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FINAL TRIBUTES

LATE SIB A. THOMAS FINE RECORD OF SERVICE EULOGY AT CATHEDRAL REPRESENTATIVE GATHERING A representative gathering of citizens at St. Mary's Cathedral yesterday afternoon bore testimony to the public appreciation and esteem of the late Sir Algernon Thomas, of Auckland University College, who was buried yesterday at Purewa Cemetery. Among those who thus paid their tribute of respect were the Minister of Education, the Hon. P. Eraser, the Mayor of Auckland, Sir Ernest Davis, the town clerk. Mr. J. Melling, Sir Carrick Robertson, Mr. A. b. Richards, M.P., Sir George Richardson, members of the University College Council and staff, of the Auckland Grammar School Board of Governors and representatives of many other organisations to which Sir Algernon had lent his strong leadership and support. Memorial Service A short service attended by relatives and intimate friends was conducted at Sir Algernon's residence at Mountain Road by Dean W. Fan court. The pallbearers from the house were the Hon. P. Fraser, Professor H. W. Segar, the president of the Auckland University College, Mr. H. J. D. Mahon, the headmaster of the Auckland Grammar School, Mr. C. M. Littlejohn, the headmaster of the Mount Albert Grammar School, Mr. F. W. Gamble, the headmaster of the Takapuna Grammar School. Mr. K. J. Dellow, Mr. C. T. Major and Mr. R. McVeagh. The public memorial service at St. Clary's Cathedral was conducted by Archdeacon G. Mac Murray, Archdeacon W. J. Sim Win and Dean Fancourt. The ofganist was Dr. W. E. Thomas, who played the Dead March | in Saul at the close.

Characteristic Courage "We are gathered together in the House of God to pay a tribute of respect and gratitude to one of our most distinguished citizens," said Archdeacon Mac Murray. "Lately he was honoured by the King; as K.C.M.G., in recognition of his great services to the cause of education in our city. He came to Auckland 54 years ago as first professor of biology at the University College, and when he came it was to a task of making bricks without straw, as there were no facilities provided.

"With characteristic courage he began his work by providing such facilities as were possible. He lived long enough to be present at the laying of the foundation stone of the biology block, where future professors will not be handicapped as he was when he began his work.

"The old Book has warned us," oon-, tinued the Archdeacon, "that the tree of knowledge bears two fruits—eril and good. It. has been brought home to us that the progress of science alone will not bring peace and goodwill to a suffering humanity. Where many men use leisure in golf and bridge, Sir Algernon used his in reading and gardening. He was ever increasing his knowledge of Nature's truths, but his active mind was not contented with anything less than public service.

Work for Grammar Schools "He threw himself into the task of developing secondary schools in which the youth of Auckland might be taught, and his record of work done as chairman of the Auckland Grammar Schools stands out. As trustee of the Dilworth School for more than 20 years I was brought into the closest contact with him, and his wide knowledge of science, and particularly educational science, proved of very great service to the school and to myself personally. "He had shrewd commonsense, a knowledge of human nature, and a native kindliness of heart, but the qualities which seem to me to be outstanding could be summed up. in the two words—duty and conscience. He had duty to perform;, and he always did his duty as he saw it to the best of his ability. He had a conscience, _ and he never swerved where conscience dictated. "Knowing, as I did, that so many people are not wisely guided in their choice of duty, and that many peoples conscience is not enlightened, 1 often wondered where he found guidance in his decisions 'as to what his duty was. At last I found the solution when _ I learned that it was his habit to daily read a portion of his Greek New Testament. "He has gone to render an account to the Giver of all talents bestowed on mortal men, the archdeacon. not doubt the judgment will be: 'Well done, good and faithful servant.' " Many Choice Wreaths

The pallbearers from the Cathedral and at the graveside were Mr. Praser, Sir Ernest Davis, Professor F. P. Worley, representing the Professorial Board, Sir Carrick Robertson, representing the Auckland Institute and Museum; Mr. A. Harris, representing the Grammar School Board; Mr. R. H. Insull, representing the Dilworth Trust Board; Mr. K. MacCormick, representing the Auckland Grammar School Old Boys' Association; and Mr. W. R. McGregor, representing the Auckland University College staff. A wealth of wreaths of great beauty and variety was received from friends and admirers as well as from many organisations. Among them were tributes from the Mayor and City Council, from the Hoapital Board, from the Grammar School Board and from each of the schools under its jurisdiction, from the Auckland Grammar School Old Boys' Association, from the IJniversitv College Council, the Professorial Board, the faculty of science, the Auckland Institute and Museum, from the Dilworth Trust Board and from the Dilworth School, from the Royal Empire Society, from the Institute of Hoitioulture, and from the Northern Club. The service at the graveside at Purewa was read, by Archdeacon Simkin.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19371231.2.134

Bibliographic details

FINAL TRIBUTES, New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXIV, Issue 22925, 31 December 1937

Word Count
905

FINAL TRIBUTES New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXIV, Issue 22925, 31 December 1937

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