Topic: Deans, John

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Obituary: John Deans

OBITUARY. Star , Issue 7432, 19 June 1902, Page 3

JOHN DEANS.

This morning death removed another .of Canterbury's prominent settlers in the person of Mr John Deans, of Riccarton. For the past week it had been known that Mr Deans was very seriously ill, and the news of his demise, which was announced this morning, hardly came in the nature of a surprise. It is almost unnecessary to add that the announcement was received with widespread regret.

Mr Deans was the only son of the late Mr John Deans, who was virtually the pioneer of the Christchurch portion of the Canterbury district, having established himself on the site of the present Riccarton Estate before the airrival of the Canterbury Pilgrims in the historical first four ships. It was on this estate that Mr John Deans was born, and there he continued to reside with his family up to the time of his death. Mr Deans was educated at the original High School (now the West Christchurch School).

At a comparatively early age he took over the management of the Riccarton Estate for his widowed mother and put a considerable amount of energy into the work. One of his first acts was to take precautions to preserve the fine piece of native bush which stands on the property and which is now the only relic of the kind within easy distance of the city. He established a herd of pure-bred Shorthorn cattle and during the end of the seventies he purchased some of the very best blood available from Victoria, paying extremely high prices for some of the bulls. His stock waa well-known in the rings of the agricultural shows in Canterbury as consistent prize-takers for many years and his action in importing the best blood did much to improve the breed generally in Canterbury.

He was amongst the first to import pure-bred southdown sheep, and the flock is still kept up. Mr Deans was an enthusiast in matters both agricultural and pastoral and, for many years, he has been an active member of the committee of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association of which he was one of the past presidents. About two years ago he represented the Society at an Agricultural Conference in England. Mr Deans was also on the New Zealand Flock Book Council.

Amongst the other bodies with which Mr Deans was connected were the Christchurch District Drainage Board, and the Riccarton Road Board, of both of which he was chairman. He was also a director and chairman of the Canterbury Frozen Meat Company, of which he was one of the promoters and as such he always took a keen interest in the development of the frozen meat trade.

Only three years ago Mr Deans had a new house built ait Riccarton almost entirely of oak grown on his estate. He was a member of the Canterbury Yeomanry Cadets which were started in 1868, and afterwards joined the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry. Mr Deans, who was in his fiftieth year, married a daughter of Mr R. G. Park, civil engineer, Wellington, who, with his mother, survives him, as well as a family of one daughter and seven sons, the eldest of whom is Captain Deans, of the Malvern Mounted Rifles.

As a mark of respect to the late Mr Deans a large number flags in the city were at half-mast today.

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Deans, John


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