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Arthur Hilton

Elected 1970

Passed Away 1982

Arthur arrived in New Zealand with his brother Otto in 1939, overcoming all sorts of difficulty to get here. Once in the country, their talents in the production of grease saw them set up a company to manufacture special grease that helped the railways run during the war, and in the 1950s this company moved to Seaview.

Arthur followed Otto onto the Club’s management committee in 1954, his business expertise seeing him play a key role in financial matters. He served on the Committee until 1958, when he became Auditor for a year. In 1964-65 he was again on the Committee, and became Chairman for two years from 1968. Under his leadership, Petone introduced win/draw payments for 1st team players, and these were funded by Arthur. He also attracted several leading players to the Club with personally funded inducements. He stepped down from the Chair after the 1969 season and served on the Committee in 1970.

The formation of a national league in 1970 saw Arthur’s expertise sought by the Miramar Rangers and Hungaria clubs, and he consented to head the newly formed Wellington City. It was with some irony that he had the task in 1972 of presenting the Hilton-Petone Cup to Wellington City after their 2-0 win over Petone in the final of that tournament. Arthur also served on the Council of the NZFA for four years from 1976.

It would be wrong not to mention Arthur’s wife, who was a diehard Petone supporter. The familiar call of her “c’mon ze blues” used to ring out from the Stand at the Basin Reserve during Petone’s many appearances there over the 1950s and ‘60s.

In 1979, Arthur kindly donated a new Hilton-Petone Cup to replace the original that had been stolen from Stop Out’s clubrooms. When the original was returned years later, Arthur’s mark II cup came to be awarded to the winners of the tournament’s second division.

Arthur was also a leading figure in the Arts. From 1961 until his death in 1982, he was President of the Music Federation of New Zealand. He also served for a time on the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, as Honorary Consul for Austria, and later as Honorary Consul-General. In 1973 he was awarded the Austrian Cross for his services to Austria.

His contribution to our club saw him elected to life membership in 1970. Even in his spells away from the committee, his approachability saw his advice and assistance often sought and always given.

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