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Sir Arthur Mielziner Myers (1867–1926)

Sir Arthur Myers died in London on Saturday October 9, after a brief heart attack. The news, of his death was received with the deepest regret by a host of friends in New Zealand and in all parts of the world.

Born at Ballarat, Victoria, on May 19, 1867, he was taken to New Zealand by his parent at the age of three years. His father settled in the Thames district and on his death, his mother removed to Wellington, where he was educated at the public school and later at Wellington College. At the age of 16 he entered the employment of his late uncle, Mr Ehrenfried, and subsequently took over the management of the Auckland branch of the business of Ehrenfried Brothers, brewers.

He was chairman of the Cornwall Park Trustees and of the Sir John Logan Campbell estate. At one time, also, he was a director of the New Zealand Insurance Company and the Auckland Gas Company, and was a past president of the Auckland Commercial Travellers' Association.

In 1905, Mr. Myers was elected Mayor of Auckland and held the position with outstanding success for four years. Under his Mayoralty the municipal staff pursued a vigorous and progressive policy, was reorganised. At the end of February, 1909, he resigned the Mayoralty and shortly afterwards left on a trip to England. Before his departure a gathering of 10,000 citizens assembled in Albert Park to bid him farewell. He was presented with an address on behalf of the public of Auckland and also one from the suburban local bodies expressing appreciation of his services to the community. A similar address was presented to him by the members of the City Council and Municipal staff.

On his return to New Zealand in April 1910, two months later successfully contested a by-election for the Auckland East seat and represented that constituency continuously until his voluntary retirement in the early part of 1921, when he accepted a seat as New Zealand representative on the London Board of the National Bank of New Zealand.

Mr Myers was a member of the Mackenzie Cabinet in 1912, holding the three important portfolios of Finance, Railways and Defence. He was also a member of the National Cabinet during the war years, acting as Minister of Customs, Munitions and Supplies, and Pensions and at various periods, Finance.

In his younger days, he was a a representative footballer and swimmer, and gained some prominence as an oarsman. Up to the time of his death he was an active player of golf, bowls and tennis, and was also a keen angler.

By his valuable gift to the city of Auckland Sir Arthur well earned the gratitude of its people. He donated valuable pictures to the Auckland Art Gallery from time to time and in 1911 presented the clock now erected in the tower of the Town Hall.

In 1913 he made a gift to the city of the area, of eight acres now known as Myers Park; but at that time mostly slum land almost in the heart of Auckland. The Free Kindergarten which he erected in brick on this fine site is the most scientifically-designed institution of its kind in Australia or New Zealand. In addition, he built in the park a school for backward children. His interest in education was further indicated by the provision made by him a few years ago for the annual senior and junior Myers, history prizes to scholars attending the Auckland Grammar School.

From time to time he made gifts of land to Thames for various purposes, including sites for the Technical School, church, and for beautifying the town. In 1923 he made a gift of £5000 toward the inauguration of a Karitane Home in Auckland.

Mr. Myers was created a Knight Bachelor in 1924. He took an active part in the social and business life of London but during the whole of his time in England never lost touch with his many friends in New Zealand.

Sir Arthur is survived by Lady Myers, a son, Mr. Keith Myers, now at Cambridge, and two unmarried daughters, all living in London. Lady Myers is a daughter of the late Mr. Ben. W. Levy, (a son of the late Hon. L. W. Levy; and Mrs. Levy of Sydney.)

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • birth notice, Ballarat Star (Vic), 25 May 1867, p 2
  • probate, Hebrew Standard of Australasia (Sydney), 5 November 1926, p 6

Citation details

'Myers, Sir Arthur Mielziner (1867–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


19 May, 1867
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia


9 October, 1926 (aged 59)
London, Middlesex, England

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

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