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White, James (1884–1945)

The death occurred suddenly at "Edinglassie" on Sunday last of Mr. James White. The news was received with feelings of profound sorrow throughout the district. The late Mr. White and his sister, Miss Ruth White, had returned to Muswellbrook from 'Tucka Tucka'' on Saturday night. On Sunday, Mr. White set out to per form several duties on his property, and while driving his car he collapsed. He was brought to Brentwood Hospital, where life was pronounced extinct.

The late Mr. James White was a son of the late Honorable James Cobb White, M.L.C., and Emiline White, and was born at "Edinglassie" on 8th May, 1884. He was educated at Miss McCauley's School, Darling Point, and afterwards at The Armidale School, Armidale. He married Miss Ruth Ethel Suttor, second daughter of the late Norman Lachland Suttor, of Bathurst, on 1st March, 1911. He was predeceased by his wife four years ago. Deceased leaves two sons and one daughter, Mr. James Suttor White ("Coneac," Gloucester), Flight-Lieut. Peter Brook White, of the R.A.A.F., who has been serving abroad for over three years, and who, it is understood, would shortly be returning home, and Mrs. Fred Moses (Willow Tree). He also leaves two brothers and two sisters, viz., Messrs Allan and Bruce White ("Tucka Tucka," Yetman), Mrs. L. Dutton (Guyra), and Miss Ruth White (Muswellbrook).

Like all other members of the White family, deceased was prominently associated with the pastoral industry. In 1903 he took up a selection known as ''Ward's Mistake," Guyra, remaining there until 1906, when he took up a position as jackeroo and later became manger at "Tucka Tucka." He carried on duties at 'Tucka Tucka" until his father's death on 18th, January, 1927, and then came to Muswellbrook to take over the control of "Edinglassie," where he continued to maintain the famous Aberdeen-Angus Stud, established by his father in 1886. The late Mr. White was a director of White Bros. Pty. Ltd., Gulf Cattle Country, Schute Bell, Badgery and Lumby, Limited, and was a share holder in Texas. Estates Pty. Ltd. and Pastoral Investments ..Ltd. (Queensland). Up till a few years ago it was Mr. White's practice to make a trip each year to the Northern Territory for the purpose of making an inspection of the Brunette Downs property. The long trip was made by motor car until in later years the journey was undertaken by aeroplane. Deceased was also a director of Mt. Everest Casolin Pty. Ltd. and Mt. Everest Manufacturing Co.

The late Mr. James White had a notable public career. After taking up residence in Muswellbrook in 1927 he followed in his father's footsteps, assuming leadership of various local organisations, and thus carried on the nigh traditions set by his father. It was not long before he was elected to the Shire Council, and in 1935 he was elected President, and held the office until 1941. At the time of his death he was a councillor for A. riding. He was a member of the Denman Singleton P.P. Board, and president of the Upper Hunter Pastoral and Agricultural Association, his father having, held the latter office for over 20 years. Deceased had been looking forward with keen anticipation to the resumption next year of the annual exhibition, which had been deferred during the critical war years. He was a member of the council of the Royal Agricultural Society. Again taking up the reins of leadership which his late father had held for many years, deceased succeeded to the chairmanship of The Brentwood Hospital, Muswellbrook, having hold the office for 18 years. The White family has, throughout Muswellbrook 's history, taken a keen interest in the welfare of the hospital, and this interest was admirably carried on by the late Mr. James White, who gave generously of his talents' and material resources to ensure that the work of the institution would be carried on in a way to promote the welfare of the patients. During his long term of office he and his fellow directors initiated the movement for the provision of a new hospital of a capacity of 80 beds and new nurses' quarters. The movement had reached the stage when the Hospitals' Commission had given its approval of the scheme.

The late Mr. White has bequeathed to us many more fine examples of the highest form of citizenship. He achieved outstanding results in the field of patriotic endeavor, and was the first president of the Patriotic Committee, and later held the office of vice president. He was a keen supporter of the Red Cross Society, as well as the smaller patriotic organisations carried on in the country centres. He was one of the Shire Council 's representatives on the recently-formed Anzac House Memorial Committee. The last meeting of any public body he had attended was that held by the Anzac House Committee. He was a firm friend of the Returned Soldiers' League, Patriotic Younger Set and Work Circle.

The children of the town and district will ever remember the late Mr. White with gratitude, because it was due to the generosity of the White family that it was possible for the Municipal Council to take over full control of the White Memorial Baths, established in the first instance with the substantial financial aid from deceased's father. When the undertaking subsequently became financially embarrassed both the Government and Messrs White Bros, waived all debts due to them in order to allow the baths to be re-opened and made available for public use.

In the sporting sphere, too, he had played a leading role. He was a keen polo player, having played with the Goondiwindi and Muswellbrook teams. Deceased was a member of the Upper Hunter Amateur Race Club, Muswellbrook Patriotic Race Club, and member of the Sydney Cricket Ground. He was a keen supporter and member of the Muswellbrook Cricket Club, and Brook Street Tennis Club.

The late Mr. White never allowed self-interests to influence his decisions in the discharge of his public duties. Thus we found him always chiefly concerned with the welfare of the people of the district, and always mindful of the need for developing the town and district. There was no greater enthusiast in the cause for closer settlement, but to achieve that aim he set out to press for water conservation, believing that one of the main conditions for the success of any closer settlement scheme was the provision of assured water supplies. The town and district, and the whole State, have lost one of their outstanding citizens, and one who, because of his retiring nature, sought to do good in a quiet and unassuming manner. The late Mr. White brought to play in his useful life a sincerity of purpose that helped in no small way the many causes he supported, and the public bodies with which he was associated. Never demonstrative and always avoiding the limelight, he, nevertheless has left to us many evidences of his splendid services to the community, which has lost one of its most highly respected citizens.

The late Mr. White was a member of the Presentation Board of the Diocese of Newcastle for the parish of Muswellbrook, and for a number of years had been a member of St. Alban's Vestry.

The large attendance of representatives of hospital, Local Government, professional and commercial interests at the funeral yesterday afternoon was a tribute to the memory of the late Mr. James White. The interment was made in the Church of England Cemetery, following a service held in the chapel and conducted by the Rev. H. Hapden-Hobart, Th. Schol., who also officiated at the graveside. The pall bearers were Mr. James White, junr. (son), Mr. Allan White, Mr. Bruce White (brothers), Mr. Fred Moses, (son in-law), Mr. Les. Dutton (brother in law) and Mr John Davies.

Original publication

Citation details

'White, James (1884–1945)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/white-james-22460/text32162, accessed 25 November 2017.

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