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MR. HENRY TRIGG.
The City of Perth has just lost its most aged citzen, Mr. Henry Trigg, who on Wednesday last peacefully passed away, at the ripe age of 91. To those who are at all familiar with the history of the
capital of this colony, and who feel in terested in the social and religious wel- fare of this community, no name has been better known ; and certainly none has been more honoured than that of Henry Trigg. Arriving in the colony in the first year of its existence, he settled in the newly-formed town, site of Perth, and erecting, a modest habitation overlooking tbe beautiful and lake-like expanse of Melville Water, he lived a useful and peaceful life for half a century, and while cheered and consoled by the loving attentions of his descend- ants, he at length expired. Although, from the advancing infirmities of age, he had been obliged during the last few years to retire from the active duties of life, there are many of the inhabitants of this city who remember when he walked with elastic step, when he was diligent in business, prompt and ener- getic in action, ready in utterance, and when, owing to the health induced by a regular and sober life, he could endure no small amount of fatigue. On settling in the colony he soon found scope for the exercise of his trade, which was that of house carpenter and builder, and being recognised as an upright and most im- dustrious tradesman, he received from the Colonial Government the appoint- ment of Clerk of Works, and in that ca- pacity he superintended the erection of some of the earliest public buildings and works in Perth, and other parts of the colony. In carrying out these duties he had to overrule many difficulties arising from the paucity of skilled labour and the low state of the Government finances at the time. Upon a very moderate in- come, with untiring industry and strict economy, and admirably seconded by his faithful partner, who preceded him to the better land a few years ago, Mr. Trigg brought up a large family, and in time acquired a small competency, on which he resolved to retire from business and devote himself to the moral and re- ligious welfare of his fellow men. His own mind being deeply imbued with re ligious feeling, and believing there was need for evangelistic effort amongst his neighbours, be recognised it as a stored duty to use his gifts and talents in dis- seminating religious truth in the circle in which he moved. He began his work by holding a religious service in his own house on the Sunday evening, and gradually he gathered around him a nu- merous band of worshippers, who united
with him in prayer and praise, and who listened to his telling and earnest expo- sitions of Holy Scripture. Anxious to be made increasingly useful in this way, he made up for the deficiency of his early education by extensive reading and study, habitually rising at an early hour for this purpose. He did not continue his reading to theological subjects, but gave some attention to general literature, and as his Christian experience ripened and his mind matured, he became a useful and instructive preacher, and at times, when he felt the subject warm his heart and amuse the imagination, he would speak with a facility and power that might be termed eloquence, and that might excite the envy of the more regu- lar ministry. Even in his old age the pristine fire would be sometimes re- kindled. About six years ago, some will remember that when he laid the founda- tion stone of the new Congregational church in Fremantle, he stood upon it, and excited by the occasion, once more, 'the old man eloquent,' moved the large assembly to tears by his impas- sioned and affectionate adlress. The congregation time gathered by Mr. Trigg formed themselves into a Congregational Church, and after a time erected a small chattel to better accommodate their in creasing numbers. For some years he offfciated as their minister, and thus he may be looked upon as the founder of the Congregational Churches in this part of the colony. At length it was thought desirable to obtain an ordained minister from England, and on Mr. Leonard's arrival Mr. Trigg resigned his charge into his hands, and he became the dea- con of the Church. Mr. Leonard was succeeded by Mr. Innes, during whose ministry a new church structure was erected, and subsequently, during the ministry of Mr. Meadowcroft, the Sun- day schoolroom and the commodious manse were built. Two short pastorates followed that of Mr. Meadowcroft, viz., that of Mr. Rose, who was three years in Perth, and Mr. Odgers, who was only one year. A few weeks ago Mr. Trigg had the pleasure of welcoming the present warm-hearted pastor of the Congrega- tional Church, Mr. Crawley. When Mr. Trigg retired from the active work of the ministry, on the advent of Mr. Leon- ard, he did not relax in his efforts to benefit his fellow men. He felt a deep concern for the spiritual welfare of the prisoner population, and during the ad- ministration of Governor Kennedy he obtained permission to hold religious services with them in the Perth Prison, at the Asylum for old men at Mt. Eliza, and at the road parties in the vicinity of the capital. Governor Kennedy re- cognized the salutary influence of these ministrations, and as the advancing years of Mr. Trigg prohibited him from walking to the more distant places of meeting, the sanction of the Home Go- vernment was obtained for the payment of a small annual sum to enable him to keep a horse and gig. Mr. Trigg was a popular speaker at meetings held to pro- mote religious and philanthropic objects, and on these occasions he would, by way of illustration, introduce from the store of his memory apposite anecdotes and quotations from, poetry and prose. At length the time arrived when old age compelled him to give up those labours of love in which he so much delighted. He still, however, retained the full posses- ion of his mental faculties, and it was most interesting to hear him narrate the events of his life, and the many hard- ships and privations endured by the pioneers of civilization in Western Aus- tralia. A few months ago Mr. Trigg paid his last visit to Fremantle, and it may not be out of place to remark that then for the first time, he saw a railway, and that was the only occasion on which he journeyed by train. His declining years were peaceful and happy ; he pos- sessed a hopeful and thankful spirit, be- ing sustained by the influence of those religious truths he held with such ex- emplary fidelity, and at last, free from pain, with a feeling only of weariness, and willing to depart, the wheels of Na- ture stood still, as his spirit calmly passed away. In giving an estimate of the character of our venerable fellow towns- man, whilst we delight to dwell upon the good he was the means of accom- plishing, and his many virtues, we do not mean to say he was free from foibles and defects. His ardent and impulsive temperament led him sometimes to speak in terms of undue severity, where he thought blame was deserved, but in this respect reflection would lead him to mo- dify his words, and he was ever ready to acknowledge his own failings, and he earnestly strove to gain the mastery over what he knew to be his besetting weak- ness. Strongly attached to the polity of the Congregational churches, he was not a bigot , but he loved and honoured good men of all denominations, and in return he enjoyed the friendship of many who differed widely from him on ecclesiastical points, especially from Bishop Hale, who, from his distant home in Queens- land, has sent him repeated messages of kindly remembrance. In aid of the sus- tentation fund of the Church of his own connections Mr. Trigg displayed great liberality, contributing some years a fifth of his moderate income to religious ob- jects, and this at a time when he had to assist in the maintenance of several fatherless grandchildren. Mr. Trigg had strong domestic affections. He loved his home and kindred, and he had a heart of sympathy for the sorrowing. His life was a blessing to many, and now that he is seen amongst us no more, his name will be long revered as that of a good man.