by Clarrie Neal
E.H.L Lawson arrived in Riverstone with his mother and sister in 1907, and gaining employment at the meat works he immediately became an active member of the Meat Workers Union. In 1923 he was elected as an Alderman with Windsor Council and was a staunch fighter for the communities of both Riverstone and Windsor. His name appeared regularly in the Windsor and Richmond Gazette as he battled the Railways, the Water Board, the Post Master General, the Police Commissioner, both Windsor and Blacktown Councils, seeking better amenities for both communities.
The Gazette, in a front page report on his farewell function, noted the Olympia Theatre was filled with one of the most representative gatherings that had ever assembled in Riverstone. For many years the Lawson family have been numbered amongst Riverstone’s most foremost citizens and most active public workers. Ald. Lawson occupied many public positions in the town, and proved himself a man of extraordinary energy and considerable ability.
This illuminated Address was presented to Alderman E H L Lawson by the community of Riverstone the 4th November 1927.
Alderman E H L LAWSON
Your recent departure, after 20 years of residence, is exceedingly regretted, and we the undersigned, on behalf of the employees of the Riverstone meat works and the citizens of Windsor and Riverstone, desire to express our appreciation of the efficient and faithful manner in which you have discharged the many public duties entrusted to you.
As an official of the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union, your success of by-gone years in organising the major portion of the membership at Riverstone is recorded as a most praiseworthy achievement.
Your entry into Windsor Council as an Alderman of the municipality for many years, has brought about great advantages to the ratepayers, who, in their recognition, have always elected you by substantial majorities. We would express our admiration for the many public reforms you have secured, which at times have only been won after being confronted with keen long sustained opposition.
To those of our members afflicted by misfortune, they refer with deep gratitude to your activities to lighten their burdens of life, and gladly do we all pay high tributes to one of your many outstanding characteristics – your sterling friendship.
We now ask you to accept the accompanying gift as a small token of the regard in which you are held by those who have been privileged to be associated with you in the social and public life of the district
To your mother and yourself-
We say goodbye, respected friends, with the warmth of that eastern phrase –
“May the peace of Allah be with you, and bless you all your days.”
For, and on behalf the citizens of Riverstone, we are Dear Sir, Faithfully Yours.
R. Schofield, A. Shields, W. Keegan, W. Everingham, F. Parkes , S. Clifford, W. Alcorn, J. Martin, G. Teale, A. Driscoll, A. Keegan, H. Unwin, A. Aminthe.
The death of Mr. Edward Harold Llewellyn Lawson in Parramatta District Hospital on Wednesday, 13th February, 1935, came as a great shock, not only to the whole of the residents of Riverstone and district, but to the many others he had been associated with and to whom he had endeared himself. Although he had resided in Wentworthville the past six years, most of the late Mr Lawson’s activities were connected with Riverstone, where he had a fine record of public service.
Born in Queensland, the deceased, in company with his parents, came to live at Marsden Park when quite a lad. He was educated at Marsden Park Public School, and as a young man joined the staff of the Riverstone Meat Company. This appointment he held for a number of years, but subsequently relinquished to accept a position in the office of the Aust. Meat Industry Employees Union. After serving in various departments he became accountant for the union, which position he held at the time of his death. Altogether he had been connected with the union for 34 years, and was one of the most popular officials at the Trades Hall.
During his residence in Riverstone, Mr Lawson interested himself in every organisation and movement which had as its object, the welfare and development of the town and the district. A man of broad vision with a keen eye for future development, he was one of the first to conceive the possibility of water and electricity being reticulated in the district. In the early stages, many ridiculed the possibilities of these services, but it is noted that the last public function Mr. Lawson attended in Riverstone was the “Back To Riverstone” celebrations — the auspicious occasion of turning on the water and switching on the electricity.
For a number of years, Mr Lawson was an Alderman of Windsor Council, representing Riverstone, and it was during his term of office, the township became severed from the municipality and attached to the Blacktown Shire. A fluent speaker, he did good work for Riverstone and the municipality generally whilst a member of the Council, and was always fearless in the expressions of his views. Mr Lawson was most sympathetic and charitable in connection with the many appeals of the distressed that were submitted to him.
He was a popular member of the G.U.O.O.F lodge, and for many years during his residence in Riverstone was the official correspondent for the Gazette, a service which he rendered with credit and distinction and which was keenly appreciated.
Some six years ago the deceased left Riverstone to take up residence in Wentworthville with his mother. The wonderful devotion which he displayed to his mother was one of the outstanding characteristics of his life, and in this case alone in this regard will indelibly impress his name on the minds of those he came in contact. His admission to Parramatta hospital on the Tuesday of last week was the result of heart trouble, from which he had been suffering for some time, and he passed away peacefully the following night. Mr Lawson was a bachelor and at the time of his death was in his 52nd year.
The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon, a large and representative gathering attending to pay their last respects to a very popular man. A brief service was conducted at the mortuary chapel of W. Metcalfe, Parramatta, after which the cortege left for Rookwood Crematorium.