Memorials 3

HARRAP, Ada Mary

Ada was born in Launceston in 1859, the second daughter of Alfred Harrap and Amelia, formerly Tobin. Ada was educated in Launceston. With her parents she attended St. John’s Church and became a keen worker for the parish. She was very active in the works of charitable and philanthropic causes. She also took an interest in the family business.

When in her late 70s, Ada suffered a slight accident which greatly affected her sight. This naturally curtailed many of her activities. She died at her Welman Street home on 31st January 1956, aged 97.

Some of her bequest to St. John’s Church was used to advance the re-building of the organ. A brass plaque was erected beneath the organ front. The inscription reads:

A.M.D.G.
IN MEMORY OF
ADA MARY HARRAP
A LIFE-LONG MEMBER OF THIS CHURCH.
HER BENEFACTION WAS USED FOR
THE COMPLETION OF THIS ORGAN.
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

HARRAP, Alfred and Amelia

Alfred Harrap was born in England in 1820. At the age of 17 he visited Van Diemen’s Land on 28th  September 1837, as a junior officer on the ship ‘Children’, one hundred and eighteen days out of London.

He was so impressed with what he saw that, on his return to England, he set about raising enough capital to entitle him to a grant of land in the colony, under a special system then in operation.

On his return to Launceston, he found that the grant system had been abolished. Undeterred, he took up land at the foot of the Western Tiers in partnership with Charles Groom. The property was very remote and was frequently raided by bushrangers.

During 1853 Alfred Harrap became a business manager, taking charge of the produce business of Mr Rodham Douglas at Westbury, while that gentleman went to England for three years. In the same year Alfred married Amelia Tobin, the daughter of Commander Tobin, R.N., who had settled at Mount Portland, near Launceston. Alfred and Amelia had a son, George Edward who was born at Westbury in 1856. There were also three girls.

In 1854, Alfred, in collaboration with other residents of Westbury, drew up a petition requesting that Westbury be made a full police district. After several more petitions and appeals, the request was granted in 1858.

Alfred moved to Launceston in 1857 and established a business as a wholesale merchant. The first building occupied a site on The Esplanade. The business dealt in grain, produce, wool-broking, and exporting wool to England from 1869. The firm also provided a river steamer service for the fertile Tamar Valley.

Mr Harrap purchased the long established firm of W. T. Bell & Co. in Cameron Street in 1887, and this became the company’s headquarters where George Harrap, Alfred’s son, joined the business. By this time the company had expanded its interests to farm machinery and products, guano, and was also agent for the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Co. There were also auctioneers’ rooms.

Alfred served the community in many other ways. He joined the Launceston Artillery during the Crimean War, gaining the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and was appointed extra aide -de-camp to several State Governors. He was Mayor of Launceston in 18’/1 to 1872, and 1875 to 1877, and was associated with the Launceston IHarine Board, being Master Warden on three separate occasions.      .’

He was on the Board of Directors of the Launceston and Western Railway, and was churchwarden of St. John’s Church for fourteen years.

Alfred died in Launceston in 1893. In memory of Alfred and Amelia two stained-glass windows were given to St. John’s Church depicting ‘The Good Samaritan’ and ‘The Charity of Dorcas’. The inscription across both windows reads:

TO THE GLORY OF GOD
IN MEMORY OF
ALFRED AND AMELIA HARRAP
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

HARRAP, George Edward

Born at Westbury on 18th August 1856, George was the son of Alfred Harrap and Amelia, formerly Tobin, daughter of Commander Tobin of Launceston.

George was educated at the Launceston Church Grammar School, and on entering the business community, was first employed at the Commercial Bank of Tasmania, then the Bank of Australasia. He spent a few years working in New South Wales and Victoria, and on his return to Launceston, entered his father’s wool, grain and general produce business, established in 1857. On the death of his father in 1893, George became manager of the firm. At the time it was called “Alfred Harrap & Son Pty. Ltd.” and was registered as such in July 1900. The firm was incorporated in January 1924, and George, with J. A. Bain and G. O. Meredith, were appointed the first directors.

George Harrap was keenly interested in civic affairs. He was appointed Justice of the Peace from 1894, and Vice-Consul for Norway and Sweden in 1891, on his father’s retirement from that post, and was created a Knight of the Order of St. Olaf by the King of Norway.

In military affairs in Launceston, he was given the command of the Launceston Artillery with the rank of colonel. During the 1914-1918 war he was given charge over censorship in Tasmania, he being not able to enlist for active service.

He was interested in the theatre and was a foundation member of the Amateur Dramatic Club formed in 1889.

He was a member of the Board of Management of the Launceston Church Grammar School from 1913 to 1936, and chairman for a time. He was a member of the Executive of the Launceston Bank for Savings and several times chairman of the bank’s General Committee.

He was an original shareholder in 1901, and later chairman, of the Tasmanian Permanent Executors and Trustees Association. He was president of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce, the National Agricultural & Pastoral Society and the Launceston Club. He supported the Victoria League, and was a member of St. John’s Church and sang in the choir. He was also a foundation member of the Launceston Bowling Club and founding president of the Launceston Players.

George Harrap died on 21st June 1937 in Launceston. At the Grammar School Chapel a window was erected to his memory. The subject is ‘The Call of St. Andrew and St. Peter’. The inscription reads:

A.M.D.G. IN MEMORY OF
GEORGE EDWARD HARRAP
A FORMER CHAIRMAN AND MEMBER OF
THE SCHOOL BOARD OF MANAGEMENT 1913-1936.
FAITHFULL Y HE SERVED GOD KING AND COUNTRY.
MOS PATRIUS ET DISCIPLINA.
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

HEWTON, David Ross

David Ross Hewton was born in the Kyneton district of Victoria in 1863. His parents came from Armagh, Northern Ireland. He was educated at St. Jude’s School, Carlton, and went to Trinity College, Melbourne.

He was first employed for several years in the office of a firm of solicitors in Melbourne.

His interest turned to the Church, and he went as a layman to the Home Mission at Terrick Plains, just north of Bendigo. Soon after this he won a ‘Diocesan Exhibition’, which enabled him to study at Trinity College in Melbourne.

He was ordained deacon and was appointed curate to Canon Goodman, at Geelong. There he met Miss Ada Steedman, who became his wife.

After he was ordained priest, the Reverend David Ross Hewton was appointed vicar to the parish of Croagingalong, near Orbost, and there he built St. James’, the first Christian church in East Gippsland. This old building was replaced with a modern brick structure some forty years later.

The Revd Hewton then became vicar of St. John’s, Maffra, for five years.

He returned to Melbourne, to North Brighton, then to Flemington and to St. Luke’s South Melbourne for fourteen years, including the years of World War I.

While at St. Luke’s he was chaplain of the Domain Camp, and performed many other military duties connected with Victoria Barracks. He was also probation officer for the Court.

In 1921 the Reverend Hewton became the rector of St. John’s Church, Launceston, and retained that position until he retired in 1933. Many things happened to this church during these years. A large debt owed by the church was cleared and the building extensions and alterations were allowed to proceed. The church also had in 1925 a very successful celebration of its first one hundred years.

The Reverend and Mrs Hewton visited Britain and Ireland several times. They also travelled in Canada and America, and in Europe. He held temporary chaplaincies in Switzerland and France. They also made a tour of the Holy Land.

He was made a graduate of the Intercollegiate University of Illinois, and in 1927, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

In Launceston he was a member of Rotary, padre of the local group of Toc H and a military chaplain (3rd class). He was also a probation officer with the Children’s Court.

The Reverend David Ross Hewton died late in September 1933 aged 70, only five months after he had retired from St. John’s.

Mrs Ada Ross Hewton survived her husband and died in August 1942, aged 73.

A newspaper article published on the occasion of Revd. Ross Hewton’s retirement can be found here. It contains a small amount of additional material about his life and achievements.

The organ screen at St. John’s Church was carved by Gordon Cumming and given in memory of the late rector. The carved inscription reads:

TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN MEMORY OF
THE REV’D ROSS HEWTON
RECTOR OF THIS PARISH 1921-’33.
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

HOME Rodham C.D. and Ellen

Born Rodham Cathrine Davison Home, he arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in the early days of the settlement and as a colonel of the 10th Hussars, he was appointed commandant of the military post at George Town.

In 1843 he married Ellen, daughter of Richard Dry Snr, at St. John’s Church. At this time Rodham Home resigned his position and he and his wife settled at the ‘Dower House’, now called ‘Ivylawn’ at Hagley, a father’s wedding gift. The Homes had four children.

On 15th May, 1860, a meeting was held in Launceston to form the Citizens’ Volunteer Rifle Corps and Rodham Home was sworn in as commanding officer. In 1863 he retired from active command and became honorary commanding officer with the rank of lieutenant-colonel of the Northern Division of Volunteers. He was also appointed a Justice of the Peace.

The family lived later at ‘Quamby’, the Hagley estate established by Richard Dry Snr. Rodham Home died on 23rd October, 1894, and Ellen died on 25th January, 1906, aged 82. At St. John’s Church, a minute of a meeting of churchwardens held in September 1911 reads: “Windows – The Rector reported that he had received £30 from the Misses Home towards a window…” This was duly erected, picturing ‘The Resurrection’ and was dedicated to the memory of Colonel and Mrs Home. There is no inscription.

HOPKINS, George Frederick

George Hopkins was born at Rochester, Kent, England, son of John Hopkins. Within the Hopkins family there is a great musical tradition. George’s brother, W. Granville Hopkins, was sub-organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, and later organist at St. Andrew’s, Holborn.

J. L. Hopkins, composer of “Lift up your heads” and many other sacred pieces, became organist at Rochester Cathedral in 184l and was followed in 1856 by his cousin, John Hopkins, father of George. His uncle, E. J. Hopkins, was organist at the Temple Church, London, from 1844 to 1899, and George’s grandfather was a leading clarinetist and viola player and was leader of the private orchestra of William IV.

John Hopkins had also been an organ builder and thus George, as organist and builder with many years of knowledge and experience, arrived in.Launceston in March 1912 to take up the position of organist and choirmaster at St. John’s Church.

On his arrival he found the organ was in poor condition. He kept it playing for a few years until in 1915 he decided to rebuild the instrument. He accomplished this mammoth task over the next thirteen years, giving St. John’s the best pipe organ in the Southern Hemisphere.

George Hopkins was interested in the performing arts in Launceston and on three occasions was selected as adjudicator of the Launceston Competitions. He also gave tuition on organ and piano as well as choir training.

After seventeen years of service at St. John’s, George retired and moved to Sydney to live. He had married before he came to Launceston and had two daughters, Daphne and Nancy. Daphne married and lived at Westbury, where she was organist at the Anglican Church on the Village Green.

George died in Sydney on 9th June 1934. In his memory at St. John’s Church a plaque was erected at the base of the organ front. The inscription reads:

IN MEMORY OF
GEORGE.FREDERICK HOPKINS
ORGANIST OF THIS CHURCH FOR 17 YEARS
AND BUILDER OF THIS ORGAN
DIED 9TH JUNE 1934
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

HORTIN, Mary Esme (Molly)

Molly was born in 1916, the daughter of Ernest Stanley Vernon Hortin and Ethel Kate, formerly Benjamin, both of Launceston.

Molly was given a good education though a good deal of it took place at home due to ill-health.

The family attended St. John’s Church where Molly was a student at the Sunday School. In the late 1930s the family moved to Hobart to live for a few years, returning to Launceston about 1943 to take up residence in Hill Street.

Molly died on 11th October 1949 aged 33. In her memory her mother, Kate, made provision in her own will that a stained-glass window be erected in St. John’s. Kate lived until 1985. The memorial of two lights was placed in the south Clerestry The two panels, one featuring ‘Mary Sumner’, founder of the Mothers’ Union, the other featuring ‘Elizabeth Townsend’, founder of the Girls’ Friendly Society The lights of the memorial have been placed one on either side of the memorial for Joan Carr Walsh.  The inscription on a brass plaque reads:

TO THE GLORY OF GOD
THE SIDE PANELS OF THIS WINDOW ARE
IN MEMORY OF
MARY ESME HORTIN 1916-1949
GIVEN BY HER MOTHER ETHEL KATE HORTIN
DEDICATED 1988
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

HUNT, Lucy May

Lucy was born in 1875, the daughter of Thomas and Lucy Martha Hunt. She was a member of St. John’s Church choir for many years and her first love was music, but she also assisted in other good works. She did not marry and died at her home in Adelaide Street on 4th June, 1953, aged 78.

She bequeathed to St. John’s Church a handsome sum of money to be used for the future restoration of the organ. A plaque was erected in her memory beneath the organ front. The inscription reads:

A.M.D.G.
IN MEMORY OF
LUCY MAY HUNT
1875 – 1953
A FAITHFUL BENEFACTOR TO THE ORGAN FUND
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

HUTCHINS, William

Born on 26th November 1792 at Ainsley, Warwickshire, England, the son of a clergyman, William Hutchins was educated at Atherstone Grammar School in Warwickshire. He entered Pembroke College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1815.

He was ordained into the Church of England shortly after graduating and was appointed curate of Wirksworth. He was appointed to Kirk and Ireton, both in Derbyshire.

The Reverend Hutchins then held a fellowship at Cambridge until 1837. At this time he took up his colonial appointment. He arrived in Hobart on 6th January 1837 on board the ‘Fairlie’, which also brought Sir John Franklin, new Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, and his suite.

William was appointed Archdeacon of Van Diemen’s Land in the Diocese of Australia. His position required that he be the administrator of the Church of England in the colony.

In 1840, he married Rachael Owen, a daughter of the Rural Dean. In the few years that followed his arrival, Archdeacon Hutchins was a strong leader in the movement to found higher educational facilities for the youth of the colony; both in Launceston and Hobart meetings were held and subscriptions opened to establish schools in these centres.

In his dealings with the committees and clergy of Launceston, he was a close friend of the Reverend Dr W. H. Browne of St. John’s Church.

Archdeacon Hutchins died in the early morning of 4th June 1841, and in August 1846 Hutchins School opened in Hobart as a living memorial to the Archdeacon.

On 23rd December 1837 Dr Browne at St John’s Church Launceston wrote in his journal that he “put up a transparency at my own expense in the chancel window of our church.” This he had purchased from George Hedgeland (Headsland) of England, early in 1837. It showed The ‘Resurrection’. The Latin inscription was no doubt part of the original and moved with the window. A ‘transparency’ was a less expensive method ‘… to paint on white glass with transparent coloured enamels…(Stained glass in the Middle Ages in England and France by Hugh Arnold [A & C Black, 1913]).

Later at St John’s, as a new chancel was erected in the 1860s the window was moved to the north side of the new chancel as the Cameron window was placed to the east. Some time between 1841 and 1866 the Resurection widow was made the Hutchins memorial.

In 1911 the Hutchins memorial window was repositioned as one of a pair of vesica windows at the base of the dome. It portrays the ascending Christ and a Latin text framing the picture; ‘fui mortis’, ‘et ecce sum’ ‘secula’ (from the Book of Revelation 1:17-18.)

(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

IKIN, Henry Dewhurst (Harry)

Harry was born in Launceston on 4th April 1904 son of William Ikin. Although his parents were Independents, Harry sang as a chorister with the choir at Holy Trinity Church. As a young man Harry attended Christ Church Congregational with his family and there he met Lynette Rose whom he married.

He entered the Independents College of Divinity in Melbourne and trained for the ministry, gaining his Th.L. Some early years of his career were spent in Queensland but in 1950 he was ordained priest in the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania and afterwards held appointments as rector of the Channel Parish and New Town, Ulverstone and Campbell Town.

Harry retired early in 1974, but later that year accepted a part-time position as assistant at St. John’s Church. He died in 1980, and in his memory a plaque was erected in the chapel of St. John’s. The inscription reads:

HENRY DEWHURST IKIN  PRIEST
1904 – 1980
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

JESSOP, Elsie May

Born 28-8-1901 died at Legana 4-3-1997 – 2nd child of Frederick Kiddle and Mary Eleanor Kiddle (nee Stones).

Elsie’s parents married at St. John’s shortly before the turn of the 20th century. Her father was a groom in the stables of one of Launceston’s wealthier families, and later curator of the bowls club at Windmill Hill.

In her early and adolescent years, the family at three different homes in the close vicinity of St. George’s Square, East Launceston. Both Elsie and her elder sister Bessie (Eleanor Jane Elizabeth Kiddle), attended Charles St. Practising School until the brand-new (and much closer) East Launceston State School was opened in 1908. Elsie left school at 14 years of age to work at Tabarts Printery in Cimitere St, and spent all her working life in printeries. She was probably in her 70s when she retired.

Her interest in bookbinding led on to her carving. A number of beautiful examples of her carving are still held by family members, and some were featured in an exhibition by the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in the 1990s. Elsie was strongly influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century, and made extensive use of native flora in her designs.

Elsie married George William Jessop on 20th December 1935. They had known each other since before WWI, during which George served with the army in France. George was a graphic artist who worked, as Elsie did, in the printing industry. For part of his working life, he was employed by the Alexander Racquet Factory Launceston to paint logos and designs on the products. He is known to have designed at least one Davis Cup of the era.

Elsie and her older sister both attended Sunday School from a young age. Sunday School was quite strict. Examinations were held to measure progress, and the Sunday School hall was set out with tables, under strict supervision. Their younger sister, Mary, once won the Bishop’s Prize, awarded statewide. Sunday School was “school” in the full sense of the word. The next brother, Geoffrey Kiddle, was also active in the Sunday School at the same period. The Sunday School consisted of three divisions, senior, intermediate and kindergarten, which was in the back section of the building. Sybil Brownrigg’s mother took the intermediate section in the middle part of the building. Of course, the kindergarten section had a different program to the older ones! Looking down from the gallery, the Sunday School children could see the beautifully dressed children of the very “well-to-do” families, who would attend church with their parents but were not allowed to attend Sunday School. Sunday School was held twice a day. 60 or more children attended in the afternoon, and about 30 in the mornings. By about 1930, the two sessions were amalgamated into the one morning session.

Elsie became a teacher in the Sunday School, and rose to superintendent of the kindergarten section, and held that position for many years until her marriage in 1935, at which point Miss Kiddle, whom Elsie had recruited as a teacher working with the older boys in the kindergarten, took over the leadership, a post she continued with until the mid 1980s! Sybil Brownrigg, too, was a teacher in the kindergarten section in those early years. The activities included use of sand trays to build up the lessons, singing and other activities. The hour always seemed too short. Geoffrey Kiddle was the secretary and librarian of the Sunday School at the same period. He took his responsibilities very seriously. The Kiddle children were actively encouraged to take on Sunday School responsibilities by their mother, who had a strong sense of duty towards the church.

GFS concerts would be held in the old Mechanics’ Institute (site of the Northern Regional Library), to raise money for the carpet fund and other worthy causes. Mrs. Jessop and Miss Kiddle were members from their teenage years (the joining age was 14), and continued later as Townsend group members. In those days, there was an active connection between GFS as a girls’ organisation at the church, and the GFS hostel which provided for the needs of working girls unable to live at home. In the 1980s, the Townsend group were instrumental in providing for the fine carpet now to be seen in the church. Some older parishioners will recall the fundraising stalls, slide shows, outings and “beetle evenings” of this latter period.

Elsie was a long-time member and supporter of Legacy, who had a holiday shack at Lauderdale available to their members.

Elsie was a great admirer of St. John’s wonderful pipe organ, and left a bequest to the church, specifically earmarked for maintenance of the organ. Interest from that bequest still supports maintenance of the organ. In recognition of her work at St. John’s, and her support for the organ, a plaque was erected at the south choir stalls:

IN THANKSGIVING FOR
ELSIE MAY JESSOP
1901-1997
A LOVED PARISHIONER
AND
GENEROUS BENEFACTOR
TO THE ORGAN MAINTENANCE FUND
(Abridged version of notes on Mrs. Jessop’s life supplied by her relatives.)

 

JONES, Christive Elizabeth

Christive was born in Lambeth in London on 25th December 1841 the daughter of John and Charlotte, formerly Shirt. She travelled with her parents to Australia and settled in Launceston.

On 28th July 1869 Christive married John Frederick Jones at Holy Trinity Church. He was the son of James and Mary Jones of Launceston. Christive and John had a family of three sons and three daughters, one of whom married Harold Brownrigg. Some time after their marriage the Jones family began attending St. John’s Church, where descendants continue to worship.

Christive would have been brought up as a genteel Victorian lady and lived for her family. She died at the age of 70 years on 7th January 1912. In her memory a prayer desk for the sanctuary at St. John’s Church was given. It is Tasmanian oak and was carved by Hugh Cunningham. On a small plaque at the base of the desk is the following inscription:

THIS DESK IS PLACED HERE
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN MEMORY OF
CHRISTIVE ELIZABETH JONES
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

JONES, Frederick James

Fred Jones was born at George Town on 7th May 1875 the youngest of six children of Thomas Jones, the superintendent of the Mounted Police at George Town, and Minnie his wife, formerly Phillips. She was the daughter of Captain William Phillips, also of George Town.

Fred was brought up in George Town, but when he moved to Launceston with his parents in 1884, he attended the Collegiate City School, a private co-educational establishment conducted by Mr and Mrs H. Strode Henri in Upper Charles Street.

Fred was employed by the Tasmanian Government Railways for his entire working life.

On 18th March 1919 he married Winifred Florence Wathen of Launceston. She died in June 1950, and several years later he married May Beaumont.

After his retirement from the Railways, Fred became a member of the staff of Findlay’s Pty. Ltd., music store. A sister of his, Alice Emily, had married Percy Alexander Findlay, son of one of the original partners of the music store of Munnew & Findlay.

Fred Jones was an active churchman and a regular supporter of St. John’s Church. He was appointed to the first Vestry formed in 1935 and was made churchwarden in 1950. In 1967, at the annual meeting of the parish, he was appointed churchwarden emeritus in recognition of his long and devoted service to the church. Apart from his church interests, Fred was also very interested in horses and horse management, a hobby which would have grown from his childhood days at George Town and his father’s appointment.

When Fred died on 6th July 1970, he was 95 years old, and was one of the longest lived of the pupils of Mr Henri’s school. He was able to walk about two miles a day to within weeks of his death and still wrote with the round hand acquired at Mr Henri’s school.

At St. John’s Church a pair of carver chairs was purchased for the use of churchwardens. One was dedicated to the memory of Fred Jones. The inscription reads:

IN MEMORY OF
FREDERICK JAMES JONES
CHURCHWARDEN 1950-1970
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

KIDDLE, Eleanor Jane Elizabeth

Born at Launceston, 11th June 1900 died at Legana 26th November 1992
Well-known at St. John’s during the middle and latter parts of the 20th century, Miss Kiddle’s grandparents emigrated from England about 1870. Their voyage was delayed because of the impending birth of Frederick Kiddle, Miss Kiddle’s father, one of seven children, who was six weeks old when they set out on a six month voyage by sailing ship. The ship they should have sailed on was lost without trace. Miss Kiddle’s parents married at St. John’s shortly before the turn of the century. Her father was a groom in the stables of one of Launceston’s wealthier families, and later curator of the bowls club at Windmill Hill.

Miss Kiddle lived all her life in the neighbourhood of St. George’s Square in East Launceston. The Kiddle family moved to 70 Arthur St. about 1917. She went to work in McKinlays sewing room as soon as she had finished at East Launceston Primary School, at about 14 years of age. This was before the Launceston High School opened. She remained with McKinlays all her working life.

Miss Kiddle (known in her family as Bessie) and her next sister, Elsie both attended Sunday School at St. John’s from a young age. Sunday School was quite strict. Examinations were held to measure progress, and the Sunday School hall was set out with tables, under strict supervision. It was “school” in the full sense of the word. The Sunday School consisted of three divisions, senior, intermediate and kindergarten, which was in the back section of the building. Sybil Brownrigg’s mother took the intermediate section in the middle part of the building. Of course, the kindergarten section had a different program to the older ones!

Elsie became a teacher in the Sunday School, and rose to superintendent of the kindergarten section, and held that position for many years until her marriage in 1935, at which point Miss Kiddle, whom Elsie (Mrs. Jessop) had recruited as a teacher working with the older boys in the kindergarten, took over the leadership, a post she continued with until the mid 1980s! Sybil Brownrigg, too, was a teacher in the kindergarten section in those early years.

Miss Kiddle’s involvement in St. John Ambulance began in 1939, and she continued as an active member until the mid 1980s, rising to the rank of Serving Sister. She was twice decorated by the Governor of Tasmania in recognition of her service to St. John Ambulance. Her duties included hospital assistance during World War II and first aid at football matches and at the Launceston Show for many years. She conscientiously worked to support the organisation, and was active in organising the Button Days and the Doorknock Appeal. The high esteem in which she was held by her fellow officers was demonstrated in the guard of honour of uniformed St. John Ambulance officers at her funeral.

Miss Kiddle was always very faithful and devoted to her work for the church and St. John Ambulance, and if she knew of somebody that was seriously ill or dying, she would make a point of sitting with them to make sure they were not alone in their hour of need. Her life was the church and her sewing. She sewed for her whole family, including the younger children. Even as the children grew up, she made wedding dresses and other clothes for their special occasions. Nieces and nephews also benefited from her skills, as did the church and Sunday School. At the time of the birth of her youngest sister, her mother was seriously ill, and Miss Kiddle took over four months off work to nurse her mother and care for the new baby.

GFS (Girls Friendly Society) concerts would be held in the old Mechanics’ Institute (site of the Northern Regional Library), to raise money for the carpet fund and other worthy causes. Miss Kiddle and Mrs. Jessop were members from their teenage years (the joining age was 14), and continued later as Townsend group members. By the 1930s, Miss Kiddle was GFS secretary. Later, she took charge for many years. In those days, there was an active connection between GFS as a girls’ organisation at the church, and the GFS hostel which provided for the needs of working girls unable to live at home. In more recent years, the Townsend group were instrumental in providing for the fine carpet now to be seen in the church. Many will recall the fundraising stalls, slide shows, outings and “beetle evenings” of this latter period.

Plaque – on northern side of nave:
TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF
ELEANOR JANE ELIZABETH KIDDLE, 1900-1992
WHO GAVE LOVING SERVICE TO GOD THROUGH DEDICATION
TO ST JOHN’S CHURCH AND SUNDAY SCHOOL, THE GIRLS FRIENDLY SOCIETY IN TASMANIA AND ST JOHN AMBULANCE BRIGADE.
(Abridged version of a eulogy published at St. John’s after Miss Kiddle’s death, 1992.)

LAKIN, Frederick and his family

Frederick Lakin and Emily Friend were married in Southwark Cathedral, London, in early May 1853. They sailed from the Thames on 11th May 1853 on the barque ‘Niagara’ and arrived in Sydney on 27th August 1853. Frederick had been a draper’s assistant and entered this trade first in Sydney, then Melbourne, and eventually set up his own drapery business in Launceston in partnership with a Mr Potter. Their establishment was known as Lakin & Potter.

Frederick and Emily lived in High Street, Launceston, and their six sons all built their homes within half a mile of their parents’ home. This home was later demolished. All six sons are said to have been born in Launceston and educated at the Launceston Church Grammar School.

Robert married Emily Standage at St. Leonards in November 1881. They had seven children. Robert became a draper and joined the firm of D. & W. Murray. He died in 1921, aged 66.

Henry married twice. He was Tasmanian agent for the drapery wholesalers, Paterson, Laing & Bruce.

Herman Rupp was born in 1863, and at the age of 5 years he joined the Sunday School at St. John’s Church. He was there in 1868 when H.R.H. Prince Alfred paid a visit to Launceston. The Duke addressed the children from a platform erected on the site where the rectory now stands. Special medals were struck to mark the occasion and no doubt Herman received one of them.

He became a clerk at the Launceston Gas Co., later becoming secretary and then manager of the company. He married Fanny Foster, daughter of Captain Foster, river pilot on the Tamar.

His association with St. John’s Church continued throughout his life, being a teacher in the Sunday School for over forty years. For some time he was treasurer of the church and a member of the first Vestry, formed in 1935. He was also an active worker and supporter of the Church Missionary Society. He was a keen cricketer and a very active member of the East Launceston Bowling Club. Herman died at the Eskleigh Home, Perth, Tasmania, on 3rd August 1954 aged 91.

Leslie Harold was born in 1871. He became a clerk and married Hilda May Spurling, daughter of Steven Spurling, a noted Launceston photographer. Hilda was her father’s assistant. The family attended St. John’s Church where Leslie was a churchwarden in 1945 and 1946, and where Hilda was a member of the Mothers’ Union and the Women’s Guild. They both gave generously to the renovation of the organ.

Leslie died on 5th July 1948 aged 76, and Hilda died on 6th May 1957 aged 82.

Alfred was married with three children. He moved to Ulverstone where he was a general storekeeper and acquired several properties and houses in the district.

Ernest married Ada Burbury and they had two children. Like his elder brother, Ernest became a draper. In the 1920s he and his family took up residence in Hobart where he became a noted local figure.

Over the years the family’s philanthropy has been seen on all sides of public and private life, and in its memory several memorials have been erected in St. John’s Church; a stained-glass window featuring ‘Peter walking on the water’, a marble plaque and two brass plaques. The inscriptions are as follows:

Window:
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN MEMORY OF
THE LAKIN FAMILY
Marble plaque situated on an outside wall of the old Sunday School, Elizabeth Street:
ERECTED BY THE TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
OF ST. JOHN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL
AS A TOKEN OF LOVE AND ESTEEM
TO THE MEMORY OF
GEORGE BABINGTON,
WHO WAS SUPERINTENDENT FOR 21 YEARS.
DIED DECEMBER 29TH 1888
AND
FREDERICK LAKIN
WHO WAS LIBRARIAN FOR 25 YEARS
DIED MARCH 9TH 1889.
THEY REST FROM THEIR LABOURS
AND THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM
Brass Plaque:
A.M.D.G.
IN MEMORY OF
HERMAN RUPP LAKIN 1863-1954
FOR MANY YEARS SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER
ALSO CHURCH TREASURER,
HIS BEQUEST ASSISTED IN THE RENOVATION
OF THIS ORGAN
Brass Plaque:
A.M.D.G.
IN MEMORY OF
LESLIE HAROLD LAKIN 1871-1948
AND HIS WIFE HILDA MAY LAKIN 1874-1957
FOR MANY YEARS ACTIVE WORKERS IN THIS CHURCH,
THE RENOVATION OF THIS ORGAN
WAS ASSISTED BY THEIR BEQUEST
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

LATTA, Christina

Christina Latta was born on 24th September 1896 in the district of Riverdale, in Liverpool, Lanes, England. Her parents were Frederick Alexander Allan, who was born in St. Cyrus, Montrose, Scotland, and Susannah Allan, formerly Tharburn, who was born in Stow Village, Midlothian, Scotland. Some sisters of Frederick Allan emigrated to Tasmania in the early 1890s; Lilias, who married Peter Orr, and Hannah. Thomas, the son of Lilias, became a noted builder, and his son Allan still carries on the business.

Christina spent many of her early years in Scotland. Later the family settled in Cheshire, England.

On 18th July 1923 Christina married Alexander Stuart Latta whose father, Alexander Latta, came from Dumbarton, Scotland. They went to live in Hoylake, Cheshire, where their two children, Jean Tharburn and Campbell Stuart, were born. Jean is now Mrs Gatenby and lives in Launceston and Campbell lives in Surrey, England.

The Lattas first came to Sydney, New South Wales, where they lived for ten years. They returned to England but in 1957 came back to Australia, staying first in Launceston for only a few months. Christina later returned to Launceston to be near her daughter. Her great interest in Launceston was St. John’s Auxiliary to St. Luke’s Hospital, of which she was president for many years. She was a regular attender of St. John’s Church, being interested in the Women’s Guild, and knitted many garments for the guild to distribute at the Queen Victoria Hospital.

Christina Latta died on 8th June 1985 aged 88. Her family donated a chalice and paten to St. John’s Church in her memory. The inscription reads:

A.M.D.G.
CHRISTINA LATTA 1896-1985
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

LITTLER, Charles Augustus

Charles was born in Launceston on 26th March 1868, the eldest son of Augustus East Littler and Hannah, formerly Murray. The Littlers are descended from Ranulph de Littelovre- of Cheshire. Charles was educated at the old Launceston High School before it amalgamated with the Launceston Church Grammar School.
In 1888 he moved to Devonport and took up a position as teller with the Bank of Van Diemen’s Land. By 1891 this branch became insolvent and Charles went to Zeehan as manager of the branch there. Having been at the Zeehan branch for two years, Charles left and returned to Devonport.
He married Helen Cotgrave Thomas in February 1892. She was the daughter of Bartholomew William Thomas and Louisa, formerly Ashburner, both of Devonport. Charles and Helen had three sons.
For a few years he worked as a produce merchant and in 1897 he became manager of the North-West Farmers’ Association in Devonport. In 1904 he became a captain with the Tasmanian Rangers. This same year he left for the Phillipines and lived in Manila until 1909 and worked as a stevedore with his brother-in-law, handling rubber and coconut merchandise. He also served with the American forces and helped supply Russian cruisers stationed in Manila Bay during the Russo-Japanese conflict. He also worked as Commercial Agent for Tasmania in the Far East, and was engaged on intelligence missions for the British Navy.
Early in 1914 Charles returned to Tasmania. He enlisted in the A.1.F. in December as lieutenant. He served in Egypt and landed at Gallipoli and was later promoted to captain. He was in the ANZAC evacuation and was one of the last to leave. He was mentioned in dispatches and awarded a well-earned the D.S.O.
In June 1916 he was posted back to France and there, at dawn on 3rd September, on Mouquet Farm, he was mortally wounded.
Several relatives lived in Launceston and attended Holy Trinity and St John’s Church. These relatives marked his heroic passing by erecting a brass plaque in the church. The inscription reads:

IN AFFECTIONATE MEMORY OF
CAPTAIN CHARLES AUGUSTUS LITTLER
52ND BATT. A.1.F. KILLED IN ACTION AT MOUQUET FARM FRANCE
3RD SEPTEMBER 1916
OPERIBUS NON VERBIS
ERECTED BY HIS SISTER
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

MARTIN, William and Kate

The Martin family has been traced back to the Reverend Samuel Martin and Selina, formerly Beresford, of Warsop in Nottingham, England. Their son, Captain Edward, of the Indian Army came to Van Diemen’s Land and settled at Westbury at the end of 1845.

William was born on 21st June 1856 at Westbury, fourth son of Edward and Anne, daughter of Captain John Craig Dundas of New Town. He was educated at the Launceston Church Grammar School and Geelong Grammar, Victoria. He was articled to the firm of Ritchie & Parker, solicitors of Launceston, and then Roberts & Allport of Hobart. He was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Tasmania in April 1879 and was for a time with the firm of the Hon. F. W. Grubb.’ He then became senior partner of Martin & Hobkirk, who purchased the firm of Mr Grubb.

On 24th December 1879 he married Kate Weedon, daughter of C. J. Weedon of Launceston. They had three children. William Martin was for many years a director of the Tasmanian Woolgrowers’ Agency Co. Ltd., chairman of directors of the National Bank of Tasmania until it was taken over by the Commercial Bank of Australia. He was a director of the Western Silver, the Primrose and the Hercules Mining Companies and was involved in other mining ventures on the West Coast. His military career was long and colourful. Enlisting as a private in 1878, he rose steadily through the ranks to receive the honorary rank of brigadier-general in 1919. Through forty-one years of service he received many decorations and honours.

Other interests more closely connected with him were within the Boy Scout movement, the Tasmanian branch of the Royal Enterprise Society and the Royal Society. He was a member of the Board of the Launceston Church Grammar School, the Northern Law Society and a Past Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Tasmania.

He was interested in sport and in his younger days often represented Tasmania at inter-colonial cricket matches. After a very active life William Martin died on 11th December, 1938. Kate his Wife died on 24th April 1942.

The family attended St. John’s Church and gave generously during the building extensions. After the deaths of William and Kate, family and friends gave to the church a stained-glass window picturing ‘Faith’, a cover for the font and a prayer desk, these last two beautifully carved in Tasmanian oak. The three inscriptions are as follows:

Window:
A.M.D.G. TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN MEMORY OF
WILLIAM AND KATE MARTIN
THE GIFT OF EDITH READ
Font cover:
IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM AND KATE MARTIN”
Prayer desk:
“IN MEMORYOF WILLIAM AND KATE MARTIN
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

MAYNARD, Alice Beatrice

Alice was born in England in 1886 and there married Frederick Maynard and lived her married life in Kent, where her son and daughter were born.

The daughter was Jean, who married Arthur Roach. Arthur had emigrated to South Australia in 1947, and eventually settled in Launceston in 1952. Alice came to Tasmania herself in later years to be near her daughter.

She died on 18th September 1978. Jean gave a pair of brass vases to St. John’s Church in memory of her mother and husband, who died the same year. All three had attended the weekday services at St. John’s for a number of years. The inscription on one of the vases reads:

A.M.D.G.
IN MEMORY OF
ALICE BEATRICE MAYNARD
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

MERCER, John Edward and Josephine

Edward Mercer, as he preferred to be known, was born in Bradford in 1856, the son of an Anglican clergyman. He had an orthodox education at Rossall Grammar School, went up to Lincoln College, Oxford, took his B.A. in 18’79, was ordained deacon in 1880 and priest in 1881. In 1882 he married Josephine Archdall, also the child of a clergyman. Mercer was appointed curate in Northumberland and the couple seemed settled to a conventional clerical career.

However, in late 1883, the Reverend Edward and Josephine Mercer broke the bonds of convention and joined the Rossall School Mission in a depressed area near the heart of industrial Manchester. Six years later the couple faced an even tougher challenge, when Edward was appointed to St. Michael’s Church, Angel Meadow, Manchester. This parish was almost literally a square of 33 acres, or 13.5 hectares, almost in the centre of Manchester. It was a slum area of the worst kind, with a population density seven times and a death rate ten times greater than the rest of the city. Edward and Josephine tackled the brutal proverty and appalling exploitation in housing and work in both Angel Meadow and their subsequent appointment to Gorton, a neighbouring and only slightly less intractable parish. In the space of twelve years their work was so significant that it was regarded as “the beginning of a new epoch” in the area, and as marking a significant distinction between “churchianity and Christianity”.

Edward Mercer’s appointment as Bishop of Tasmania was made in 1902 by the Archbishop of Canterbury on the advice of a committee of English bishops and was the last appointment made under that system. The new bishop’s approach to the Tasmanian Diocese was marked by his determination to press for reforms in social attitudes, in theology, in morals with special emphasis on gambling and liquor, in education and in the community’s awareness of the outside world. In this work the bishop was aided by his wife, Josephine, who was “more concerned with the problems of impoverished pensioners than with … entertainment for the gentry.” She supported him most ably in Tasmania, as she had in Manchester, until her tragic death in 1907.

Bishop Mercer’s uncompromising attitude and his active pursuit of the reforms he propounded, aroused the increasingly bitter opposition of the Tasmanian establishment. This hostility came to a head in 1910 when the bishop helped the Labor Party “on an issue which raised considerable controversy and may have influenced state history.” This was the campaign for establishing Wages Boards. The bishop declared roundly that colonial workers, especially the girls in dressmaking apprenticeships in Hobart, were much worse off than their counterparts in Manchester, and he produced statistics of wages and working hours to prove his assertion.

Bishop Mercer was not only an advocate of Christian Socialism but worked hard to expand and consolidate the work of the Church. One of the most significant events of his episcopate was the opening of St. Wilfrid’s College at Cressy as a college for training candidates for Holy Orders. Another was the formation of the Church of England Men’s Society. Indeed, by 1912 there were ninety-seven clergy in the Diocese compared with sixty-four in 1900.

Early in 1914 Bishop Mercer resigned after eleven years of arduous work, and in failing health. His resignation was received with genuine regret, “even those who had been offended by the Bishop’s strongly expressed views on social problems acknowledged that he had used his great gifts for the good of Church and community.” He returned to England and was appointed Canon Residentiary and de facto Bishop at Chester; later he became Archdeacon of Macclesfield. He died on 28th April 1922.

In St. John’s Church is a window depicting ‘The Annunciation’. There is no inscription. It was given by Bishop Mercer in memory of Josephine, who died at Bishopscourt, Hobart, on 28th March 1907. Also in this church the ecclesiastical arms of the bishop have been carved in the sandstone at the base of the dome. There may have been a connection between him and an old family of Mercer in Co. Kinross, whose arms were used by him. The blazon reads:

Arms:
Per pale on the dexter Az.
a crosier in bend dexter surmounting
a key in bend sinister Or, between four stars of eight points Ar.
The stars representing the principal constellation of the Southern Hemisphere called The Crux Australis, for the See of Tasmania.
On the sinister Or, on a fess
between three crosses pattee Gu in chief and a mullet Az.
in base as many besants.
Crest:
A cross Or.
Motto: Crux christi nostra corona
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

MONTGOMERY, Henry Hutchinson

Henry was born in 1847 at Cawnpore, India, eldest son of Sir Robert Montgomery and Ellen Jane, formerly Lambert. He was educated at Harrow and graduated B.A. from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1870. The following year he was made a deacon in the Church of England and at Chichester the year after was ordained priest.

Henry’s first appointment was as curate of Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex, from 1871 to 1874. Thereafter followed a series of curacies in Southwark, Westminster and Kensington. He continued his studies and gained an M.A. and then D.D. in 1889. That year on 1st May he was consecrated bishop in Westminster Abbey.

On 28th July 1881 he married Maude Farrar, daughter of Frederick William Farrar, Canon of Westminster. They had seven children, the youngest of whom was Bernard, born at Kensington in 1887 and who later became Viscount Montgomery of Alamein.

The new bishop, with his wife and family sailed for Tasmania. They arrived on 23rd October 1889 and Henry was enthroned as Bishop of the Diocese of Tasmania on 29th October. During his twelve years in office, he was instrumental in many advances of the Church in the colony. Apart from his missionary work and tireless visiting of every part of his Diocese, the bishop saw to the completion of the Cathedral, the formation of the University and the establishment of the House of Mercy – “for fallen women”. The Diocesan Year Book was first published in 1891 and in 1892 the Collegiate School for young ladies was established. The Jubilee of the Diocese was celebrated on 27th July 1893 and the consecration of the Cathedral chancel was performed on 18th January 1894.

After several more years of devoted service the bishop retired in July 1901, returned to England and took up an appointment with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. In 1919 he retired and eventually settled in Moville, Ireland. He was appointed K.C.M.G. in 1928. Bishop Montgomery died at the family estate, ‘New Park’, on 25th November 1932.

In his honour, and later memory, the episcopal arms of the bishop were carved in the stone at the base of the dome of St. John’s Church. The blazon reads:

Arms:
Per pale on the dexter Az.
a crosier in bend dexter surmounting a key in bend sinister Or,
between four stars of eight points Ar. The stars representing the principal constellation of the Southern Hemisphere called The Crux Australis,
for the See of Tasmania.
On the sinister quarterly lst and 4th Az. three fleurs-de-lis. Or.
for Montgomery;
2nd and 3rd Gu. three annulets Or for Ellingston.
Crest:
A dexter gauntlet erect holding a dagger all Ppr.”
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

MORRAH Margaret Duff (Peggy)

Peggy was born in 1899, one of the six children of James and Kate Chalmers of Queenstown. She had a normal education and, having left school, she sought employment. Eventually she found a position in the woollen industry at Patons & Baldwins mill. As she grew older she obtained skills and came to be considered an expert knitter by Patons & Baldwins.

She married John Morrah some time before 1935. They had four children and attended St. John’s Church. For a few years they lived in Hollingsworth Street and then in Eardley Street.

Peggy died on 17th June 1976 aged 77. In her memory a beautiful stained-glass window featuring ‘The Call of Paul’ was erected in St. John’s Church. The inscription reads:

A.M.D.G.
IN MEMORY OF MARGARET DUFF MORRAH
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

MURRAY, Eleanor Child and Lilias Ford

These two sisters were the daughters of Thomas Ayton Murray and Mary Jemima Ford, who married at Stanley, on 15th December 1866. Eleanor was born in 1867 and Lilias in 1870.

The education of the two girls culminated in them being among the earliest women to obtain their B.A. degrees at the Tasmanian University. Both became school teachers and at one time were both teaching at the Launceston Girls’ Grammar School in Elizabeth Street.

Both girls devoted most of their lives to the Church Missionary Society, the Red Cross and St. John’s Church where they worked as Sunday School teachers. Eleanor was awarded the Red Cross Order of Merit.

The girls’ mother, Mary Jemima Ford, was the daughter of Frederick Wilabraham Ford and Eleanor Elizabeth King. Frederick came to Van Diemen’s Land in 1841 and settled in Launceston. In 1857 he took up the rental of ‘Highfield House’ at Stanley, originally the property of the Van Diemen’s Land Company. Eventually in 1914 a son, Henry, purchased the property for the family who continued to live there until 1931 when it was sold.

Frederick W. Ford was the founder of the Tasmanian branch of the Fords of Staffordshire, England, whose family records date back to the thirteenth century.

Eleanor and Lilias continued to reside in Elizabeth Street, Launceston.

Lilias died on 26th August 1949 and Eleanor died on 8th June 1958. Although these sisters never married, the Tasmanian branch of the Ford family has members still living.

In memory of the two sisters a brass plaque was erected above the choir stalls at St. John’s Church. The inscription reads:

ELEANOR CHILD MURRAY 1867 – 1958
LILIAS FORD MURRAY 1870 – 1949
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS
AND ACTIVE WORKERS FOR THE CHURCH
IN WHOSE MEMORY A DONATION WAS MADE FOR THIS ORGAN
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

NEILLEY, William and Jeanette

William Neilley was born in England in 1790. He became a professional soldier and served with distinction in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo. He served first as an ensign then as a lieutenant in the 40th Regiment under Wellington. His regiment arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in 1824 and he was gazetted as a captain in 1828. He transferred into the 60th Regiment for a few years and had charge of the ordnance stores in Hobart. He retired from the army in 1833.

He was granted 407 acres of land which he called ‘Rostella’ on the east bank of the Tamar River, opposite Freshwater Point.

His wife was Jeanette Maria Higgins, whom he married before 1841. They had five children.

In the 1830s, when ‘Rostella’ was being made ready for the family, the workmen were called upon to “bail up” by an armed gang of bushrangers. When the leader of the gang found out whose property they had violated, he

urged his men to return the loot to the house and take only a few provisions, for it is said the bush ranger maintained that Captain Neilley had saved him from many a flogging while in Hobart.

The captain was a friend of Dr Matthias Gaunt- who built the church at Windermere in 1842. Both men were appointed churchwardens in 1846 at the first meeting of parishioners. For the years remaining to him William interested himself in his family and property, the church, raising sheep and enjoying the river. He died in February 1864. Jeanette, his widow, died at Brighton, Victoria, in September 1881. ‘Rostella’ was sold in 1886 to the Coulson family.

In memory of William and Jeanette a memorial window was erected in the chapel of St. John’s Church by their grandchildren. It features ‘The Centurion of the Gospel’ and has the following inscription:

TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF
CAPTAIN WILLIAM NEILLEY,
OF ROSTELLA, EAST TAMAR,
WHO SERVED HIS COUNTRY IN THE 40TH REGT.
IN THE PENINSULAR WAR AND AT WATERLOO.
DIED 5TH FEBRUARY 1864 AGED 74 YEARS.
ALSO OF JEANETTE, HIS WIFE,
WHO DIED 7TH SEPTEMBER 1881, AGED 73 YEARS
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

OAKDEN, Emma

Emma was born in Launceston in 1851, one of six children of Philip Oakden and Georgiana, formerly Cowie, who lived at ‘Stydd House’, now the site of the Queen Victoria Hospital. One of Emma’s sisters was Maria Jane who married George Parramore of Ross. All the children were baptised at the Wesleyan Chapel but later some of them attended St. John’s Church. Perhaps their mother was of the Anglican persuasion.

On 23rd January 1889 Emma and several friends enjoyed an outing on the North Esk River. After a pleasant day they disembarked and walked along the wharf to return home. Emma slipped in some water and fell into the river. Many valiant attempts were made to save her but her heavy clothing made it impossible to get her to the surface before she perished.

One of Emma’s would-be rescuers on that day was Harry De-Burgh Miller, who also lost his life.

In memory of Emma, her family gave to St. John’s Church a beautiful brass eagle lectern bearing the following inscription:

IN MEMORIAM
EMMA OAKDEN
JANUARY 23RD 1889

(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

OAKDEN, Philip and Georgiana

Philip was born in about 1784, son of Philip Oakden of Stydd, Derbyshire, England, and Mary, formerly Huerdd. Suitably educated, he became a merchant in London, and after a business failure he went to Hamburg in 1816, recouped his losses and in 1827 returned to England and paid off his creditors.

After further success in Hamburg he settled in Liverpool and there joined the Wesleyan Society. A few years later he emigrated to Van Diemen’s Land and settled in Launceston. In 1834 he purchased several properties, including six acres on Windmill Hill with a house which he called ‘Stydd House’. This property is now the site of the Queen Victoria Hospital. Other properties were at Kings Meadows and Dunedin on the North Esk River; at Mole Creek he discovered the now famous caves and for a time they were named after him.

In Launceston Philip Oakden was involved in the formation of a branch of the Bank of Van Diemen’s Land as a director. Other banking interests concerned the Tamar Bank, the Union Bank, the Bank of Australasia and the Launceston Bank for Savings of which he was one of the founders in 1835.

In October 1839 he married Georgiana Cowie, daughter of George Cowie of London. They had six children, one of whom was Maria Jane who married George Parramore.”

Philip contributed his time and money to many public and charitable organisations in Launceston. St. John’s Hospital was one such concern. The introduction of the blackberry has been attributed to Philip Oakden. Having received a single plant from England, he gave cuttings to two friends who grew more plants.

During the late 1840s he was involved in the establishment of the Launceston Ship Building Co. at Blackwall. The first and only ship built was the ‘Philip Oakden’, launched on 20th November 1849 with a bust of Philip as its figurehead. On its maiden voyage the barque carried a valuable cargo to England; on its return it hit the reef at the entrance to the Tamar River and stuck fast. All passengers and cargo were saved but the loss was ruin for the company.

Not long after this tragedy Philip died at Launceston on 31st July 1851.

In his memory a large marble tablet was erected in the Wesleyan Chapel, Paterson Street. It commemorated his association with the chapel. In 1985 the old building was gutted by fire and the memorial tablet was broken beyond repair. The exact inscription is now not available.

Georgiana, his wife, died on 22nd March 1899 aged 87. At St. John’s Church a stained-glass window was erected in her memory. It features ‘St. Mary’ and has the following simple inscription:

GEORGIANA OAKDEN
MARCH 22ND 1899
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

PARDY, Florence Arabella and Florence Vera

Florence Arabella was born in 1863, the daughter of Josiah Marrow and Catherine, formerly McMannus, both of Victoria. She would have been suitably educated as befitted a country born young lady of those times and in 1892 she married James McInery Pardy, son of William Pardy, a chemist of Geelong.

In 1893 Florence and James settled in Launceston. He had been in the town for several years prior to his marriage. He was a physician and had been a house surgeon at the Launceston General Hospital since 1886. After his marriage he settled into private practice in Charles Street with Louis Holmes, son of Frederic Holmes.

Florence and James had three children, the eldest of whom was Florence Vera. She was born in 1895 and educated in Launceston. While visiting relatives in Brighton, Victoria, Vera died on 24th April 1926 aged 31 years.

The family attended st John’s Church and made several generous gifts towards the building fund and the furniture of the church. After the death of Vera, a beautiful carved prayer desk was given in her memory and, after the death of Florence on 27th April 1954 funds were set aside for the purchase of a double set of communion vessels. All the inscriptions read:

Prayer desk:
1926
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN AFFECTIONATE MEMORY OF
VERA PARDY
THE GIFT OF HER MOTHER
Communion vessels:
A.M.D.G.
THE GIFT OF FLORENCE A PARDY
WORSHIPPER AT ST. JOHN’S LAUNCESTON 60 YEARS
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)

PARKER, Robert John

Robert was born in 1837 in Hobart. He began his legal career being articled to the firm of solicitors, Messrs Roberts & Allport. He was admitted to the Bar in 1858.

The following year he moved to Launceston and joined the long-established firm of Gleadow & Ritchie in 1860. He eventually became president of the Northern Law Society and fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society of England.

His wife was Mary Ann and their eldest son, Robert Lewis, joined the firm with his father. The family attended St. John’s Church.

In 1903 Robert Parker died on 11th March aged 66. In his memory a beautiful brass lectern was given to St. John’s Church for use in the chapel. An inscription across the top of the lectern reads:

TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN MEMORY OF
ROBERT JOHN PARKER OF LAUNCESTON
BORN 1837 DIED 1903
(Extract from Engraved in Memory by J.S.Gill. 1988)