Burial register ID: 17075
Surname: BARR
First name: PETER
Middle names:
Gender: Male
Age: 79 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 21-Mar-1951
Date of burial: 22-Mar-1951

Block: 89
Plot: 18

Bio contributor: Susan Richardson

Peter Barr (1861-1951)

Peter Barr was the son of Dunedin’s first chief postmaster, Archibald Barr, and his second wife, Sarah Hepburn. He was born in Dunedin on 9 July 1861. He was educated at Otago Boys’ High School, and was employed at 16 by an accountancy firm, R. H. Leary and Company, as a clerk. He moved to Melbourne for a brief time and began a real estate company, but a bout of typhoid forced an early return to Dunedin about 1886.

Barr was admitted as a partner in R. H. Leary and Company and controlled it following the death of its senior partner and founder, R. H. Leary, in 1895.

Throughout his career Barr sought to raise the standing of the practice of accountancy, which had been regarded not as a profession, but as a trading skill, and in 1894 he was a founder of the Incorporated Institute of Accountants. The purpose of this organisation was to establish a minimum standard of competency for accountants and to establish a code of ethics to which its members must adhere. Barr served on the council for 15 years and was president of the institute from 1904 to 1906, when the first representations were made to parliament to professionalise accountancy, by way of a Private Member’s Bill, which was successfully introduced in 1908.

The purpose of the New Zealand Society of Accountants Act 1908 was to establish a corporate body of qualified accountants, with the power to make provision for the training and examination of members of the profession, and to promote efficient practice. Barr was the first president of the New Zealand Society of Accountants (NZSOA), the organisation incorporated under the act in 1909.

Barr was also a member of the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce, and was its secretary from 1891 to 1922. As a member of the Moray Place Congregational Church he also managed the church finances, and gained the respect and friendship of H. E. Shacklock. He served on various other committees and commissions, including the Defence Expenditure Commission of 1918 and the Committee on taxation in 1922. He was a Dunedin City Councillor from 1908 to 1910, and district governor of Rotary International in 1926.

Peter Barr had married Mary Elizabeth Forsyth on 28 November 1900; they had a daughter and son. Mary Barr died in 1929. Peter retired in the early 1930s and travelled extensively, and at his death on 21 March 1951, was survived by his two children.


— Stratton, Kerry. ‘Barr, Peter 1861 – 1951’. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Southern People: A Dictionary of Otago Southland Biography

There are 6 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
BARR ARCHIBALD 77 Years 21-Aug-1898 23-Aug-1898
BARR ARCHIBALD FORSYTH 3 Days 14-Sep-1901 16-Sep-1901
BARR MARY ELIZABETH 54 Years 19-Mar-1929 21-Mar-1929
BARR PETER 79 Years 21-Mar-1951 22-Mar-1951
BARR ROBERT FORSYTH 60 Years 21-Oct-1967 24-Oct-1967
BARR SARAH 71 Years 10-Jul-1908 12-Jul-1908