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An Obituary for Alexander Lawrence GORDON


As reported in the local newspapers


Quite a gloom was cast over the holiday yesterday when news reached town of Mr. A. L. Gordon's death. It will be remembered that Mr. And Mrs. Gordon left Dannevirke some six weeks ago on a trip to the Old Country with the object of restoring Mr. Gordon's health and enabling him to consult a specialist with reference to his complaint, which at the time was thought to be a nervous breakdown, but we now understand to have been a growth on the brain. When leaving Dannevirke, Mr. Gordon was very ill, and, although all hoped for the best, many feared they would never see him again. The trip was taken on medical advice, the doctors believing that the sea air might restore his strength and fit him for the operation necessary to ensure complete recovery. Such hopes, however, were vain, and we surmise that Mr. Gordon gradually got worse until the 18th December when he died at sea. No particulars are to hand beyond a brief cable from Mrs. Gordon which reached Mr. James Gordon yesterday, but we conclude Mr. Gordon's remains were buried at sea. For Mrs. Gordon, who is faced with such terrible trouble far away from home, there will be widespread sympathy, and we sincerely trust she may have strength to bear her irreparable loss without complete breakdown. With Mr. And Mrs. Gordon, sen. (who are now living in Woodville) and the brothers and sisters of our deceased townsman, we feel deep sympathy, in which, it is needless to say, the whole community joins.

Mr. A. L. Gordon was a native of New Zealand, having been born on September 12th, 1868, on the Waipori Goldfields. He was of Scotch parentage, his father coming from Inverness, and his mother from Edinburgh. Mr. Gordon, sen., was a shipwright, and he apprenticed his eldest son to the carpentering trade. After working for some time at his trade, Mr. Gordon came to Dannevirke in 1885 and commenced work as a carpenter and joiner. Two years later he started on his own account as a cabinetmaker, and laid the foundation of his ironmongery business. With pluck and energy, he pushed ahead until the extensive business of A. L. Gordon and Co. amply proved what a young man of grit and brains could do. In 1892 Mr. Gordon married Miss Andrews, then headmistress of the Dannevirke School, and he leaves four children, three girls and one boy. At the formation of the borough, deceased was a candidate for a seat on the first council, but suffered defeat. At the next election he secured a seat, and in 1903 he was elected Mayor of the town. Since then he declined to again offer his services for the Mayoralty, but held a seat on the Council until the date of his resignation a few months ago. At the last election he was returned easily at the head of the poll. Mr. Gordon also held numerous other important public positions, and served as a Justice of the Peace.

The late A. L. Gordon was indeed one of the men whom Dannevirke could ill afford to lose. Upright and honourable in all his dealings, warm-hearted and generous to a fault, courteous and gentlemanly in his behaviour to all classes, he was indeed, one whose his friends knew to be "every inch a white man", and whom the general public esteemed and admired. His word once given could be relied upon as a signed and sealed bond, and his business methods were so clean and open that he enjoyed entire public confidence. In municipal, political, and private life Gordon always carried a clean atmosphere with him, so that those who love honesty of purpose and clear thought felt drawn towards him as a man who would stand by his principles, yet never do a mean trick to gain his own ends. It is but natural that such a man made hosts of friends, and many a heart today will be filled with sadness at the knowledge that poor Gordon

"Sleeps a sound and peaceful sleep,
With the salt waves dashing o'er him."

Many of the business places in town are draped today as a mark of respect to the memory of our deceased townsman, Mr. A. L. Gordon.

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