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James Woolnough
Woolnough Family


Representative Session


What Ministers have died since the last Conference?


JAMES WOOLNOUGH was a native of England, born at Eriswell in 1847. While yet a lad, he came with his parents to Tasmania, and, in 1865, removed to New South Wales, where, in 1871, he was accepted as a candidate for our ministry. His appointments were to the Wellington, Carcoar, Grafton-Wallsend, Singleton, east Maitland, Waverley, Newtown, Bowral, and Burwood circuits. As a Circuit Minister his work was marked by many evidences of the best kind of success, which was made visible in a number of Circuits by handsome new Churches. He was not given to talking of his doings, and in consequence, many of his friends did not know how much was done in leading people to the knowledge of the Redeemer. His fine literary taste, his relish for the poetic and the humorous, imparted sparkle and freshness to his preaching. In addition to superintending important circuits, he was several times Chairman of District, and in 1897 was President of the Conference.


In 1896 he was appointed General Secretary to the Church Sustentation and Extension Society and agent for the Church in its business with the Government. In 1904 he became Custodian of Deeds. In this sphere his quiet skill in finance was shown in the fashion in which he successfully grapped (sic.) with chronic and great difficulties in Circuit and Trust finance, often making that which was apparently impossible quite simple. In all such things he was the trusted advisor of the Church, and results fully justified the Churchs confidence in his counsel. The Special Help Fund, by which 13,279 of old Circuits debts were liquidated at the time of the Methodist union, as well as a Special Fund to meet the financial difficulties arising out of the consummation of Methodist Union, were originated and successfully carried to their issue by him. His management of the Loan Funds materially increased their effectiveness, while his system of dealing with grants improved conditions for all parties concerned.


The standing of our Church today among the commercial men of the city is an impressive tribute to the sagacity and worth of Mr. Woolnough. But his keenest delight in all this work arose from the knowledge that in these ways he rendered much service to his brethren in the ministry as well as to the work of the Church in all departments. He remained in active service till the close of his life, though unable to leave his home for six months previous to his death. Those days of inactivity were a great trial, yet in wonderful patience and courage he cheerfully endured until his relief came. He exchanged mortality for life on the 30th December, 1914, in the 68th year of his age, and the 44th year of his ministry, deeply regretted by the whole Church, in whose love he ever held a large place.

James Woolnough married Phoebe Esther Hawke, who was American born. They married in Bathurst in 1875, and had three children.
Their first child, Walter George Woolnough, was a famous scientist. He married Margaret I Wilson, and they had two children. More can be found about him on the Bright Sparcs web site.
Their second child, Robert edmund, was a doctor. He married Bertha Grace Youdale, and was the father of prolific writer, Mollie Gillen.
Their third child, Sydney James, married Christian P McAllan.

Woolnough, Walter George - Bright Sparcs Biographical entry****
Woolnough, Walter George (1876 - 1958) Prof, Archival/Heritage Sources Published Sources Geologist Born: 15 January 1876  Brushgrove, New South Wales, Australia.  Died: 28 September ...
http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/biogs/P000916b.htm 03/30/04, 6891 bytes
Woolnough, Walter George - Bright Sparcs Archival and Heritage Sources**
Woolnough, Walter George (1876 - 1958) Prof, Biographical entry Published Sources Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales   [Repository ...
http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/archives/P000916a.htm 03/30/04, 8122 bytes
Woolnough, Walter George - Bright Sparcs Published Sources**
Woolnough, Walter George (1876 - 1958) Prof, Biographical entry Archival/Heritage Sources The following entries are from the History of Australian Science and Technology Bibliography. Book Chapters ...
http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/bib/P000916p.htm 03/30/04, 6154 bytes
AAS Biographical Memoirs - William Rowan Browne 1884-1975*
... the Shackleton expedition, but managing to over-stay his original leave by a year. During that absence care of the department devolved upon W. G. Woolnough, a man in some ways the very antithesis of his chief. A bit unbending and not immediately inspiring as a lecturer, Woolnough nevertheless was a ...
http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/aasmemoirs/browne.htm 04/07/98, 41918 bytes
AAS Biographical Memoirs - Harold George Raggatt 1900-1968 *
... Geological Adviser, a Commonwealth Oil Advisory Committee, and the Commonwealth Palaeontologist. The Commonwealth Geological Adviser, Dr W.G. Woolnough, was also an early pupil of Professor Edgeworth David. In 1939 Raggatt applied for the position of Assistant Commonwealth Geological Adviser and was ...