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DEATH OF WOLD COLONIST

A fine old colonist has jaet pact away at Waimate, fall of yaaru and honor, m the peraou of Mr J. W. Gslit. The deceased who had reached for beyond the "allotted apari" of the PdtUmiat, was born m Lambeth, London, m July, 1808, and wbb oonae^aently In the 81st year of his age, As a lad he was taught tha bifslneaa of a tailor, but uubaequently wbb m the servioe of (Lionel Oheeny, and u>f Sir Jobn Oharieß Ramaden of Yorkshire. After this he waa for some time employed on the Great Western Railway aa a pointsman, at Slough, and on. the foimv lion of the Metropolitan Police by Sir Robert Peel, Mr Gaitt joined the force, m which he Borved for some years; At the age of 25 he married hia first wife, by whom eight children were born to him ; of theee five died young, and m the year 1857 Mr and Mta Gaitt with their three surviving children emigrated to New Zealand, arriving 'm Wellington by the ahip Alma, and proceeding to Wanganui, where they roai ed for aeven yeara, Mr Gaitt carry ng on buslnesa at hia trade on Taupo Qaay. During his lealdaßoa m Wanganut ifie Maori troubles weie at their height, and Mr Gaitt did hia share of active aervioj, and In after life was full of atioedote of hia experiences onaeutry ago and other aoldlerlng duiiea. lirfSe* he dame South and tcok up hla residence at Wainoa'e, where one of his aona who had preceded him by two yeara waa already settled down. Here f dt a time he worked at his trade uutil, having acquired some Jittle property m land and houaeß, this was no longer n.oesaary. Being, however, unable to Jive an idle life, he undertook the delivery of the local -paper, and Ttas up betinrep on publißhiDg mornlnga vt(ater and summer j going hia rounds m all weathers with unvarying punctuality and oheoifu neßs. He alao, from the formation of the borough, undertook the duty of attending to the at. 6c. t lamp j, and though then over seventy years of vga went his rounda year after year with the activity of a young man, alwayp, until «ithia a few weeka of hia death, loik'ng the picture of health and vigor, whioh ha attributed to the fact that he had been for nearly foity yeara a aiaunoh teetotaller. Indeed he took great intereat m tha temperance cause, and waa, we believe, many yeara ago the founder of the first Temparimoe (Society m Waimate, at a time too,' when thqce wta great Boopo for ho eff ;rta, £ c aleo got together In the daya whea U waa a bush Wwnahlp with big trees growing where now are the prlno pul atreotp, a very respectable lending library which, if we reooiieot rightly, he: gave some yeara ago to the town, aud whioh formed tho nuoleus of the present publio library. He waa also on.c of the earilaat members of th.o local Ladge of Freemaßona, Lodge St. Au^uatlne 576,, of whioh, at the time of hia decease! he wna fjler. Some three or four years ago, on the formation r-f the WalmatQ Rjfla oorpa, he became a member, and, Btlll upright aa a dQtfc though well on for 80, weutj into oamp with his company both at Qamara and Pareora. Rather more thin a year ago be left the rauka, but remained attaohad to the oorpa aa an honorary member. He alao took a keen Interest m politic*, arid waa a ataunoh JUlberal, m faot he In every way proved himself a good oltizan and a good oolomst, He waa also a oonahtent Ohuroh* man, being Indeed one of the foqn4era of the Anglican Oburoh at W^mate, yet was alwaya free qf a. suapielon of bigotry and waa e^tee^aa and reßpeotod by a wide cirole offrienda of all raoka and creeds, Yeara ago he waa Walmate's nntverua chairman and though o| l»to be had fi 2i* . c8 ° P rom . l n.e*rt part m publio affaire he waa, ready to j jln In any good wo *k Mfitil the very end of hit unobtruaive ? u , l o l i l !? ful lUfll Tho flrafc Mrß Q *M died In XB76,aincewhiohMrGaltthad been twice married, bis third wife (a Timaru lady) to whom he was united some alx yeara or so ago surviving him— as alao do hia two auna and daughter and 20 grandohildrQn, Mr Gattt, though somewhat less vigorous during the last year or B,q, oon inued Mj active life untii ahont three weeka ago when he took a cold which settled upon hln> and brought him to the bed from which he was never to rise again. During thia illness, the only one he had known for yeara, he waa attended by Dr Nieholla and waa frequently Waited by the olergyman, the iß-f Mr Ooates, and by hia relativea and frieudß, whoal testify to the pattenoo and oheeifql realgnatlon whioh he diaplayed daring his last houra. He passed peacefully away on Saturday evening, end was burled on Tueeday afternoon, the whole town appending businesa as a mark of rospeot, and hundreds following hrn to hi? g»aw. The Masonic brethren aotendod m regalia and the Volunteers aooorded him «nilitary honora, the Rifles B»nd playing the Dead Maroh In Saul and the late comrades of the deceased furnishing a firing party. At the servloe m S. Auguatine a, an impreaaJva addreaa was delivered by the Rev Mr Ooatea, and at the grave, after tha oloae of the ritual of the Ghucoh of England, followed by a funeral oration by »\M Bro MoNelll, the ' firing party of the Rlfleß paid the last honora to the memory of the departed by tho oußtomary threa volleys. Thus ended he laat chapter m the history of the lone and honorable, though unobtrusive career of a good and kindly man, a worthy oltr^an, and a ueoful colonist, of whoae life and death hia many desoendanta can nenooforth have none other than pleasant memories, v «»°«ui,

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18881108.2.15

Bibliographic details

DEATH OF WOLD COLONIST, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1991, 8 November 1888

Word Count
1,010

DEATH OF WOLD COLONIST Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1991, 8 November 1888

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