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Murray, Kynaston Lathrop (1838–1916)

Old Araratians will learn with deep sorrow of the death of Mr Kynaston Lathrop Murray, who in the sixties was post and telegraph master at Ararat, the sad event taking place at Wentworth, Bellerive, Tasmania, on Friday last, at the advanced age of 78 years. A man of striking personality and varied attainments, the deceased gentleman was for many years one of the most prominent citizens of Ararat. He was educated in England and came to Australia quite a young man, and joining the public service as an electrician in Tasmania, was engaged in laying the first cable in the southern world – that across Bass Straits. He subsequently joined the Victorian Public Service, and filled the position of post and telegraph master at Ararat. His sterling ability was soon recognised and on the Railway Department deciding to establish a separate telegraph service apart from the Postal Department, he was selected to take charge of the work, and was subsequently appointed chief electrician. He installed a complete electric service, including the Winter block instrument, and many of the safety appliances now in daily use. He installed the first electric light plant at Spencer street, and superintended the installation of the electric light for the Melbourne Exhibition of 1888, at that time the most extensive installation attempted in the State. In 1893 he was appointed one of the Railway Commissioners, with Messrs R.H. Francis and William Kibble, and he became chairman of the Commission before he retired from the service in 1894. When in Ararat Mr Murray identified himself with all public movements. He was one of the inceptors of the old Easter Festival, and with the late Messrs James Campbell and Nathaniel Walter Swan, was one of the original "three beggars." He was a prominent member of the Ararat Church of England, one of the founders of the old Cricket Club, and foremost player in all district matches, and a leading amateur at all entertainments, his marked versatile ability lifting him to the front rank in all public movements. Mr Murray took an active part in the government of the Church of England in Melbourne, and was a lay canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, and also a member of several diocesan committees. Mrs  Murray and four sons and two daughters survive him. His second son, Dr. Hugh Murray, is now in camp at Salisbury Plain, England, holding the rank of captain in the A.A.M.C., and his eldest grandson is a member of' the Flying Corps, and acts as instructor to young pilots and also tests new aeroplanes – a position calling for great skill and daring. The remains of the deceased gentleman were brought to Melbourne for interment on Wednesday.

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Citation details

'Murray, Kynaston Lathrop (1838–1916)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/murray-kynaston-lathrop-23135/text32386, accessed 25 November 2017.

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