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2 corrections, most recently by ldtaylor - Show corrections


One of our best known and most respected   citizens; the Hon. Philip Santo, head of the well-known firm of merchants of Waymouth- street, Adelaide, and Lipson-street, Port

Adelaide, died at his residence, Fernleigh House, West-terrace, on Tuesday, December 17, after a long illness, terminating in fourteen hours' unconsciousness immediately prior to death. The deceased gentleman was   in his seventy second year. By birth, he was a Cornishman, his native place being Saltash, a suburb of Plymouth, England, where he was born on August 7, 1818. He was brought up to the carpentering and building trade, and came out to South Australia in the ship Brightman at the age of twenty-two, when Adelaide was in its infancy, and when the buildings of the city were neither very numerous nor very elegant from an architectural point of view. Plenty of scope was thus afforded to the young colonist, who, during the forties, attained a good reputation for the knowledge   he displayed as a builder, and among the edifices the erection of which he superin- tended is the block still standing known as Waterhouse's, at the corner of King William   and Rundle streets. Later on Mr. Santo had charge of the erection of a large building on the site of the Theatre Royal, and later still he put up the handsome block known as Santo's Buildings in Waymouth street.     Before the discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851 Mr. Santo went to the Burra, where for some time his was foreman of the mechanics on the works at the copper mines. He went to Melbourne with others during the exodus       to the goldfields, but was absent from the colony for a very brief period. When he returned to Adelaide he went into business as a merchant. The business grew very rapidly, and for many years the firm of which   he was the head has had an extensive trade. In his time Mr. Santo was very prominent legislator, and though he had been out of Parliament for seven or eight years prior to his death, he was frequently heard of in con- nection with politics. He saw more than twenty years' service as a member of our Legislature, and well nigh three years of that period as a Minister of the Crown. His entry into Parliament dates back to   1860, three years after the establish- ment of responsible government. In   that year he was elected to the Assembly as one of six representatives for the City of Adelaide, for which he sat till 1863, when he was returned for the newly created District of East Adelaide, and repre- sented that electorate in the third and fourth Parliaments, having the late Hon. Thomas Reynolds as his colleague the most of the time. Entering the fifth Parliament in 1858 for Barosea, with Mr. (now the Hon.) R. C. Baker, he remained in the Assembly till 1870. On October 4 of the succeeding year he was elected to the Upper House by the whole province, which in those days voted as one electoral district. After ten years' service in the Legislative Council Mr.   Santo retired at the end of the first session of 1881, and thus ended his active political career, though subsequently he was more than once before the electors as a candi- date for Parliamentary honours. While in the Legislature the hon. gentle- man exercised considerable influence, and as a Minister (to use the words of one who was most associated with him in that capacity) "he was a most conscientious, loyal, and worthy colleague." Altogether he served in six Ministries, and singular to add in each of these he filled the office of Commissioner of Public Works. The first Administration in which the hon. gentleman occupied a seat was tbe seventh Ministry under responsible government— that formed by the late Hon. G. M. Water- house on October 8, 1861. This Ministry, however, lasted but nine days, the leader of the Government at the end of that period entirely reconstructing the Cabinet. Mr. Santo was next included in the first Ministry of which the Hon. (now Sir) Henry Ayers was in command. This Administration was in power from July 15, 1863, to July 22, 1864, Mr. Santo's colleagues besides the Premier then being the late Mr.   Justice Andrews, the late Hon. J. Hart, and   the Hon. L. Glyde, the present Official Re- ceiver. In July, 1864, the Ministry was re- constructed, Mr. Santo retaining his position   of Commissioner of Public Works, having as his colleagues, in addition to his chief, the late Mr. Justice Stow, the late Hon. J. Hart, and Sir William Milne. The Government, however, only remained in office till August 4, 1864. In September of the following year Mr. Santo was again selected as Commissioner of Pablic Works by his old colleague, the Hon. (now Sir) Henry Ayers, but the life of that Ministry was cut short by the succession to power of the Hart Administration a month later. After the first Hart Ministry came the first Boucaut Ministry, and then another Ayers Administration formed on May 3, 1867, and continuing in office till Septem- ber 24, 1868. The portfolios in this   Ministry were allotted as follows : — Chief Secretary, Henry Ayers ; Attorney-General, R. B. Andrews; Treasurer, Thomas Rey- nolds ; Commissioner of Crown Lands and Im- migration, Lavington Glyde; and Com- missioner of Pablic Works, Philip Santo. The Duke of Edinburgh, it will be re- membered, visited Adelaide while the Ayers Ministry were in office, so that Mr. Santo was privileged to preside over the Depart- ment of Pablic Works when His Royal Highness laid the foundation stone of the General Post-Office. On October 13, 1868, the Ayers Administration returned to power in precisely the same order as less than a month previously ; but, like their immediate predecessors, their life was very brief, as they had to make room for the first Adminstration formed by the Hon. H. B. T. Strangways on November 3, 1868. Mr. Santo was not in office after this. For his services to his conntry the hon. gentleman was made an Honourable in 1887 under the Duke of Newcastle's dispatch. Outside of Parliament the deceased gentle- man never took any specially active interest in public movements, and of recent years he had been living in comparative retirement, except tbat he manifested considerable interest in mining affairs, In religious mat- ters, however, he figured very prominently, for a great number of years being connected with the Church of Christ in Grote-street. He taught in tbe Church, frequently preached, was an Elder, and several times presided at the annual conference of the Churches of this denomination. Mr. Santo visited England on two or three occasions. The deceased gentleman leaves a widow, four daughters, Mrs. Gore (wife of Mr.   T. J. Gore, minister of the Church of Christ in Grote-street), Mrs. J. Smith (wife of one of tbe partners in the firm of Messrs. P. Santo & Co ), Mrs. J. S. Greer, of Unley, and Miss Santo, and also a daughter-in-law, widow of Mr. P. Santo, jun,, who died some years ago.