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OBITUARY

MR. G. A. WIIi-lAMB.

General regret will be felt at the° death of Mr. George Albert Williams, which occurred in Wellington on Monday. The late Mr. Williams was, in his day, one of the foremost of New Zealand's footballers, but it was not only through the field of sport'that he ivas well known and highly respected. For many years he was a popular member of the Police Force, and in his younger days he gained distinction in service with the Armed Constabulary, being a member of the force which arrested the Maori prophet Te Whiti, at Parihaka. For that event in a stirring period of Now Zealand's history a special party was chosen,' and the late Mr. Williams was included. Not only wore the principal offenders among the Maori arrested, but a murderer who had taken refuge with Te Whiti was also secured. The captures were effected without any bloodshed- For some time, until matters quietened down, the Government kept the Armed Constabulary in service at Parihaka, and Mr. Williams was amongst the last to leave. Among other duties carried out by Mr. Williams in' his earlier days was that of orderly to Sir Julius Vojel. Through his association with the Maoris the late Mr. AVilliams gained a good knowledge of the Maori tongue, and that fact, together with the ability which he had shown as a footballer, no doubt induced the late Mr. Joe Warbrick to invite Mr. Williams to take a place in the New Zealand Native team which toured England in 1888. Known as_"Bully,"_ he was a fine forward, his height making him very useful in the line-out. Although a "native of Auckland, he first played football for the Athletic Club, Wellington, and when the Poneke Club advanced to the senior grade ho_ transferred to that combination, induced no doubt by the fact j that the late Dr. A. -K. Newman was Poneke's president. Mr. Williams had come to know Dr. Newman intimately through* Mr. Williams, sen., having been employed on the station in Hawkes Bay owned by Dr. Newman's father. Prior ■ to the visit of the Native team to Great. Britain in 1838-9, George Williams had ' j represented Wellington seven times, 111----1 luding the match with the Fjiglishmen * in 1888. "Bully" was very popular with the members of the Native team, and ■ often acted as field captain. It was nee- ' essary to appoint a playing captain in place of Warbrick, who broke a leg 1 while playing in a match at Auckland ? just before tho team left for Home, and who, in consequence, played little serious - football on the tour. When the team re- * turned to New Zealand the late George 3 Williams practically gave up the game, - though right up to the time of his death f he remained an ardent supporter. His 0 interest in the game was always recogb nised, and he was among those, to be in--0 vited to the official reception to the 1924- - 25 All_ Blacks on their return to ■ the '■• Dominion a few weeks ago. It wa.s on that occasion that he made his last. _ public appearance. After his „ playing days he did some refereeing, one . important game which he controlled be- * ing the Auckland-Wellington match soon , after the return of tho Native team. In \ that game many of his old comrades took I" I"I*- , Ihe late Mr. Williams was born in Auckland about seventy years ago. Aftei }' going to Hawkes Bay with his father he came to Wellington as a young man, and '". joined the Armed Constabulary, which '; was in barracks at Mount Cook. Most " of_ his footballing days were spent ii Wellington, but. after'transferring to the ji Police Force he was stationed in various parts of New Zealand. For several years i£ j prior to his retirement he was in chargs ' of the Seddon district. In recent yean ',', he resided in Wellington, and it was al his residence in Roxburgh street that hii death occurred, after an" illness extending over several months. He married a Misi 5 Fraser, of Invercargill, and his widov L~ and three sons and a daughter .are lef " to mourn their loss. One of the sons i ■*> a doctor on the medical staff of the Sea '° cliff Mental Hospital. ot The funeral took place to-day. *c _At last evening's meeting of the We] te lington Rugby Union reference wa °" made to the death oE Mr. Williams. Mi ir" J- Prendeville stated that the late Mr Williams was an enthusiast to the end v and the invitation to be present at th c dinner welcoming back the 1924-25 tear V ivas a great pleasure to him. He was on »■ of those players who had put New Ze« 'ie land on the Rugby map, and who ha X- left their mark on New Zealand footba ws until this day. The union expressed sir cere ■ regret with the family of Mr. Wi liams in its bereavement..

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Bibliographic details

OBITUARY, Evening Post, Volume CIX, Issue 98, 29 April 1925

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821

OBITUARY Evening Post, Volume CIX, Issue 98, 29 April 1925

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