James Hay (philanthropist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from James Lawrence Hay)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sir James Lawrence Hay OBE (17 May 1888 – 26 March 1971) was a New Zealand advertising manager, Presbyterian layman, welfare worker, retailer, businessman, local politician and philanthropist.

He was born in Lawrence, South Otago, New Zealand, on 17 May 1888. He received his education at Lawrence District High School, until age 13 when he left school to support his family.[1] He was first elected onto Christchurch City Council in 1944.[2] He served until 1953, when he unsuccessfully challenged the incumbent mayor, Robert Macfarlane, for the mayoralty.[1][3] When an incorporated society, Town Hall Promotion Inc., was formed for the promotion of a Christchurch Town Hall, he became its first president.[4]

Hay died on 26 March 1971 at his home in Christchurch,[1] and was buried in Waimairi Cemetery.[5] The town hall was opened some 18 months after his death, and the second largest performance space was named the James Hay Theatre in his honour.[6] His son, Hamish Hay, was later the Christchurch mayor for 15 years.[1]


Hay was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire as of 1 January 1918 for services as Young Men's Christian Association secretary to the New Zealand Division in Egypt and France,[7] and was promoted to Officer of the same order in the 1918 King's Birthday Honours only a few months later in connection with the same work.[8] In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal,[9] and in the 1961 Queen's Birthday Honours he was appointed a Knight Bachelor for civic and charitable services.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Rice, Geoffrey W. "James Lawrence Hay". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Councillors of the City of Christchurch". Christchurch: Christchurch City Council. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Hay 1989, p. 49.
  4. ^ Hay 1989, p. 48.
  5. ^ "Cemeteries database results detail". Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Hay 1989, pp. 56f.
  7. ^ "No. 30576". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 March 1918. p. 3289. 
  8. ^ "No. 30730". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 June 1918. p. 6703. 
  9. ^ "Official jubilee medals". Evening Post. CXIX (105). 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "No. 42372". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1961. p. 4183.