Newspaper Article 1932 – The Late Mr William Nelson





The funeral of the late Mr William Nelson, of “Waikoko,” Tomoana, took place yesterday afternoon, the funeral cortege being one of the largest seen in the district for many years. All sections of the community, all parts of the province were represented at the impressive service which took place at St. Matthew’s Church and at the graveside, to do honour to one whose long life had been full of service, and who had left an enduring record on the history of the province and the Dominion, and an enduring place in the hearts of the people. It is given to few men to attain the age of 90 years; it is given to fewer men still to have used that life so well and so worthily, and to have made it an inspiration and an example to the generations which followed him.

At the burial service at St. Matthew’s Church, conducted by Archdeacon Maclean, mourners from near and far filled the church, the expression on the faces of all testifying to their sorrow at the loss of a friend, of one of whom it might truly be said “to know was to honour.” And all felt that not only a friend, but a sturdy pioneer, and a great industrial leader had passed away. Amongst those who attended were many of the old employees of the firm of Nelson Bros., some who had spent almost a lifetime in the service or the firm, and who were present to pay their last tribute of respect to their revered departed chief. Every public body, as well as every large business organisation or association was represented amongst the mourners.

The service in the church was deeply solemn and after the beautiful hymn “Abide With Me,” had been sung, the choir and mourners joined in singing the departed pioneer’s favourite Psalm, Psalm 15, the words of which are : –

  1. Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle: or who shall rest upon Thy holy hill?
  2. Even he, that leadeth an uncorrupt life; and doeth the thing which is right, and speaketh the truth from his heart.
  3. He that hath used no deceit in his tongue, nor done evil to his neighbour: and hath not slandered his neighbour.
  4. He that setteth not by himself, but is lowly in his own eyes: and maketh much of them that fear the lord.
  5. He that sweareth unto his neighbour, and disappointeth him not: though it were to his own hindrance.
  6. He that hath not given his money upon usury nor taken reward against the innocent.
  7. Whoso doeth these things shall never fall.

After the singing of the hymn, “Peace, Perfect Peace,” the mourners listened with devout reverence while that gloriously devotional “Funeral March” was splendidly played on the organ by Mr C. B. Spinney. The funeral cortege then proceeded to the Havelock North cemetery, where the last sad rites were carried out. As the mortal remains of the veteran settler were laid in their last resting place, there was scarcely one amongst those present who was altogether unmoved, and the service at the graveside conducted by Dean Brocklehurst, was listened to with profound attention. The pallbearers were six grandsons of the deceased.

The wreaths sent in were very numerous and very beautiful, and it was evident that in many instances these had been made by personal friends, whose loving hands had woven into their floral tribute that feeling of regard which they cherished for him who had passed away. And no tribute could have been more in keeping with the wish and the sentiment of him whose bier was covered with these floral tributes for he had always been a lover of all that was beautiful in nature, but flowers had been his hobby, and his garden at “Waikoko” with its many rare plants, as well as its beautiful blossoms, was to him a perpetual delight, and to his friends, was ever something to admire and to wonder at.

In that quiet burial ground on the Havelock North hillside, on which shines the close of each parting day, will rest the mortal remains of one whose long life passed to its earthly close in just such fashion, but looking round at the very evident regard shown by all present, one could not but be struck with the thought that in that warm friendly regard and affection, in that honour and esteem, in that example of courage and devotion to duty and to life, was shown the mortal evidence of immortality, that while the body had been placed in its sepulchre, the spirit still remained as an imperishable force for those who had known and could appreciate the man who had been, but who was no more.

Original digital file


Date published

19 November 1932

Format of the original

Newspaper article


Accession number


Do you know something about this record?

Please note we cannot verify the accuracy of any information posted by the community.

Supporters and sponsors

We sincerely thank the following businesses and organisations for their support.