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Watson, William (Billy) (1880–1926)

The New South Wales Forestry Department has suffered the loss of one of its most valued officers in the death of Mr. William Watson, who died on 12th February, after five months’ illness. Mr. Watson was the original secretary appointed with the creation of the Forestry Commission in 1907. He continued with that body until May, 1910, when the Forestry Department was formed, and had continued as Department secretary ever since. Having been thus with the Department from the beginning, he had acquired a surprising grasp of its operations.

He had been a Public servant for thirty years. His first position was that of a railway clerk. He then transferred to the staff of the Public Service Board, where he worked for about nine years. He was standing secretary of the Interstate Forestry Conference, and Treasurer of the New South Wales branch of the Forestry League. He had visited all the Australian capitals in connection with forestry matters. At the time of his death he was in his 46th year.

Mr. Watson was at one time a first-grade cricketer, and was associated with the Glebe Club. He played in several Interstate matches. He was an enthusiastic member of the Cammeray Golf Club, as well as being a vice-president of the Public Service Cricket Association.

Mr. Watson was a son of Mr. William Watson, formerly resident at Newcastle, but now of Randwick. He leaves a widow, one daughter, and four brothers—Mr. John Watson, Superintendent of Collieries in New Zealand; Mr. Andrew Watson, Assistant Headmaster of the North Sydney Boys’ High School; Mr. Stanley Watson, solicitor, of Sydney; and Mr. Thomas Watson, surveyor, of Forbes.

The interment took place at the Northern Suburbs Cemetery, Sydney, on 13th February, following a service at St. James’ Church, Neutral Bay.

The principal mourners were Mrs. Watson (widow), Miss Watson (daughter), Mr. William Watson (father), Messrs. Stanley Watson (Crown Law Office, Sydney), Andrew Watson (Assistant Headmaster, North Sydney Boys’ High School), and Tom Watson (surveyor, Forbes), brothers.

The Forestry Department was represented by Messrs. R. Dalrymple Hay (Commissioner) and the staff. Others present were Messrs. Froggatt (Forest Entomologist), F. Berman (Hon. Secretary, Australian Forest League), and C. J. B. Watson (editor, the Australian Forestry Journal).

The Premier’s Department was represented by Mr. W. H. B. Taggart, the Public Service Board by Mr. T. S. Champion (secretary) and Mr. W. E. Kinsela (inspector), the Sydney Harbour Trust by Mr. W. D. Loveridge, the Railway Department by Mr. G. Jordan, and the N.S.W. Chamber of Agriculture by Mr. R. Kaleski.

The large gathering included also Messrs. P. Burrows (president) and F. Bussman (secretary), of the Association of Sawmillers; W. A. Bryant (representing Sir Allen Taylor, M.L.C.) and F. C. Farr (representing Allen Taylor & Co., Ltd.); James McCullagh (representing Mr. George Steele (Comptroller-General of Prisons); E. H. J. Swain, Commissioner of Forestry, Queensland; E. G. M. Baker, Parliamentary Hansard Staff; G. Wright (representing E. F. Broad Ltd.); W. E. Wearne (Messrs. Wallis Bros.); R. H. Levien, ex-M.L.A.; Dr. Deakin, Dr. Blue, Messrs. E. Burnside, A. J. McDermott, E. McDermott, H. Robison, S. Jaques, C. Harris, V. G. Rush, W. Horsey, N. Blue, H. Blue, Richard Twohill, Robert Twohill, and G. Godfrey.

Original publication

  • Australian Forestry Journal, vol 9, no 3, March 1926, p 60

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 February 1926, p 12

Citation details

'Watson, William (Billy) (1880–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/watson-william-billy-19047/text30634, accessed 16 November 2019.

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