John Joseph Corry was an Australian-born racehorse owner who became Blenheim’s mayor in 1912. Soon after, he was among the crowds who watched local men parade in Market Place before they left for the war.
During the 1917 elections, he told voters the “great war had overshadowed everything else, and it was incumbent on the local Council to refrain from large undertakings and to work steadily along as economically and efficiently as possible”.
He led efforts to prepare for the great influenza epidemic by, according to The Marlborough Express, opening a bureau at the office of the Town Clerk to register all influenza cases that required medical assistance, provide disinfectant and “have organised a staff for the preparation and supply of stimulating food”.
Mr Corry was also involved in early talks about turning the Wither Hills - called the “Wither Run” - into a public park, or 1,000-acre “recreation resort”.
He beat former mayor Richard McCallum in the 1919 municipal elections, which was attributed to his work towards achieving subscriptions to patriotic funds during World War. Mr Corry did not stand for the 1921 elections.