wright
1938-39CR Fell2006-07Nicholas Burley
1939-40John Glasgow2007-08Nicholas Burley
1940-41Edward Burns Moore2008-09Garry Peter Barkle
1941-42MCH Cheek2009-10Garry Peter Barkle
1942-43WV Rout2010-11John Malcolm Fitchett
1943-44WV Rout2011-12John Malcolm Fitchett
1944-45WVR (Vern) Fletcher2012-13Michelle Jan Duggan
1945-46WVR (Vern) Fletcher2013-14Michelle Jan Duggan
1946-47WVR (Vern) Fletcher2014-15Robert Thomas (Rob) Somerville
1947-48Keith Elsdon Knapp2015-16Robert Thomas (Rob) Somerville
1948-49Keith Elsdon Knapp2016-17Gerard Joseph Praat
1949-50CM Rout2017-18Gerard Joseph Praat
1950-51CM Rout2018-19Andrew Robert Shaw
1951-52William James (Jim) Glasgow2019-20Andrew Robert Shaw
1952-53William James (Jim) Glasgow 

Nelson's first lawyers

Nelson was one of the first New Zealand centres to have a resident legal profession. New Zealand's Chief Justice, William Martin, arrived in Nelson on 23 October 1842. A day later, on 24 October, the Nelson Examiner reported: "His Honour took the declaration of some gentlemen of the legal profession, and placed them on the rolls" (Nelson Examiner, 29 October 1842, page 134).

The history of the Nelson legal profession, Beyond the Maungatapu (D Armstrong, T Haig, J Warren, Nelson District Law Society, 2005) says those sworn were John Poynter, George Ryecroft Richardson, Joseph Greaves and William Luke Shepherd. "All four found conditions extremely difficult," the authors say. "As survival was the first priority of most colonists, lawyers were not often called upon. Nelson's first lawyers were thus forced to look largely outside their profession for an income."

Last updated on the 21st June 2019