Percy Thomson

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Percy Thomson MBE
Mayor of Stratford, New Zealand
In office
Preceded by James Watson McMillan
Succeeded by James Watson McMillan
In office
Preceded by James Watson McMillan
Succeeded by Norman Harold Moss
Personal details
Born 1884
Dunedin, New Zealand
Died 1962
Nationality New Zealander
Spouse(s) Hilda Thomson (née Spence)
Children Five sons, two daughters
Profession Solicitor

Percy Thomson MBE (1884–1962) was Mayor of Stratford, New Zealand 1929–1933 and again 1938–1947.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Dunedin in 1884 and educated in New Zealand and Sydney.[1]

He first visited Taranaki in 1900 to work with Herbert Halliwell, a Hawera lawyer, then returned to Dunedin in 1905.[1]

He returned to Stratford, New Zealand in 1910 and started a legal practice.[1]

He married Hilda (née Spence) in 1912.[2] Together they had two daughters and five sons, one of whom David Spence Thomson was a New Zealand politician of the National Party.

Community involvement[edit]

He owned a dairy farm from 1920 and was director of Ngaere Dairy Company for 25 years. Thomson also served on the Stratford Hospital Board and was Chairman of the Taranaki Patriotic Council for a period following World War II.[1]

He was a long-serving chairman and member of the Stratford Domain Board.

Upon the death of King George V in 1935, Mr Thomson was the driving force behind planting beech trees in Broadway South and renaming it the King George V Memorial Avenue.[1] He was largely responsible for many of the attractive plantings in the town's streets and domains.

Other local committee involvement included vice president of the Taranaki District Law Society, executive of the Municipal Association, President of the Stratford Aero Club, an elder of St Andrews Church, and a member of several horticultural associations.[2]

Later life[edit]

In 1928, a portion of his Stratford land was developed and thus named Percy Avenue in his honour.[1]

He was awarded an MBE in 1946 and died in 1962.[1]

He left a significant bequest to be used and applied towards the establishment and maintenance of an arboretum and herbarium of the native flora of New Zealand and an art gallery.

The Stratford District Council established the Percy Thomson Trust to manage these facilities for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Stratford District and the public generally.

The Percy Thomson Gallery is Stratford's public art gallery and was opened in June 2002. The gallery contains both exhibition areas and work areas for use by local artists and community art groups. The gallery provides an active programme of exhibitions and events that is both internally generated and toured from other art collections.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g David E. Walter: Stratford: Shakespearean Town Under The Mountain. Stratford District Council 2005. ISBN 1-877399-05-1
  2. ^ a b Who's Who in New Zealand 5th edition 1951
  3. ^ Percy Thomson Trust

External links[edit]