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Howie, James (1819–1894)

The death is announced of the Rev. James Howie, who, for 35 1/2 years was pastor of the Congregational Church at Maclaren Vale. The deceased had been ailing for several months from a heart affection, but held to his post till the end of July, since which time he has been confined to his room. From the first severe attack there was little hope of recovery, and he expired on Monday morning. Mr. Howie was born in Leith, Scotland, on September 16, 1819. He was trained for the ministry at Glasgow, and accepted a call to the Independent Church at Nairn on October 24, 1846. After a pastorate of 11 years his attention was directed to South Australia, to which he came under the auspices of the Colonial Missionary Society embarking in the ship Annie Foster on October 14, 1857, and landing here early in March of the following year. Under the direction of the society's representative, the Rev. T. Q. Stow, Mr. Howie for a few months supplied at Houghton, Teatree Gully, and other places. Proceeding to Maclaren Vale on January 16, 1859, he soon after settled there, exercising for many years a highly successful ministry. His remains were interred in the cemetery at Maclaren Vale beside the graves of two daughters, a son, and his wife. The only surviving children are two daughters—Mrs. W. C. Auld and the wife of Mr. C. H. Harris.

The remains of the Rev. James Howie were interred in the cemetery adjacent to the Congregational Church at Maclaren Vale on Wednesday last, when a large number of people assembled to pay their last tribute of respect to one who for over thirty-five years had been to them a faithful and loving pastor. At half-past 11 o'clock several ministers and other friends arrived from the city, and shortly afterwards the funeral cortege moved slowly away from the manse, where the deceased breathed his last on Monday morning. The coffin was carried by relays of sympathetic hearers from various parts of the district, preceded by ministers of various denominations, and followed by relatives and friends, many of whom had come a considerable distance to express their esteem and sorrow. An impressive service, held in the church, was conducted by the Rev. F. W. Cox, assisted by the Rev. Messrs. Nicholls, Robertson, Raymond, Manthorpe, and Wilson. Two favorite hymns, 'How firm a foundation' and 'Come Thou fount of every blessing,' were sung. At the close of the latter the bier was reverently lifted and borne out at that door through which Mr. Howie for so many years had passed in and out each Sabbath day to the grave close by. In addition to Congregational ministers there were present—The Rev. F. H. Stokes (Church of England) J. Raymond (Bible Christian) and A. W. Stubbs (Wesleyan), and Mr. S. Davie, of the State school, who assisted to maintain the regular services during Mr. Howie's illness. Messrs. M Burgess, for many years a deacon of the church, E. Colton, whose family were formerly intimately associated with it, and H. C. Talbot. Many exquisite wreaths of flowers were laid upon the coffin, some of which were accompanied by written expressions of sympathy. The young people from the schools brought their floral tribute, so that the grave was heaped with a profusion of choice flowers. The edifice in which Mr. Howie for so many years ministered to the spiritual wants of his people is a handsome Gothic structure, designed by the late Mr. James Macgeorge. It was erected in 1859, and opened for Divine worship in February, I860. It stands as a memento of Mr. Howie's career, and the fact that amid commercial depression it has remained free of debt witnesses to his discretion and self denial.

Original publication

Citation details

'Howie, James (1819–1894)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/howie-james-22743/text32255, accessed 27 November 2021.

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