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Pye, Robert Adam (1864–1951)

All who knew and respected him in this district for his fine record of public service, and his personal integrity generally, learned with deep regret of the passing of Mr. Robert Adam Pye, formerly of Windsor, at his Killara home on April 16, at the advanced age of 87 years.

Probably one of the first registered pharmacists in this State, the late Mr. Pye during the greater part of his professional career conducted at Windsor the pharmacy now owned by Mr. C. W. McCoy, and during that period — in 1893-4 — erected the premises in which the business is still housed. His skill in his profession earned him a wide reputation, and there were many who had cause to be grateful for his kindly help and advice in times of illness and trouble.

He will, of course, be remembered particularly for his devoted honorary service to the interests of the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society and Hospital, on the board of directors of which he took a leading part for many years, and for some ten years was hon. secretary of the hospital, in the days when the institution depended largely on public donations and specially needed the wise and careful administration which he gave in such full measure.

He figured prominently in the discussions which resulted in the Mooki Estate at Willow Tree (then owned by the hospital) being sold and the proceeds invested to more advantageous interest for the hospital. It was during his term as hon. secretary that the hospital buildings were remodelled, and the stone which commemorates that occasion has since borne his name. In appreciation of his outstanding services to the hospital, the directors elected him as a Life Member, and, his family equipped the Pye Ward which perpetuates his name in hospital affairs.

One of the doyen members of Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association council, he was years ago elected a Life President of that body in recognition of his long and capable service on the council, meetings of which he regularly attended, even after his retirement, until increasing age prevented this travel from his home in Sydney. His interest in Show affairs remained keen until the time of his death, and in tribute he was still listed as a ring steward, even at the recent Jubilee Show.

A keen worker also for old St. Matthew's Church at Windsor, he is listed as one of the church officers as far back as 1895, and there are still many who remember the very successful Church of England Flower Shows he organised in aid of the church funds and the many distinguished visitors he persuaded to perform the official openings of these efforts. Affectionately regarded also in Masonic circles, he had the distinction of being one of the oldest members of the Lodge Richard Coley at Windsor.

The death in World War I of his eldest son, Lieut. Colonel Cecil Pye, D.S.O., R.A. M.C., was a sad blow to him, and shortly afterwards he retired, disposing of his pharmacy business to the late Archibald Spy. The passing of his wife (formerly Miss Esther Dunston, of Kurrajong) in 1923 was a second bereavement which deeply affected him, and life lost much of its zest in the years that were to follow, though he was happy in the devotion of his family and the deep affection of his friends.

General sympathy in their loss is extended to his surviving family, Eric (pharmacist, of Gladesville), Millicent (Mrs. Cowdroy), Aubrey (Medical Superintendent of Brisbane General Hospital) and Gibson (pharmacist, of Killara).

The remains were privately interred in the Presbyterian cemetery at Windsor on April 17, the funeral arrangements being conducted by Mr. Chandler, of Windsor.

Original publication

Citation details

'Pye, Robert Adam (1864–1951)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/pye-robert-adam-27480/text34889, accessed 22 July 2019.

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