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Rake, Charles Harry (1860–1923)

Mr Charles Harry Rake, well known in business circles in Wagga as senior partner of the firm of Rake and Palazzi, saddlers, and one of the best known and most prominent workers in district friendly society circles, died yesterday afternoon at his residence, 66 Best-street, after a long illness. The late Mr Rake, who was 62 years of age, was a native of Oberne Flats, near Yackandandah, Victoria, where his boyhood was spent. At the age of 19, having served his time at the saddlery trade, he came to Wagga to the employment of Mr J. J. McGrath. He continued in the employment of Mr McGrath until he purchased the business in conjunction with Mr E. H. Ferguson. Subsequently Mr Ferguson sold out to Mr S. A. Palazzi, the firm today being known as Rake and Palazzi.

It was chiefly in connection with the M.U.I.O.O.F. that Mr Rake made himself prominent, though he was a good citizen, interested himself in many local activities in an unostentatious way. He first joined the order in 1883, and for some time took no more than an ordinary interest in lodge matters. After a membership of three or four years, however, he developed a zealous interest in the welfare of the lodge that has borne fruit beyond calculation. He passed through the various chairs of his lodge with credit to himself and benefit to the members, and later, when the lodge severed its connection with the Goulburn district, he was one of the earliest Wagga members elected to fill the position of District Grand Master. While carrying out his duties as a district officer he was most untiring in his efforts to promote the welfare of the then new district. He took a prominent part in the formation and opening of the Lockhart and Boree Creek lodges and it is well known to older members that on many occasions he left Wagga early in the morning, drove to Lockhart, in the pre-railway days, attended a lodge meeting, and returned to Wagga in time for business next morning. He was ever ready and anxious to give advice and instruction to the younger members of the fraternity, and many men occupying high positions in the order had their first lessons in Oddfellowship from the deceased brother. The late Mr Rake was for many years a most prominent member of the Southern Star lodge, filling at one time the office of treasurer, and later, upon the death of the late R. S. Heydon, being elected a trustee of the lodge, a position he held at the time of his death.

Being of a retiring disposition, he never sought election to the higher offices of the order, though in 1900 he filled the position of delegate from the Braidwood district to the G.A., M.C. In 1915 the members of the Southern Star Lodge presented him with a suitably engraved gold watch and chain as a mark of personal esteem and appreciation of his devotion to their interests.

As a further indication of Mr Rake’s interest in Oddfellowship, it may be mentioned that all his sons are members of the order, three of them being past grands. Mr Rake was married in the Church of England, Wagga, 34 years ago, to Miss Clara Wear, daughter of John Wear, of Wodonga. Deceased, in addition to his fine record of untiring and unselfish labors to further the interests of friendly societies, was a most respected business man and citizen. He leaves widow, one daughter, five sons and four grandchildren. They are: Mrs J. Mobey of Wagga; Charles, Percy (late A.I.F.), and Robert, of Wagga; William Rake, of Sydney; and Leslie Rake, of Pleasant Hills. Mr Arnold Rake, of Berry-street, Wagga, is a brother. The funeral leaves his late residence, 66 Best-street, at 3 p.m. to-day, the interment being in the Church of England portion of the Wagga Cemetery.

Original publication

  • Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW), 31 July 1923

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Citation details

'Rake, Charles Harry (1860–1923)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/rake-charles-harry-14380/text25453, accessed 17 October 2019.

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