The Nathan family

Leading Auckland retailer and benefactor Dennis Nathan passed away on July 8th, 2012. Find out more about this man, who along with his three brothers took over the family business LD Nathan in the 1930s and set up some of New Zealand's largest retail stores.

The brothers' grandfather, David Nathan started the company in 1840, exporting flax and kauri gum. It was sold in 1988 and merged with Lion Breweries.

On a heritage note, the Nathan family have a connection to the Sir George Grey Special Collections, through the records of LD Nathan, which Lawrence Nathan gave to the library in 1974. Lawrence Nathan was Dennis' brother and author of 'As old as Auckland', copies of which are available at Auckland Libraries.
Ref: NZMS 690, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Records relating to the Nathan family can be viewed online through Manuscripts Online or in the reading room at the Central City Library. They include the following: GLNZ A16c (letter to Sir George Grey); NZMS1140 (diary); NZMS 1481 (bills of sale), NZMS 690 (records of the firm). The records of John Reid and Co, which merged with L D Nathan in 1973 are held in the Sir George Grey Special Collections. 


  1. Dennis Nathan also donated a 17th century Dutch stained glass window to the Auckland Art Gallery for it's re-opening in 2010, which is on permanent display.
    Sue Cooper

  2. Manurewa Borough Council acquired Dennis Nathan's childhood home, 'The Hill', and surrounding gardens, in Hill Road, Manurewa, in 1961. The house, renamed the Nathan Homestead, later served as Manukau County then Manukau City Council offices. In 1978, however, it was restored and reopened as a community and cultural centre. It still serves as such today, a vital part of the Manurewa community.


Post a Comment

Kia ora! Please leave your comment below.