The General Election


Otago Daily Times

Issue Date

25 November 1908


Julius Vogel & William Cutten






Notes on the Election

After the poll was declared last night, a meeting of Mr G. M. Thomson's, committee and supporters was held in the All Saints' Schoolroom. The chairman of the committee, Mr E. Rosevear, presided over a very large meeting. Mr Rosevear said that he wished to congratulate Mr Thomson and the committee on the result achieved. He stated that he thought Mr Barclay's remarks at the declaration of the poll were quite uncalled for, and also incorrect. In conclusion, ho asked the committee to keep together and consider themselves bound together by a bond of sympathy. Mr. Thomson, on rising to speak, was received with very hearty cheers. He stated that his speaking powers had almost left him. He expressed his profound gratitude to the committee that had worked so hard on his behalf. Of course, the result was not yet quite certain, but he hoped everything would come out all right. Mr Thomson said that there were some anomalies in the second ballot that should be removed. For instance, seamen's votes were allowed, while those people who had left the district in between the first and second ballots lost their votes. By this he had lost at least 100 votes. He referred to the excellent work which his committees had done, and referred to tho gdod work of Mr Rosevear as chairman. It was due very largely to his organising ability that his (Mr Thomson's) position was so good. If he were not returned, he would be more disappointed for his friends than for himself. In conclusion, he said that they must not bo too jubilant that night, but whatever happened, it was a great moral victory. Mr James Allen, on responding to numerous calls from tho audience, said that when he heard at Milton that Mr Thomson had done so well he had been perfectly amazed. He was sure that the whole of Parliament would welcome Mr Thomson to its ranks. Dr Fulton also said a few words to the meeting. Votes of thanks to Mr J. H. Lang (hon. secretary), Mr H. C. South (press secretary), to those who had so kindly lent vehicles, and to the ladies concluded the meeting, Three cheers were given for the lady members of the committee.

New Members

Mr George Malcolm Thomson, E.L.S. who.has been elected for Dunedin North now in practice as an analyst and scientific specialist in Dunedin, was born in Calcutta in 1848. He was educated at the Edinburgh High School and University, and was for three years employed in a merchant's office in London. Following the failure of tho Agra Bank, Mr Thomson's family came to Now Zealand, arriving in Southland in 1868, and here Mr Thomson was engaged for three years in farming at Mabel Bush. In 1872 ho joined the staff of the Dunedin High Schools, and for many years was master of both the Girls and Boys' educational institutions. Mr Thomson was the inaugurator and one of the founders of the Technical School in 1889 and for 11 years filled the position of hon. secretary and superintendent of the school, and is at present chairman of tho Board of Management. For many years he was secretary, and afterwards became president on two occasions, of the council of the Otago Institute, and for a long period was an active member of the Otago Acclimatisation Society. In the latter connection he has been the chief mover in attempts to introduce marine fishes in New Zealand seas and his efforts resulted in the establishment of the Marine Fish Hatchery at Portobollo, the board of which he has been chairman since it was founded in 1903. As a close student of botany and zoology he has published several works, among others “Ferns and Fern Allies of New Zealand” and “An Introductory Text-book of Botany” the latter being published from the Government Printing Office. Numerous papers from his pen on botanical subjects, on geographical distribution, find on acclimatisation have been published in the “Transactions and Proceeding” of the Now Zealand Institute and by the Linnean Society of London, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Tasmanian Royal Society, and the Australasian Society for the Advancement of Science. He has been hon, secretary of the last-named society in New Zealand for 10 years, was one of the original members, and organised and carried out the Science Congress in Dunedin in 1904. In addition to Mr Thomson's active interest in education and scientific subjects, he has found time to devote some of his energies to philanthropic, social, religious, and outdoor recreation movements. He founded, and has been president for some years of the Dunedin City Mission; founded the Dunedin Choral Society, and was formerly and is at present its president. He founded and was an original member of the Dunedin Football Club, was captain of the club for a time, and an Otago football representative. He was also the founder and for many years president of the Pirates Football Club. As president of the Dunedin Young Men's Christian Association since its foundation, Mr Thomson's whole-hearted efforts in connection with the raising of £16.500 in the city within a fortnight, in aid of a hall for the association will be fresh in the public memory. Mr Thomson is one of the original members of the Dunedin Conservation Society and a member of the board, and was formerly a member of the B Battery and for several years captain in the Volunteer Artillery. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Free Kindergarten Association.