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Death of Prominent Levin Farmer, Mr, H. Denton

Levin Chronicle 19 January 1955

One of this district's early settlers and one of the leaders in the farm­ing industry right up to his retire­ment a few years ago died in Levin this week. He was Mr. Herbert (Bert) Denton, of Paisley Street aged 78 years.

The late Mr. Denton will be missed in many circles of the town's activities and particularly among the older residents, with whom he has worked to speed the advance­ment of the town.

The sixth son of the late Mr. George Denton, who was a watch­maker in Wellington after coming to this country from England. Bert Denton set out on a career on the land after leaving Wellington Col­lege in 1893. He spent two years on bush felling in the backblocks of Pohangina and in 1896 came to Levin. He was first employed here in a small dairy farm owned by Mr. Peter Stewart in Queen Street East. After six months he took a position on a sheep station in the Wanganui district. Two years later saw him back in Levin, bush felling for Prouse Brothers, and from 1898 he worked for eight years for Mr. W. G. Adkin on his farm at Cheslyn Rise. In conjunction with this em­ployment, Mr. Denton found time to run an adjoining farm of 420 acres which he purchased in 1901.

During the 1914-18 war Mr. Den­ton served with the Wellington Rifles in the Palestine campaign, returning, to Levin in 1919 to carry on his, farming activities.

His ability in the practical side of farming was soon extended to the administrative field and he was deeply engrossed in national and local farming problems. He was a keen member of the Levin branch of the Farmers' Union, being its president, an office he held for 16 years. He was also on the commit­tee of the Horowhenua Agricul­tural and Pastoral Association's committee for a long period. In­deed, in all matters pertaining to farming he was deeply interested and a prominent personality. Sport, music and education were three of his other interests to which he ap­plied himself with the same zest.

Keen Sportsman

Mr. Denton was a rugby player in the very early days, being a member of the Levin Football Club when it first came into prominence. The club won the championship for three successive years. Few of the original members are left now. Swimming was another sport with which he was associated and he re­tained that interest up to recent years, being the club's official starter among other positions. Bowling claimed his attention in later years and he was a member of the Levin Bowling Club.

He was keenly interested in edu­cation and was a member of the Levin School Committee for some years. In music circles Mr. Denton was also well known and was a member of the Choral Society and the Operatic and Dramatic Society when these organisations were flourishing in the town. He was also in a male quartet and the Savage Club when it was function­ing in Levin. Mr. Denton was a member of the Rose Croix and Lodge Horowhenua. He was a good worker for the St. Mary's Anglican Church.

Left to mourn his loss are his widow and family of seven, Enid (Mrs. N. Vickers, Waitara), George(Tokoroa), John (Levin), Lois (Mrs. Cottrell, Carterton), Anne (Mrs. J. M. Staples, Manakau), Paul (Wel­lington) and Richard (Levin). There are 20 grandchildren and one great-grand-child. He is also sur­vived by three brothers, Messrs L. A. Denton (Hastings), F. J. Denton (Wanganui) and M. Denton (Shef­field, England) and a sister, Miss E. M. Denton (Levin).

Mr F. J. Denton, Wanganui, To Celebrate 80th Birthday Today

Mr Frank J, Denton, 97 Liverpool Street, will celebrate his 80th birthday today.

A former Wanganui photographer he retired from business in 1927. Since his retirement he has kept good health. His birthday will be marked by a family gathering and people from all parts of the Dominion will be present.

Mr Denton was born in Wellington on August 24, 1869. He was the son of Mr George Denton, a Wellington pioneer. Fifty years ago he arrived ­in Wanganui and set up business as a photographer in place of Mr Alfred Martin. He later moved to a site in the Avenue, which is now occupied by T. Metcalfe. This building was one of the first to be erected between Maria Place and Guyton Street on the area of land where the Presbyterian Church formerly stood.

Mr Denton is a gold medallist and has exhibited photographs through the world. His photographs have been reproduced in "Phonograms of the Year," a world-wide publication which features the best of photos taken each year. He also judged at numerous photographic competitions.

Mr Denton secured photographic exhibitions for the Sarjeant Gallery, in which he has always taken a keen interest. Tile gallery was the first in New Zealand to have specimens of work by leading photographers.

Mr Denton is a trustee of Trinity Methodist Church and was recently elected a life member of the Arts and Crafts Society.

Among those visiting Wanganui for the birthday celebrations are his son Mr H. M. Denton (Auckland) and his daughters, Mesdames W. R. PoweIl (Halcombce) and A. E. Marshall (Palmerston North).

Death notice:

DENTON -On Jan. 12, 1955, at his residence, 3 Paisley St., Levin.

Herbert, loved husband of Shirley Denton and father of Enid (Mrs. N. Vickers, Waitara), George (Tokoroa), John (Levin), Lois, (Mrs. Cottrell, Carterton), Anne (Mrs. Staples, Mamakau), Paul (Wellington), Richard (Levin); aged 78 years. Veteran of 1914-18 War, No. 35957. No flowers please. Service at St. Mary's Anglican Church, Levin, Tomorrow (Thursday), Jan. 13, 1955, at 11am, thereafter at Cremtorium, Karori, at 2pm. H. Harvey and Sons, Levin.


carries on the Watchmaking and Jewellery business on Lambton Quay with the same ideals as his father.

Even during his apprenticeship P. N. Denton was keen to follow in his father's footsteps, and become master of his trade. After seven years' training here he went to London to gain a wider experience.

While there he did the practical watchwork for some of the best­-known London jewellery firms, spending his evenings for three winters at the Trade Technical Classes. At these he studied the drawing and theory of watch­making, and in the practical classes personally made an English clock movement and au English lever pocket watch, which he now car­ries. This watch gained a class "A" Key Observatory Certificate, London's highest and most coveted award. Such a thorough training was in itself a unique experience, but he then received an important position with the leading firm of English Jewellers in Calcutta, In­dia. His eleven years' service there gave him a wide and remarkable in­sight into the higher branches of his business such as is enjoyed by very few tradesmen. He was for seven years in charge of his firm's Simla Branch, Simla being the Summer Capital of India. There and in Calcutta he did much work for the Viceroy and other high officials of the Army and Civil Service, for many of the leading Indian Princes, and the elite of that wonderful "Jewel Country" of the East.

His duties included the selecting of all precious gems and superintending the manufacture of many magnificent pieces of jewellery for his distinguished patrons.

Returning to Wellington in 1911­, P. N. Denton has built up the busi­ness on Lambton Quay, so well known for fine quality goods, reliable service and courteous attention to his customers' requirements.

Because of his unique experience and very thorough training, Mr. Denton justly considers himself "The trained buying agent of his Customers.” They are assured of the reliability of his goods and services.

He also inherits his father's en­thusiasm for New Zealand Greenstone and Maori Curios. There again, nothing but the best is good enough for him to offer his clients.

We thank you for having read the above, and very cordially invite you to call and enjoy, without obligation, seeing the beautiful selection of fine goods we have to offer.

Enquiries cordially invited.

P.N. Denton Ltd.

OBITUARY - Mr. P. Denton

The death occurred last week of Mr. Percy Norwood Denton, of Paekakariki, a member of one of the oldest Wellington families, and a jeweller well-known throughout New Zealand and Australia. The son of Mr. George Denton, a business man, Mr. Percy Denton was born in Wellington in 1875.

He worked in his father's business as a youth; then desiring wider experience he went to England, while still in his teens to serve there with one of the leading Watch-making firms. Seeking to develop his knowledge of jewels, Mr. Denton went to India, and spent 11 years in the service of one of the largest firms in Calcutta and. Simla, during which period he had business relations with the Viceroy of India, and several of the princes and maharajas.

On his return to Wellington in 1911 he set up business on Lambton Quay, and it was not long before his know­ledge and skill bore fruit.

Mr. Denton managed to spare time to follow his bent for music, and, as a lad, played a cornet in Gray's Band, Jupp’s Band, and the Wellington Gar­rison Band. He was later New Zea­land cornet champion.

Mr. Denton leaves a wife, two sons, Harry (Khandallah), and Norrie (Palmerston North), two daughters, Mesdames Butcher and Hofmeister (both of Khandallah).



DENTON - The brothers and sister of the late W.H. and H. Denton wish to thank the many kind friends for their messages of sympathy in their recent be­reavements. Kindly accept this as a personal acknowledgement.


Mr. W. H. Denton

The death has occurred in Welling­ton of Mr. William Henry Denton, an old resident of The Terrace, at the age of 87 years.

Mr. Denton, a retired Wellington businessman, was the Wellington Col­lege's oldest ex-student, He, was also partly responsible for the release of many English birds, such as starlings, thrushes, and blackbirds iii the early days of acclimatization in Wellington.

His father, Mr. George Denton, im­ported English birds, fed them up after their voyage, and left the task of releasing them in the bush-clad hills round the city to his sons.

Mr. Denton was born in the family home, "Fernhill," on Wellington Ter­race , and received his primary education at the Terrace School. With an Education Board scholarship he went to Wellington College and after his school days was associated with his father in what was probably the best-known ironmongery warehouse in the city. Its site in Willis Street is now occupied by Boots. During this period William Denton took a keen interest in the Wellington Col­lege Old Boys' Association.

In his early manhood Mr. Denton visited Europe at the time of Queen Victoria's jubilee celebrations, and later toured the Continent on a bicycle, After his father's death he conducted the business on his own account and also took an active in­terest in several business concerns in the city.

Mr. Denton was public-spirited, and was always ready and willing to devote money and energy to any cause hp believed of benefit fn his native city. Though a bachelor, he was par­ticularly interested in the children of his old school fellows who re­peatedly elected him their represen­tative on the College's Board of Governors, of which he was for some time acting chairman.

He was a Justice of the Peace, a member of the Forestry League, and one-time president of the Tararua Tramping Club. In his youth his recreations were swimming, rowing, football, gardening, and music. He was an energetic member of the Star Boating Club and also of the Poneke Football Club, and as a violin player took part in orchestral performances in the 80s and 90s.

After his retirement from business Mr, Denton again travelled exten­sively. On these occasions he visited the United States, Europe, and Egypt.

In 1951 Mr. Denton gave an area of 37 acres at Highbury, adjoining the Karori waterworks reserve, to the City of Wellington to perpetuate the memory of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Denton. The area, according to Mr. Denton’s wishes, is known as "George Denton Park.''

A bachelor, Mr. Denton lived at 324 The Terrace with his sister. A brother, Mr. H. Denton, of Levin, is another survivor.


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