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Gray, William Henry (1843–1929)

The late Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Gray, of 10 Wyrallah road, Lismore, who died within a few hours of each other on Tuesday, were buried in adjoining graves at the Methodist portion of the Lismore general cemetery yesterday afternoon. In the large and representative attendance at the funeral there was a tribute to the lives of two district pioneers and their sterling character.

The pall bearers were: Messrs G. Mortimer, E. Johnston, J. J. Gray, N. C. Gray, E. Morrow, A. F. Gray, G. H. Gray, W. T. Gray, M. S. Gray, P. E. Gray, C. B. Gray and L. Gray.

Messrs. W. Riley and Son, had charge of the obsequies.

There was a large congregation at the graveside, an impressive service being conducted by Rev. A. F. Crapp, assisted by Rev. L. H. Rolph (Clunes).

Prior to the funeral the Rev. A. F. Crapp conducted a service at the Methodist church, from which the cortege left for the cemetery. A favourite hymn of the late Mrs. Gray was sung, and in his address Rev. Crapp referred to the unique event of husband and wife of old age passing away within a few hours of each other. He spoke of their early association with the district as pioneers, and loyal membership of the Methodist Church. Years ago, the late Mr. and Mrs. Gray had extended hospitality to ministers of the Lismore circuit, and the late Mr. Gray occupied the position of circuit steward for some time this being the highest position a layman could be called to in the denomination.

God had been with them throughout their lives said Rev. Crapp, and did not fail them in their old age and in the hour of death. Charles Wesley's lines "My people live well and they die well," were exemplified in the Christian character of Mr. and Mrs. Gray. Death had no terrors for them and just before the late Mrs. Gray died she sang her favourite hymn and both offered prayer before passing away.

Rev. Crapp added that of the late Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Gray it could truly be said, "Now the labourers' task is o'er; now the battle day is past; now upon the farther Shore land the voyagers at last."

Rev. R. J. Thomas (Sydney), an old friend of the family, who attended the golden and diamond wedding of the deceased, will conduct a memorial service at Lismore Methodist church on Sunday.

Over one hundred wreaths were received from the following:—Sons and daughters, jointly, two wreaths, Willie Gray, Annie and family, George, Emma and family, Edward, Agnes and family, John, Addie and family, Henry, Laura and family, Tessie, Eva and family, Alfred, May and girlies, George, Jane and family, Walter, Alice and family, Percy, Amy and Earl, Jim, Alice and family, Maurice, Muriel and family, Charlie, Essie and family, Victor and Olive Mortimer, grandchildren at Meadow Bank, Charlie, Wallace and Ruby Bower, Louisa Morrow, Lilian Gray, Lydia Gray, Aunt Annie and cousins, Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Gray, Maggie and brothers, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Walmsley, Mr. and Mrs. M. Dawson, J. J. Gray and family, Mr. and Mrs. S. Armstrong and family, Peter and Carie Mathie, Mr. and Mrs. Stan Armstrong, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Lee, Harrison family, Mr. and Mrs. J. Parkes, Lismore Ladies' Methodist Church Aid Society, the officers and Sir Knights of the Lismore Royal Black Preceptory, No. 630, L.O.L. 128 and 374, the directors and staff of the Lismore Motor Sales Company, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. James (Bexhill), Mr. and Mrs. E. Paine (Eltham) (2), Mr. and Mrs. H. Jarman and family, Mr. and Mrs. E. Myers (2) and family, Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Dawson, Mr. and Mrs. G. J. Elliott, Alma McDonald, Mr. and Mrs. G. Riches, Mr. and Mrs. S. Strong (2), Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, Mr. and Mrs. Chittick (2), Mr. and Mrs. R. Volckman (2), Mr. and Mrs. B. N. Frith, Mr. and Mrs. W. Sida- way, Mrs. Gordon and Braun, Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Johnston, Mr. and Mrs. N. H. Forster, Mr. and Mrs. G. Pearson (2), Mr. and Mrs. Pepper, Mrs. G. Pearson, sen., and Una, Miss Dunlop, Mr. and Mrs. F. Pearson, Mr. and Mrs. J. Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Percy, Misses M. and E. Lee, Mr. and Mrs. E. V. Towner, Mr. and Mrs. Norman Johnston (2), Mr. and Mrs. A. Bryant, Mr. and Mrs. W. Robinson, Mr and Mrs. Geo. Towner, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Lavis, Mr and Mrs. S. Gregory, Mr. and Mrs. G. Dawes, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. James, Mr. J. G. Irvine and family, Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Cottee (2), Mr. and Mrs. Cook, Mr. and Mrs. D. G. Johnston, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Oakes (2), Mrs. Napper (sen.) and Mr. and Mrs. A. Napper, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Walker, Mr. and Mrs. Pearson (Corndale), Mr. and Mrs. S. McC. Hewitson, Nurse McFadgean, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. McDonald, Mr. and Mrs. Nethery, Mr. and Mrs. H. Pearson, Mr. and Mrs. D. A. Johnston, Mr. and Mrs. H. Crawford, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Fredericksen, Mrs. Hellyar and family, Mr. and Mrs. G. B. Somerville, Mr. and.Mrs. E. Blanch, Mr. and Mrs. N. A. Newton, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Wright, Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Alcorn, Mrs. Herman and family, Mr. G. Oliver, Mr. and Mrs. Wesley, Mr. and Mrs. H. Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. J. Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Chadwick, Mrs. Crawford, sen. and family, Mr. and Mrs. F. Gibson, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Weir, Mrs. Deeves and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Fredericksen, Mr, and Mrs. E. S. Barnes, Jessie Brown and brothers, Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Blanch.

Telegrams were received from Mr. and Mrs. H. Miller (Omega), Mr. and Mrs. Austin and girls (Sydney), Mrs. Coleman (Guilford), Bella Miller (Kiama), Mr. and Mrs. P. Miller (Gerringong), Mt. and Mrs. Robinson (Rous Mill), Mr. and Mrs. Fields (Dapto), Mr. and Mrs. Stan Miller (Kiama), Mrs. M. Miller (Chatswood), Mrs. Cook, and family (Gerringong), Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Miller (Wingewal), Mr. and Mrs. G. Miller (Sydney), Mr. and Mrs. R. Gray (Toowoomba), C. W. Craig (Kiama) (2), Lilian Morrow (Southport), W. C. Gray (Pomona).

The late Mr. and Mrs. Gray were both natives of the South Coast, coming to the Richmond from Kiaina district. The late Mr. Gray's parents came from the north of Ireland in 1843, accompanied by three daughters. The late Mrs. Gray's parents, Mr. and Mrs. N. Craig, who were married just prior to sailing for Australia, came from Cornwall in 1838. The late Mr. and Mrs. Gray were married at "Orange Grove,'' the residence of the bride's parents at Kiama, on December 29, 1865, by the Rev. Angwin. For three years the late Mr. Gray was a member of Gerringong Muni- cipal Council, and for nearly 50 years he had been a Justice of the Peace. Forty years ago he and his wife came to the North Coast and settled at Cowlong, having then a family of eight sons and four daughters. Two sons were born after they came to the Richmond.

The late Mr. Gray's name has been closely associated with the history of the dairying industry of the North Coast ever since its infancy. About 37 years ago he installed a butter making plant, primarily for his own use, although he also made it available to neighbours. It could almost be said he ran a butter factory for years. He joined Norco Ltd. and was a staunch supporter, being chairman for three years and a director for many years. The late Mr. and Mrs. Gray were loyal members of the Methodist Church, and the late Mr. Gray was superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school at Cowlong for 27 years, later occupying the position of circuit steward at Lismore. The late Mr. and Mrs. Gray celebrated their golden wedding at "Meadow Bank,'' Eltham on December 29, 1915, and their diamond wedding on the same date in 1925 at the Richmond Hall, Lismore.

At the diamond wedding it was mentioned that the Gray family was represented by 13 sons and daughters, 14 sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, 70 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren, making a total of 129 descendants.

Mrs. G. Mortimer (Mullumbimby), Mrs. E. Johnston (Pearce's Creek), Mrs. W. H. Morrow (Pearce's Creek), Mrs. J. Millar (Gerringong) are daughters; and Messrs. W. C. Gray (Pomona, Q.), N. C. Gray (Bonalbo), G.H. Gray (Parramatta), W. T. Gray (Lismore), M. S. Gray (Lismore), J. J. Gray (Eltham), A. P. Gray (Eltham), P. E. Gray (Eltham), C. B. Gray (Eltham) are sons.

A son, Arthur, died about five years ago and Mrs. W. C. Gray, a daughter-in-law, recently died in Sydney.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Gray, William Henry (1843–1929)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/gray-william-henry-16583/text28499, accessed 17 November 2019.

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