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THE LATE MR RICHARD GWYNNE., Waikato Times, Volume XX, Issue 1700, 29 May 1883
THE LATE MR RICHARD G WYNNE.
Since the last issue of this journal, one of the best known and most widely respected residents of Hamilton has passed away. For somo considerable time past the many friends of Mr Richard Gwynne, of the Hamilton Hotel, have had only too much reason to feel concerned on his acconut. His health had been failing for a couple of years past, but though the sad event oi Saturday morning was not unexpected, it nevertheless came as a shock to those who had enjoyed the privilege of the friendship of him who has now left us. The form and face of Mr Gwynne were sojamiliar to all who lived in or visited Hamilton, that his depaiture from their midst will create a void which nothing can till up. He had a cheery greeting and, a kind word for everyone who came into contact with him, though of late those greetings had grown less frequent since declining health had conh'ned,the genial soul ; that uttered them to the sick room.' Mr Gywnne had long been suffering from disease of the liver, and, notwithstanding that he obtained the best medical advice, he gradually got worse, until at length dropsy supervened, and the patient quickly sank. Last week Dr Goldsbro', of Auckland, was sent tor to consult on the case with Dr Beale, who has been Mr Gwynne's medical attendant throughout. He arrived on Friday, and the result of the medical conference was a decision that the patient should be at once tapped. The operation was performed at 7 o'clock on Saturday morning, and the patient never rallied, passing peacefully away about an hour afterwards, The opeia'.ion was only looked upon .is a last lesomcc, as, had it not been performed, the patient would, m the opinion ot both doctor, have died within t\vcnty»foiu hours. The liite Mr Gwynne was a colonist of many years standing. A ncitn c ot lio^strevor, in the County Down, he left the Old Country in tne year IS 19, and made a tour of Noith and South America. Young as he was at this time, he kept his eyes open, and during his later years lie was fond of referring to this period of his life, describing the scenes and incidents he had witnessed, as only one of an observant turn of mind could have done. Not being prepossessed with the features of the country, or the inhabitants thereof, he returned to his native land, but not to stay there. He had imbibed a love of travel and adventure, and in a short time set sail for Australia, a country just then beginning to attract public attention at Home. The ship in which lie took pas sage was unhappily wrecked at Barvvon Heads, and Air Gwynne, who was an cxpcit and strong swimmer, was among the number of those who reached the land. But it was not in the nature of llic man to think only of himself, and some of those who found themselves on shoie after the catastrophe owed their lives to him. He remained in Australia, part of the time engaged as a stock-rider, and part in trading between the colonies, until 1854, when he sailed for Auckland, and settled theie. On this tlip lio was associated with the Late Mr B. Newell (whose widow he aftcrwaids married) in biinging o\cr a shipment of horses, and tl c progeny of home of these animals still hold their own against any subsequent ariivals. Among the wellknown liorsts imported at different times to New Zealand by Messis Newell and Gwynne were the sires Cumbeiland, Invincible, Iron Duke, and Major, all of whose names aie familiar as household words in the mouths of horse-breeders. It ought to be mentioned that during Mr Gwynne's resi deuce in Australia lie took part in the big rush to the Bondlgo, and gained much experience of men and mannois which was of service to him in after life. In ISG2 he paid one more visit to the old country, and saw the Great E\lnbition of that year. Subsequently, after his return to the colony, ho became pioprietor of the Junction Hotel, Ncwm.nket, and here he lived for some years, enjoying the friendship and esteem of a larye circle of friends, who testified to then regard for Mr and Mrs Gwj nne in a prac tical way when they left to take up tln'.r residence in Hamilton. In W.iikatri, and in the Hamilton distiict, with the people among whom he lived for the l.iht nine years, Mr Gwynne's goodness of henit has passed into a proverb. No on<- m want passed his door unrelieved, no one in trouble failed to find in hiii} a- ruady sympathiser, and none by whom Mr Gwynne's services were solicited ever requested them in vain. It may be truly said that he never made au enemy. Peculiarities, nay, foibles he may have had — who is exempt?— but his unflinching honesty of purpose, his simplemindedness, his gentleness of heart and chanty disarmed all hostility, and endeared him to those even who differed from him most widely upon public matters. In those affairs which concerned tho general welfare of the community Mr Gwynne was no less active thau in works of piivato chaiity and neighbourly kindness. As a member of the borough council — he at one time occupied the post of deputy mayor— as a member, and subsequently for several years chairman of the school committee, as trustee of the band, and in numerous other affairs, his opinions and advice were ever in requisition. He was useful also in other, thongh different ways. He was a consistent member of the Masonic Brotherhood, and an active spirit in the councils of the Orange Society. Ho was Master of tI)P local lodge of the latter Order for three years, and had not his health failed would have occupied the chair still. To those who knew him well his many good social qualities were thoroughly appreciated. Whether sitting by the fireside, or trudging through fern and ti-tree with his favourite "Manton" on his shoulder, his society was always enjoyable, always welcome. His sly jokes, his kin Uy humour, and his never-failing stream of anecdote, are things to be kept green in the memories of those who knew him. He spoke ill of no man. If he had nothing good to say he was silent. He will bo greatly missed. The world has in it too few of such men, and ho is not likely soon to be forgotten. We do not remember an occasion upon which the death of any member of a community has called forth such genuine expressions of sorrow for the dead and sympathy for the survivors as the present. On Sunday the altar, reading-desk, lectern and pulpit of S. Peter's Church were draped in black out of respect to the memory of the. deceased. Above the altar was the text, in white letters on a black ground, "Good Lord deliver us." The hymns at both services were specially selected for the occasion. At the close of the morning service the Dead Alarch in " Saul " w ; as played as a voluntary, the congregation remaining standing until it was coucluded. At the evening service the incumbent took his text from Hebrews ix., 27, "It is appointed unto men once to die," and in the course of a most eloquent and touching discourse, referred to the sal event which had occurred the day before. Owing to the stormy nature of tho day, the congregations were small, but the services made a deep impression upon those who attendpd.
The Funeral. ' The remains of ?the ,kte Mr Gwynne were interred yesterday, in the Hamilton Wwi^^etery,:]}epidie tboac qf JUstwQ'
sons, who died Bhortly after the family's arrival in Waikato. la accorJaucowith the expressed desire of the deceased, the conduct of the funeral was undertaken by the .Orangemen, a large number of whom attended, including the Grand Master of the colony, Mr Goldie, of Auckland, andthe other officers of the Grand Lodge, who were in full regalia. The brethren of the Masouic Lodge Beta, and several visiting brethren attended in Masonic mourning, but took no part in the ceremony, save that they walked in a body immediately behind the chief mourners (Mi* Gwynne's only son Robert, and Messrs Frank and Jame3 Newell.) The members of the Hamilton Band, in uniform, but without instruments, headed the cortege, and following them came the members of the Orange institution, immediately preceding the officiating clergymen, the Rev R. O'C. Bi?gs (S. Peter's, Hamilton,) and the Rev William Calder (S. George's, Thames,) after whom came the hearse. In rear of the Masons were a large number of the friends of the deceased, on foot, on hot Beback and,in carriages, the funeral being one of the largest we have seen in the district. The weather was extremely bad ; heavy showers of rain fell at short intervals throughout the day, and many residents of the Cambridge, Te Awamutu and Alexandra districts, Masons and others, who had signified their intention of being present, were thus prevented from coming. The procession left the Hamilton Hotel shortly after three o'clock, and reached the cemetery about half-an-hour afterwards. The beautiful seivice for the dead prescribed by the Anglican Church, was said by the Rev Messrs Biggs and Calder in a most solemn and impressive manner. Hymn 400 was sung by the male members of the choir, and then followed the short service usual with the Orange Order, Bro. Knox, the Master of Lodge Sons of Ulster, officiating. At the close of this ceremony the Masonic brethren advanced, and simply dropped each a sprig of accacia into the grave.
THE LATE MR RICHARD GWYNNE., Waikato Times, Volume XX, Issue 1700, 29 May 1883
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