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18 corrections, most recently by gaunt71 - Show corrections

DEATH OF DR. GAUNT. Another old colonist, Dr. Mathias Gaunt - has just been removed from our midst, much to the regret of a large circle of relatives, friends, and acquaintances. He expired quietly at 9 o'clock last Sun- day morning at the ripe old age of 80 years. Dr. Gaunt was educated for the medical profession. After a visit to South America he returned to London, and was in practice there for some time, but having made up his mind to emigrate, he fixed upon Tasmania - then known as Van Diemen's Land - as his future home. He accordingly took passage in the Eliza, Captain Weddell and landed in Hobart Town on the 1st May 1830, so that the deceased gentleman has been resident in this island over 44 years. After looking about him for a short time, he applied for     and obtained a grant of land at a picturesque spot on the east bank of the River Tamar, about fifteen miles from   Launceston, ever since known as Windermere. Being possessed of some capital he settled on this at once and lost no time in clearing and improving it. Amongst other things he erected a saw mill close to the river's side, which he subsequently converted into a steam flour mill.   Thirty years ago he also commenced the cultivation of grapes, and from his vine yard some very superior wine is annually produced. He never regularly practised his profession in this colony, though he was willing to afford     aid in cases of sickness or accident     and was frequently called     in to consultations. The site on which the pretty little church at Windermere is placed was given by Dr Gaunt, who also contributed largely to the erection of the building. About twenty-one years since, Dr. Gaunt left the mill and other property at Windermere in charge of his   sons, and came to reside in this town, where he entered actively into the flour grain trade. Some time since he   retired from business. For a number of years he was a Director of the Commercial Bank in this town, and at the time   of his death was a Director of the Cornwall Fire and Marine Insurance Company, of the Launceston Gas Company,   and a Warden of the Marine Board. For the last two or three years the Doctor's health had been visibly declining, but though very infirm he was not actually laid aside until about a month since, when it became evident that there was a general breaking up of the system. Indeed, he himself appeared to be fully aware of this, but seemed quite resigned to death. His   decease, therefore, was not unexpected. At times he suffered a good deal of pain. He was quite conscious - in fact retained all his faculties - until about half an hour before his death, when he gently sank to rest. He leaves a widow, five sons, and three daughters to deplore his loss. With the exception of one son and one daughter all his children are married. Dr. Gaunt was one of our oldest magistrates, his name having been inserted in the Commission of the Peace almost immediately after his arrival in the colony. He was a very active Justice in this District, and discharged his   duties efficiently, until for political reasons he saw fit to resign his commission.   In public matters he always evinced great interest, and his opinions generally were clear and sound. In his   private life he was highly esteemed for his many excellent qualities. He was a well read man and possessed a fine   intellect.               Yesterday the vessels in harbor hoisted their flags half-mast high, and the proprietors of many of the shops and business establishments in town partially   closed their shutters as tokens of respect for the memory of the deceased gentleman. His remains will be interred at   Windermere tomorrow (Wednesday). After the foregoing was in type we     received the following, written by a warm friend of the late Dr Gaunt:- "HE WAS MY FRIEND"     The above quotation from Otway in his reminiscences of Curran, is so thoroughly applicable to the writer of this record that a few lines from his pen will not be inappropriate in speaking of the public loss sustained by the recent death of M. Gaunt, Esq., M.D., who after much     suffering, endured with manly fortitude, Has at length been removed from a long series of useful labours among us. It will be soothing to the feelings to take a slight review of his past life, and gather together the leading incidents of his   colonial history.   Dr Gaunt for many years of his early   life enjoyed a very extensive medical practice in one of the best parts of London, but owing to the severity of the English climate he abandoned it, and arrived in   this colony in 1830. With the view of following agricultural pursuits, and after diligent research in various parts of the, country. he took ,up 'a -'maximum grant on the eniat, bank of'the Tamar. This beautiful and picturesqueo spot,ivhich be called Windermere, after the English lake of that name, was the seat of his first and varied 'labors, practically an nihilating the dense forests that then oc eirpied the land with a determination few c4uld'equal. Here, possessing as he did, strong natural talent for ongineering, he eiected' a steam and flour, mill. with but vdry little foreign assistance, which cqntributod 'very materially. to clear many acres of his hleavily timbered-ground and was for 'a considerable 'length of 'time, beforo rivalry sprung up, a fair source of profit to him. Here, too, like' the patriarchs of old "' he planted a vine yard," one of the best and most exten sive in the island at the present moment. H'ere, again1 mindful of hAis'd-lt'towards Gbdt and his fellow man he almnost un

aided erected a beautiful little church on a promontory jutting down teothe water's edge, fogming a conspicuous land refresh ing contrast with the wild scenery around it,-an object of general attraction to, and admiration ol the vessels navigating the Tamar. eOf late years he resided in Launceston, and devoted himself to literature. lie was director of many public in stitutions-a keen politician ; his clear eye detected many mnperfections in our representative Government, and under the conviction that our attempt to legislate for ourselves was a signal failure--a curse rather than a blessing, he lately drew up a memorial to the Home Government to take us again under Imperial rule, which at the pro aent moment seriously occupies the pub lic mind. .He took a deep intorest in the education: question, and assisted very materially in unravelling the entangled accounts of Christ's College, being Chair man of a Committee to enquire into its state and prospects, to which lie devoted much of his leisure time. In him we have lost a gentleman liberal in his principles, comprehensive in his views, and of strong natural ability, which' was always put forth gratu~itoouslt for the benefit of hlia fellow-colonists in whatever capacity, professionally or other wise,:it was -called for-of cool, unquoes tionable courage, with a tenacity of plr pose that never left him while the accom plishment of the object was in view-a firm friend, but, like the talismuanic touch of Ithuriol's spear, he could endure nothing that was prevaricating, truck ling, or contemptible, and in him it might be truly said " the spirit of good" .wra.s symbolised for the discovery and advocacy of all truth. May his bright example not be lost upon us. -