Josiah Beeman; US ambassador to New Zealand

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Josiah Beeman; US ambassador to New Zealand Hyfler/Rosner 6/19/06 6:12 AM
New Zealand Press Association

June 19, 2006 Monday


Wellington, June 19 NZPA - Former United States ambassador
to New Zealand, avid walking stick collector, and church
leader, Josiah Horton Beeman has died aged 70.

Mr Beeman, ambassador to Wellington from May 1994 to
December 1999, died in Falls Church, Virginia in the United
States, on June 14.

Mr Beeman was remembered fondly in New Zealand, Prime
Minister Helen Clark said.

``He was a charming and highly effective envoy who enjoyed a
long five-and-a-half year term,'' she said.

``He was proud of having travelled to virtually every region
of New Zealand during his term.

``He developed a love of New Zealand wines. His term was
also notable for his daughter being born here.''

Olivia Beeman was the first baby born to an American
ambassador serving in New Zealand.

Also during his term, Prime Minister Jim Bolger visited
President Bill Clinton at the White House -- the first prime
ministerial visit to Washington in 12 years.

Mr Beeman was the longest-service resident head of mission
in New Zealand by the end of his term.

Olivia was born to Mr Beeman and wife Susan -- nearly 30
years his junior -- at Wellington Hospital in June 1999.

Olivia had her passport photo snapped on the way home from
hospital, and was sent an iconic Kiwi Buzzy Bee by
then-prime minister Jenny Shipley.

But Olivia was banned from touching hundreds of toy soldiers
collected by Mr Beeman since the 1940s, and proudly
displayed in the couple's Lower Hutt home.

He was also noted for his love of collecting walking sticks.

Mr Beeman in 1999 warned New Zealand it might face US trade
sanctions if it introduced mandatory labelling of
genetically modified foods.

He was also reported as saying that New Zealand scrapping a
deal to buy F16 fighter plans would harm defence relations
with the US.

Scrapping the deal would kill any possibility of New Zealand
and the US resuming joint military exercises, he said.

Miss Clark said at the time Mr Beeman was ``devastated'' at
the way his comments had been interpreted.

In March 2000, the Labour-led Government did scrap the F16
deal, signed up to by the previous National Government.

Beeman, a native of San Francisco, had a career that moved
back and forth between government and the Presbyterian

In 1970, he became director of the Washington office of
Presbyterian Church, a position he held for five years.

He returned to Government service as director for the
Democratic caucus of the House of Representatives.

He was general assembly commissioner for the church in 1958
and again in 1978, when he chaired the Assembly Committee on
Ordination and Homosexuals.

In 1990, he was an unsuccessful candidate for General
Assembly moderator.

For many years until his death, he was active in
Presbyterian-Catholic cooperation in Northern Ireland.

He was the second former US ambassador to New Zealand to die
this month. H Monroe Browne -- posted to Wellington from
1981 to 1985 -- was the other.

Re: Josiah Beeman; US ambassador to New Zealand aka Bob 6/19/06 4:35 PM
On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 09:12:52 -0400, "Hyfler/Rosner" <>
magnanimously proffered:

>New Zealand Press Association
>June 19, 2006 Monday
>Wellington, June 19 NZPA - Former United States ambassador
>to New Zealand, avid walking stick collector, and church
>leader, Josiah Horton Beeman has died aged 70.

Not a good week for former US ambassadors to NZ. He was quite a
character and did a lot to help smooth the troubled waters between the
USA and NZ. My walking stick collection looked pretty puny compared
with his, but I'm still collecting.


"It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens." - Woody Allen

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