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William WittonPrint Page Print this page

26-November-2015
26-November-2015

Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The headstone over the gravesite, commemorates William Witton, a pioneer local preacher of the Methodist Church who died in 1886. 

In accordance with resolutions passed by the Gippsland branch of the Wesleyan Local Preachers' Association, an appeal is being made to all local preachers and to all loyal Methodists for aid in erecting a memorial over the grave of the late William Witton, whose remains lie in the Warragul Cemetery, so that we may thus save from obliteration the last resting place of one who was not only our Local Preacher but also the first class leader in the colony. Though Mr. Witton was the first to gather together the first few Methodists, and preach to them the good old Methodist doctrines, yet his claim to remembrance by those who have succeeded him in the great work he initiated does not rest so much on the fact that he was the first to begin the work, as on the fifty to sixty years of faithful, zealous service he has rendered.

In the early forties he started the work in the Western District, his circuit extending from Portland to what is now Warnambool. During the latter part of his time there he was stationed at Port Fairy, and had to visit Portland once a fortnight. There were no roads and no bridges in those days, and to get to his Portland appointments, he had to cross three rivers, which in the winter were often rolling torrents. His practice was to send his horse over first, and swim over after his horse. Being a strong swimmer he often crossed streams in that way, which he could not have faced safely on the horse. After one of these trips he would sometimes go into the pulpit at Portland, wet to the skin, conduct the cervice, and then get into a far from comfortable bed and shiver until morning. He began the work in what is now the Warragul and Drouin Circuits, by opening services at Buln Buln, Whisky Creek, Longwarry, and at "Drumlarney," the residence of Mr. J. Copeland, and other places. Drouin and Warragul did not exist when he first arrived in the district.

In submitting the proposal to erect a stone with kerbing and railing around the grave of the pioneer local preacher and class leader of Victoria, and one who has done so much for Wesleyan Methodism in this colony, the members of the Gippsland branch of local preachers feel sure that many of our local preachers and members of the Church will willingly subscribe to this object. The cost of a suitable memorial will be from £35 to £50. Subscriptions may be sent to the Managing Director of the Spectator Publishing Company, 270 Post Office Place, Melbourne, who has kindly consented to receive them, or to C. J. Jones, Warragul, secretary of the branch.
Warragul Guardian (Warragul, Vic.), 7 September 1897.


 

Location

Address:Victoria & Sutton Streets, Warragul Cemetery, Warragul , 3820
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.153533
Long: 145.934297
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Religion

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1897-1898
Front Inscription

Erected by the Methodist local preachers of Victoria and friends

In the memory of William Witton
Pioneer local preacher

Who died at Warragul 5th Sept 1886
Aged 75 years

"Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought the better fight" 

Also
Mary Ann
His beloved wife
Died July 12th 1888 aged 74 years

Source: MA
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