William Little Obituary
An extract from the BALLARAT COURIER Wed 4 Oct 1916.
MR WILLIAM LITTLE
William Little, one of Ballarat's best-known citizens,
passed away on Monday night at his residence, Clarendon
street. Until the last few days he was able to get about,
and even last week, when the weather conditions were so
bad, he attended his office in Lydiard street, but he had
not been in good health for some time, and his death,
which occurred in his sleep, was not unexpected.
A few years ago Mr Little filled a prominent place in the public life of Ballarat. A short biographical sketch of him in the "Victorian Encyclopaedia" says that "Mr Little belongs to a remarkable band of men whose energy, courageous enterprise, and fine business qualities have contributed to build up the fame and fortunes of Ballarat, and to confer upon it a celebrity which extends far beyond the limits of the Australian continent." The deceased was 77 years of age, and was a native of Cumberland, England. He was born in 1839, and arrived in Victoria on Christmas Eve, 1851. He received his early education at the National School, Geelong, and later went to the Melbourne University. He occupied positions in several mercantile houses in Melbourne before coming to Ballarat to take the place in Mr Jas. Oddie's office vacated by Mr J. Noble Wilson. He was a faithful and conscientious employee, and he remained with Mr Oddie for 21 years. In 1880 he commenced business on his own account as an auctioneer and estate agent, etc., and he soon worked up a big connection. In 1883, at the request of the ratepayers, he entered the City Council. Six years afterwards he was elected mayor, and he occupied the position with credit to himself and the City. It was during his term of office (23rd May, 1890) that an Arbor Day celebration was held, and 1250 trees were planted in Victoria Park by the leading politicians, public men, and ratepayers of the day. Mr Little planted two trees on behalf of the late Queen Victoria, who, through the Secretary of State for the Colonies, acknowledged his action.
It was also during his term of office as a councillor that friction arose between the Salvation Army and the authorities. A number of men and women were placed in gaol for marching through the streets. Mr Little counselled moderation, and interviewed the Governor, and the "soldiers" were released. He was very thorough in his methods, and whilst a councillor he kept a record of all that happened at the council table.
When leaving the mayoral chair, instead of giving a ball, against which he had conscientious objections, he engaged a high-class Melbourne orchestra to give a concert in the Alfred Hall, and a return concert was arranged by the citizens. Whilst a councillor he was elected by 22 councils as the first representative on the Board of Health. He was a great lover of art, and possessed a fine collection by some of the best-known artists. He was also a good friend to the Art Gallery, and on several occasions portion of his collection has been on exhibition there. The Little family has long been identified with the musical world in Ballarat. The late Mrs Little, who was a Miss Cazaly, was well-known in musical circles before her marriage.
addition to all his other activities Mr Little found time
to cultivate a decided literary talent, and his
contribution to Ballarat and other newspapers have been
read with interest. He has written altogether no fewer
than 200 sonnets, amongst them being "A Message to
Paradise," "A Motherless Home," "The
Dawn is Drawing Nigh," "The Trinity of
Man," and "The Divinity of Christ;" whilst
his leaflet on "Behold the Bridegroom" had a
wide circulation. In it he explained his reasons for
believing that Christ will appear again in Person, and
his opinions were favourably commented upon by all the
leading Australian churchmen. Many years ago Mr Little
was closely associated with the Town Mission. One of his
objects in life was to do what he could to relieve pain
and suffereing, and to offer consolation where needed. It
was for that purpose that many of his sonnets were
written. Also it was largely through his work amongst the
poor that he discovered he had been endowed with a power
within that relieved suffering, and because of that he
was in frequent demand by sufferers, who had the greatest
faith in his touch. He was called upon at all hours of
the night, and he never failed to respond, and his
services were given without fee or reward. He was a
prominent Methodist. At one time he was closely
associated with the Lydiard street church, and
subsequently, when he removed to Soldiers Hill, he
attended Neil street. He was a justice of the peace and
prominent member of the Central Bowling Club. He leaves a
daughter - Mrs Chapple, of Melbourne - and two sons, one
of whom, Mr Cecil Little, is in New Zealand, whilst the
other, Mr W. C. Little, has been associated with his
father in business. Mrs Hocking, a sister of the
deceased, resides in Buninyong. The funeral will take
place to-day, and will be private. Mr Little was also a
justice of the peace for Queensland. As a token of
respect the flag at the City Hall was hoisted at
Out the mists a voice will call thee,
And thou must comply!
Then that voice will say, "The years have all gone by."
Surely reaping follows sowing!
What the harvest then?
Surely dying follows living!
'Tis but when? - LAMBDA
Last modified 4 Nov