George Fenwick

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For other people named George Fenwick, see George Fenwick (disambiguation).

Sir George Fenwick (1 February 1847 – 23 September 1929) was a New Zealand newspaper proprietor and editor.

Born in Sunderland, England, his family emigrated to Australia in 1852, and subsequently to Otago, New Zealand four years later. In 1859, the 12-year-old Fenwick was apprenticed to the newspaper Otago Witness, moving to the Otago Daily Times in 1861.[1]

He was involved in a number of new newspapers in New Zealand before becoming manager of the Otago Guardian, which surprisingly took over its more successful rival, the Otago Daily Times, in 1877, becoming managing director when the Times was floated as a public company the year later. In 1889 he led the campaign against sweat-shop labour in the clothing industry, with a series of articles written by chief reporter Silas Spragg (his brother Robert Fenwick's son-in-law). George Fenwick was appointed editor and manager in 1890, remaining editor until 1909, manager until 1919, and managing director until his death in 1929.[1]

Fenwick helped found the New Zealand Press Association;[1] this happened in his office.[2] He founded the Otago branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).[1]

Fenwick was knighted in the 1919 Birthday Honours for public services,[3] and invested by the Prince of Wales in 1920 during his visit to Dunedin.[1] Fenwick had married Jane Atlantic Proudfoot at Dunedin in 1874, and the engineer David Proudfoot thus became his brother-in-law. Fenwick died at Dunedin on 23 September 1929, survived by his wife and six of their eight children.[1] Businessman and environmentalist Rob Fenwick is his great-grandson.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Griffiths, George. "Fenwick, George". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Rob Fenwick: Giving Earth". The New Zealand Herald. 12 October 2001. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "no. 31501". The London Gazette. 12 August 1919. p. 10218. Retrieved 28 June 2015.