Burial register ID: 15210
First name: JAMES
Middle names: ARMOUR
Gender: Male
Age: 73 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 08-May-1933
Date of burial: 09-May-1933

Block: 194
Plot: 7

Bio contributor:

James Armour Johnstone (1859-1933)

James was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 25th June 1859.

Immigrating to Otago with his parents and siblings in 1868, James attended Otago Boys’ High School from 1873-1875. On leaving school he joined the stock and station agency Wright Stephenson and Company, in which he was made a partner when in his mid twenties.

On 31st May 1894 Johnstone married Margaret Forrest Donald but it was not until 1901 that they purchased their Maori Hill property, located on the corner of what is now Tolcarne Avenue and Drivers Road (currently 7 Drivers Road).

Johnstome played a key role in New Zealand’s agricultural development, especially as a stockbreeder. In 1907 he went on a world tour with his family mostly to buy or sell stock, and to exhibit and judge agricultural shows, mainly in Australia and Argentina. In 1910, in partnership with W.D. Hunt, Johnstone purchased 900 acres of the seaward side of the Bushey Park estate, near Palmerston, becoming the sole owner in 1920.

His success as a businessman and stockbreeder made him a wealthy man. His family would often travel from their home in Maori Hill to Bushey Park in a chauffeur-driven Daimler. Margaret and her daughters also enjoyed entertaining. Margaret Johnstone was for many years president of the Royal New Zealand Society for the Health of Women and Children (Plunket Society) and the family were close friends of Sir Truby King.

James Johnstone died at his home in Maori Hill on 8th May 1933, having never fully recovered from a fall from his horse. Margaret Johnstone died just over three months later, on the 20th of August 1933.

Reference: Above the Belt: a History of the suburb of Maori Hill by Jane Smallfield and Brian Heenan (for the Maori Hill Charitable Trust), Otago Uni Print 2006.

There are 9 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
JOHNSTONE ELIZABETH ARMOUR 29 Years 05-Jan-1890 07-Jan-1890
JOHNSTONE JAMES ARMOUR 73 Years 08-May-1933 09-May-1933
JOHNSTONE JESSIE 19 Years 02-Oct-1883 07-Jan-1890
JOHNSTONE MARGARET FORREST 65 Years 20-Aug-1933 21-Aug-1933
JOHNSTONE REV. DAVID SONLEY 73 Years 14-Jul-1896 16-Jul-1896
JOHNSTONE WINIFRED DONALD 74 Years 05-Dec-1976 07-Dec-1976
MONRO JAMES SCOTT 82 Years 13-Oct-1966 14-Oct-1966
MONRO JOCELYN BESWICK 13 Months 03-Sep-1932 04-Sep-1932
MONRO MARY ARMOUR 87 Years 20-Jul-1985 24-Jul-1985