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William Gordon Hayes-Williams (1862–1934)

Mr. William Gordon Hayes-Williams, formerly Registrar-General, who died on Tuesday, was born in New Zealand in 1862, and came to Sydney when four years old. After matriculating, he was given his articles by Mr. William Cope, and was admitted to practice as a solicitor on June 7, 1890. He became a partner in the firm of Messrs. Laurence McLachlan and Williams, and subsequently joined Mr. E. W. Perkins.

Whilst a member of the firm of Messrs. Perkins and Williams he was chosen by a committee of solicitors to fill the position of Registrar-General, Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, and Examiner of Patents, which was vacant following the death of Mr. A. Parry Long. Mr. Hayes-Williams' appointment dated from October 18, 1898, and he held office continuously until his retirement on November 3, 1927.

Mr. Hayes-Williams quickly became known as a wise and firm administrator. He was a man of outstanding ability, with sound legal knowledge, and many amendments of the Acts administered by his department, which simplified business and were to public advantage, were due to his advice. Under his guidance the department was re-organised and put on a sounder foundation. The number of officers under his control rose from fewer than 100 to more than 500, and "The Chief," as he was affectionately known, held their deep respect and admiration. It might well be said that the present department and its fine building form a monument to his distinguished public service.

A short service was held yesterday in St. Thomas' Church, North Sydney, conducted by Canon H. S. Begbie, and the remains were afterwards cremated at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium. Amongst those present were:—Messrs. Clive and Don Hayes-Williams (sons) and William Hayes Williams (grandson), C. W. Hayes-Williams, J. Roberts, S. T. Laurence (Messrs. G. M. Laurence and Son), E. A. Laurence (Messrs. Laurence and Laurence), Dr. C. S. Laurence, Messrs. Neville Laurence, Norman Laurence, C. J. Turner (Messrs. Reed, Hanigan, and Turner), L. Lane. R. Wilkinson, Rex Wilkinson, Rex Smith, J. Mcllroy, W. Wilkinson, A. Jacob, J. Matthews, and Dr. K. S. Du Vernet (nephews), Messrs. R. W. Willis (Registrar General, and representing Mr. V. Le Gay Brereton, formerly Chief Examiner of Titles), J. M. O'Donohue (Chief Examiner of Titles), J. Beckenham and J. Merrick (Examiners of Titles), G. W. Orr (Supervising Surveyor), W. B. Meehan (Deputy Registrar-General, Deeds Branch), A. E. Carpenter (Deputy Registrar-Geeneral, Land Titles Branch), A. C. L. Baylis (Deputy Registrar General Births, Deaths, and Marriages), J. Pyne (Examining Surveyor), C. Cowdery (draughtsman in charge), J. K. Laird (accountant), and Messrs. Rowley. Evennett, Holosgrove, Lane, Blackmore, King, Chambers, Ikin, Johnson, and the Misses A. C. Thompson, P. B. Pringle, E. O'Sullivan, and A. G. Elyard (officers of the department), Messrs. H. W. Williams (late Examiner of Titles), R. A. Barton (late Deputy Registrar-General, Land Titles Branch), O. T. Morath (late chief draughtsman), E. W. Heywood, and L. A. Newmarch, Messrs. P. E. Barraclough (Deputy Master in Lunacy), E. McDonald (Deputy Registrar of Probates), E. O. H. Matthews (Messrs. Kershaw, Matthews, Lane, and Glasgow), J. W. Stevenson and J. Linton (Messrs. Perkins. Stevenson, and Co.). H. E. Dale. E. H. Cowdery and Dean Cowdery (Messrs. Cowdery and Cowdery), P. E. Bird (W.M.), P. E. Eaton, J. F. A. McSwinney, A. H. Simms, L. H. Barnes (representing Lodge Oxford), H. H., E. J., and G. S. Smith, P. E. Williams, P. N. Hill, J. Piatau, H. Ellison, E. J. Price, A. H. Moginie, — Davis, H. Morgan. Claude Manning, and J. Bell.

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Citation details

'Hayes-Williams, William Gordon (1862–1934)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


4 November, 1862
Otahuhu, New Zealand


13 March, 1934 (aged 71)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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