George Manning (politician)

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Sir George Manning

George Manning, 1950.jpg
George Manning in 1950
39th Mayor of Christchurch
In office
Preceded byRobert Macfarlane
Succeeded byRon Guthrey
Personal details
Born(1887-02-11)11 February 1887
Gowerton, Wales
Died29 December 1976(1976-12-29) (aged 89)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Political partyLabour
Sarah Edith Willmore (m. 1923)
Childrenone son

Sir George Manning CMG (11 February 1887 – 29 December 1976) was Mayor of Christchurch from 1958 to October 1968, when he retired.[1] He served a total of 34 years on the Christchurch City Council.[2]

Early life[edit]

Manning was born in Gowerton, Wales, on 11 February 1887. He was the son of Richard Manning (steelworker) and Sarah Davies. Together with a friend, he emigrated to Christchurch in 1910. He married Scottish-born Sarah Edith Willmore at the Trinity Congregational Church, Christchurch Central City, on 11 October 1923.[3]

Political life[edit]


Manning stood unsuccessfully for Christchurch City Council in 1917 and 1919 as a Labour Party candidate. In 1920, he got offered a position as organising secretary of the Canterbury Workers' Educational Association (WEA) on the condition that he abstained from political office. This restriction was lifted in 1925. He served WEA from February 1921 to 1948, and a room at the WEA building in Gloucester Street is dedicated to Manning.[3]

He was elected onto Christchurch City Council in 1927 and served one term until 1929. He was again successful in a 1936 by-election and served a continuous 32 years, first as councillor (until 1958) and then mayor.[3] In 1945, there was an undertaking to widen Burnside Road that connected the city with the aerodrome in Harewood and dedicate it as a memorial to fallen airmen. As Burwood Road was located outside of the city boundary, being the responsibility of Waimairi and Paparua county councils, Manning opposed the city council financing much of the proposal, but the scheme went ahead and the road is today known as Memorial Avenue.[4][5]

Mayor of Christchurch[edit]

Manning served as Deputy Mayor from 1950 to 1958, and was elected as Mayor in 1958.[1] In the 1968 election, he did not stand as a candidate again.[3]

National politics[edit]

Manning stood for the Labour Party in the 1943 election in the Christchurch North electorate, but lost against Sidney Holland. He was also set to stand there in the cancelled 1941 general election. He stood as a candidate for the Labour nomination for the 1947 Avon by-election, but lost to John Mathison.[6] He then contested the St Albans electorate in the 1949 election, but was unsuccessful against Jack Watts.[3]

Later life[edit]

In the 1960 Queen's Birthday Honours Manning was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to education and local government.[7] He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 1967 Queen's Birthday Honours.[8] For his contributions to adult education, the University of Canterbury awarded him an honorary doctorate (LLD) in 1972. He died in Christchurch on 29 December 1976, survived by his wife and their son. His wife died in 1998.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Chairmen and mayors". Christchurch: Christchurch City Council. Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Christchurch Chronology 1968". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sharfe, Jean. "Manning, George". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Avenue from Harewood". The Press. LXXXI (24580). 31 May 1945. p. 4. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  5. ^ "General News". The Press. LXXXI (24596). 19 June 1945. p. 4. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Six Labour Nominees". LXXV (14355). Bay of Plenty Times. 3 May 1947. p. 3.
  7. ^ "No. 42053". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 1960. p. 4015.
  8. ^ "No. 44328". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1967. p. 6311.
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Macfarlane
Mayor of Christchurch
Succeeded by
Ron Guthrey