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British Industrial History

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Peter Seton Hay

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Peter Seton Hay (1852-1907)

1907 Obituary [1]

PETER SETON HAY, Engineer-in-Chief to the Government of New Zealand, died at Wadestown, near Wellington, on the 19th March, 1907, as the result of exposure whilst on a visit of inspection to railway-works in the North Island.

Born in Glasgow on the 12th July, 1852, he arrived in New Zealand with his parents in 1860, and after attending the primary schools in Dunedin, he completed his education at Otago University, where he graduated in Arts in 1876, and became Master of Arts with first-class honours in mathematics and mathematical physics in 1878.

Mr. Hay entered the Government service as a cadet in the Public Works Department in 1875. Four years later he was promoted to the position of assistant engineer in Dunedin, an office which he held for 5 years. He was transferred to Wellington in 1884, and was promoted to the rank of Resident Engineer in 1886.

Ten years later he was appointed Superintending Engineer for the colony, a position which he gained by the conspicuous ability and sound practical knowledge and resource exhibited in all that he undertook. He was engaged during the foregoing period in the survey and construction of railways, the erection of bridges and viaducts, and the design and supervision of other public works in all parts of the colony.

On the retirement of Mr. W. H. Hales early in 1906, Mr. Hay succeeded to the position of Engineer-in-Chief, and deep regret was felt throughout the colony at the untimely termination of his tenure of that important office.

Mr. Hay was elected a Member of The Institution on the 1st December, 1891.

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