"The Guardian" Monday 19 August 1935 THE DISTRICT MOURNS LOSS OF A GREAT CITIZEN (Reprinted by Special Request.) The demise of Mr. Arthur Harold Sutton removes from our midst one who, in every sense of the word, was a great citizen. His death, the cir- cumstances of which were briefly re- corded last issue, occasioned wide felt sorrow, and the community was deeply shocked when the sad news became known. "Calamitous " was the general expression of those who knew his worth-and there were few who were not aware of his outstand- ing characteristics. Known inti- mately by every section of the com- munity, his passing away in the prime of manhood--he had just reached his 53rd year-was considered a tra- gedy, and so familiar was he with all sections, that Portland will not seem the same Portland without his genial personality. Not only were his attributes recognised in the im- mediate township, but throughout the whole Western District his name was one which few were not acquainted with. His father before him-the late Mr. Francis Sutton-was held in the highest esteem by all with whom he came in contact, and his mother was that type of person who could genu- inely be termed "the perfect lady." Both experienced the rigors of pioneering life in the Strath- downie district, where the subject of this obituary was born. He grew up in family surroundings con- ducive to the best type of man hood, which subsequently he dis- played to the benefit of those with whom he became associated in after life. At the age of 31 he married Miss Ethel Maude Williams, of Warr- nambool, at which time he was re presentative at Heywood for Messrs. P. Learmonth and Co., for whom he rendered invaluable service, his ex- ceptional knowledge of stock and general popularity gaining many clients for this well-known firm. At this juncture he, in partnership with Mr. Keith Nicholson, acquired the old established general merchant's business of W. P. Anderson and Co., under whose name the partners worked until war broke out, when the late Mr. Sutton answered the call and enlisted in the 8th Light Horse, seeing service in Egypt and Palestine. On his return, he took over Mr. Nicholson's interests in the firm, and from then on the business was conducted under his own name. He proceeded, with the help of a most efficient staff, to build up a connection which gradually ex- tended until the name of A. H. Sutton became a household one. Con- centrating on the wool export trade, he left no stone unturned in exploit- ing every channel of business, with the result that it was not long be fore he convinced growers of the ad- vantages of sending their wool over- seas, and each year shipments in- creased appreciably. His efforts were not self-centred, however, and he thought as much of the town's in- terests in this connection as he did of his own, often declaring that it was his sole desire to see the port devel- oped to the extent which its geo- graphical position deserved. Bar- ley shipments from the South-East were also arranged by this enterpris- ing firm, and no trouble was spared in meeting the convenience of ship- pers. In the wool export trade he acted in conjunction with Messrs. Dalgety and Co., and his "dumping" plant was the means of providing much employment locally. As re- gards matters of a public nature the late gentleman was associated with practically every institution, and no appeal for assistance in any direc- tion was refused. His charitable- ness knew no bounds, and many in stances could be cited showing the big-heartedness of a really big man. He always evinced a keen interest in municipal affairs, and in Decem- ber, 1916, was elected as a member of the Borough Council. The fol- lowing May he received leave of ab- sence to enlist. His time expired in 1918, and he was re-elected in October, 1923, filling the vacancy caused by the retirement of Cr. Righetti. In October, 1923, he was again re-elected, but at the an- nual elections in 1928 met defeat. The result, however, was not a true criterion of the vote, as a "ticket system" was worked, and though he received a collective majority, he failed to be returned. However, he avenged this defeat with his charac- teristic fighting spirit in 1931, when he was returned by a handsome ma- jority. Three years later, finding the pressure of private business too great, he retired, leaving behind him a record which stood to his everlast- ing credit. During his term as councillor he occupied the Mayoral chair, and filled the position with great ability and dignity. He was also chairman of the Water Trust for two years, an honor which was well deserved, as he did much toward bringing to fruition the long-felt want of an efficient water supply in Portland. Other public institu- tions to receive his whole-hearted support were the P. and A. Society, race and football clubs, being presi- dent of the two latter on more than one occasion. The former owed much to his energy and organising ability, and the great amount of work done as a steward in the horse section could not be over-estimated. As president of the Portland Club he was a host in himself, and he spared no effort in entertaining visit- ors who were guests at the Club. By his geniality in his presi- dential capacity he was responsible in making many strangers feel at home, and more than one instance can be cited in which visitors to the town for the first time, as at result of his hospitality, expressed their inten- tion of returning when opportunity occurred. The band also was the better for his interest and zeal, and it is fitting to mention that he was instrumental in raising a large portion of the £400 received as a result of a King Car- nival, he being the successful "'King." The late Mr. Sutton also took a great interest in politics, and was to the fore when election time drew near. He was president of the local branch of the National Federation, and at one time was promised the selection for Port Fairy-Glenelg, but after conducting a short campaign, ar- rived at the conclusion that the work entailed would interfere too much with his private affairs, and so he withdrew. The late gentleman was a most ac- complished horseman, and in his younger days gained a wide reputa- tion in show ring jumping. He owned and rode several outstanding hunters, one of which, Negative, he was particularly proud. As a boy he piloted four winners at the old Emu Flats racecourse, and for his prowess received a pair of nickle-plated spurs! He was an excellent judge of horses, and on many occasions adjudicated at various shows, a great compliment being paid him by the
Warracknabeal Society in inviting him to judge at that place. Few better judges of cattle were known locally, and being reared amongst stock, he knew practically every point assocaited with them. The deceased leaves a wife and only son, Reg to whom the profoundest sympathy is expressed in their sad hour. He was one of a large family of six daughters and two sons, he being the fourth oldest. The members are - Jim - Willaura, Teresa (Mrs F Sutton) Mount Isa Qld. Eva (Mrs E C Taplin Curramulka SA Bessie (Mrs W Diekman) High Street Grange SA ETTIE (Mrs F Sleeman) Sherwell Road Roseville NSW, LYDIA (Mrs G Stanley) Harrow and MAY (Mrs R J Hedditch, West Portland. To them also goes out widespread sorrow. In a final word it is incumbent on us to pay our tribute to the memory of a deeply revered friend who, by his actions, proved his worth in every walk of life. He lived not for himself but for his fellow-men, and perhaps would have secured more of these worldy gains had he been more selfishly disposed. But his thoughts were for others, and none could say that Harold Sutton, now gone to his de- served rest, was anything but the type of gentleman with which this world is far too sparsely endowed. Deeds, not empty words, were what he practised, and there are scores who can testify to his charity and liberality when any cases of distress were brought under his notice. Now, this life's labour over, he sleeps beside his devoted parents, duty nobly done, leaving a name behind which will be forever remembered and cherished. The funeral on Sunday was the largest seen in Portland as far back as most old resi- dents can remember. Over 100 cars followed the remains to the South cemetery, and it is estimated that fully 500 mourners, representative of all parts of the Western District, gathered at the grave- side. The beautiful floral tributes were so numerous that a special car was necessary for their conveyance. The coffin was taken to St Stephen's church on Sunday afternoon, and an impressive service was conducted by Reverend Canon Coupe in the presence of a large gathering of friends. Leaving the church grounds the hearse slowly proceeded through a line of returned soldiers on each side of the pathway, and on reaching the main thoroughfare the cortege formed up and moved down Julia Street, returned men to the number of about 100 preceding the hearse in ordered file. At the Star Theatre they entered their cars, and on reaching the cemetery lined each side of the entrance. The casket, which was draped with the Union Jack, was borne by members of the deceased, and at the graveside, Reverend Canon Coupe read the burial service. Pastor Cross of the Baptist Church a returned man, spoke eloquently on behalf of his comrades, extolling the late gentleman's virtues and the sacrifice made on his country's behalf. "They shall not grow old as we that are eft grow old, Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn, At the setting of the sun and in the morning, We shall remember them" After two minutes reverent silence, with his returned comrades round the open grave with bowed heads, Bugler J Kean feelingly sounded the "LAST POST", and as the final solemn notes conveyed the triumphant message of "COME HOME! COME HOME!" there was not one in that hushed gathering who did not feel that from their midst had passed a man whose life amongst them had been one of service and an inspiration to those left behind. Truly Portland's last tribute was an eloquent one to a man who had done so much to make this life a better and happier one for those with whom he had contact.