Burial register ID: 15203
First name: THOMAS
Middle names: REID
Gender: Male
Age: 72 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 09-Sep-1933
Date of burial: 11-Sep-1933

Block: 194
Plot: 10

There is no monument or gravestone at this gravesite.

Bio contributor: Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust

Thomas Reid Christie was born in April 1861 in Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland. He was educated at the Dollar Academy in Clackmannanshire, eventually serving an apprenticeship as a plumber.

On 26th August 1880 Thomas sailed from Glasgow on board the Dunedin to Port Chalmers, arriving on 26th November. With Thomas were his brother John, sister Helen, parents James and Helen and grandfather John, who was aged in his 90s. The brothers soon established a partnership as Messrs J. & T. Christie, sanitary engineers, general plumbers and manufacturers.

Thomas was a member of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers of London, President of the National Association of Master Plumbers of New Zealand, represented the Dunedin City Council on the Technical Classes Association and was a trustee of the Dunedin Savings Bank for nearly thirty years. As a city councillor, Thomas represented the Bell ward from April 1990 until 1905 and was elected Mayor of Dunedin in 1904 with 2820 votes. During his term as mayor, Thomas was involved in some significant events. He was the major instigator of the policy of tree planting on the municipal watersheds that provided the city with an asset of considerable value. He was present when on 3rd June 1904, Sir Joseph Ward laid the foundation stone of the Dunedin Railway Station. In a speech on the occasion, Thomas said the “Government had spared no expense in the proposed structure, either from an architectural or from a utility point of view”. It indicated that “Dunedin was progressing and progressing steadily”.

There was considerable debate in Dunedin that year about the merits of two potential sources of electric power for the city – at Waipori Falls and at Lee Stream. The Waipori Falls Company had introduced a private Bill in Parliament to secure rights to supply Dunedin and adjacent districts with electricity. At that point the city was backing a Lee Stream project and Thomas was required to provide evidence on behalf of the city during parliamentary deliberations. Ultimately the city opted for the Waipori scheme and purchased the interests of the company for 31,000 pounds.

Thomas was also chairman of the Dunedin City Tramways Committee when Dunedin became the first municipality in New Zealand to introduce electric trams in 1904.

Thomas married Jessie Mercer in 1889, having two daughters, Rachel and Helen, and a son James, who died at 19 days. Following Jessie’s death, Thomas married Sarah Brown in 1906, and lived in Cargill Street.They adopted a son, also called James, in 1919. He was killed in action in the Western Desert during World War 2. Neither of Thomas’ daughters bore children.

Thomas Christie died on 6th September 1933, aged 72 years. There are ten burials in the Christie plot in the Northern Cemetery. The first was in 1892 and the last in 1983.

(Information written and supplied by Michael Christie of Dunedin.)

There are 10 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
CHRISTIE GEORGE JAMES 76 Years 03-Jul-1974 05-Jul-1974
CHRISTIE HELEN 53 Years 21-Oct-1892 23-Oct-1892
CHRISTIE HELEN REID 53 Years 11-Jul-1934 12-Jul-1934
CHRISTIE ISABELLA DUNCAN 80 Years 02-Nov-1949 03-Nov-1949
CHRISTIE JAMES 72 Years 04-May-1904 06-May-1904
CHRISTIE JAMES 19 Days 21-Feb-1892 23-Feb-1892
CHRISTIE JANET 44 Years 11-Jun-1905 13-Jun-1905
CHRISTIE JOHN 72 Years 17-Jul-1931 19-Jul-1931
CHRISTIE THOMAS REID 72 Years 09-Sep-1933 11-Sep-1933
CHRISTIE WILLIAM SHEDDAN 79 Years 16-Sep-1983 19-Sep-1983