A keen polo player and foundation member of the Hawke’s Bay Polo Club, which came into existence in 1892, he played with and captained the provincial team which won the Savile Cup in 1906 and subsequent years. Later he became secretary and then president in 1918, two years later he gave up active participation in the game. He was a member of the committee of the New Zealand Polo Association for over 20 years, and though no longer an active player, he continued to reveal his keen interest in the sport.
A long association with the Hawke’s Bay A. and P. Society was maintained by the late Mr Russell. He was president for a number of years at different periods. Ever on the lookout for means of consolidating the society and watchful of its development, he was in ofﬁce when the present Showgrounds at Tomoana were purchased.
He also held the highest ofﬁces on the Hawke’s Bay Jockey Club and for a term was president. He was a life member of the Hawke’s Bay Hunt Club, and throughout his life he was closely associated with the club’s activities. In his early days he was frequently prominent in amateur contests over the country and also on the ﬂat, being a particularly good rider. He was president of the Hunt Club for two years.
For very many years he was a member of the Te Aute College Trust Board and was chairman for a considerable period. At various times he represented the Okawa and Puketapu ridings on the Hawke’s Bay County Council, and for a term was a member of the Napier Harbour Board. He had also been a member of the Hawke’s Bay Licensing Committee and also the Napier High School Board of Governors.
In the business ﬁeld he was associated with the ﬁrm of Williams and Kettle Ltd for some 25 years, and was chairman of directors since the retirement of Mr Nat Kettle in 1932. He was also a director of the Acetone Welding Company, Napier. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in June, 1934.
The late Mr Russell was a particularly active man, and though engaged in a wide sphere of public activities, he continued personally to control his large farmland and pastoral holdings. Possessed of a bright and genial nature, a ready wit and a full understanding of human nature, he was very much a “man’s man” and was highly respected by all sections of the community.
The loss of so prominent and able a product of the province is a big one, and widespread sympathy will be expressed to those who are left. In 1897 the late Mr Russell married Miss Eva Nelson, a daughter of the late Mr Wil- [remainder of article missing]