Sir James Lawrence Hay - OBE
Otago-born James Hay had an inauspicious start to his career: he left school at 13 to work in a drapery to help support his widowed mother who was bringing up nine children.
In 1909 Hay joined Christchurch department store J Ballantyne & Company, cementing his love for retailing, and in 1929 he joined with others to form his own store, Hay's.
After a successful public flotation in 1934, Hay's grew to become a leading South Island department-store chain, known by its slogan "the friendly store". It merged with Wright Stephenson & Company in 1968 to form Haywrights.
Hay set up the J L Hay Charitable Trust in 1959 and was a Christchurch city councillor.