Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thames Characters - Colonel FRASER

A further article with accompanying sketch from the Thames Star Newspaper archives at Paperspast; featuring Colonel WILLIAM FRASER
Colonel William FRASER, Esq MH
Thames Star 3/6/1886
"Our Portrait Gallery.
The subject of the present sketch is His Worship the Mayor of Thames, and also M.H.R. for the Thames Electoral District, William Fraser, Esq. He is a gentleman of good physique and commanding appearance: at one time the holder of responsible positions under the General Government, and latterly in all of our local governing bodies. When Warden and Resident Magistrate for the Thames Goldfield, he suddenly, and for some reason or,other not made public, resigned these positions, it being, however, currently reported at the time that, he preferred no investigation of the matter. He served a term as Councillor in the Thames County Council, being one of the representatives of the then Ohinemuri Riding in that body; and while there he was credited with getting a wharf erected on some ground in which he was interested. At present he fills the responsible office of Mayor, having been unanimously elected to that position for the last three years. This has not been altogether a bed of roses, as he has had to defend one suit in the Supreme Court in consequence of his some what arbitrary ruling as head of the Council.

He is a good party man, and so far has made an excellent Member for the district, displaying a considerable amount of shrewdness and judgment in his place in the House. He is by no means possessed of oratorical ability, and his success as a Member must be attributed rather fo steady application to his duties and influence brought to bear on the Government, than to his speeches in the House. He is somewhat hasty and impetuous, and his opinions are generally quickly formed. With him first thoughts are usually the best, his intuitive decisions being generally sounder and more correct than when he gives thought to the subject - his heart being better than his bead. He is greatly given to sporting and its attendant evil of  betting: is too easily influenced for good or for evil, but is not likely to harbor animosity or ill-feeling. An open and free speculator, liable to adopt bold methods to ensure success, he would condemn in others, the faults he would be guilty of  himself.  Wanting in moral courage, the emotional side of his nature is easily moved, but on the whole he is a fairly useful member of society,
" Folly is not always folly : it depend/oti the character of those who handle it." "

Further Information:
Death of Colonel FRASER ; Thames Star 17 Sept 1901
Funeral Notice: Thames Star 18 Sept 1901
Telegram from Premier R J SEDDON: Thames Star 18 Sept 1901
Funeral Report: Thames Star 19 Sept 1901
Photos and other details at The Treasury website

Buried at Tararu Cemetery, Thames (Details at TCDC Cemetery database)
Monumental Inscription: In memory of Colonel William Fraser who served this colony in various capacities for many years who died 17 Sept 1901 Also his wife Elizabeth Horsburugh who died 30 Jan 1906 aged 75 years

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