[From Manx Quarterly #18, 1917]
Died December 29th, 1916.
Laxey and Lonan has lost one of its oldest and most highly esteemed residents in the passing away of Mr David Williamson, ironmonger, aged 74 years. Although he had not been in good health for some time, the end came somewhat suddenly, the immediate cause of death being heart failure. The deceased left Laxey as a young man for the South of Scotland, and the business of Shearer and Williamson, Garliestown, Wigtonshire, was well-known even beyond the county. Mr Williamson was of an inventive turn of mind, and well skilled in craftsmanship, and had he taken the precaution to patent some of his designs in agricultural implements, etc., he would have reaped considerable financial benefit. The pleasure of turning out a. good and efficient job was more to him than the immediate pecuniary gain. Whatever he undertook was well done. He was closely identified with the Presbyterian Free Church, Sorbie, and in addition to being an Elder was also Choir Precentor. He returned to Laxey in 1885. partly on account of his health. and set up business as ironmonger; and his thorough knowledge of his trade, as well as his genial manner and strict integrity, soon secured a good connection, and he was deservedly popular. The district will miss him in many ways, and not the least in the matter of repairs in brass or iron-work, in which he was specially skilled. He was a member of the Minorca. Primitive Methodist Church from boyhood. and no one was more devoted to its interests. He was a teacher in the Sunday-school, and a member of the choir for many years, and represented the church in the Quarterly meeting.
The funeral took place on New Year's Dar amid every token of esteem and affection. The remains were taken to Minorca Chapel, where a largely attended and very impressive burial service was conducted by the Rev W. Dinning. who also officiated at the graveside in Lonan Parish Churchyard. A fitting and beautiful tribute to the memory of the deceased was spoken by Mr Dinning at the close of the service in the chapel. The principal mourners mere:-Mr David Williamson (son), Mr R.. Williamson (brother). Mr R. Williamson. jiunr, Mr Robert Corlett (The Firs), Mr James Williamson, Masters Alex, Stewart. and J. Williamson (nephews).
Died January 3rd, 1917.
Mr Thomas. Cregeen, master mariner and fisherman, of "Osborne," Promenade. Port Erin -the residence of his son, Mr Henry Cregeen, coal merchant-passed away on Wednesday. Jan. 3rd. after an illness of about three weeks' duration. The deceased, who was loved by all, was in his eighty-ninth year. A master mariner and fisherman by occupation, he had been an active and painstaking worker through-out a long life, and had successively been master of the fishing loggers Good Intent Violet, and Primrose. engaged in the herring and mackerel fishings around the Manx, Irish, and Scotch coasts. He was an ardent Primitive Methodist, and a local preacher for sixty-five years, and a class leader. Attached to the cause at Port Erin, he look a prominent part in the re-building of the old Primitive Methodist Church now used as a schoolroom in 1862. He was the oldest member in point of are and membership of the Mona Daniel Tent of Rechabites (Casglelown). HI' wife, Elizabeth, predeceased 'him about thirty, years ago. Four sons survive, viz., Mr. Thos. Cregeen, sub-Post Office Four Roads, Port St Mary; Mr Henry Cregeen, coal merchants "Osborne," Port Erin : Mr John Cregeen, Montreal,, Canada: and Mr Samuel Cregeen, of Liverpooir-now serving in H.M. forces. Heartfelt sympathy is felt for the bereaved family in their sorrow.-The funeral took place at Rushen Churchyard on January 5th.
Died February 23rd, 1917
The Australian mail which has just come to hand brings news of the death at the great age of 86 years, of Mrs Eliza Jane Keown, of Geelong, Victoria.
A link between Peel of the forties and modern Australia has thus been removed, for Mrs Keown was the eldest daughter of William and Eliza Thompson, of Castle-street, Peel, and her recollections of the Western City were those of the days when the prosperity of the fishing industry was at its height. She delighted to regale her grandchildren, and even her great-grandchildren, with descriptions of those scenes of bustle and activity which were vividly impressed upon her mind.
It was in 1852 that she married the late Mr John Keown (whom she outlived by some seven or eight years), and a couple of years later they set sail for Australia, making light of the hardships of a three months' voyage which the journey in those far-off sailing ship days entailed. They settled in Geelong, then a primitive and straggling township, and witnessed its steady growth until now it is one of the most beautiful and prosperous cities in the Common-wealth. Her husband entered into business as a builder and contractor, and met with a moderate measure of success
Despite the fact that from her childhood she suffered the serious handicap of deafness, Mrs Keown was exceptionally cheerful, and was ever a source of comfort, encouragement and inspiration to her husband-whose nephew, by the way, is Mr S. K. Broadbent, editor of The Isle of Man Examiner. She was possessed of a strong personality, sad threw herself into every task with rare spirit and wonderful determination-for she was no less active physically than she was intellectually, and her faculties, with the exception noted above, remained unimpaired until the end.
In Geelong she will perhaps be best remembered for her untiring work among the poor, which always took a practical form-she was determined to help the poor to help themselves, and had little patience with " slackers." One remembers that she had a theory that people often drifted by easy stages from unclean into improvident habits, and that poverty resulted. She was, therefore, an uncompromising enemy of dirt, and it was typical of her that a bar of soap always found its way into parcels she made up for distribution to the needy. On occasions she would herself supervise a kind of spring-cleaning enterprise, often amid protests which literally fell on deaf ears.
Throughout her long life she maintained a keen interest in the Isle of Man, and followed events there through the Examiner. Manx travellers in the Antipodes were always sure of a warm welcome at her hands, and their news of the Island was invariably followed with eagerness.
During later years Mrs Keown resided with her eldest daughter, Mrs Ernest Nash, of Geelong, and it was there that she passed peacefully away, maintaining a keen and un-selfish interest in those around her until the end.
She leaves two sons and two daughters, nineteen grandchildren and several great-grand-ehildren. N.
Not many persons are alive to-day who remember the great exodus of Peel people which took place when gold was discovered in Australia in 1850 or thereabouts; but there are still a few, and they will be sorry to hear of the death of Mrs John Keown, which took place at Geelong, Victoria, on February 23rd, at the age of 86 years. Mrs Keown before marriage was Miss Eliza Thompson, and she was the eldest of a large family of brothers and sisters, of whom only three survive Mr Godfrey Thompson and Mrs Christian, of Liverpool; and the wife of Dr. Mitchell, of Accrington. Mr John Keown, her husband, was one of the best-known young men in Peel, and when he married Miss Thompson, they started life very auspiciously, and it was a great wrench to them to leave Peel, where they had many friends. He was a joiner and builder, as was his father, Mr John Keown, senior, and connected with the Wesleyan Methodist Society and Sunday-school, and Rechabite Society, and indeed with every good cause of those days; while his wife (the subject of this notice) was also a devoted worker in the same way. But Australia called them, and they made the voyage from Liverpool in a sailing ship, which took about thirteen weeks to accomplish it. Needless to say they and others of those days of 1854 did not find Australia a gold mine, and the struggles of the early settlers is a veritable romance. But if they did not find gold to be got easily, they found a beautiful warm, sunny country, a land of the golden fleece, and soil of the most fertile character; and while many returned to their Manx friends disappointed, others stayed sad worked their way to prosperity and even affluence. Mr John Keown would have returned, but his wife would not. She said: "You know, John, how we had to tear ourselves away from home, against the wishes of our friends; I shall never go back to live. I will work and keep you, if you like, run a shop or a mangle, but I will not go back." That decided them, and the " longing " for home passed, and settled down in Geelong, then the aspirant the capital of Victoria. But a bar at the entrance decided against Geelong, and Melbourne became and is the metropolis of the State Here were born three sons and one daughter The eldest daughter (who is the mother of N. E. K. Nash, formerly of The Isle of Man Examiner, and now of the Australian Press Service, London) was born in Liverpool, was a greatly idolised baby on the voyage to Australia. All are living except a boy who died in infancy, and all have children and grandchildren. Mr and Mrs Keown's names are fragrant household words in Geelong, where they introduced and maintained the religious and temperance movements they were connected with in the " old country." It w a great joy to the writer of this brief notice to see them in their Australian home some fourteen years ago, and to witness their real worth and happy life. Mrs Keown had no long illness. She simply fell asleep, to rest after a life of unceasing activity. She remembered everything, and loved to sing the old hymns of " Jesu, lover of my soul," "Rock of Ages," etc. She was buried on the anniversary of the death of her husband, which occurred eight years before. B.
Died January 20th, 1917.
Word has been received of the death of the Rev John Goldsmith, which took place at Saskatchewan, Canada, on January 20th, at the age of 63 years. Mr Goldsmith was a brother of -Messrs Goldsmith Bros., of Victoria-street, Douglas, and after serving his apprenticeship with his father to the watchmaking and jewellery business, and working in Birmingham and Liverpool for a short time, he emigrated to New Brunswick and entered the Methodist ministry, becoming a very useful and acceptable pastor. Failing health compelled him later to leave the ministry, except as an occasional preacher, and he went into farming and was successful. He married a Canadian lady and had two daughters, one of whom is married, while the other was his housekeeper, his wife having died. The late Mr Goldsmith will be remembered by many persons in Douglas as a very earnest local preacher and Band of Hope worker. He visited the Island about 20 years ago., accompanied by one of his daughters. A sister-Miss Margaret Goldsmith-has lived with him for many years. His death, we are sure will be greatly regretted, for he was a lovable character, and a man of sterling principles.
Died April 1st, 1917.
On Sunday, April 1st, a big man with big heart passed over to the Great Majority in the person of James Bell, ex-sergeant of Isle of Man Constabulary. For over a year Sergt. Bell had been in an ailing condition, but up to quite recently he had been able to take walking exercise out of doors. Within the last few weeks, however, his condition grew serious, and he eventually succumbed to a stroke. A Scotsman by birth, Sergt. Bell came to the Isle of Man while in his teens and engaged in farming, the occupation to which he had been brought up; but in the prosperous days of the Peel herring tishing industry be abandoned the land to engage in the harvest of the sea. On January 9th, 1875, he joined the Isle of Man Constabulary, then under the command of Capt. Monro, and three years later he was promoted sergeant. He remained with the force until 21st March, 1902, when he retired upon pension. As a constable he gained the affection of his comrades and the respect and esteem of the public. Though somewhat brusque of manner, he was a most kindly officer, and while duty came always first with him, he discharged himself of it in fashion which endeared him even to law-breakers. He had ever a kindly word of advice for these latter, and his talks to them were probably more effective in the prevention of evil-doing than the terrors of the law. Always ready to do a good turn, his hours off duty were frequently devoted to helping others, and his jovial manner conveyed comfort and. consolation to many a poor body suffering front distress, while practical aid om his past was never lacking. On retiring from the Constabulary, he took up gardening in enthusiastic fashion. He had never lost his early affection for the soil, and the experience of his young days served him well in horticulture, at which he became very expert. Indeed, when failing health compelled him to give up active pursuit of his hobby, he felt his position very keenly. His counsel was much sought by amateur gardeners, and was always forthcoming; and was generally supplemented by a helping band. For some years after leaving the police force he acted as caretaker of Noble's Hall, and in this capacity be took a big interest in the Free Dinners and Day Nursery movements. While the hall was occupied by the Loyal Manx Volunteer Corps for drill purposes, he was very helpful to the members, and when he resigned the position he was the recipient from them of a presentation which he highly appreciated. A man of fine physique, he was noted in his hey-day for enormous strength of body, which was -a fine adjunct to him in connection with his constabulary service - the most violent of offenders knew- that he might as well go quietly when Jem Bell got his grip of steel upon him. Though Sergt. Bell was not fair off twenty years old when he arrived on the Island, he soon lost his Scottish dialect, and his speech became thoroughly Manx of character. In fact he completely absorbed the atmosphere of the Island and developed into a thorough Manxman. He married a Manx lady who survives him, and he also leaves eight children surviving - four sons and four daughters. Of the sons, Mr Harry Bell is now engaged in war work in England; Mr John Bell is foreman with Mr C. A. Corlett, cabinetmaker, Douglas; Mr James Bell is agent for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company in Ramsey ; and Sergeant George Bell is serving in France with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Sergt. Bell was sixty-eight years old at the time of his death. The funeral took place on Wednesday of last week and was very largely attended. all members of the Constabulary who were not on duty being present. Internment was at the Borough Cemetery. Douglas.
Died February 5th, 1917.
On Feb. 5th, death claimed Mr Henry Crellin, solicitor, of Blackburn. Mr Crellin, who was the eldest son of the late Mr John Crellin, in his day one of the principal merchants of Douglas, was born in Douglas 49 years ago. Educated first at the Douglas Grammar School, and subsequently at King William's College, he eventually entered Cambridge University and in due course graduated B.A. and LL.M. On passing out of the University be was articled to a solicitor, and upon becoming qualified he practised in Blackburn successfully for several years. In the public life of the enterprising Lancashire town he was a well-known figure, as be took a keen interest in political and social matters. During the closing years of his life he was handicapped by ill-health, and his condition became so serious this winter that he was compelled to return to the Isle of Man in the hope of benefiting from his native air. He took up his residence with his sister, Mrs R. G. Fargher, 1 Queen's-avenue, Douglas, and gradually growing worse he passed away on Monday. Mr Crellin, who was a widower, leaves one child a daughter. Mr Pency J. Crellin, advocate, Douglas, is brother to the, deceased gentleman.-The funeral took place on Thursday, in-terment being at Kirk Braddan Cemetery. The funeral service was conducted by the Rev H. Williams, Superintendent Wesleyan minister, Douglas.
Died February 18th, 1917,
Following upon an operation for appendicitis, the death took place, on Feb. 18th, of Miss Margery Elizabeth Crellin. She passed away -at Northcott-avenue, Wood-green, London, N., the residence of the deceased lady's aunt, Mrs Clement Vickers. Miss Crellin, who was one of the daughters of the late Mr John Crellin, merchant, Douglas, had been delicate of health from childhood, but she was of most cheerful disposition, and was well-liked by her circle of acquaintance in the Isle of Man. The body was conveyed to Douglas on Thursday, and the funeral took place on the arrival of the steamer from Liverpool. The mourners were: Miss Nellie Crellin, Mr P. J. Crellin, Mr T. Dodd, Mrs; A. Craine, Mr R. G. Fargher, and Mr Richard Crellin. Among those who attended to pay the last tribute of respect were the Receiver-General (Mr J. T. Cowell), Mr R. D. Gelling, Mr J. H. Clarke, Mr R. Clucas, H.K., Mr T. C'ubbon (manager, Isle of Man Banking Co.), Mr J. R. Quayle, Mr R. Coffey, Mr J. Daly, Mr James Kewley, Mr T. Moore, Mr D. Corrin, Mr Edward Killey (Foxdale), Mr C. H. Kay, and others. The interment was at Kirk Braddan Cemetery, and the funeral service was conducted by the Rev H. Williams (super-intendent minister, Douglas Wesleyan Circuit) and the Rev R. W Pickersgill,