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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Richard Southwell

Died: 1933; Married: Amelia Smith

Richard Southwell - In Memoriam

In the passing of Richard Southwell the church at Wattle Park has lost another of its great pioneers. Born in 1855, he was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Southwell, of "Parkwood," and his early years were spent in that historic home, which, as a centre of spiritual energies, will ever be sacred to Methodism. After his marriage to Amelia Smith in 1882, Mr. Southwell moved to his own home at "Brooklands," where he lived until the time of his death.

Richard Southwell was a man of peaceful and retiring disposition. His friendliness endeared him to all, his high moral principle won the respect of all. His religious life found expression in a sweet reasonableness, a high sense of honour, and a helping hand to all around. For 17 years he served as a Shire Councillor, being held in the highest esteem by men of all creeds as one who could be trusted and whose advice it was safe to follow. In the church at Wattle Park he was most regular in attendance at worship, holding strong convictions that the Lord's Day is essential to the spiritual well-being of the community. His very presence in the congregation afforded uplift to the preacher, for it was known that he was not an appreciative hearer only, but a doer of the Word. As a steward and trustee, he served his church faithfully and well, and his Christian influence at Wattle Park will abide through the years.

His health was failing for some months before the end which came somewhat suddenly and unexpectedly. He had borne his clear testimony, "I, know whom I had believed." The body was conveyed to Wattle Park Church for a short service, which was largely attended, prior to the interment in Weetangera Cemetery, where other Methodist worthies have their resting place. A memorial service was conducted by the Rev. W. H. Cheetham, the preacher taking for his text "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." The lesson read was the favourite chapter of the deceased, Hebrews 4. He is survived by three sons and three daughters, also 19 grandchildren. His son, Mr. Cedric R. E. Southwell, has been elected to his place on the Shire Council.

[Methodist, Saturday 23 September 1933, page 15]

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