Grafton Bridge: Lord Plunket

GOVERNOR of NEW ZEALAND

Lord Plunket Governor 1904 to 1910

William Lee Plunket, 5th Baron Plunket, GCMG, KCVO, KBE, 19 Dec 1864 –24 Jan 1920

Lord Plunket laid the Foundation Stone of the Bridge on March 28th 1908.

Lord Plunket had suggested that one of the bronze plaques on the bridge commemorate the early settlers whose graves lie in the cemetery.

Plunket was a career Diplomat, having had positions in Rome [1889], Constantinople [1892] and served as private secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland [1897] before being appointed Governor of New Zealand in 1904

A Freemason, during his time in New Zealand Plunket served as the Grand Master of New Zealand’s Grand Lodge.

His wife Victoria, whom he had married in 1894, was the daughter of the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava. They had eight children.

Lady Plunket was patroness of the Plunket Society, an organisation still operating in New Zealand promoting the health and wellbeing of mothers and children.