Burial register ID: 7835
Surname: GILLIES
First name: JOHN
Middle names: LILLIE
Gender: Male
Age: 65 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 27-Sep-1897
Date of burial: 29-Sep-1897

Block: 28
Plot: 12

Bio contributor:

John Lillie Gillies (1832-1897)

John Gillies was born in Rothesday, Scotland in January 1832. After his schooling he found employment in the Western Bank of Scotland, where he gained considerable knowledge and expertise as an accountant.

In 1851 he left his position in the bank and sailed from London to Adelaide and then on to Victoria. On arriving in Melbourne he decided to go inland, and along with some companions, obtained a position on a sheep and cattle run. With the discovery of gold in Victoria, John and his friends gave up their situations on the run and took up mining. Soon tiring of mining, John became the chief accountant for the Geelong Advertiser, a position he occupied for some years. He married, and in 1855 left Australia for Dunedin.

Three years prior to Johns arrival, John’s father Mr. John Gillies senior along with other members of the family had come to settle in Otago. John purchased a farm in the Tokomairiro district where he remained until the discovery of gold at Gabriel’s gully in 1861. Once again ‘struck’ by gold fever he was among the first of those who took up claims in the gully. With the early diggers he was a great favourite, but after the arrival of more experienced miners from Victoria his influence amongst them began to wane.

In 1861 John Gillies entered political life, being elected a member of the Otago Provincial Council for the Tokomairiro district in the same year. For some time he held office as Provincial Treasurer, and in this capacity he earned the reputation of possessing great financial ability, even those who opposed him in politics recognised his talents in this respect. In 1871 he was elected Speaker of the Council, a position which his father had held before him. In 1873 he contested an election for the Superintendency, and while running a memorable campaign, was defeated by the winner Mr. Jas. Macandrew. Following the abolition of the provinces, John was elected to the House of Representatives, and sat till 1875. In that year he became secretary of the Otago Harbour Board, which was then newly formed, and remained in the employment of the Board until the day of his death. As secretary to the Board Mr. Gillies’s services were invaluable, and he was held in high esteem by all the members. During his residence in Otago John also filled many positions besides those already spoken of. For several years he edited the Bruce Herald and since then he has held a number of appointments in this city, and in fact, for many years took an active interest in almost everything of local concern.

Mr. Gillies was a member of a family which has distinctly made its mark in the history of the colony, three brothers as well as himself, having attained positions of high prominence in New Zealand. The late Mr. Justice Gillies held portfolios in three Ministries and had been Superintendent of Auckland before being appointed to the Supreme Court Bench. The late Mr. Robert Gillies was well known in connection with the firm of Gillies, Street and Hislop, subsequently merged in the Perpetual Trustees, Estate, and Agency Company, and had been elected MHR for Bruce shortly before his death. The Rev William Gillies, of Timaru, was a leading figure in the Northern Presbyterian Church.

Source: from the Otago Daily Times

There are 4 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
GILLIES ELIZABETH Unknown 01-Aug-1944 01-Aug-1944
GILLIES JOHN LILLIE 65 Years 27-Sep-1897 29-Sep-1897
GILLIES JOHN THORN 45 Years 23-Jun-1875 26-Jun-1875
GILLIES MARY 51 Years 01-May-1878 04-May-1878