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Gunn, Ronald Thomas (1838–1907)

Another very old and highly-respected resident of Launceston has passed away in the person of Mr. Ronald T. [Thomas] Gunn, principal of the firm of Ronald Gunn and Company, merchants, in St. John-street. Although ailing for some time, the end was very sudden. About 18 months age Mr. Gunn went to Hobart to undergo a course of treatment for his leg, which he injured in the hunting field about 30 years ago. He was getting along splendidly, when he had the misfortune to fall in Hadley's Orient Hotel, as a result of which he was confined to his room for six months. On his return to Launceston he was never strong enough to return to his business, and during the past 12 months had hardly been out of his house at Newstead. His health had been indifferent of late, but on Tuesday evening he appeared to be in excellent spirits. Shortly after retiring for the night, however, he took suddenly ill. He never rallied again, and passed away at about 2 p.m. yesterday. The cause of death was heart trouble.

The late Mr. Gunn was a gentleman of striking personality, and was a great favourite with all with whom he became acquainted. His genial disposition brought him a host of friends, by whom he was universally respected as a friend and citizen. Deceased was born in Hobart in 1838, and was the second son of the late Lieutenant William Gunn, who belonged to the Bourbon Regiment, and was a former police magistrate of Launceston. His father, who came to Hobart in 1822 in the ship Skelton, got his commission in the army in 1815. Lieutenant Gunn was appointed police magistrate of this city in 1847, and died in 1868. Mr. Ronald T. Gunn was educated at the Rev. Peter Campbell's High School, Hobart, and entered a merchant's office in Launceston in 1854. His first business engagement was with the late Mr. John Thompson, father of Dr. L. G. Thompson, of this city. In the late fifties and early in the sixties he was appointed manager for Mr. Alex. McNaughton, general merchant and exporter in St. John-street. He then left Tasmania for a time visiting New Zealand and New South Wales, where he was also engaged in mercantile pursuits. On his return he occupied a responsible position with the Tasmanian Woolgrowers' Agency Company, Limited, at its formation and for some time after. Subsequently he took over the business of Taylor Bros., wool agents, and shortly after entered into partnership with Mr. Mackay Woodruff, the firm being styled Gunn and Woodruff, carrying on the business of general merchants, They secured the agency of the Commercial Insurance Union, which afterwards absorbed the old Cornwall Insurance Company. The partnership was then dissolved, and some years ago Mr. Gunn opened up the present business in St. John-street, in which he has had associated with him his nephew, Mr. Ronald R. Gunn. Deceased took very little active part in public life, but was always keenly interested in everything tending to the welfare of Launceston and the land of his birth generally. He represented the insurance companies on the Launceston Fire Brigade Board for 12 years, and for two years occupied the position of chairman. Owing to failing health he was compelled to resign towards the end of last sear. Deceased was also deeply interested in the wool industry of the state, a large shipment of sheep being sent by the firm to the Sydney sales this week. Not anticipating that the end was so near, Mr. Ronald R. Gunn only left by Tuesday's boat to represent the firm at the sales. The sad news of his uncle's death was cabled him at Melbourne yesterday, and he is expected to return by the Loongana on Friday. Deceased was unmarried, and was 69 years of age.

The funeral is appointed to leave Newstead House at 3 p.m. on Friday for the Scotch Cemetery.

Original publication

Citation details

'Gunn, Ronald Thomas (1838–1907)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/gunn-ronald-thomas-24532/text33234, accessed 20 February 2019.

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