Registrar's retirement

Published by The Garland Collection on



THE Rev. Canon Garland [ David John Garland ], who has filled the office of Diocesan Secretary and Registrar for seven years, and who recently relinquished those offices on being appointed organising secretary and Canon Missioner, was on October 10 made the recipient of a handsome address and presentation by a number of prominent citizens, who had taken that opportunity of conveying to the reverend gentleman an expression of the high esteem in which he is held in the community.

The function took place at The West Australian Club.

Cr. E.J. Bickford [ Ernest John Bickford ] took the chair, and among those present were:—

The Chairman said that on Canon Garland’s retirement from the offices which he had so worthily filled for some years, they desired to express to him the esteem in which he was regarded, and also to extend to him their sympathy and encouragement in his new sphere of work.

They recognised his great abilities and his splendid services in the past, and wished him to accept a presentation from them on behalf of those who knew his work and appreciated it.

There was not a business man in the city who would not have come forward and endorsed the general expression of esteem in which Canon Garland was held by them.

The address was expressive of the opinion of many whose names did not appear at the foot of it, and the committee had not met with one refusal to sign it. (Hear, hear.)

The address, which was artistically designed, the borders being ornamented with photograph of the Canon himself, the Church Office buildings, St. George’s Lodge, and Swan Boys’ Orphanage, was then handed to the recipient.

The text of the addresses as follows:—

“For and on behalf of your many business friends in this city and State, we are delighted to seize the opportunity of testifying to the appreciation and high esteem in which you are held. We deeply regret that you are retiring from the important position of Diocesan Secretary and Registrar, which you have occupied for seven years — a position most unique, and in which your brilliant powers of organisation, combined with energy, tact, and courtesy, have been instrumental in placing the business affairs of the Church of England on a footing which redounds much credit on yourself. We trust that, as Organising Secretary and Canon Mission, your scope will be much enlarged, and that success may attend you as it hither-to has, and that you may long be spared to exercise your talents for the good of Church and State.”

Major Hobbs, on behalf of the committee and subscribers, then presented the rev. gentleman [ sic ] with a silver salver, handsomely inscribed.

In endorsing the address, he said that Canon Garland’s work had been always a labour of love. (Hear, hear.)

That fact should be more widely known.

Mr. Nanson, M.L.A., said that it had been his good fortune to be honoured with Canon Garland’s friendship for a number of years, and he was pleased to be present on that occasion, which was intended to do honour to one who was regarded throughout Western Australia with the highest esteem, whether as a citizen or as a priest of the Anglican Church.

It was, he believed, a somewhat unusual circumstance that a clergyman should have a compliment of that description paid him by business men out of regard, in a special degree, to his capabilities in conducting business affairs, and the fact that the circumstance was unusual rendered the compliment of the presentation all the higher.

Mr. O.L. Haines said that, as auditor, he had been intimately connected with Canon Garland’s work, and he had seldom found business so systematically carried on as the affairs of the Church office had been.

When, he took up the office of Diocesan Secretary, there had been many difficulties to face, as the clergy in the [ Anglican ] Diocese [ of Perth ] had, to a very great extent, conducted business very much as each individual thought best, which consequently led to confusion.

Canon Garland had, however, from the very first, succeeded in making order out of what was, to a great extent, chaos.

As showing the extent of the Church Office’s transactions, including investments, he mentioned that for the year ending June 30, 1901, a sum of close upon £70,000 had passed through that office, and the finance had been almost entirely controlled by Canon Garland, with the assistance of a very small staff.

Mr. Foulkes proposed the health of the reverend gentleman.

He said that the revenues of the Church had largely increased owing to his capable management.

The toast was supported by Mr. Cross and Mr. J. Longmore, the latter paying a warm tribute to the rev. gentleman for the very great interest he had taken in the Swan Boys’ Orphanage.

Mr. Shipton also spoke, and the toast was loud with cheers for Canon Garland and Mrs. Garland.

Canon Garland, in thanking the company, said that it was a great consolation to him to know that they did think so highly of him.

It was an encouragement to him to try and do his best in the future, but at the same time he knew he did not deserve all the kind things said.

He appreciated the handsome presentation because he thought it was most unique that the business men of the city — and he knew those present represented them — had presented a clergyman with an address and present in that manner.

He had not heard of such a thing occurring before.

It had always been a pleasure with him to do business with the business men of Perth, rather than with some other gentlemen whom he would not name.

His relations with the business community had been most friendly.

Some little time ago there, was a possibility of his leaving this State, but he thought he had made his friends here now, and he was getting on in years, and so did not want to leave and start making friends elsewhere.

He felt he had good friends in Perth, from whom be would be sorry to be separated.

In regard to the statement that he had undertaken his duties without remuneration, he said that the Board was not then in a position to pay, and so he first worked for the salary he would have received as a clergyman, £200.

By distributing the extra remuneration he had afterwards received, he found it averaged a sum of £81 for the period he was in office. It was, he explained, entirely his own choice.

In conclusion, he again thanked them for the address and presentation, and for the continued and unfailing kindnesses and consideration he had received from the business men of Perth. (Applause.)

The gathering then dispersed.

— from page 69 of  “The Western Mail” (Perth) of Saturday 19 October 1901.
 The Reverend Canon David John Garland, as he looked – dressed in clerical garb – in the 1890s in Western Australia. On 10 October 1901 he was six days into his 37th year, and being publicly lionised for his organisational nous on behalf of the Diocese of Perth, by the cream of Perth society.