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Raphael, Joseph George (1818–1879)

George Raphael, n.d.

George Raphael, n.d.

from Australian Jewish Historical Journal, vol 1, part 5, 1943, p 361

One of the most estimable citizens of Sydney has gone to his last account. Mr. Joseph George Raphael, well known for his connection with philanthropic institutions and his unbounded charity, died at his residence, Elizabeth-street north, on Sunday. The cause of death was debility, from which he had suffered for more than two years. Latterly he became extremely weak in bodily health, but his mental faculties were unimpaired to the last, and through all his affliction he never lost that genial air of cheerfulness and good humour, which made for him so many friends. Mr. Raphael was born in London in February, 1818, and arrived in this city in the year 1839. His first employment here was as a clerk in a wholesale store, and he won his way to fortune by mercantile pursuits, having been in business as a merchant for twelve or thirteen years. For some fourteen years he was an alderman of the city, and his name is associated with many useful civic reforms. He was also elected as one of the representatives of West Sydney in the Legislative Assembly in the general election of 1872. But it was in social and not political movements that Mr. Raphael proved his great usefulness, he having been a director of several of the charitable and philanthropic institutions of this city. He was also connected with some of the banking institutions of Sydney. His hand was always ready to assist the needy, and none ever applied to him for help in vain. His life was insured for a very large sum, every shilling of which he bequeathed to charitable institutions. The deceased gentleman leaves a widow, four daughters, and sixteen grandchildren. We believe there is not a citizen who will not hear with regret of the death of Mr. Raphael.

One of the last acts of Mr. Joseph Raphael was to sign an order for the admission to the infirmary of a sufferer in indigent circumstances. Sub-Inspector Anderson, who had taken the case in hand, finding Mr. Raphael in a low condition, offered to fill in the paper, but he was not permitted to do so. "No, Anderson," said the good old man, already fast passing away, "you know it's been the glory of my life to aid suffering humanity; and I'll do it now if I fall back dead in the act." Assistance was given Mr. Raphael, and he filled in and signed the order, and charged the sub-inspector to see that the case was immediately dealt with.

Original publication

Citation details

'Raphael, Joseph George (1818–1879)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/raphael-joseph-george-4451/text24910, accessed 22 May 2019.

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