A well-respected couple
As a tribute to James Hughson’s nine years as Mayor of Waitara and to his wife Emma, the Waitara Borough Council arranged a social evening of councillors, representatives and friends for their contribution and valued service to the community.
Among the main projects begun while he was in office were the sewerage and water schemes. These were continued by his successor Roy Yardley.
Two outstanding monuments to his progressive policy were the Plunket rooms and ladies’ restroom in Queen St and the Waitara Maternity annex.
His work in Waitara during World War II was also acknowledged, where he organised fundraising and the sending of patriotic parcels to soldiers overseas.
Emma Hughson was born in Christchurch and married James in 1897. James worked on the New Zealand Railways.
They arrived in Waitara in 1919, where he continued with the railway until his retirement.
He was voted in as mayor and was in office from 1936 to 1947. During the war Emma carried out her duties as mayoress with great distinction and was a fierce supporter of fundraising for the war effort.
She was president of the Galway Guild, a keen member of the St John Ambulance Brigade and a serving Sister of the order. She was also an enthusiast of the Red Cross as well as supporter of the Guides and Scouts.
James died in 1953 aged 81. Emma died in 1969 aged 96. Both were buried in Waitara’s Bayly St cemetery. An amazing couple, well respected in Waitara.