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Arthur Ormonde Butler (1862–1945)

At a private hospital, on June 18, the death took place of Mr Arthur Ormonde Butler, of Butler’s Road, Hurstville in his 83rd year. He was privately interred at Worona Cemetery and is survived by a son and two daughters. His wife pre-deceased him by some years.

Mr Ormonde Butler was one of the district's oldest residents and had some interesting associations with the pioneer times of St George and connections with the early days of Sydney. He was best known in the St George district through his profession as a police magistrate, and for his assistance in the establishment of the St George District Hospital more than fifty years ago. Mr Butler was born in Cleveland Street, Sydney in December 1862. His father was George Henry Ormonde Butler, a senior officer of the Government Printing Office. His grandfather, Lawrence Butler, was the principal superintendent of convicts at Parramatta in the early times of the colony, more than a hundred years ago. An interesting connection with old St George is the fact that Mr Butler’s mother, whose maiden name was Marion Elizabeth Gannon, was the daughter of James Gannon, and a niece of Michael Gannon. The latter, about a century ago, purchased some 11,000 acres around what is now Hurstville and it was after him that the district was named Gannon’s Forest in pioneer times. Mr Ormonde Butler was also connected, by marriage, with another Hurstville pioneer, the late Henry West, who once owned many acres on the south side of Hurstville railway station. The land included the site of the deceased home in Ormonde Parade, which was named after him. Mr West’s daughter, Catherine, married Mr Butler.

Although the deceased had lived in St George in the early days, he had in between times, spent some years elsewhere. One of his proudest possessions was an ancient squad roll book of the days when he was a sergeant in the Soudan contingent. That was in 1885. He was then living at Church Hill, Sydney and was 22 years of age. As a young man Mr Butler worked at the Water Police Court, Sydney. In 1892 he was elected honorary secretary at the first meeting of subscribers of the original Kogarah Cottage Hospital, from which the present St George District Hospital grew. At one time he took much interest in Freemasonry, holding high office, and published a Masonic journal. Early in 1900 he left Sydney and spent some time as clerk of petty sessions at Warialda and Albury. The latter period of his life, before retirement at Hurstville was spent as a police magistrate at Narrabri, Milparinka (???), Tibooburra(???) and Kogarah.

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'Butler, Arthur Ormonde (1862–1945)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 April 2024.

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