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Waterhouse, Henry Benjamin (1861–1945)

At the funeral of Mr. H. B. Waterhouse, of Yamba, who died at Maclean on Friday, there was a large and representative gathering. The funeral left Christ Church Cathedral for the Grafton cemetery after a service conducted by Canon F. G. Alexander.

Mr. Waterhouse, during his life on the Clarence and Richmond, interested himself in a wide field of activities. He was a Justice of the Peace, a member of the Diocesan Synod, and in former years an alderman of Grafton City Council. He took a keen interest in sport, and was a member of the Albert Cricket Club, Grafton Rowing Club, the C.R.J.C., and the Rifle Club. He also was a bowler.

He was a distinguished member of the M.U.I.O.O.F. The pall-bearers at the funeral were all former district officers in regalia, and the service at the graveside was conducted by the Immediate Past District Grand Master (Bro. G. Wormald).

Deceased was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Waterhouse, and was born in Melbourne in 1861. He is survived by three sons, Messrs. P. E. Waterhouse, Education Department, Western Line; J. H. and R. A. Waterhouse, of Woolgoolga; and one daughter, Mrs. P. S. Farlow, of Yamba, with whom he had been residing since his retirement about five years ago. His wife, two sons and one daughter predeceased him. A sister, Mrs. F. Graham,, resides in Sydney. Nine grandsons are serving in the forces.

Prior to his retirement in December, 1938, Mr. Waterhouse worked on various newspapers, principally on the North Coast, for a period of 65 years, and held positions in every branch of the industry.

He was educated at Grafton Public School and commenced his newspaper career as an apprentice on the Clarence and Richmond Examiner in April, 1874. After serving his time he entered the employ of S. E. Lees, of Sydney. From there he went to the Government Printing Office, and subsequently to the Cumberland Mercury at Parramatta.

After twelve months as foreman printer on the Forbes and Parkes Gazette, published at Parkes, deceased rejoined the staff of the Clarence and Richmond Examiner, and after several years again returned to the Government Printing Office.

In 1893 he returned to the Clarence and started the South Grafton Mercury. After three years he disposed of the business and took charge of the mechanical section of the Examiner.

Shortly, after this deceased took up the literary side of newspaper work. He became managing editor of the Raleigh Sun and the Coff's Harbour Advocate. He next became manager and editor of the Nambucca News, and later of Macleay Chronicle.

The late Mr. Waterhouse then returned again to the Examiner, and took up his old position as mechanical Manager. In 1915 he joined the literary staff of the Richmond River Express (Casino,), and later became editor. Ten years later he assumed literary control of the Lower Clarence Advocate.

For some years prior to his retirement Mr. Waterhouse was associated with the Examiner in a literary capacity.

Deceased was for many years prominently connected with the Manchester Unity' Independent Order of Oddfellows. He joined the Loyal star of the Fast Lodge, Grafton, in January, 1880. He held various offices for nearly the whole period of his 57 years' membership until he resigned the secretaryship of the Clarence River district on July 11, 1936, after which he went into retirement.

Upon joining the society he joined an agitation for a district Lodge for the North Coast, which was granted after 20 years' agitation, though Lismore declined to join in. The Clarence River district was formed in 1903, and the late Bro. Waterhouse was the first deputy from the district to the, G.A.M.C., taking his seat in October of that year. He attended the conference in the following, year, and was responsible for obtaining permission to open the North Coast district at Lismore. In 1905 he was elected to the board of directors. This position he held for some years.

He was elected the first provincial corresponding secretary of the C.P. District, and assisted other officers and members in opening Lodges (Clarence being the first) in various parts of the district, which then extended from the Clarence River to Cape Hawke. While at Kempsey he resigned as district secretary, but while in that town he formed a new branch of the Order, with a minimum of seven members, and became its first financial secretary. Coff's Harbour, Dorrigo, Bellingen, Copmanhurst and Nana Glen also were opened during his term of office.

He opened the Purple Lodge at Casino. Becoming resident in that town some years later he resuscitated the local Lodge and became its financial secretary. For this service he was made a district auditor, without examination, by the board of directors.

He next assisted at the division of the North Coast district and the opening of the Richmond River district, with headquarters at Casino, and was first distinct secretary. While there he assisted in the opening of Lodges at Bungawalbyn, Rappville and Bonalbo. Returning to Grafton to reside, he again used his energies in Star of the East Lodge, and later- succeeded Sister Pauline Jarret, now Sister Meek, as district secretary. He then became acting secretary of Star of the East Lodge, and on the death of the late Bro. Harold Crisford he be came financial secretary, a position which he resigned owing to ill health at the end of 1935.

For nearly 20 years the late Bro. Waterhouse was hon. secretary of the Oddfellows' sports at Elizabeth Island, and organised the gathering to such an extent that it became one of the chief athletic events in the State. He conducted a successful Oddfellows' ball for many years in the old hall in Bacon street.

Another event in which he took an interest was the opening of Uloom Lodge at South Grafton. He reported the opening function for the Examiner of those days and 50 years later reported the jubilee banquet at South Grafton. Twice he was successful in bringing sittings of the G.A.M.C. of the Order to Grafton—in 1908 and 1934—on both of which occasions legislation of importance to the Order was transacted. With the Grand Master of the district at the time (Bro. C. T. Bate), assisted by brethren from Sydney and Bathurst, he occupied the position of district secretary at the conferring of the Purple Degree at Grafton in connection with the G.A.M.C. of 1934. For many years before the establishment of the district he was president of the Purple Lodge at Grafton.

When his health broke down and he decided to resign his Lodge and district appointments deceased presented a collection of more than 20 photographs of men he had met and functions he had attended, gathered during his long connection with the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Odd fellows. These now adorn the walls of the M.U. Hall, Bacon street, Grafton.

For the last eight years Bro. Waterhouse had been living in retirement from Lodge activities with his daughter, Mrs. Farlow, and until 18 months ago he was able to give much interesting in formation concerning the activities of the society in this and the adjoining districts.

The pall-bearers at Christ Church Cathedral and at the graveside were present and past district officers, all of whom, were connected with the society during. Bro. Water house's administration of district affairs.

Original publication

Citation details

'Waterhouse, Henry Benjamin (1861–1945)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 4 December 2022.

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