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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Montgomery, William

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Montgomery, William, was born in 1822 in London of an Ulster family, and educated at Belfast. He went to sea in early life, and was in command of a trading vessel at eighteen, but subsequently migrated to Australia, from whence he went in 1860 to Canterbury, N.Z., settling there as a merchant. Mr. Montgomery was concerned for many years in provincial politics, and in 1868-70 was Provincial Treasurer and subsequently President of the Executive Council. In 1874 he was returned to the House of Representatives as member for Akaroa, which he represented till his withdrawal from politics in 1887. Mr. Montgomery refused the office of Colonial Treasurer in the Grey Ministry of 1877; but was Leader of the Opposition against the Atkinson Cabinet which succeeded. On August 16th, 1884, he accepted the offices of Colonial Secretary and Minister of Education in the Stout-Vogel Ministry, but held these for the briefest time, as the Government was defeated on August 28th. Later (Sept. 3rd), when the Stout-Vogel combination again came into power, Mr. Montgomery declined to take office. He retired from Parliament in 1887. Mr. Montgomery has been prominently connected with educational matters in the colony, having been at one time Chairman of the Canterbury Board of Education, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Canterbury College from 1876 to 1885.