ALFRED JOHN PARSONS, .2ETAT 59
For .some timo past it has been known that one of Wtvnganui's most progressive and respected residents, Mr A. J. Parsons, whs suffering from tin incurable affection of the Jieart,^ and that his death might occur at any moment. Nursed by a devoted, wife, and cheered by the kindly messages from sympathetic friends, the sufferer lived through several severe attacks, and bove his sufferings with a courage and fortitude which not" even their frequency and severity could shake. During last week, however, those about him could sec that the end was rapidly appioaching, and that death would soon release the sufferer, who also knew that his "sands of life" were all but run out. With the some courage by which he patiently bore his physical sufferings, Mr Parsons calmly, and. hopefully awaited the final call, and passed away last evening surrounded by lis sorrowing family, who have lost in him » tender and loving husband and an affectionate parent. To them, ia their sad bereavement, we tender our most sincere condolence, in which, we feel assured, his many friends here will sympathetically join. Mr A. J. Parsons was born in England in 1840, and 12 years later landed in Melbourne, where his parents went in the early "fifties." When, quite" a young man lie came to this colony, and for some time resided on the Weßt Coast of tho Middle Island. Later on he moved to Timaru, where he resided until he came to Wangapui in 1884 to enter into possession of the Rutland Hotel, which he conducted for some years, and has, _ since his retirement, leased to various tenants. The dece;tsed was a most .capable man of business, and hs was not long in Wanganni before the residents recognised his abilities, and elected him fo the office of Mayor in 1888, which office he filled with conspicuous ability and success for three years in succession, during which term he succeeded in greatly reducing the cost to the Borough of street lighting tod other services, and placed its finances on a sound footing. After vacating the Mayoral chair, Mr Parsons served the burgesses for, many years at the Council table, which ho only left last year, when his health compelled him to retire" from all public positions, of which » he occupied with credit to himself and benefit to the public many and important ones. For many years he was a progressive member of tho Harbour Board, the Wanganui Hiver Trust Board, and the Hospital and Charitable Aid Boards. It was as chairman of these latter bodies that he formulated arid successfully -placed before the public of this and the adjoining districts his scheme for providing Wanganui with an up-to-date hospital, towards which the late Thomas Roid had devised £5000. The pathetic appeal made by the deceased at a public meeting presided over by 1 "the late F. R. Jackson resulted in over .£4OO being subscribed in' the room, whilst his scheme for Hospital collections resulted i;i the public subscribing 1 £3000. This, with the Reid legacy and the Government subsidy, enabled the Hospital Board to build and open free of debt the present Wanganui Hospital, which is a thoroughly up-to-date institution, and a lasting testimonial to Mr Parsons' tireless energy and organising abilities. Among other public positions held by Mr Parsons was that of Justice of the Peace' and Visiting Justice to tie Wanganui Gaol. He -was for years a steward and member of Committee of the Wanganui Jockey Club, and a supporter of sport. He was a director of the Wanganui Freezing Company from its inception, and chairman of the Wanganui Steamship Company since its start, as also president and vice-presi-dent of several local clubs. Mr Parsons was a very -old and distinguished Mason. Some 20 years ago he was the Worshipful Master for two years of St. John's Lodge, Timaru, and was also District Grand Junior Warden of Canterbury. He was Past Master of,' the South Canterbury Lodge of Mark' Master Masons. In 1876 he was admitter a companion of the St. Augustine' Royal Arch' Chapter of Christchurch, and afterwards, after" passing through all the offices, he was installed as 1 First) Principal of the Royal Arch Chapter of, St. John's, Timaru. He was next re-! ■ceived into the Grand Priory of Otago as a Knight Templar of Scotland, and later on was created a Knight Templar of the Royal Canterbury Preceptory by the late Dr Deamor. He next founded and was appointed Preceptor of tho Royal Plantagenet Preceptory of Knights Templar of St. John, Palestine and Malta, under the command of H.R.H. Prince of Wales. It will be seen by the above brief, account of Mr Parsons' public and private services that he was one ofithe most valuable residents this town has had. the good fortune to possess, and that his loss will be a very heavy one, for there are few men in the colony possessed -of such qualities as those which the deceased so freely devoted to tho service of the publio of Wanganui, often to his health's serious injury and personal discomfort. He was by nature ai most genial and generous man, whose many virtues were at times apt to make him a victim of impulse. To those in distress ho was, always ready to lend a sympathetic ear and' a helping hand, and many will mourn him as a true friend _ and benefactor. He leaves - a sorrowing widow and family of three sous and three daughters, with whom there is widespread sympathy. The funeral, of a Masonic character, takes place on Wednesday- afternoon, the cortege leaving the Masonic Hall at 3 o'clock for Christ Church, and after the service there, the last sad rites will be performed at the- grave-side in the Wanganui Cemetery. " «
Permanent link to this item
OBITUARY., Wanganui Herald, Volume XXXIV, Issue 10087, 16 July 1900
OBITUARY. Wanganui Herald, Volume XXXIV, Issue 10087, 16 July 1900
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.