Sargood, Sir Percy Rolfe

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Sir Percy Sargood

Born in 1865, Percy Sargood worked in Melbourne and London before moving to New Zealand in 1891 as Christchurch and Dunedin manager of Sargood Son & Ewen. In 1903, he succeeded his father, and partner John Alexander Ewen, serving at the helm of that firm from 1903 until his death in 1940. There were over 250 employees and, under his direction, the firm was one of the first to form a staff provident fund. He was a popular, public-spirited, and unostentatious man.

Knighted in 1935, Sir Percy gave distinguished service to many organisations, including Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce. A passionate supporter of the arts, Sir Percy gifted the bulk of his estate as a trust fund for the benefit of the arts, youth and education. That is the Sargood Bequest which continues to benefit the community 70 years on.