Topic: Standish Street (TDN 14/03/2020)

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Standish Street 

Standish Street was named after the first Mayor of New Plymouth, Arthur Standish. The street is not the only one to have been given the name: 1912 saw the amalgamation of Vogeltown, which had its own Standish Street, into the borough of New Plymouth and, not wanting two streets with the same name less than a kilometre apart, Vogeltown’s was renamed Ballance Street. There are also Standish Streets in Inglewood and Midhirst. 

Born in Yorkshire in 1838, Arthur Standish immigrated to New Plymouth with his mother Mary and two brothers, Frank and George, when he was six. His father Thomas had arrived several months earlier to establish a legal practice and Arthur followed him into the profession. When the Taranaki Wars broke out in 1860, Arthur joined the Taranaki Volunteers, receiving the New Zealand Medal and eventually retiring with the rank of Captain. A lifetime of public service followed. 

His many roles included Crown Solicitor, President of the Taranaki Law Society, Secretary for Lands, Deputy Superintendent of the Province and President of the Agricultural Society. He was also on the New Plymouth Harbour and Education Boards. As a member of the provincial government, Standish helped to ensure that the forest around Mount Taranaki was turned into a permanent reserve. With the abolition of the provincial system in 1876, he was elected first Mayor of New Plymouth, a position he held for two years. 

Arthur married Frances Brown, the daughter of Reverend Henry Brown, in 1868 and the couple had four sons and two daughters. Their son Arthur Russell also became a solicitor and took over the family law firm. 

Arthur Standish died on 24 June 1915 and is buried in Te Hēnui cemetery. The Taranaki Herald described him as being “held in the very highest esteem and respect by everyone who knew him”. Interestingly, an ancestor named Myles Standish was involved in the early life of another Plymouth colony, the first Pilgrim settlement established in Massachusetts in 1620.

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Standish Street (TDN 14/03/2020)


City:New Plymouth