AN OLD PIONEER.
The late Mr John Rees, Sen,, who died at Wallaroo on Saturday last at the age of 81 years, was a well known identity of the the district. He was born at Glamorganshire, Sooth Wales, and arrived in the State 59 years ago. For some time he worked near Adelaide, and enjoyed life in tents in common with many other early settlers. Then he went to Kapunda, and was employed by Mr Andrew Brace, contractor. He also worked in the old Kapunda copper mines. About 51 years ago he came with his wife and family to Wallaroo, and secured employment with the old Wallaoo and Moonta Tramway Co., and remained a trusted employe for 18 years. He then took up farming in the hundred of Tickera, and saw many of the ups and downs then experienced in farming. Notwithstanding this, however, he reared a large family, and about two years ago sold his farm to advantage and has since lived quietly in Wallaroo. He was deeply religious in his ideas and was noted for his cIose study of the Bible. He was a founder of the Welsh Church, and for many years conducted the men's Bible class. Latterly be was closely associated with the Presbyterian Church. His wife pre deceased him some years ago. The surviving members of the family are Messrs Thomas (Melbourne), William John, Evan, Henry (Wallaroo), and James Rees (Streaky Bay), and MeadameB Thomas Davies, D. W. Da vies, R. Olds, and R. Bickley (Wallaroo). The funeral took place on Monday and was largely attended. Rev. J. A. McLellan, assisted by Rev. D. Morgan, officiated at the graveside, and Messrs Chandler' and Co. were the undertakers.
SEVENTY-NINTH -BIRTH- DÀY.
OLD WALLAROO RESIDENT.
Mrs E. D. Edwards, of Wallaroo, who celebrated her 79th birthday on Sunday last, has resided in the town continuously since I860: She was bórn at Liverpool in 1849, and came to South Australia with her parents in the ship "Dorringo," (Captain Drake), at the age of seven yeárs, and remembers many thrilling incidents on the voyage, particularly the experience of crossing the line and Father Neptune. Her parents settled at Port Adelaide and remained there for about three years. She well remembers the anxiety felt at Port Adelaide concerning the wreck of thè "Admela" in 1859. In 1860, with her parents she came to Wallaroo in the schooner "Gem," the yóyáge taking eight days—the captain mistook his bearing and passed Wallaroo. The passengers were landed on a staging near the site of the present Customs House. At that time Wafla-roo was only a canvas town, comprised of tents. The late Captain (after wards Sir Walter Watson Hughes) lived on the site of the Wallaroos Mt. Lyelt phosphate works. The Edwards family pitched their tent near where the present court house stands; The country was a dense scrub, aboúnding with kangaroos and other game. Natives were numerous and their wurlies were located on the land on which the smelting works was subsequently built The white settlers procured water from holes dug in the sand, and the aborigi-nals were annoyed at this. The tribe was led by a stalwart blafckfellow, known as King Tommie. He had two wives and was of splendid physique, standing over six-feet high. Thé copper from Wäilaroo Mines was carted in drays and taken in boats to the schooners; no jetty existed at that time. Mrs Edwards remembers the first store built at Wallaroo by Mr John North, and Mr Messent on a sité near Burden's present store. The new business men came to the town in a dray ládén with vegetables and were glad tó exchange their wares for water, which was exceedingly scarce. The first hotel was built on the sïte of the present Globe hotel. It conslsted of a large tent, with a big plan, placed on two barrels, for the bar, and a barrel on top. It was opened by Mr Squares, on a Sunday, and many peopte from far and near came. Water supplies were procured from a well on the north beach. The water was conveyed in barrels, plugged, and drawn by two shafts. It häd to be procured early in the morning. Subsequently, when the smelters were built a a large storage tank wás madè, and water was sold at 6d per bucket. Mrs Edwards states she often carried 10 buckets á day, half a mile. Two buckets were attached to a round hoop;, as a easier means for carrying. The natives were trouble-some at times, and resented shifting their cámp to make way for the smelting works. Mrs Edwards has a vivid recollectíon of the starting of building operations in Wallaroo, and the íncident connected with the wager over the himp from the big chimney by one of the workmen, for a gallon of beer.
Thé first school was conducted by Mr John Lloyd,and a number of the older residents of the town attended. She has seen the erection and completion of three jetties, during her long residence, and remembers two wrecks at the port, when the sailing vessels "Kadina" and "Moonta" were driven ashore. On an other occasion a small brig was washed ashore almost up to the furnace floors. It was a terrible storm, that resulted in this disaster. She married Mr Edward Edwards, on 14th April, 1866. He was a pilot at the port for many years. There were 11 children, the surviving members being:- Mesdames A. G. Middleton (Balhannah), H. E. Haywood (Torrensville), H. Everett (Albury, N.S.W.), and R. G. Thomas (Wallaroo), and Messers E. A. J. and Phillip (Wallaroo), Edward (Poon-carrie, N.S.W.), and J. Parker (Mile) End). There are 33 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
OBITUARY. Death of Sir Walter Watson Hughes.
The name of this gentleman, who has just died after lingering several months in agony, is associated with, at least two prominently patriotic public acts,
either of which is calculated to place it amongst the most lasting records of the doings of our leading colonists, and South Australians will sincerely regret to hear of his death. Sir Walter Watson Hughes was one of those strong-spirited, clear-headed men who carve out their own fortunes by dint of untiring energy and self-reliance. He was the son of the late Thomas Hughes ; was born in the town of Pittenween, in Fifeshire, Scotland, in August, 1803, and was educated in the small town of Crail, where he was apprenticed to the trade of a cooper. Being of a rather restless, roving disposi tion, however, he took to the sea, and rose to be chief officer of a vessel at the age of 26, when he made a voyage to India. Before this he had a rough time of it on board a whaler, and in those days whaling was rough indeed— it is bad enough now, with all the modern appliances. His first seafaring essay was in a whaling, expedition to the Arctic regions. Tiring of this, however, and seeing a field open for him in Calcutta, he made a voyage there as chief mate of a ship in 1829. Suc ceeding in his venture he bought the brig Hero, and traded between Calcutta and China, mainly in opium. For nearly twenty years he lived in the East; but the climate telling upon his constitution, and South Aus tralia offering a fresh field for enterprise, he came to this colony in 1840, and engaged in mercantile pursuits in conjunction with the firm of Messrs, Bunce & Thomson. He resided in Adelaide till shortly after the crisis of 1842 paralysed business, when he started sheepfarming on the Hummocks. He lived in the neighbourhood of Macclesfield for a number of years, and had stations near Watervale and Wallaroo. For some years Mr. Hughes prosecuted a search for copper in the Watervale district, and when he ob tained his Wallaroo property the search was continued in that locality. On the Wallaroo beach he discovered specimens, and was so confident of the result that he communicated the discovery to his employers, who were instructed to gather and bring to him anything they came across which had the appearance of the mineral. Mr. Hughes evidently had most implicit reliance in the future mineral wealth of the district, and in the course of time his expectations were fully realized. Two shepherds in his employ succeeded in finding specimens near where the Wallaroo Mines are situated, and some months subse quently the celebrated Moonta Mines were discovered. Sir Walter was the largest contributor to the development of the world famed copper mines of the Peninsula, which have made that district so prominent in the records of the colony. He was the largest shareholder in the Wallaroo and the Moonta Mines Companies, and his property in the dis trict is nearly all mineral country. The mines proved a source of extraordinary benefit to this colony, and for years the revenues were enormous. The decline of the copper mining interest is a matter of history, and it is needless to enter into that tale of disaster now. Mr. Hughes, notwithstanding his public spirit and his practical energy, never entered the arena of politics as a member of the Legislature, although he took a warm interest in the development of colonial institutions and was a man of no mean intellectual capacity. He, however, served in the last Muni cipal Council of Adelaide, in 1842-3, before the official existence of the City Commis sioners. He was a useful member, exhibiting good common sense in the discharge of his duties in those early difficulties through which the city was struggling. At that time the Corporation was not on cordial terms with His Excellency Governor Grey, who is said to have treated the city fathers with scant courtesy, owing to differences between them and himself. It was stated that the Governor sought to reserve the power "of placing the Corporation in such a position as to make it dependent upon the will of the officer to whom the administration of the government might at any time be confided." The history of those times tends to show that members of the City Council were not in harmony with each other, and the signifi cant statement has been made "that owing to the confusion in which the affairs of the Corporation had been ever since the election of 1842 little in the shape of public improve ment could have been expected. The most necessary and pressing works were neglected or held in abeyance, and the uncertainty which prevailed as to what was likely to be the future condition of the Corporation under Governor Grey's proposed new Bill paralysed all energy." It will therefore be seen that Mr. Hughes's civic experiences were not cast in happy times. In 1872 Mr. Hughes took an active interest in the movement for establish ing a University for Adelaide, a matter which had been before the South Australian
public for some time previously, and his name will ever be associated with that im portant step in the educational history of the colony. The Union College had been already established. Mr. Hughes showed his sympathy with the movement towards advanced education, of which this was a part, in a characteristic practical fashion by presenting' £20,000 to the furtherance of the object aimed at by that institution. Thus he led to the foundition of the present University, the promoters of Union Col lege, upon receiving the promise of his generous donation, having initiated a move ment for the widening of the original scope of the institution by the establishment of an University, to which the £20,000 should be transferred. This was eventually done. A condition of the gift was that the money should be devoted to the endowment of two Pro fessorial chairs. Upon that substantial basis the University Association undertook the erection of the handsome University which now adorns North-terrace The Association promoted a Bill to incorporate and endow the University, and in 1874 the Bill was passed. The terms of the gift were that the £20,000 could be paid within ten years, and
that until it was all paid Mr. Hughes would contribute the interest at the rate of 6 per cent, that interest being applied to the pay-nent of the salaries of two Professors. Subsequently Sir Thomas Elder gave further impetus to the high educa tional movement by liberally subscrib ing a similar sum, viz., '£20,000, without any conditions attached thereto. To the nunificance and public spirit of these two gentlemen in the first instance South Aus tralia owes the existence of an institution which is already exercising a most important influence upon the intellectual improvement of the present generation, and must be of incalculable service to their descendants in this colony as they grow up to partake of its benefits. Another act which brought Mr. Hughes into prominence was his association with Sir Thomas Elder in the payment of all expenses connected with Colonel Warbur ton's exploring expedition to the north westerly interior. In consideration of his patriotic exertions in connection with the welfare of the colony in those departments in which he took a practical interest Captain Hughes received the honour of knighthood 1880. In 1864 Sir Walter visited England, where be remained till 1870, when he returned to this colony. In February, 1873, he again went to his native country, where he has since resided. Of late years he has lived at Fann Court, in Surrey, where he has died, after having been kept alive for the last four or five months by milk and brandy. He married a daughter of the late Mr. J. H. Richman, and the lady died in June, 1885, at Chertsey; and was buried on the Derby Day in Lyne Churchyard. She was very kind to the poor folk, who strewed flowers upon her grave. He leaves one sister, Mrs, Robertson, in this colony, also two nephews, namely, Mr. J. J. Duncan, M.P., and Mr. W. Duncan, of Oulnina, and two nieces, viz., Mrs. Corpe [wife of the Manager of the Bank of South Australia at Gawler), and Mrs. Gordon (wife of Mr. J. Gordon, of the firm of D. & W. Murray), and two brothers-in-law, Messrs. James M. Richman, of Watervale, and Walter Richman, of Adelaide.