Thomas Alexander PETERKIN of Wellington, NZ


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Thomas Alexander PETERKIN of Wellington, NZ

  • Born: 1839, Islington, London, Middlesex, England 2
  • Married: 1870, Victoria, Australia 1
  • Died: 12 Jun 1926, Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand 3

   Research Notes:

Died aged 87 years (New Zealand BDM Death Index).




Full of years, there passed away at his residence, Woburn road, Lower Hutt, Mr. T. A. Peterkin, one of the best-known and respected members of that community.

The late Mr. Peterkin took an important part in public and social functions, and was at one time Mayor of Lower Hutt. It was, however, in railway circles that Mr. Peterkin was best known as a considerable portion of his life was devoted to that branch of the public service. He might, indeed, claim rank with a number of others who for the most part have passed away as one of the pioneers of New Zealand railway administration.

When Mr. Peterkin joined the railway service there were few lines, and these ran only a short distance from the larger towns. That from Wellington extended only to the town Hutt, and similar conditions prevailed through the Dominion. The men who were placed in responsible positions were consequently called upon to to exhibit versatility in many offices, embracing the locomotive, traffic, maintenance, and workshops branches, and it is remarkable how well they managed things in those days, and how great is the contrast with the specialised railway system now extending throughout the Dominion. It is well to remember the debt owing to those who blazed the trail and who were to be found stimulating the work of breakdown gangs, restoring damaged lines of railway, and improving primative plants to meet the difficulties that sometimes occurred. Among these men Mr. Peterkin occupied a very worthy place. He was 88 years of age.

Born in London, the late Mr. Peterkin joined the London and North-Western Railway, and became a leading hand. He emigrated to Victoria, and for three years was manager of the Vulcan Foundry at Geelong. He superintended the building of the freezing works at Rockhampton, and established a foundry there. He afterwards served as an engineer on cable work, and later brought out the St. Agnus to New Zealand. In 1876 he was appointed railway engineer at Westport, and for some time was manager of the Christchurch Tramways. He rejoined the railway service, serving at Hillside and Addington, and for seven years was again manager at Westport. In 1897 he was appointed locomotive engineer at Wellington.

Before proceeding with the business at the Lower Hutt Borough Council meeting last evening, the Mayor (Mr. W. T. Strand) made feeling reference to the passing away of Mr. Peterkin. He moved that a motion of sympathy be sent to the relatives, and this motion was carried in silence. It was decided to send a wreath from the councillors and citizens."



The death occurred at Lower Hutt, Wellington, on Saturday, of Mr. Thomas Alexander Peterkin, at the age of 88. For a long period of years Mr. Peterkin was an officer of the engineering branch of the Railway Department, being stationed in various parts of the Dominion. On his retirement from the service, he settled at Lower Hutt, where he took an active interest in civic affairs, becoming a member of the Borough Council, and serving a term as Mayor. As a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, Mr. Peterkin was well known, having filled several high offices in the craft, including the position of Deputy Grand Master of New Zealand." 4 5

   Marriage Information:

Thomas married Julia MOYLE, daughter of Cpt. Stephen MOYLE and Julia Earle BENNETTO, in 1870 in Victoria, Australia 1. (Julia MOYLE was born on 16 Sep 1837 in Camborne, Cornwall 6, christened on 26 Nov 1837 in Camborne, Cornwall 7 and died on 18 Sep 1922 in Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand 8 9.)


1 Indexes for historical Victorian Births/Marriages/Deaths (Australia), 1870/02126.

2 England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008, 2nd Quarter, vol. 3, p. 162.

3 New Zealand Births Deaths and Marriages, 1926/2387.

4 Evening Post, Volume CXI, Issue 141, 15 June 1926, Page 6.

5 Auckland Star, Volume LVII, Issue 141, 16 June 1926, Page 12.

6 England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008, Redruth district, 4th Quarter, vol. 9, p. 186.

7 (

8 New Zealand Births Deaths and Marriages, 1922/6180.

9 Evening Post, Issue 68, 18 September 1922, Page 1.

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