Newspaper Article 1937 – Obituary – Mr George William Venables



A well-known and highly respected member of the printing fraternity of New Zealand in the person of Mr George William Venables, aged 73 years, husband of Mrs Mary Francis Venables, passed away at his residence, No 1 Ashridge road, Napier, yesterday.

The late Mr Venables was born in Rotherite, London, in 1864 and was brought in the following year to New Zealand where his father was engaged for a number of years in gold mining on the West Coast of the South Island, later settling at Kaiapoi. The late Mr Venables entered the trade as compositor with the North Canterbury News in 1875, completing his apprenticeship and being made foreman of the Ashburton Mail barely six years later. In 1887 he crossed the Tasman and with a partner founded the North-West Post at Devonport, Tasmania, eventually selling his share to his partner.

The deceased held several important positions on newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne and after a brief visit to New Zealand, he was engaged for 12 months at the Government printing office in Western Australia. The late Mr Venables returned to New Zealand in 1893, joining the staff of the Government printing office and in 1902, with a partner, purchased the Waikato Times.

After being in business in Cambridge, Waipukurau and Hastings, the deceased came to Napier in 1909 and founded the firm of G. W. Venables and Company, Ltd., from which he retired in 1927.

Helensville was where Mr Venables next settled and in 1928 he took over the Recorder at Otahuhu in partership [partnership] with his youngest son. This business was sold in 1931 and the family returned to Napier.

The late Mr Venables was a Justice of the Peace and led a particularly active life in political and civic affairs. He served six years on the Napier City Council, two years on the Napier Harbour Board, six years on the Hawke’s Bay Education Board and three years on the Technical College Board of Governors. For a number of years he was on the Napier Licensing Committee. Besides these, Mr Venables was a prominent church and temperance worker and was connected with a large number of social activities in Napier.

In his younger days, Mr Venables was a Rugby player and supporter, and also played the Victorian code in Tasmania and Melbourne. He was a first class oarsman, being stroke of the Yarra champion fours in 1891. His outdoor exercise for nearly 40 years was bowling, joining the Cambridge Bowling Club in 1903. He was a foundation member of the Wairere Bowling Club, of which he was singles champion for the seasons 1936 and 1937. He joined the Masonic Lodge in 1905 and was foundation member of Lodge Napier, of which he was a past master.

Eighteen months ago, the late Mr Venables underwent a serious operation, from the effects of which he never fully recovered, although he maintained his interest in business and social life until quite recently. He married Miss Mary Frances Abra, of Launceston, in October, 1888, and the sympathy of a wide circle of friends will be extended to his widow and family in their sad loss. There are three sons and four daughters,. Messrs V. Venables, Orewa, Auckland; Hilton Venables, Helensville; Ivo Venables, Napier; Miss D [A]. Venables, Mrs J. Foster, and Miss Mauree Venables, Napier and Miss Nellie Venables, of Puke[…].

The funeral will leave his late residence at one o’clock to-morrow afternoon for the Parke [Park] Island Cemetery.

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Newspaper article

Date published

26 October 1937

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