John Luke (politician)

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For other politicians of this name, see John Luke (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Sir John-Pearce Luke
CMG
John-Pearce Luke (cropped).jpg
20th Mayor of Wellington
In office
1913–1921
Preceded by David McLaren
Succeeded by Robert Alexander Wright
Personal details
Born 16 July 1858
Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Died 7 December 1931(1931-12-07) (aged 73)
Wellington, New Zealand
Political party Liberal (1908–1918)
Reform (1918–1928)
Spouse(s) Jacobina McGregor (m. 1880)
Relations Charles Luke (brother)

Sir John-Pearce Luke CMG (16 July 1858 – 7 December 1931) was a New Zealand politician. Luke was Mayor of Wellington from 1913–1921 and Member of Parliament for Wellington Suburbs 1908–1911 and Wellington North 1918–1928. His brother Charles Manley Luke had previously also been Mayor of Wellington in 1895. Sir John Pearce was nicknamed Peanut because he was short.

Early life[edit]

Born at St Just, near Penzance, Cornwall, England, to Samuel and Ann Luke, John Luke came to New Zealand with his parents in July 1874 after the Cornish tin industry failed. He completed two years of an apprenticeship as an engineer before leaving for Feilding, New Zealand where, the family were informed, they would be able to take up engineering work, however, "When the Luke's landed at Wellington they discovered that Foxton was merely a paper township; it was a name on the map and the only industry there was the extraction of pipis from the beach by Maoris."[1] Luke completed his engineering apprenticeship with the Lion Foundry, and worked on various projects before joining his father's newly established Te Aro Engineering Works in 1879.[1] After initially struggling the business was successful and constructed several steamships. In June 1886 his oldest brother William died "after a short and painful illness in his 34th year"[2] followed by his next oldest brother, Samuel, at 32 years of age, in December.[3]

City council and mayor[edit]

Luke was first elected to the city council in 1898[4] and served between that year and 1911.[citation needed] He was responsible for the expansion of the Wellington tramway system.[citation needed] For many years he was president of the New Zealand Engineers and Iron Masters Association, and was actively associated with the Wellington Industrial Association, the Wellington District Hospital Board, the Wellington Technical Education Board, and the Navy League. The Returned Soldiers Association conferred upon them the honour of life membership of the organisation.[citation needed] Luke contested the 1905 Wellington City mayoral election and of the six candidates, he came fourth, with Thomas William Hislop elected.[5]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1908–1911 17th Wellington Suburbs Liberal
1918–1919 19th Wellington North Reform
1919–1922 20th Wellington North Reform
1922–1925 21st Wellington North Reform
1925–1928 22nd Wellington North Reform

His political career began in 1908 with his election as member for Wellington Suburbs for the Liberal Party, but he lost his seat at the 1911 general election to Reform candidate William Henry Dillon Bell.[6] From 1911 until 1918 he was not a member of Parliament, and was re-elected to Parliament in the 1918 by-election as a member of the Reform Party and again 1919, in the Wellington North electorate. He held this electorate continuously until the general election of 1928, when he was defeated by the Labour candidate, by a margin of 47 votes.[6]

Luke was married in 1880 to Jacobina McGregor. He was knighted in the 1921 Birthday Honours for his work in combatting the 1918 flu pandemic,[7] having previously been made a CMG. He was leader of the New Zealand delegation which visited South Africa in 1924 in connection with the Empire Parliamentary Association. He died suddenly on 7 December 1931, and was survived by his wife, four sons, and one daughter.[8] His funeral service was held at St. Paul's Cathedral in Wellington,[9] followed by a private cremation,[8] with his ashes buried at Karori Cemetery.[10][11]

Miscellanea[edit]

  • Lukes Lane in the Wellington CBD is named after the family business, Lukes' Foundry, which was sited there; years later, Sir John Pearce's sons set up Luke Bros foundry near Chaffers Street. Lukes' Foundry built New Zealand's first steel ship, and several lighthouses.
  • Sir John Pearce and his wife, Lady Jacobina Luke, donated the decorative iron gates at the entrance to Central Park, in Brooklyn, Wellington.
  • Lady Luke was President of the Victoria League Wellington Branch from 1920 to 1922[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Evening Post, Volume LXXXV, Issue 122, 24 May 1913, Page 9
  2. ^ Evening Post, Volume XXXII, Issue 30, 22 June 1886, Page 2
  3. ^ Evening Post, Volume XXXII, Issue 187, 23 December 1886, Page 2
  4. ^ "Mr Luke Successful.". Ashburton Guardian. 1918-03-01. p. 3. Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  5. ^ "Wellington City Council". The Free Lance. V (43). 29 April 1905. p. 16. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 213. OCLC 154283103. 
  7. ^ "no. 13745". The Edinburgh Gazette. 23 September 1921. p. 1568. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Sir John P. Luke". The Evening Post. CXII (138). 8 December 1931. p. 9. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "The Late Sir John Luke". The Press. LXVII (20416). 10 December 1931. p. 11. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Details". Wellington City Council. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Details". Wellington City Council. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  12. ^ Stokes, Brian (1979) A History of Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship in New Zealand

Further reading[edit]

  • Perry, Stuart (1969), No Mean City, Wellington, [N.Z.]: Wellington City Council 

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
In abeyance
Title last held by
Thomas Wilford
Member of Parliament for Wellington Suburbs
1908–1911
In abeyance
Title next held by
Robert Alexander Wright
Political offices
Preceded by
David McLaren
Mayor of Wellington
1913–1921
Succeeded by
Robert Alexander Wright