Harris Ford – Board Member 1875 – 1922

Harris ford was a Park Board member from its inception in 1875 until his death in 1922.

He arrived in New Plymouth from the UK in 1851, as a 10-year-old, with his parents and siblings. Soon after their arrival, his father set up a saddlery business in Devon Street.

In 1860 just before the outbreak of the First Taranaki War, Ford Senior was murdered at Omata while on his way to see some sheep. At the time Harris Ford was living in Auckland working in the grocery trade and was sent for to take charge of his father’s business.

During the 1860s Ford served in the local militia like many of his fellow townsmen.

In 1868 he was a pioneer in the search for gold in the Kaitake Range, and the following year he joined forces with Robert Hughes Senior to form the “Perseverance Prospecting Party”. They did find gold in quartz deposits, but the quantities were small and not commercially viable.

He was active in the community, and served for 50 years as the treasurer of the Egmont Lodge chapter of the Oddfellows. He was also Grand Master of the Lodge for a time.

During his time on the Park’s Board, he was the secretary for many years and also spent some time as chairman.