Martin Nutty Profile picture
26 Mar, 13 tweets, 9 min read
165 years ago #OnThisDay, William Ferguson Massey (1856 - 1925), the 13th prime minister of #NewZealand was born in #Ireland to a small farming Protestant family

2) In 1862, Massey’s parents emigrated to #NewZealand leaving their 6 year old child behind to complete his education He was raised by his grandmother and uncle and at age 14 followed his parents in 1870 to #Auckland
3) By 1876 Massey settled in Mangere on the outskirts of #Auckland where he leased a 100 acre farm and bought a threshing machine to provide supplemental income.
4) in 1882 he married Christina Allen Paul (1863 - 1932), a daughter of #Scottish immigrants. Together they would have 7 children. Two sons would serve in parliament
5) Massey was an active participant in local civic life which led to his election to parliament in 1894. He joined the independent conservatives who opposed the dominant Liberal Party whose progressive leader, Richard Seddon dominated politics at the close of the 19th century
6) The sudden death of Seddon in 1906 and subsequent internal dissension within the Liberal Party created a space for Massey and his creation of the Reform Party in 1909
7) In 1912, Massey, as leader of the Reform Party, became prime minister following a no confidence vote on the Liberal Party government
8) Massey would serve as Prime Minister for almost 13 years, the 2nd longest tenure in #New Zealand history. His initial years in power were challenged by labor unrest against which he reacted aggressively, a concern that would be a hallmark of his leadership
9) With advent of #WWI, both major political parties were supportive of Britain and a coalition was formed with the Liberal Party for the duration of the conflict. Massey would travel frequently to support the Allied cause and visited #NewZealand troops in the field
10) Massey, despite his #Irish background and pro British Imperialism stance, was careful to avoid being drawn into the controversy arising from the #1916Rising and subsequent Irish War of Independence
11) Massey gained a parliamentary majority following #WWI. His leadership continued to reflect concerns over militant labor inflamed by the #RedScare. Ugly sectarianism and a restriction on Asian immigration did little to enhance #NewZealand’s reputation at the time
12) Economic difficulties would force Massey into a coalition government again in 1922 as the new Labour Party began to gain power. Massey was diagnosed with cancer in 1924 and as his health deteriorated he was forced to relinquish control
13) Massey succumbed to his illness in 1925 and is buried along with his wife Christina in the Massey Memorial which overlooks #Wellington harbor

For more on Massey’s career @DIB_RIA provides a helpful #biography =>…

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More from @mnutty

25 Mar
Michael Davitt, refugee, physically disadvantaged, revolutionary, agrarian agitator, parliamentarian, journalist, author and servant of his people was born #OnThisDay 175 years ago in Sraide, #Mayo

@davittmuseum @visitmayo @mayotourism @MayoTrails @MayoDotIE #GlobalIrishNation
2) Davitt was born during the #GreatFamine into a family of #Irish speaking tenant farmers who were evicted from their land when he was just 4 years old

3) Landless, Davitt’s family were now economic refugees and opted to leave their home first to #Liverpool and then onwards to Haslingden a cotton milling town in #Lancashire
Read 21 tweets
24 Mar
106 years ago, one of #Ireland's giants of #Astronomy, Margaret Lindsay Murray Huggins (1848 - 1915), passed #OnThisDay

#HERstory #STEM #GLobalIrishNation #OTD Margaret Lindsay Huggins
2) Margaret Lindsay Murray was born in #Dublin in 1848 and lost her mother her mother, Helen Lindsay, while still a child. In the absence of her mother, she seems to have developed a shared interest in Astronomy with her paternal #Scottish banker grandfather Robert Murray
3) Margaret seems to have been self educated, delving into #astronomy and developing photographic skills which became important for her future research in astronomical spectrography which involves the examination of light spectrums emitted by planets, stars and nebulae
Read 8 tweets
23 Mar
Multiple #Oscars winner and #Hollywood studio executive , Cedric Gibbons (1890 - 1960) was born 121 years ago #OnThisDay.

There is some dispute as to whether he was born in #Ireland or in #Brooklyn

#GlobalIrishNation #IrishDiaspora #OTD #BOTD Image
2) Gibbons started out his career in the #movies in the art department of the #NYC based Edison Studios where his architect father Austin was employed. After serving in the @USNavy in #WWI. Gibbons, followed the migration of the film business to #Hollywood Image
3) Gibbons had a career of more than 30 years at @mgmstudios. He would become a founding member of @TheAcademy and design the famous #artdeco #Oscars statuette Image
Read 5 tweets
22 Mar
#Irish artist, Sarah Purser (1848 - 1943) was born #OnThisDay 173 years ago. Her family was prosperous with a background in brewing. Shortly after her birth, her father Benjamin decided to move the family from #Dublin south to Dungarvan in #Waterford

#OTD #BOTD #HERstory Image
2) Sarah would go to finishing school in #Switzerland where she learned to speak French and began painting. On her return to #Ireland she enrolled in the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and would go on to attend the Académie Julian in #Paris Image
3) In the early 1870s Benjamin’s businesses collapsed and Sarah now had to rely on her ability to generate income from art commissions. While she did some landscape and genre painting, portraiture appeared to be her metier

#MaudGonne #WBYeats ImageImage
Read 7 tweets

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