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    As noted earlier, the South Australian newspapers published pages of reports on the death and funeral of Sir Frederick Holder, twice Premier of SA, and first Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives.  These articles are here reprinted in full, as an indication of the depth of feeling for Sir Frederick, and as a mirror of the times.

    The Death of Sir Frederick Holder

    SA Advertiser, Saturday 24th July 1909.

    “In the midst of life we are in death.”  The awful suddenness of the sad event which shocked Australia yesterday inevitably calls to mind this solemn affirmation of the insecure tenure upon which every life, the most precious as well as the least worthy, is held under the mysterious conditions of our mortal being.  Over an excited scene of activity in temporal affairs falls, without a warning, the dark shadow of Death’s wings, and the sound of strife is hushed as men, awed into silence, are made to feel acutely how trivial, after all, are even the most serious of this world’s concerns compared with the vast issues of eternity.  Yet to a life well lived the death that comes swiftly in the midst of anxieties and burdens is not an unfitting culmination.  “The readiness is all.”  If it had been given to Sir Frederick Holder to choose how he should die, it may well be that he would have decided to leave life just as he has left it, taken suddenly from the stage of action, worn but not rusted out.  One more victim to the increasing strain and pressure of public life, he falls like a soldier at his post, on duty to the last.  To his innumerable friends it had for years been manifest that the frail and delicate constitution was ill adapted to withstand the incessant stress of the vigorous, eager spirit that informed it.  In the strenuous conflict of State politics he would shoulder, without complaining, a load of work that might well have been shared by half a dozen men.  One wondered whence the vitality, the strength, the endurance came; but it was the not unfamiliar victory of the dauntless and resolute soul over the feeble but disciplined flesh.  He trained and braced himself for the maximum of service, and he gave it, taking thought only not to waste or impair the limited resources of the body.  The notion is quite illusory that elevation to the Speaker’s chair in the Federal Parliament was equivalent to a retirement into peaceful rest.  It was only a transfer from the rough hurly-burly of party warfare on the floor of the House, from which, for hours or days at a time, the busiest may escape, to the monotonous, continuous, and exacting round of duty in an office giving few opportunities for leisure or repose.  Sir Frederick Holder was not the man to take lightly any responsibilities imposed upon him.  With characteristic thoroughness and conscientious regard for his obligations, he carried them out with cheerfulness and efficiency, raising no protest against the excessive claim upon his strength, and at the end he died virtually in harness.

    All parties agree on the verdict from experience that when the Commonwealth was inaugurated the first House of Representatives could not have made a wiser selection for the honour of the Speakership than it did in appointing Sir Frederick Holder to the high and dignified office.  The original appointment represented little more than a suitable acknowledgment of the prominent position of Sir Frederick  in Australian public life.  He was one of the fathers of Federation, and before taking a distinguished part in shaping the Commonwealth Constitution he had made his mark in the politics of his State.  As a Speaker, however, he was an untried man.  How completely he justified the trust reposed in him by his fellow members is now a matter of history.  A singular talent of adaptability, reinforced by a studious habit of mind, a good knowledge of constitutional principles and parliamentary practice, a marvellous alertness in seizing the vital points in the questions of procedure that constantly arise, and a decided but courteous manner, enabled him to satisfy all the technical and other requirements of a difficult and responsible job.  Learned, dignified, and impartial, he commanded confidence and inspired respect.  The public career of Sir Frederick Holder from the outset presents accumulating proofs of a quite extraordinary versatility.  In the comparatively brief period of fourteen years he had advanced from the stage of the political neophyte to one of the most exalted positions in the public life of the Commonwealth.  A career marked by such rapid progress and brilliant success affords, in its way, a striking illustration of the unbounded opportunities for talent which the free institutions of Australia afford.  Two years from the time that the deceased knight entered the South Australian House of Assembly he was a Minister of the Crown.  In five years he had become Premier; and thenceforward, in office or in Opposition, he was always a power in the State.  His rise is not to be attributed wholly, or even chiefly, to a fluent and persuasive style of speech.  In debate his readiness, his fertility of resource, his quick apprehension of the strong points in his own case and the weak ones in that of his opponents, were indeed almost unexampled in the history of the South Australian Parliament.  But to this very serviceable equipment he added the more substantial qualities of untiring industry and sound judgment.  No task to which he set his hand was ever perfunctorily executed.  He mastered all the measures he introduced, and not infrequently came to the aid of colleagues who knew less about their own than he did. As an administrator he was painstaking and thorough.  He was one of the ablest of our Treasurers, and his Premiership always meant a painstaking and intelligent oversight of the work in each department.

    But we mourn today the loss not merely of an unusually capable and successful public man, but of one whose gifts of statesmanship were consecrated to the highest and truest interests of the people.  In a very real sense the late Sir Frederick Holder was one of the pillars of Australian Liberalism.  Throughout his memorable career he stood consistently for the democratic cause, the amelioration of social and industrial conditions, the assertion of the fundamental principles of justice, religion, and morality.  It was he who, in alliance with the late Mr Kingston, rallied the disunited Liberal forces in the South Australian Parliament and made of them the most powerful combination enlisted on the side of progress since constitutional government in this State began.  His name is indelibly associated with measures of reform which in a variety of directions have promoted the welfare of the community.  All his influence was devoted towards the support of  political and other movements having for their aim the improvement of the material circumstances of life and the elevation of moral and intellectual standards.  A strenuous career in which service of the highest value was given to the public earned honour for Sir Frederick Holder while he lived, and will long be remembered with gratitude now that death has closed his useful labours.

    S A Advertiser, Saturday 24th July 1909.

    The first intimation of the serious illness of Sir Frederick Holder reached Adelaide early on Friday morning in the shape of an urgent telegram from the Prime Minister (Mr Deakin) to Sir Langdon Bonython.  It was accompanied by a request that Sir Langdon would break the sad news to Lady Holder, and this melancholy mission he at once undertook.  Subsequently he made arrangements for her departure to Melbourne by the express train, as it was hoped that she would be able to reach her husband’s side before the end came.  Lady Holder was seated in the boudoir car when a message was received by Sir Langdon Bonython intimating that Sir Frederick had passed away.  He conveyed the sad tidings to Lady Holder, and she decided not to proceed to Melbourne, but to return to her home.  Later in the day the Hon Joseph Cook, Minister for Defence, who, in the absence of Mr Deakin, was acting as head of the Government, telegraphed to Sir Langdon to say that a message had been sent to the Premier, informing him officially of the death of Sir Frederick, and stating that the Federal Government would provide a public funeral if agreeable to the family.  The offer has been accepted.  The Premier of Victoria (Hon J Murray) has offered to put a special train at the disposal of the Federal Government to convey Sir Frederick’s body to South Australia.  Immediately the news of the death of Sir Frederick was received in Adelaide the Mayor (Mr F Johnson) ordered the Town Hall bells to be tolled.  The Rev Dr Fitchett, on hearing of the illness of Sir Frederick Holder, proceeded to the Federal Parliament House, but did not arrive until he had ceased to breathe.  He conducted a brief religious service in the room in which Sir Frederick had just died.  One of Sir Frederick’s sons was attending the mid-day mission service conducted by Dr Chapman in the Adelaide Town Hall when the news of his father’s fatal illness was announced.  That was the first he heard of it.


    S A Advertiser, Saturday 24th July 1909.
    Melbourne, July 23
    The Speaker of the House of Representatives (Sir Frederick Holder) had a paralytic seizure early this morning in the Chamber.  He was carried in an unconscious state into the Speaker’s room.

    Sir Frederick had been in the chair as the Old Age Pensions Bill was being put through all its stages.  Having taken a seat on the Treasury benches, he was chatting to the Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Fuller) when he suddenly fell forward on the floor.

    Drs Salmon, Maloney and Wilson were in the House, and Dr Stawell was also sent for.  They took a serious view of the case.

    Sir Frederick Holder hurried to catch the Adelaide train at the end of the previous week, and was so affected that he could not speak for some time.

    The House rose at 6.30 am, but the Senate was still sitting.  It had been ordered, however, that no bells were to be rung in case the distinguished sufferer should be disturbed.  Every member of the House was deeply grieved at the illness of the Speaker, who was held in the highest esteem by all parties because of his uprightness and his unflinching impartiality.  He had had a trying time in the Chair for the whole of the present session, but he always maintained his dignity and the complete command of the proceedings of the House.

    Dr Stawell visited the patient at 12.30 when he was still unconscious.  Dr Stawell said the statesman had had an apoplectic seizure, and his condition was very critical.  The doctors held out no hope.  They were in attendance until the end, when at 4.20 Sir Frederick Holder died, having never regained consciousness.

    Proceedings in the Federal Parliament came to a tragic conclusion at about 5 o’clock this morning.  The Speaker (Sir Frederick Holder), who appeared in his wig and gown, and was seated on the end of the Treasury bench, was conversing with the Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Fuller) when he suddenly lurched forward and fell unconscious upon the floor of the Chamber.  Amidst a scene of great consternation the House suspended its proceedings.  Drs Salmon, Maloney, and Wilson, who are members of the House, treated the unfortunate gentleman for half an hour upon the Treasury bench, but their efforts to restore consciousness were unavailing, and Sir Frederick Holder was carried on a rug to his room at the back of the Chamber.  Dr Stawell was called in, and he and other medical men were in constant attendance until Sir Frederick’s death, the cause of which was cerebral hemorrhage.  Drs Salmon, Wilson, and Maloney were in close attendance on Sir Frederick Holder throughout the day, and about noon Dr Stawell paid a second visit to his patient to see that everything which could give relief was being done.  He expressed the opinion then that Sir Frederick Holder’s condition was extremely grave, and critical.  Later in the day symptoms manifested themselves which showed that the Speaker was not holding his own, and oxygen was administered by Dr Salmon.  There was a noticeable response to the stimulant, but it was only a spasmodic effort of failing vitality.  Subsequent administrations did no more than prolong life for a little while, and the end came at 4.18 pm, when Sir Frederick Holder passed away without perceptible sign or movement of any sort, and without having regained consciousness from the time of his seizure, less than 12 hours previously.  Dr Salmon was in close attendance to the last.  Mr Batchelor, Mr R Mitchell (the Parliament housekeeper), and Mr Quigley (the Speaker’s personal attendant) were also by the bedside when Mr Speaker received his call.  A flag was immediately hoisted at half-mast on the Parliament Buildings.

    It has been decided by the Federal Ministers to accord the deceased a State funeral.

    While engaged in conversation with the Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Fuller) Sir Frederick Holder was heard to say “Dreadful, dreadful”, and was noticed to attempt to rise, but in an instant he rolled over on his side with a gasp, and slipped prone on the floor of the House.  At once there was great commotion.  Mr Fuller raised him to the bench, and Mr Deakin, Sir William Lyne, Dr Salmon, Mr Watkins and officials ran to his assistance.  The unfortunate gentleman was stretched at full length.  His limbs appeared to be rigid, and his features bore the hue of death.  He was lifted gently on to the Treasury bench, and the medical members, Drs Salmon, Maloney, and Wilson, paid him every attention.  The Chairman left the chair and the House broke up, while members ran to the refreshment rooms for stimulants, and others sprinkled the sufferer’s brow with water.

    For half an hour the three medical men mentioned devoted themselves to the relief of the Speaker, as he lay upon the Treasury bench.  His pulse was fairly strong, but fifteen minutes after the seizure it weakened alarmingly, and gave rise to the gravest fears.  The only sound in the customarily noisy Chamber was an occasional heartrending moan.  A rug was obtained, and at 5.30 am, the Speaker was carried upon it from the Chamber to his own room.  Members anxiously gathered round the door to hear the latest news, and messengers were dispatched for Dr Stawell and a nurse.  The case was pronounced to be one of cerebral hemorrhage, and from the first there were fears for the worst.

    After the angry quarrels of the long night, the tragic event created a profound sensation.  A few minutes before the members were engaged in bitter disputation, but now they gathered in little knots in all parts of the House to discuss the lamentable ending to a regrettable sitting.  In whispered tones and with much solemnity in the presence of the fear of death all animosities were forgotten.  More, there were bitter and perhaps remorseful heart-searchings and regrets.

    The House of Representatives continued its sittings this morning till 6 o’clock.  An amendment moved in the Old Age Pensions Bill to make it obligatory to start paying pensions to invalids at the beginning of 1910 was strongly opposed by the Treasurer and Mr J Cook, and negatived.  The Speaker, having taken the chair shortly after 5, the Bill was reported and the third reading carried.  While the House was in committee on a resolution to appropriate a million from the Surplus Revenue Fund, the proceedings were brought to a close by the Speaker’s seizure.

    After Mr McDonald had taken the chair, and the resolution had been dealt with, Mr Deakin said the state of the Speaker was very critical, and he moved that the House adjourn.  The motion was carried, and the House at 6 o’clock adjourned till Tuesday.

    Senator Turley, when the Senate resumed after lunch, said he thought considering the serious occurrence of the morning in another place they should at once adjourn.  The President mentioned that when the medical gentlemen in attendance on the case visited Sir Frederick Holder at noon he pronounced it a very critical one.

    Senator McGregor supported the adjournment of the House, and after a brief discussion the House at 2.18 pm adjourned till Wednesday next.

    The news of the death of Sir Frederick Holder came to the people of South Australia with fearful suddenness, and caused something akin to consternation in the minds of those who were accustomed to see him constantly.  The telegram which on Friday morning intimated that, after a particularly trying sitting of the House of Representatives , he had been stricken down with an apoplectic seizure, was not preluded by any report that he was in anything but the best of health.  Now that the fatal blow has fallen, however, it is stated that he was almost prostrated last Friday, as the result of hurrying to catch the train for Adelaide after the House of Representatives had adjourned, and it has also been made known that his family history predisposed him to such attacks which ended his useful life.  His mother, his brother, and his sister all died from a similar cause, and Sir Frederick knew that he was likely to pass away without much warning when the end did come.  This knowledge made all the more worthy of commendation the conscientious and painstaking work which he performed in his capacity as Speaker of the House of Representatives right through the strenuous sessions of the last few years.  No matter what strain was placed upon him, Sir Frederick, who was personally very popular with all his fellow members, always maintained his dignity, his cheerfulness, and his grasp of the public business.  He was the very embodiment of fair play and impartiality, and while he never allowed any trifling with his rulings he invariably enforced his decisions in a most courteous manner.  During the period of his occupancy of the chair - and that covers the whole existence of the Federal Parliament - his rulings were never questioned.  Whether Sir Edmund Barton, Mr Deakin, Mr Watson, Mr Reid, or Mr Fisher was in power as Prime Minister, the attitude of Sir Frederick Holder in his capacity of Speaker was always the same, and he held the scales at true equilibrium on all occasions.  Mr Reid often expressed regret that such a fine statesman as Sir Frederick Holder should have withdrawn from party politics to the neutral zone of the Speakership, but it was undoubtedly a great benefit both to the House of Representatives and to the Commonwealth Parliament as a whole that at the very beginning of its Constitutional history the control of the business of the popular chamber should have been in such excellent hands.

    But while the Commonwealth Parliament mourns the loss of an ideal Speaker, the State of South Australia sorrows over the removal of one of her most highly honoured citizens - a man who served the State in many capacities, and always gave her of his best.  Sir Frederick was thorough in all he did.  No member of the local Legislature ever made a more enviable reputation than he did.  All who were ever brought into contact with him recognised his worth, and were convinced both of his sincerity and his patriotism.  As a private member of the House he was always helpful to his colleagues, and at no time was he factious in his opposition to the Ministry in office.  His career in Parliament was singularly consistent, and the measures which he supported when he was first elected for the Burra in 1887 he advocated when he transferred his services from the State Parliament to the Federal Legislature, in 1901.  It was Sir Frederick’s good fortune to have spent by far the greater part of his Parliamentary career in office.  With the exception of four years he was either a Minister of the Crown in South Australia or Speaker of the House of Representatives during the whole term of 22 years during which he enjoyed the honour of a seat in Parliament.  He had also the distinction of representing the same constituents right through his public career.  In the State House of Assembly he sat for the Burra.  Then he went to the Federal Parliament as an elected member for the whole of South Australia, gaining a particularly flattering vote from his old constituency.  Afterwards he was returned for the district of Wakefield, of which again his original constituency was a part.  His position there was impregnable, and there were few voters on the roll of the electorate who were not proud to have him as their member.  He had a soul too big for mere party strife, or for the routine work of a typical “roads and bridges” member, but he was still an excellent district representative.  When he was in the State Assembly he looked after the interests of Burra with keen efficiency, and after he was sent to the Federal Legislature no reasonable request emanating either from Wakefield or from other parts of South Australia failed to gain his advocacy.  He was a bulwark of strength to the State, although at the same time he was a most ardent Federalist.  Indeed, there was no South Australian who did more for the cause of Federal Union than Sir Frederick, either in the pioneering days, when a public opinion had to be created in its favour, in the Federal Convention which formed the Commonwealth Constitution Act, or afterwards when the referendum was about to be taken concerning the acceptance of the Bill by the people.  His influence in the Parliament, the Cabinet, and the country was powerful and tireless in the cause of brotherhood and union.  When the Commonwealth was founded, he was Premier of South Australia, and had he so chosen he could have been a member of the first Federal Government, but he generously and graciously stood aside in favour of his old chief and friend, Mr Kingston.  His selection as Speaker was unanimous, and no-one who supported the choice has ever had cause to regret it.  During the greater portion of his service as a Minister in this State Sir Frederick filled the office of Treasurer, but for a brief period in the Kingston Government he presided over the Public Works Department.  He was equally at home in both offices, and indeed there was not a department of the Government which he could not have filled with credit to himself, and advantage to the community.

    But it was not alone as an enlightened and progressive legislator that Sir Frederick Holder served his State.  He was always foremost in works of religion and temperance.  He was ever willing to give his abilities to the cause of reform, and the impress of his personality is stamped deeply upon the history of social advancement and development in all their ramifications.  He was a faithful son of the Methodist Church, and there was no office open to a layman which he had not filled.  He was a local preacher for more than a generation, and his presence in the pulpit was an assurance that the congregation would hear a clear and practical exposition of the truths of Christianity.  No matter how trying his political work might be he was always ready to undertake a preaching appointment, and he has accepted work in this direction not only in the big cities of Australia, but also in the remotest country towns.  There was no man of Sir Frederick’s calibre in the Commonwealth, who was more modest and unassuming than he.  No man who was more pleasant in his manner or more completely approachable.  “He was a man.  Take him for all in all, we ne’er shall look upon his like again.”  Sir Frederick in his early life had been a school teacher, and he always showed an earnest zeal in the cause of education.  He had done much for the cause of primary education in this State, and right from the moment of its foundation he had manifested an especial interest in the success of “the people’s University” - the School of Mines - on the council of which he sat right up to the time of his death.  His latest utterance in this State was made in connection with that body a few days ago, when he moved a vote of thanks to Mr Scherk for the services he had rendered as chairman of the finance committee.  Sir Frederick was known as a lecturer, too, and he had delivered on many occasions his fascinating description of the experiences he encountered when he travelled “1000 miles on camel-back” with the Pastoral Commission; while on other useful subjects he was also heard on the platform.  He had a great command of language, and his mind was so constituted that he always knew what he desired to say, and could express himself with great force and lucidity.  He could describe the most intricate Bill in such a way as to make it interesting, and his Budget speeches were models of clearness and comprehensiveness.  He was never at a loss, for he set his heart on the task of acquiring all the facts necessary to impart, and no interjections ever ruffled his temper or threw him off the track.  He had the capacity for taking pains which is said to be the synonym for true genius, and he seemed to be born and equipped for the public career into which he entered when he was elected to Parliament.

    Physically, Sir Frederick never appeared to be very robust.  He was tall and thin, and seemed to lack strength and stamina, but “things are not always what they seem,” and he proved himself on many occasions to be capable of standing up against fatigue and of performing feats of travel and endurance which would have prostrated many men who looked much more powerful.  In the days of his State career he demonstrated the possession of this characteristic on many occasions, and emphasis was placed upon its presence in his frail body subsequently by the immense amount of work he performed while Speaker.  He travelled backwards and forwards between Adelaide and Melbourne every week when Parliament was sitting, and he never allowed himself to be idle for a moment.  He was a devoted husband and father, and in Lady Holder he had a helpmeet who was of infinite service to him, not only in his private life, but in his public actions, for she has always been prominent in good works in the cause particularly of religion, temperance and philanthropy.  No one who was brought constantly into close relationship with Sir Frederick Holder had a higher opinion of him than the journalists whose duty it was to report his speeches, or to seek interviews with him on public questions.  To them he was at all times polite, considerate, and sympathetic.  In the whole time he sat in the State House of Assembly he never once complained of a report of his speeches.  This was principally due to the care and accuracy with which he always spoke, but something also was to be attributed to  the willingness with which he would assist the pressmen when they were likely to be in a difficulty concerning any figures he had quoted or the statements he had made.  He was not an easy man to follow, because he spoke so rapidly, and there was so little chance of “cutting” his speeches, for they were always filled with good things.  But it is no exaggeration to say that journalists, as well as the general public, always heard him gladly, and put forth their best efforts by reason of the high regard they had for him.  He had a generous and lovable disposition, which attracted everybody.  “His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up to all the world and say - ‘Here was a man.’”

    Sir Frederick Holder, like the Premier with whom he was associated so long (Mr Kingston), and Sir Richard Baker, the first President of the Federal Senate, was a native of South Australia.  He was born at Happy Valley on May 12, 1850, and was the son of Mr James Morecott Holder.  While he was at school he showed such promise that he was induced to become a teacher, and he accepted a position under the Education Department.  However, he felt that he would find greater scope for his energies in journalism, and while still a young man he secured possession of the Burra “Record”, of which he was also editor.  He was a trenchant and graceful writer, and his innate love for public affairs enabled him to acquire considerable influence as a writer.  This faculty he has always cultivated, and he had at various times contributed to the leading columns of “The Advertiser”, as well as to English newspapers of high standing.  While still conducting the local paper he entered the municipal council, and became Mayor of the Burra, an office which he filled with accustomed thoroughness and success.  In  1887 he stood for election for the Burra, and was elected at the head of the poll, with the Hon W B Rounsevell as his colleague, Sir John Cockburn being defeated by five votes.  That result was neither expected nor desired by Sir Frederick, who was greatly pleased when his old friend a few weeks later was returned as the senior member for Mount Barker.  Sir Frederick early made his mark in the Parliament, and on June 27, 1889, a little more than two years after his election, he first became Treasurer in the Cabinet of Sir John Cockburn, who always had the highest opinion of his fitness for the control of a public department.  The surviving members of that administration are Mr J H Howe, Mr Burgoyne, and Sir John Gordon, in addition to Sir John Cockburn.  Mr B A Moulden was also a member, but resigned when the progressive land tax was introduced.  The Ministry lasted until August 19, 1890.  On June 21, 1892, Sir Frederick was again in office, but this time as Premier.  The Cabinet continued only until October of that year, when Sir John Downer intervened with a stop-gap Ministry.  In the meantime the Liberal forces, led by Mr Kingston and those who followed Sir Frederick, were amalgamated, and the two leaders joined in the famous Kingston Government, which began its long and successful career on June 16, 1893.  The motion which dismissed Sir John Downer was styled “the short, sharp shock”, for it was the first application of the process by which a Ministry in this State was dislodged by the business being taken out of its hands on a motion for the adjournment of the House.  This method was advised in a very brief speech by Sir Frederick Holder, who pointed out that the election had already condemned the Downer Government, and that therefore it was no use wasting time debating its policy.  He therefore suggested that some member should move the adjournment of the House, and so wipe out the Address in Reply altogether.  Mr Kingston, by arrangement, took this course, and the Downer Ministry had to resign.  The Kingston Cabinet was known as “the Ministry of all the Talents’, for it contained three ex-Premiers, namely Sir Frederick Holder, Sir John Cockburn, and Mr Playford.  It was also remarkable from the fact that five of the gentlemen who held office in it at various times were born in the year 1850, namely Mr Kingston, Sir Frederick Holder, Sir John Cockburn, Sir John Gordon and Mr Butler.  Sir Frederick held the portfolio of Commissioner of Public Works until Mr Playford went to England as Agent General in April 1894, and then he again became Treasurer, an office he held until the defeat of the Kingston Government on December 1, 1899.  Mr Kingston’s downfall was brought about by the refusal of certain of his supporters, among whom were Messrs A Poynton, MHR, and E A Roberts, MHR, to support him in his struggle with the Upper House over the Household Suffrage Bill, which was undertaken with the object of forcing a double dissolution under the deadlock clauses of the Constitution Act.  The succeeding Solomon Ministry only lasted a week, and the Liberals then came together again under the leadership of Sir Frederick Holder, who formed a Government which, on entering office on December 9, 1899, remained in power until the establishment of the Commonwealth, and he only resigned on May 15, 1901, on being elected to the Speakership of the House of Representatives.  Sir Frederick, from the beginning of his political career, showed a wonderful aptitude for Parliamentary work, and a marvellous capacity for grasping not only broad general principles, but every detail connected with them.  On several occasions he moved the second reading of two or three widely divergent measures during the same sitting, and that, too, without any fuller notes than could be written in his small, neat handwriting upon “a scrap of paper”.  Yet everything connected with the Bills was clearly and succinctly set before the House.  He not only knew all about the measures of which he was personally in charge, but was prepared at any moment to pick up in committee the most intricate Bill introduced by any of his colleagues, not excluding complicated legal measures.  Indeed, Mr Kingston often said that if Sir Frederick Holder had studied law and had been admitted to the bar he would have been one of the most successful members of the legal profession in Australia.  The comradeship existing between Mr Kingston and his first lieutenant was of the closest and most intimate kind, and it was largely due to Sir Frederick’s tact and suavity that the Ministry endured so long.  While he was in office the first Local Option Act was passed, as well as the Licensing Act, which took away from publicans after a certain period the right to compensation.  During his first session in Parliament Sir Frederick was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on the Land Laws, and in the following year (1888) he was chairman of the Barrier Trade Select Committee, and a member of the Select Committee which enquired concerning the terrible wreck of the ship Star of Greece on the coast of St Vincent’s Gulf near Port Willunga.  In 1890 he was chairman of the Royal Commission on Intercolonial Freetrade and a member of the Mails Commission.  In 1891 he travelled as a member of the Pastoral Lands Commission, and in the following year he sat on the Orroroo Railway Commission.  Into the work of all these bodies he threw himself with characteristic ardor and enthusiasm.

    Sir Frederick Holder, on March 29, 1877, at the Burra, married Miss Julia Maria Stephens, daughter of Dr J R Stephens.  She survives him, and there are four sons and four daughters.  The eldest son, Mr Frederick S Holder, is chief engineer for the Westinghouse Electric Company at Buenos Aires, South America.  Messrs Evan and Sydney Holder are studying at the School of Mines and the Adelaide University, and Mr Clement Holder is still going to school.  The eldest daughter, who is a Master of Arts of Adelaide University, married Mr A H Harry, BA, formerly a master at Prince Alfred College, and now at the Geelong Grammar School.  The other daughters are the Misses Rhoda, Winnifred, and Ida Holder.  The greatest possible sympathy is universally felt with the family in their great bereavement.


    When his Excellency the Governor took the chair at the annual meeting of the District Trained Nurses’ Society on Friday evening he said - “I desire to say how deeply grieved I am at the news I have received of the very sudden death of Sir Frederick Holder, who was for years Premier of South Australia, and from the origin of the Federal Parliament Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Everyone must feel that the loss of such a man is a disaster both to this State in which he was born and to the Commonwealth to which he rendered such great services; also to the philanthropic and religious work in which he took so deep an interest.  Our deepest sympathy goes out to Lady Holder and her family, more particularly as her ladyship is a member of this society.”


    The Chief Justice (Sir Samuel Way) said last night:- “Shocked as I am at the death of Sir Frederick Holder, it is difficult for me to express as I would wish my appreciation of so prominent a figure in the political life of the Commonwealth.  I first made the acquaintance of Sir Frederick at a banquet at the Burra just a year or two before he entered Parliament.  He was then the editor of a country newspaper, but I was struck with the lucidity of his utterance upon that occasion, as well as the high tone of the language he employed.  I did not, however, then form an adequate estimate of his remarkable mental force, which I afterwards recognised.  It must be remembered that I was not a political contemporary of Sir Frederick Holder.  He entered politics 11 years after I ceased to be a member of the Legislature.  I know, however, how much his dialectical skill was exercised and how greatly it was appreciated by his brother legislators when he did become a member of Parliament.  Although Mr Kingston was the dominant force in the House when he was Premier, it was recognised that Sir Frederick was one of the most influential members of the Cabinet.  I was administrator of the Government on occasions, not only during the career of Sir Frederick Holder as a subordinate Minister, but also when he was Premier.  Again, I can only repeat how struck I was with his dialectical skill and his wonderful mastery of figures and finance.  To hear him expound the Budget of the Treasurer in the State Assembly recalled to one’s thoughts the efforts of the greatest Imperial statesman of our time, when as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he gave his Budget in the House of Commons, and made finance so attractive.  His subtlety in argument was so great that there seemed to be no logical dilemma from which he could not show us a means by which a solution could be obtained.  It must be admitted that the political arena was the place in which his great powers were displayed most advantageously.  Upon the rare occasions that I have had the pleasure of being an auditor of his powers as a debater it seemed to all that the joy of the battle made him expand into a bigger personality.  I was in England, unfortunately, when Sir Frederick Holder took such an active part in the Federal Convention, but it is common knowledge that the solution of many of the big financial problems which faced that Assembly was due to his mastery in finance.

    “It surprised many that Sir Frederick was not included in the first Federal Ministry, but his election to the Speakership afforded him a great opportunity of displaying another side of his great intellectual powers.  In that important office he has undoubtedly set a high standard for his successors.  I have often thought if Sir Frederick had devoted himself to the bar he would have been a great advocate, more particularly perhaps in dealing with abstruse legal questions rather than appealing to the passions of the jury.  It is pathetic that such a career of efficiency and usefulness, which might have continued for another decade, should have been cut short by over-exertion and devotion to duty beyond his physical powers.

    “It has been my pleasure to have been associated with Sir Frederick on several occasions in connection with social and philanthropic work.  The religious side of his character is not one to be overlooked.  It is mournful to think that a man of such brilliant talents should be cut off practically in the prime of life.”


        The Premier (Hon A H Peake), when seen last evening, said he was sure the sad news of Sir Frederick Holder’s sudden seizure and death would be received by the community with feelings and expressions of the greatest sorrow.  Sir Frederick’s political career was so well-known throughout the State that it was not necessary to refer to it in detail, but it was noteworthy that he had always stood for progressive Liberalism, and his services to the State had been of a most eminently useful nature.  His high character and attainments had marked him out for a leading position in Federal politics, and it was no surprise to those who had known him here when he was chosen for the Speaker’s chair, for which his long Parliamentary practice and extensive knowledge so well qualified him.  Whilst the people of this State were proud of the great compliment paid to them by his occupancy of the chair, there was always a feeling that South Australia in particular was making a sacrifice in that one of its ablest representatives was in consequence debarred from rendering to the State itself that great service which he could have given had he been on the floor of the House, or on the Ministerial benches, where he must inevitably have taken a high position.  On behalf of the Government and the people of the State he had sent a message to the Prime Minister and to Lady Holder a message of sincere regret at the great loss.


    The Hon L O’Loughlin said “I feel deeply grieved at the sudden death of Sir Frederick Holder.  As an old colleague of his in the Kingston and Holder Ministries I can never forget his kindly nature.  He was a loyal friend and a good adviser, as well as a wise and upright statesman.  He was an able administrator, and was always deeply in earnest and untiring in his desire to do his best in the public interests.  This State has every reason to feel honoured at the leading position Sir Frederick attained in Australia, and I am sure everyone will extend the greatest sympathy to his sorrowing widow and family.


    Sir John Gordon said:- “I was closely associated with Sir Frederick Holder as a Ministerial colleague and as a friend during almost the whole of his political career in South Australia.  In 1889 I was one of his colleagues in the Cockburn Ministry, and I held office with him in four subsequent Cabinets, of two of which he was Premier.  The news of his death comes to me with the shock of a great personal loss.  Both the Cabinets of which Sir Frederick was Premier held office under the pressing difficulties of a low Treasury, a slender majority in Parliament, and a powerful Opposition, just such difficulties as bring out great qualities of leadership.  The memory of his management of the public business and of Parliament during those times always remains with me as of tasks which no one but Holder could have accomplished.  As leader of the Legislative Council and responsible for the Ministerial measures in that Chamber, I had naturally very special opportunities of estimating his capacity as a political chief.  No difficulties ever daunted him.  Nor did he ever give his opponents the satisfaction of thinking that the most dangerous emergency disturbed his equanimity.  Always cool, always adroit, always courteous, always ready.  Behind these fighting qualities were personal gifts of the highest order.  His intellectual  ability was marvellous.  I have always said that if Holder had gone to the bar he would have made a very great lawyer.  I have never met his equal in any walk of life in rapid grasp of complicated subjects, swiftness and sureness of generalisation and power of lucidly dealing with specific situations.  These conspicuous gifts were accompanied by the greatest modesty and kindliness of disposition.  There never was a gentler man.  His death has been called the loss of one of Australia’s greatest men.  And that is true.”


    Sir Langdon Bonython when asked for his opinion said:- “You are right in supposing that my knowledge of Sir Frederick Holder extends over the whole of his political career, but it was not till we were both elected members of the First Federal Parliament that I really got to know him.  For six years we saw much of each other.  We had tastes in common.  Very frequently we did the railway journey together, and in Melbourne we met nearly every morning.  As you may take for granted there were   opportunities for the discussion of almost every imaginable topic.  In this way it is possible to get at the back of a friend’s mind, and in my case the result was growing admiration for the man who had filled many public offices and filled them all with conspicuous ability.  Sir Frederick Holder had a wonderful grasp of things, a grasp not confined to general principles, but including minute details.  Few men have made a closer study of politics, and although in the Speaker’s chair, he followed measures with all the keenness and close attention of a member on the floor of the House.  To use one of his own favourite phrases, he was “quick in the uptake”.  He was also unusually well-informed as to matters outside politics, and latterly, by reason of his association with the Federal Library, had become a great reader.  Above all things he was anxious to serve his generation, and unhesitatingly I say that Sir Frederick Holder must be included amongst the men who have been fired with enthusiasm for humanity.  In religious and philanthropic work he was just as earnest and as persistent as in the performance of the duties for which he was paid.  His aim was to uplift the people, and he was willing to spend himself in their service.  He counted no personal sacrifice too great.  He was not specially attracted by poetry.  His tastes in literature were strictly utilitarian and practical, but a poem by Whittier, the American, was to him a source of perennial delight.  Here are four of the stanzas.  What a significance they have now:-
I know not what the future hath
    Of marvel or surprise,
Assured alone that life and death
    His mercy underlies.

No offering of my own I have
    Nor works my faith to prove;
I can but give the gifts He gave,
    And plead His love for love.

And so beside the Silent Sea
    I wait the muffled oar;
No harm from Him can come to me
    On ocean or on shore.

I know not where His islands lift
    Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
    Beyond His love and care.”


    The Hon R Butler, who was a colleague of Sir Frederick Holder in the Kingston Government, was shocked when informed by a representative of “The Advertiser” that Sir Frederick Holder’s sudden illness had terminated fatally.  “I deeply regret to hear of it,” he said.  “His death is a loss not only to this State but to the Commonwealth.  He filled the high and onerous position of Speaker of the House of Representatives with marked ability and impartiality.  During my association with him in the State Parliament and as a colleague of his in the Kingston Government, I recognised him as a man of the keenest intellect and one of the most capable administrators we had in South Australian politics.  With other South Australian citizens I recognise the wide influence he exerted for good and the great loss his sudden removal will be to the various religious and charitable organisations with which he was connected.  He was everywhere recognised as one of the ablest and most impartial of speakers, but it was at times a marvel to me how he got through with his work.  It must have been that though his physical strength was not great he was a man of vitality and determination, and this I believe to be the case.  His noble character is too well known to need a eulogy from me, and I can only add that the news of his death shocks and saddens me.”


    The Rev W G Clark, president of the Methodist Conference, said:- “The message flashed to us over the wires of the death of Sir Frederick Holder is a tremendous shock to me personally, and will be to the whole community and to our church more particularly.  As a church we are sorely stricken.  Grief has left us dumb.  He was so much to us; so much in every way as a preacher, counsellor, friend, brother, that we are simply bewildered by our sense of loss.  The tidings found us so unprepared, and this leaves us the more stricken.  With our late Premier [Mr T Price] we had listened to the rustling of the wings of the oncoming angel of death, and we had prepared ourselves - so far as preparation can be made - for the blow.  But Sir Frederick’s death is different.  The angel has come not with rustling wings, but with silent footfall, and none thought of his approach.  It was apparently the strong man who left our city on Monday afternoon, and now - alas! alas!.  In our grief our first thoughts are for Lady Holder and her stricken family, and our sympathies overflow for them.  For many years Sir Frederick has been interested in religious and philanthropic work.  Devotion to that work added to his Parliamentary duties has, we believe, cost him his life.  A heavy price to pay, but we believe that he would not, if he could, have had it otherwise.  It was no infrequent thing for him to return from his Parliamentary duties on Saturday morning, preach two or even three times on Sunday, and leave again for Melbourne the next day.  Only last Sunday he conducted the morning service at Prospect, was present at Dr Chapman’s service in the afternoon and accompanied me home to tea and occupied my pulpit at West Adelaide in the evening, preaching a most earnest and convincing sermon.  Alas! we did not think that it was our last opportunity for conversation, or that on that Sunday evening he was giving his last message from the pulpit.  Much of the early life of Sir Frederick centred in the Burra.  It was from that town that he first entered public life.  It was there also that he first began to preach in the pulpits of the Methodist Churches.  No name was held in greater esteem throughout that district.  It was my privilege whilst residing in the Burra to take a leading part in arranging a banquet in honour of Sir Frederick upon his retirement from the representation of that district to take up his larger duties in the Federal Parliament.  The largest hall in the Burra was all too small to hold the number that came from all parts of the district to do him honour on that occasion, and very tender and sincere were the testimonies borne by those present to the worth of their late member.  Sir Frederick has been for many years a most acceptable preacher in all our pulpits.  He was equally welcomed in the pulpits of our largest city churches and of the smallest country church.  He gave of his best at all times.  Only recently he journeyed to Brisbane to keep a long-standing promise to conduct services in our church in that city, and preached to crowded congregations.  On the platform he was equally at home, and frequently was chairman or chief speaker at our church meetings.  In the councils of our church we owe much - more than we can estimate - to Sir Frederick.  The statesmanship that he manifested in the affairs of the State and Commonwealth he brought to bear in the affairs of our church.  Methodism is rich in the laymen who, prominent in the affairs of State, have also laid upon the altar of the church, of their best, but none have exceeded the deceased statesman.  The strong mental grasp, the clear business instincts, were all placed at the disposal of the church he so sincerely loved.  As a member of our annual and general conferences, for very many years none was more trusted, or their opinion listened to with greater respect.  Oh, how much we shall miss him, and none more so than the hard-working country minister.  It was characteristic of Sir Frederick that he was as deeply interested in the smallest and poorest of our country churches as in the larger churches of our city and suburbs.  Many a country minister, toiling amidst much discouragement, has been greatly cheered and encouraged by a visit from Sir Frederick Holder, and many a small country church has been heartened and strengthened by his timely assistance.  I know that my brother ministers in the country would wish me to pay this tribute to one who was so much to them.  But Sir Frederick’s heart was too big, his sympathies too broad, to be shut in within the narrow confines of one denomination.  His sympathies, indeed, were with all the evangelical churches, and all are the poorer by his death.  He was greatly interested in Dr Chapman’s mission, and in the hour I spent with him at my home on Sunday afternoon, expressed his great delight at the splendid service of that afternoon, and especially referred to the changed atmosphere in Melbourne, an atmosphere that had penetrated even to the House of Representatives.  And now he has gone, the man of stainless record, the man whose brain and heart has been offered so willingly and so unreservedly upon the altar of his country and his church.  It seems impossible to think that we shall no more hear his kindly voice, see no more the spare, lithe form, profit no more by the benefit of his counsels.  Alas!  My church, my country, alas!”


    When seen by a representative of “The Advertiser” on Friday evening, the Rev Brian Wibberley, minister of the Kent Town Methodist Church, of which Sir Frederick Holder was an active member, said:- “I am simply stunned by this event.  I had the greatest fears when the news of Sir Frederick’s seizure was received this morning.  But my feelings on hearing through Sir Langdon Bonython that the end had come so swiftly cannot be described.  I knew Sir Frederick Holder, not as a statesman merely, but as a dear personal friend.  He was a member, office-bearer, and lay-preacher of my church, and I was brought into the closest and most individual intimacies of life with him.  It is, therefore, not easy for me to express my sense of personal sorrow and loss, or my profound sympathy with Lady Holder and the bereaved family.  Of Sir Frederick’s great public career I need not speak - others will tell of that, but of his personal worth and private character I hold the highest possible estimate.  His simplicity of soul and urbanity of conduct, combined with his conspicuous abilities, won my complete admiration.  He had a high sense of the responsibility of his great office - an office which it is little to say that he adorned by noble character.  Magnanimous, chivalrous, and generous to a fault, I have never known a word of bitterness or breath of suspicion to escape his lips.  He lived a strenuous life, and has perhaps died as he would have desired - in work.  He toiled terribly, for quite apart from his onerous duties as Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, he was actively associated with numerous social, philanthropic, and religious institutions.  I have often remarked on the significant fact that the first Commoner of the Commonwealth found his recreation in preaching the Gospel.  Few ministers preached more frequently or effectively, and none more acceptably than he.  Sir Frederick ever carried the genius and powers of his great personality into his full and active religious life.  How he will be missed in our church councils I fear to contemplate, for he was a prince among his peers, and never spared the best and utmost that was in him in his wholehearted and loyal service to the church.  Our loss in this respect is simply irreparable.  He held the highest esteem and deepest affection of our entire Australasian Methodist community by his worth and his work.  Those of us who knew him best loved him most, for he had a beautiful soul.  He walks with God, and now he knows God’s great secret.  There -
Where the work of life is tried
By a juster judge than here.”


    The Rev C H Nield said the death of Sir Frederick Holder in the fulness of his great powers and with all his remarkable influence in the community, was a loss the extent and seriousness of which it was hard to estimate.  It came, too, so soon after the death of Mr Price that those deeply concerned in social reform were the more appalled at the loss they had suffered.  Sir Frederick was always courteous, always approachable, always ready to give his valuable time and counsel, and efforts, to further every movement that might make for a cleaner State and a higher type of citizenship and national character.  For four years he was president of the Temperance Alliance, and he was a vice-president of the Anti-Gambling League from its inception.  “As Sir Frederick’s immediate successor in the presidency of the alliance,” Mr Nield remarked, “I needed and sought his help and counsel in the local option campaign of 1906, and whether in matters of organisation or legislation I found him ever ready to assist in every way possible.  He gave freely of his time and strength, and rendered invaluable service at every stage of the movement at a critical period in the history of the organisation.  As secretary of the Anti-Gambling League I have again been similarly indebted to him, and he has signally served the movement publicly and privately.  He was singularly and uniformly patient and courteous, just as he was singularly sagacious and great minded.  He had a noble nature, and seemed never to indulge an unworthy thought or use an unjust expression about anyone.  How much the community generally and those battling with social evils in particular have lost by his death we are all at present quite unable to estimate.  The profoundest sympathy will be felt for Lady Holder and his family in the sudden and irreparable bereavement which has come to them and with them to the workers in every good movement in the Commonwealth.”

                                                                                                    Melbourne, July 23
    Dr Fitchett and the Rev T S B Woodfull, ministers of the Methodist denomination, who were personal friends of the deceased - himself a distinguished figure in Australian Methodism - were in consultation with the Attorney-General (Mr Glynn) and other members of the Ministry this afternoon.  Arrangements, which were afterwards cancelled, were made to have the news of her bereavement conveyed to Lady Holder on the journey over from Adelaide, which, it had been reported, she left in the afternoon by the Adelaide express.  Mr Woodfull was to leave Melbourne in time to meet Lady Holder on arrival of the train at Ballarat, and he would have accompanied her to Melbourne.  The members of the Ministry were to have awaited the arrival of the train at Spencer Street, and arrangements were also being made for the friends of Lady Holder to be in attendance to afford her consolation in her great sorrow.


    At the meeting in the Exhibition last night Dr Chapman said that he was sure all would join with him in prayer that God’s mercy should come upon the widow and children of Sir Frederick Holder.


    The inaugural meeting of the South Australian Institute of Journalists was nearing its close on Friday afternoon, when the tolling of the Town hall bell announced that the death of Sir Frederick Holder had taken place.  All the older journalists present felt that they had lost a personal friend and former colleague, and Mr C R Wilton, one of the vice-presidents of the Institute, voiced the feeling of the newsmen by expressing profound sorrow that so eminent a public man had passed away.  Everybody who had had anything to do with Parliamentary work in this State for any length of time knew what a genial and kindly-spirited man Sir Frederick was.  No one was more thoughtful for the pressmen than he.  He spoke as one who knew Sir Frederick exceedingly well, and he had the highest admiration for his character and ability.  (Hear, hear.)  He was sure no body of men would regret Sir Frederick’s death more than the members of the newly-formed Institute of Journalists.  He took that opportunity of moving that the secretary convey to Lady Holder and the members of her family the heartfelt sympathy of the Institute of Journalists.

    Mr C J Stevens (vice-president) seconded the motion with profound regret.  As one who had watched the career of Sir Frederick Holder from the time when he was a schoolmaster, then as a journalist, before he entered Parliament, he knew what a great loss had been sustained by the State.  Sir Frederick’s readiness at all times to assist members of the press was well known, and he fully endorsed all that the mover had said.

    The motion was carried in silence.


    The death of Sir Frederick Holder was the subject of sympathetic reference as soon as the Trade and Labor Council met on Friday evening.  The President (Mr A F Block) moved - “That the council adjourn for five minutes out of respect to the deceased, and that a letter of condolence be forwarded to Lady Holder.”  The motion was seconded by Mr J McInnes, and supported by Messrs T Ryan MP, J Jelley, and W Fitzgerald.  Mr Ryan remarked that he had been intimately acquainted with Sir Frederick for some 20 years.  Only last Sunday the deceased did not think it beneath his dignity to cross the street and congratulate him on his election.  Sir Frederick expressed the hope that he would be true to the best traditions of the Labor Party.  The public life and the reform movement of South Australia would be the poorer for his death.

     The motion was unanimously carried.


    Reference to the death of Sir Frederick Holder was made at the meeting of the St Peters Council on Friday evening.  Alderman Newberry said Sir Frederick had done splendid work for the State.  He had been a resident of St Peters for years.  He moved that a letter of condolence be forwarded to Lady Holder.  Councillor Twelftree, in seconding the motion, said he was much moved on hearing of the death of Sir Frederick Holder, who was one of the best public men that South Australia ever had.  It was in the interests of humanity that he had worn himself out.  The motion was carried.

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 23
    The news of the sudden death of Sir Frederick Holder was referred to in feeling terms by the Postmaster-General (Sir John Quick) at a public meeting in the Bendigo Town Hall tonight, and his remarks were received by the audience in deep silence.


    The Glenelg Town Council on Friday evening adjourned their meeting for ten minutes out of respect to the memory of Sir Frederick Holder.


    Immediately on receipt of the sad news the Premier (Hon A H Peake) sent the following telegram to Lady Holder:-  “On behalf of the Government and people of South Australia, I desire to convey their expression of the deepest sympathy with you and your family in your sad bereavement.  The death of Sir Frederick will be a distinct loss to the State and Commonwealth, to which he has rendered such eminent services for a lengthened period.”

    Mr Peake also sent the following telegram to the Prime Minister (Mr Deakin):-  “Have just heard the sad news of Sir Frederick Holder’s death, and desire to express the deep regret of the Government and people of South Australia for the loss they and the Commonwealth have sustained, and their sincerest sympathy with his bereaved family.  His eminent services to the State and the Commonwealth, extending over a long period, render these feelings the more profound.”
                                                                                                Melbourne, July 23
    Mr Murray (the Premier) this evening dispatched the following telegram to Lady Holder:-  “On behalf of the people of Victoria I offer the deepest sympathy in your great trouble.  Should you wish will order special train to convey the remains to Adelaide.”  Mr Murray sent the following telegram to the Premier of South Australia:-  “On behalf of the people of Victoria condole with you in the great loss sustained by your State and Australia generally by the sudden death of such a distinguished statesman as Sir Frederick Holder.”

                                                                                                Hobart, July 23
    General regret was expressed on all sides at the sudden decease of Sir Frederick Holder.  The Premier (Sir Elliott Lewis) telegraphed to Mr Deakin:-  “Tasmanian Ministers deeply sympathise with the members of the House of Representatives in the loss of their distinguished Speaker.”

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 23
    The members of the House of Representatives will assemble as usual at 3 pm on Tuesday, but, after personal tributes have been paid to the memory of the deceased Speaker, will then adjourn until the following day.

    The Register,  Saturday July 24th 1909

    The solemn tolling of the Town Hall bell yesterday afternoon conveyed to the citizens of Adelaide the sad and startling tidings that another eminent South Australian had passed away.  The tragic suddenness of the event has invested the death of Sir Frederick Holder with special pathos. Never apparently robust, he possessed such an indomitable spirit, was wont to display such unremitting energy, and was so exceedingly regular in his habits, that nobody who knew him expected a speedy termination to his mortal career.  But “to every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late”, and “how can man die better” than when actively performing patriotic duty, and by a mercifully swift and painless transition?  To the community the death of a public man is not infrequently compensated for by the inspiration which flows from the contemplation of his services to the people; but to his widow and orphans the loss is irreparable, and today throughout Australia the deepest sympathy will be extended to Lady Holder and her family in their grief, the shock of which is intensified by the unexpectedness of the bereavement.  Members of the Commonwealth Parliament, in particular, must have been especially awed - and some of them may well have been chastened - by the dramatic impressiveness of the fatal scene which so suddenly brought to a close a protracted and not too seemly or edifying debate.

    It is impossible to determine the extent to which the stress of his duty as Speaker hastened the death of Sir Frederick Holder, but some of his intimate friends believed that the worry and pressure of his official work during recent stormy debates contributed to the fatal seizure.  Parliamentary obstruction - with the concomitants of protracted sittings, stonewalling, bitterness, disputings, rudeness, and disgraceful scenes - must naturally impose a severe physical and nervous strain upon the presiding officer who is responsible for the observance of the laws and amenities of debate.  Recently the Speaker had been subjected to public criticism concerning the vagaries of one member; and it is known that he had been greatly perturbed on account of the disorderly tendencies manifested in the House.  The people will at least hope that the tragic event which occurred yesterday in the arena of controversy may lead to an improvement of Parliamentary manners in certain quarters.  Meanwhile there will be no cavil concerning the opinion that the death of Sir Frederick Holder has removed from the public life of Australia one of its ablest men.  He had a brilliant career in local politics, for which he found a complete training in the varied capacities of teacher, preacher, journalist, and municipalist.  As Minister and twice Premier of this State, he proved himself to be a fluent speaker, ready debater, a masterly administrator, with no superior and few equals in alertness and quickness of apprehension, and a capable leader of men.  He was one of the most prominent members of the South Australian delegation to the Federal Convention, and that delegation was generally admitted to be the ablest of all; and he was in reality the originator of the financial scheme usually known as the Braddon clause.

    When Sir Edmund Barton was forming the first Commonwealth Ministry he provisionally offered to Sir Frederick Holder a leading portfolio; and the circumstances in which that offer was not consummated, and the reasons why Sir Frederick was finally passed over when the Cabinet was completed, and later relegated to the Speaker’s chair, are among the strange matters which belong to the inner or unwritten history of Federal politics.  Certainly nothing that happened then reflected upon the conduct of Sir Frederick Holder.  It will be sufficient to add that, while under the conditions indicated the House of Representatives secured a thoroughly efficient, courteous, patient, and genial presiding officer, South Australia, at a critical juncture in the affairs of the Commonwealth, lost the services on the floor of that House of one of its most competent and influential representatives.  And the State’s loss was also Australia’s loss; for Sir Frederick Holder’s versatile gifts and political experience would have had a decided influence upon the course of events.  Still, in other ways the deceased gentleman devoted himself to the public welfare.  His pen was never permitted to rust; and as a social reformer, lecturer, and preacher he was familiar on platform and in pulpits alike in this and other States.  Although he may not have possessed the diction or the imagination of the ideal rhetorician or orator, he was extraordinarily fluent, luminous, interesting, and instructive.  If he did not rise to the highest achievements of statesmanship, he was distinguished for his readiness in devising and forwarding practical and sensible measures to meet the needs of the hour.  His success in public life illustrates for the benefit of the rising generation the open door of opportunity which Australia offers to persevering talent.  Without any aid other than that supplied by his own ability and assiduity, Sir Frederick Holder rose from the position of a teacher of a small country school to be the first Speaker of the Commonwealth, and one of the eminent Australians whom the monarch of the greatest nation in the world honoured with special distinctions.

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 23
    The Speaker of the House of Representatives (Sir Frederick Holder) had an apoplectic seizure early this morning in the Chamber, and was carried in an unconscious condition into the Speaker’s room.  He died there at 4.15 pm.

    No event of the parliamentary life of the Commonwealth will produce a deeper or more lasting impression than the melancholy incident of this morning.  The high and universal esteem in which Sir Frederick Holder was held by Parliament and the people render the circumstances of his collapse and death as painful as they were sudden and dramatic.  It was perhaps fitting, since his life was to end as it did, that the end came while the finishing touches were being put to a piece of social legislation of the kind for which he had spent his life in fighting.
Circumstances of the Seizure
    The House had continued the sitting begun on Thursday till 6 o’clock this morning.  An amendment moved in the Old-Age Pensions Bill to make it obligatory to begin paying pensions to invalids at the beginning of 1910 was strongly opposed by the Treasurer and the Minister for Defence, and negatived.  The Speaker having taken the Chair shortly after 5 o’clock the Bill was reported, and the third reading was carried.  While in committee on a resolution to appropriate a million from the surplus revenue fund, the Speaker had an apoplectic seizure.  He was talking to the Minister for Home Affairs on the Government Bench, and fell forward on the floor.  Proceedings were stopped.  At the end of half an hour Sir Frederick, still unconscious, was removed to his room.

    After Mr McDonald had taken the Chair and the resolution had been dealt with, the Prime Minister said that the state of the Speaker was very critical.  He moved - “That the House adjourn.”  The motion was carried, and the House, at 6 am, adjourned till Tuesday.
The Last Hours
    Before the House adjourned a message had been sent to Dr Stawell, asking him to come to the House and send a trained nurse.  Dr Stawell and the nurse arrived at about 6 o’clock.  A brief examination served to convince Dr Stawell that the Speaker had experienced an apoplectic fit and was suffering from hemorrhage of the brain.  He held out practically no hope of recovery, and members were given to understand that the Speaker’s life was merely a matter of hours.  Sir William Lyne had gone into the Speaker’s room with the doctors, and remained there during the examination.  He brought the doctors’ verdict to those who were waiting outside.  Sir William seemed very perturbed.  It was clear that he felt keenly the shock of the Speaker’s collapse.  Dr Stawell declared that it was impossible to move the dying man, and the little sitting room was accordingly turned into a sick chamber.  As the day wore on the hopes, founded mostly on earnest wishes for the recovery of the stricken Speaker, had to give way to fears for the worst.  The inability of the doctors, who were in constant attendance, to give hopeful answers to the sympathetic enquiries was apparent enough.
Anxious Friends
    From the hour when the blow fell to the end there was a continuous stream of legislators and others in the vicinity of the Speaker’s room.  Some waited for hours in the expectation of being able to leave with an assurance that a change for the better had set in.  Among these was Sir William Lyne, who could not disguise his deep agitation as he paced up and down alone near the Representatives’ Chamber.  Rp Dr Wilson and Rp Dr Salmon remained in unremitting attendance, and Dr Stawell appeared every now and then.  When at noon Sir Frederick Holder was still unconscious, it was understood, with the aid of what had been gathered from the doctors of the significance of the prolonged unconsciousness, that the case was a grave one.  The enquirers, who moved about on tiptoe, and spoke in hushed tones of anxiety, had on their way to the House already heard that matters were extremely serious.  More than one returned a few minutes after leaving in a spirit of apparent desperate intention to hear something more encouraging.
The End
    At about 3 o’clock in the afternoon oxygen was administered.  This set hopes further back with those who recognised that the actual purpose was to endeavour to keep the lamp of life flickering till the arrival in Melbourne of the relatives of Sir Frederick Holder.  There was only a temporary and faint response to this treatment.  At 18 minutes past 4 pm Sir Frederick Holder died peacefully, without having regained consciousness.  There were in the sick chamber at the time Dr Salmon, Rp Batchelor, the housekeeper for the Federal Parliament (Mr Mitchell), the Speaker’s messenger, and the trained nurse.  It was some minutes after Sir Frederick Holder had drawn his last breath that the watchers could assure themselves that they were in the presence of death.  Mr Batchelor, a fellow South Australian, came out of the room of the dead Speaker with signs of deep pain on his face, pale and drawn with want of sleep and anxiety.
Statement by the Doctor
    Dr Stawell says that he recognised from the outset that there was scant hope of Sir Frederick Holder living through the seizure.  It was a case of profuse cerebral hemorrhage, and little could be done in the way of treatment beyond ensuring absolute calm and rest.  Everything possible in this connection was attended to, and Mr Mitchell, the Parliamentary housekeeper, displayed appreciated anticipation of what could be done by him and his staff.
A Brief Service
    The Rev Dr W H Fitchett learned this morning of Sir Frederick Holder’s seizure, and went to Parliament House.  He could not, however, then see the patient.  A little after 4 o’clock he went again and found that Sir Frederick had died.  He then conducted a brief religious service in the room.


    The President (Sir Albert Gould, NSW), in taking the Chair at 10.30 am said it was with great regret that he had to announce the sudden illness of Sir Frederick Holder (Speaker of the House of Representatives).  His condition was such that his medical attendants had enjoined absolute quietness for the present, and he (the President) had given instructions that the bells should not be rung for the reassembling of the House.  With the concurrence of hon. members he did not propose to have the bells rung for divisions.

    When the Senate resumed its sitting after luncheon today, Mr Turley (Q) said he thought that considering the serious occurrence of the morning in the House of Representatives, they should at once adjourn.

    The President (Sir Albert Gould, NSW), mentioned that when the medical gentleman in attendance on the case visited the patient at noon he pronounced it a very critical one.

    Mr McGregor (SA) supported the adjournment, and after a brief discussion the House, at 2.18 pm, adjourned till Wednesday next.


    The news early on Friday morning that Sir Frederick Holder, KCMG, Speaker of the House of Representatives, had had an apoplectic seizure in the House was received with much regret throughout the city.  The news of his death published in the 5 o’clock edition of The Evening Journal created a profound sensation.  His Excellency the Governor and the Premier were informed of the sad occurrence by telephone from The Register Office, and the Mayor of Adelaide having been informed, the Town Hall bells were tolled.  Although it was known to his intimate friends that Sir Frederick had been considerably worried lately owing to the temper of the House and the difficulty to maintain order, the news of his sudden illness came as a great surprise and shock, for in general appearances the Federal Speaker had been looking remarkably well during the last few weeks.


    The Premier (Hon A H Peake), as soon as he heard the news forwarded the following telegram to Lady Holder:- “Ministers and people of South Australia regret to hear of Sir Frederick Holder’s illness, and extend their sympathy to you; but trust the case is not so serious as reported.”

    The Premier also sent the following telegram to the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth:-  “Alarming news received as to health of Sir Frederick Holder.  Government and people of South Australia desire to express sympathy, and trust case is not so serious as reported.”


    At the men’s midday meeting at the Town Hall on Friday in connection with the evangelical mission, Dr Chapman announced to probably the largest gathering that has ever found accommodation in the building that he had just been informed that the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives (Sir Frederick Holder) had been stricken after an all-night session, and was not expected to live.  The startling news was received with visible consternation, and the evangelist led the audience in silent prayer for the recovery - if God so willed -  of “one of Australia’s greatest citizens.”


    Lady Holder, on hearing the critical news from Melbourne, at once decided to leave by the afternoon’s express, so that she could be with Sir Frederick in his illness.  She had taken her seat in the railway carriage, but shortly before the departure of the train the sad tidings that Sir Frederick had passed away was conveyed to her.  Lady Holder left the train and was driven in a cab back to her residence, Wavertree, Kent Town, escorted by the Rev Brian Wibberley.  Mr Sydney Holder (son) and Mr A H Harry (son-in-law) proceeded to Melbourne by the express.


His strength was not that of the thunder, but of the silent lightning.  Indeed, it would be difficult to find one in political controversy able to vie with him in light without heat. - Sir John Gordon.

    The statement just quoted was made at the time (1901) when the late Sir Frederick Holder was elected Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, and after a long relationship as a Parliamentary colleague with the subject of the remark.  Those who have since been confreres of the deceased knight in political life will testify that the characterization eminently represented Sir Frederick right to the close of his career.

    Sir Frederick Holder was proud to own South Australia his birthplace, and the State was equally ready to recognise in him one of the most brilliant of her sons.  He was born at Happy Valley on May 12th, 1850 (the same year as the late Mr Kingston, Sir John Gordon, and Sir John Cockburn - three of his colleagues in the Kingston-Holder Ministry), and was therefore in his sixtieth year.  He was the son of Mr James Morecott Holder, a State school teacher in that district.  The child chose the profession of the father, and entered the Education Department, but the instincts which afterwards made him a leader of men soon asserted themselves, and he began his upward climb by undertaking the control of a provincial newspaper, The Burra Record.  As a journalist he manifested more than ordinary ability, and in time he sought a wider sphere for his talents.  The productions of his pen were accepted by The Register.  So pertinent and poignant were his articles on whatever subject he dealt with that his contributions were gladly availed of by English magazines of repute.  It was while at the first “Copperopolis” of South Australia that he made his entry into public life.  He became a member of the Burra Corporation, and afterwards occupied the Mayoral chair for two years.
Political Life
    Mr Holder’s first step into the domain of active politics was made in 1887, when he sought the suffrage of the Burra electorate for the House of Assembly.  The constituency showed its appreciation of his grasp of the requirements and conditions of the country from agricultural, pastoral, and mineral standpoints by returning him at the head of the poll.  Thence to his severance from State politics it was impossible for any candidate to oppose him at an election with hope of success, as the people on every occasion returned him with overwhelming majorities.  In politics he was wedded to the Liberal side, and from first to last was a staunch Free-trader.  Within the marble halls on North Terrace he speedily showed eminence.  His skill in Parliamentary debate and his concise presentment of facts and argument early marked him out as a likely occupant at a not distant time of the Treasury benches.  The distinction was won much sooner than his most fervent admirers thought possible.  In a little over two years, when Dr Cockburn ousted the Playford Government and formed a Cabinet, Mr Holder’s opportunity arrived, and he received the portfolio of Treasurer.  The Ministry then consisted of the Hons Dr Cockburn (Premier and Chief Secretary), B A Moulden (Attorney-General), T Burgoyne (Commissioner of Crown Lands), J H Howe (Commissioner of Public Works), and J H Gordon (Minister of Education).  Changes during the regime introduced the Hons F F Turner, H E Downer, and J J Osman.  The mind which had already given evidence of undoubted powers of debate showed even when directed to the problems of finance no less insight and perspicuity in dealing interestingly with formidable columns of figures.  The new Minister’s initial Budget combined in a rare degree the characteristics of force and lucidity, and was delivered with unusually slight reference to notes.  The Cockburn Government lasted only 14 months, and after the succeeding Government assumed office he became Leader of the Opposition.
As State Treasurer
    During his first years in the State Parliament Mr Holder was a member of the Royal Commission on the Land Laws, and his researches in that capacity considerably added to his acquaintance with the conditions of land tenure throughout Australia, and laid the foundation of that intimate knowledge of the affairs of the Southern Continent which stood him in such good stead on many occasions in the larger realm of Commonwealth politics.  He was a member of the Select Committee on the Star of Greece shipwreck, and of the Mails Commission, and Chairman of the Barrier Trade Commission and of the Royal Commission on Intercolonial Freetrade in 1888-90.  The two following years found him connected with the Pastoral Lands Royal Commission and the Orroroo Railway Commission.  As Leader of the Opposition he defeated the Playford Ministry in 1892, and on June 21 took office as Premier and Treasurer, with the following Ministers:-  the Hons Dr Cockburn (Chief Secretary), W F Stock (Attorney-General), P P Gillen (Commissioner of Crown Lands), A D Handyside (Commissioner of Public Works), and J H Gordon (Minister of Education).  In the seesaw of politics at the time, however, Mr Holder had to give way to Sir John Downer in the following October.  His setback was not for long, for when the new Parliament assembled in 1893 the Hon C C Kingston defeated the Downer Government and formed a Coalition Cabinet, with Mr Holder as Commissioner of Public Works.  The following were the other members of that Administration:-  The Hons J H Gordon (Chief Secretary), T Playford (Treasurer), P P Gillen (Commissioner of Crown Lands), and Dr Cockburn (Minister of Education).  Twelve months later Mr Playford was appointed Agent-General, and Mr Holder stepped into the vacancy of Treasurer.  This and other changes brought into the Ministry the Hons J V O’Loghlin, L O’Loughlin, J G Jenkins, and R Butler.  The Kingston-Holder Government lasted until 1899, and secured a record for tenure of office which has never been eclipsed.  Wise precaution and careful administration marked the control of the public finances during his regime when drought and depression cast their gloomy shadows over the land.  He could take credit for a fairly sanguine temperament having saved him from the blunder of excessive and crippling parsimony, and pulled the State through a long series of bad years with a minimum of dislocation in the public departments or of additional taxation on the people.
Champion of Federation
    The time was now nearly ripe for federation, and Mr Holder had long championed the centralization of many of the activities of government, which until then had been divided among the several states.  Consequently, when the Federal Convention was formed in 1897 the popular voice was found in his favour to such an extent that he was placed second on the poll to his chief, the Hon C C Kingston, as a delegate to that historic gathering, which comprised most of the men of light and leading in Australia.  In its debates his were not the least notable utterances, and they carried undoubted weight with his co-delegates, especially when matters of finance were under discussion.  He worked mightily for the consummation of Australian unity, and visited almost every important centre in South Australia to explain the provisions of the draft Constitution.  So indefatigable was he in the work of this campaign that he delivered as many as seven or eight addresses in a single week to secure the realization of the great project he had so much at heart.  Indeed, it is acknowledged that his influence helped largely to secure the preponderant vote in this State in favour of Federation.
As Premier
    Right up to the inauguration of the Commonwealth Mr Holder continued his association with the State Parliament.  When the “One-week” Solomon Ministry was defeated in December 1899, he assumed the highest position which the State could confer, and formed the Holder Administration.  He personally took the supervision of the departments of Premier, Treasurer, and Minister of Industry.  These he held till May 1901, when he resigned office to enter the Federal Parliament.  His colleagues in the Ministry were:-  Hons J G Jenkins (Chief Secretary), L O’Loughlin (Commissioner of Crown Lands), R W Foster (Commissioner of Public Works), and E L Batchelor (Minister of Education and Agriculture).
Speaker of the House of Representatives
    Sir Frederick was elected by the State to the first House of Representatives in 1901.  As Premier of South Australia he had been offered a portfolio in the first Federal Ministry by Sir Edmund Barton.  This, however, was subsequently taken by the late Mr Kingston on the understanding that Sir Frederick would receive the support of the Ministerial Party for the Speakership.  When members of that House took their seats it was a Queenslander (Rp Macdonald Paterson) who proposed, amid applause, “That Mr F W Holder, of South Australia, take the Chair of the House of Representatives in the first Commonwealth Parliament.”  It was a magnificent position, and one which he thought would be accorded to that gentleman with a unanimous conviction that he would be the right man in the right place.  Many of them knew that Mr Holder had taken a first-rate interest in the advancement of the federation of the Australian States.  Queensland members were unanimously of the opinion that in selecting him for the position of Speaker they were electing a a man who would do credit to the position.  He was known for sincerity and urbanity of manner, he was unquestionably a man of great judgment and large experience, and, while some might regard his nicely balanced mind and quiet demeanour as evidence of weakness of character, he felt sure that in his heart and breast he had all the power and character requisite to make him firm, strong, and diplomatic.  The motion was seconded by Sir Edward Braddon (Tasmania), and adopted.  No other nomination being made, Mr Holder was at once inducted to the Speaker’s Chair.  The estimation of Rp Paterson on that occasion proved fully justified, and the Speaker held, throughout the subsequent years, the full confidence and entire respect of the important Chamber over which he maintained a dignified and firm, yet always considerate, command.  At the two elections since that time Sir Frederick was returned for the District of Wakefield.  That the confidence reposed in him by his colleagues was not misplaced was shown on February 20, 1907, when, for the third time consecutively he was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Highly eulogistic references were made by the leaders of the different parties to the able manner in which he had conducted the proceedings of the previous Parliaments.  To the end he sustained the record for character which prior to his entrance to Federal politics evoked the encomium:-  “He has never been known to utter one word of temper, reproach, or unkindness towards his colleagues. Indeed, as was once remarked in the House of Assembly, ‘to strike Mr Holder was like hitting a girl.’  Yet in spite of his gentleness few more effective debaters or fighters have been known in the South Australian Parliament.”
Honour and Dignity
    In 1900 a Gazette notice intimated that the Premier would thenceforward be entitled to retain the prefix “Honourable”.  Two years later came another and well-deserved distinction.  On June 26, 1902, His Majesty the King signified his pleasure in conferring upon the Speaker the dignity of knighthood.  No one was better pleased or more heartily congratulatory  than were the members of the House over which he presided when the honour of KCMG was bestowed upon him.
A Pillar of Methodism
    The deceased knight was one of the strongest laymen in the Methodist Church of South Australia.  For years he had been associated with its most important committees.  In the debates which preceded the union of the three Methodist churches his support was a potent factor in making the United Methodist Church an accomplished fact.  A layman of the laymen he was, but more than this, he was an acceptable lay preacher, whose services were as constantly in demand as they were ungrudgingly given.  He occupied the pulpits of some of the largest churches not only in South Australia but throughout the Commonwealth, and always commanded good congregations.  He was no stickler for important pulpit appointments, however, for many a lowly local preacher has gratefully acknowledged his indebtedness to Sir Frederick to supply for him even in small and remote churches.  Sir Frederick’s sermons were generally preached without notes, yet the subject matter was invariably well arranged and the doctrinal points carefully presented and logically elucidated.
Other Public Activities
    Sir Frederick Holder, while living at the Burra, manifested a great interest in the local institute, and strove to advance its value as an educational agency.  Upon his entrance into Parliamentary life the country institutes elected him as one of their representatives on the Public Library Board for the year 1888-9.  Pressure of public business, however, prevented him from attending more than four meetings.  He sat for many years on the council of the School of Mines, of which he was a member at the time of his death.  A staunch teetotaller, he was ever ready on the platform to espouse the cause of total abstinence, and was prominent in the advocacy of principles of local option.  He was also a popular lecturer on general subjects, and one of his best remembered themes was “A thousand miles on camel back”, in which he detailed the incidents, instructive and humorous, of a trip into Central Australia in connection with the Pastoral Lands Royal Commission in 1891.
Death of Fellow Ministerialists
    Of the gentlemen associated with the late Sir Frederick Holder in South Australian Ministries, the following predeceased him:-  The Hons. C C Kingston, F F Turner (non-political Attorney-General), H E Downer, P P Gillen, and A D Handyside.  Mr Gillen, like his chief, died in harness at a Cabinet meeting.
The Family
    The deceased has left a widow - Lady Holder, whose work in connection with the WCTU and temperance reform is well known; four daughters - Mrs A H Harry, MA, and the Misses Rhoda, Winifred, and Ida Holder; and four sons - Mr Fred Holder (who is in South America), and Messrs Evan, Sydney, and Clem Holder.


    In opening the proceedings at the annual meeting of the District Trained Nursing Society on Friday evening His Excellency the Governor said:-  “I desire to say how deeply grieved I am, and we all are, to have received the news of the very sudden death of Sir Frederick Holder, who was twice Premier of South Australia, and from the origin of the Federal Parliament Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Every one must feel that the loss of such a man is a disaster to this State, in which he was born, and to the Commonwealth, to which he rendered such great service, as well as to the religious and philanthropic work, in which he took so deep an interest.  Our deepest sympathies and our earnest condolences go out to Lady Holder and family, and in an especial manner to Lady Holder, who was a member of the committee of this society.”


    The Commissioner of Public Works (Hon L O’Loughlin), who spent nearly five years in office with Sir Frederick Holder, said:-  “I feel deeply grieved at the sudden death of Sir Frederick Holder, and as an old colleague of his in the Kingston and Holder Ministries, I wish to speak of him in the highest terms as a loyal friend and good adviser.  He was a wise and upright statesman, an able administrator, and one who was always deeply earnest and most untiring in his desire to do his very best in the public interests.  This State has every reason to feel pleased with the leading position he has occupied in Australia, and all will extend the greatest sympathy to his sorrowing widow and family.”


    Sir Jenkin Coles (Speaker of the House of Assembly) said:-  “I was shocked to hear of the sudden illness of my respected friend Sir Frederick Holder, and later to hear of his death, doubtless brought about by overwork, worry, and anxiety.  Few men could have stood with impunity the strain to which he was subjected during the last three weeks, and his death in such circumstances is truly pathetic.  I have known the late Sir Frederick for many years.  In 1875, when I first entered Parliament, he was Chairman of a political meeting held at Freeling, where he then lived, and from then until now we have been personal friends.  His career as a member and a Minister of the South Australian Parliament forms part of the history of this State from his entry into the House until he left for what may be regarded as a higher sphere of duty.  He was always regarded as a remarkable man.  Possessed, fortunately for himself, of a good education, yet he realised that there is no royal road to success, and that if a man is to succeed he must work.  In this connection no one was more indefatigable than my late friend.  As a debater it was generally recognised that he had no superior, and few, if any, equals; and as an administrator he showed a grasp of the work of his department which does not fall to the lot of every one occupying similar positions.  Altogether, the late Sir Frederick was an extraordinary man - frail physically, never tiring, and of absolutely inexhaustible energy.  His knowledge of parliamentary procedure and practice was great, and the Legislature over which he so ably presided to the last will find it difficult to fill his place.  For myself, and on behalf of the House of Assembly, I have sent a message of condolence to Lady Holder and the family.”


    The Rev Henry Howard said:- “My association with Sir Frederick Holder has not been as long nor as close as that of many of my ministerial brethren.  Still it has been long and close enough for me to be able to record my admiration of those personal qualities which won for him the place he held in the estimation of his church and his country.  We have had no debater on the floor of the Conference more skilled in argument or more fearless in fight.  Moreover, he loved the arena and the call that it made on his dialectical gifts.  He often confided to me what self-repression he had to muster as Speaker of the House in order to keep quiet, when he knew he could have rescued a debate from the hopeless wilderness of words into which it was being plunged.  A week or two ago he sat in my study for an hour and told me of the strain which his work was even then making manifest in his looks and speech.  I expostulated with him, but he laughed it off, and upon my suggesting that at least on Sundays he might rest from his continuous preaching, he pointed out the need of the country churches and their clamorous calls for help which he could not refuse.  Sir Frederick Holder has given his life for his church and his country.  It has been a great sacrificial act, in which he has freely laid time and talent, health and home, comfort and companionship upon the altar, and with no thought for himself, has worked to the death both heart and hand and brain.  These are the men who, living, are a State’s greatest asset, and, dying, are a call to the young manhood of the country to fill the breach, to catch the falling standard and carry on the battle for God and righteousness till at length the fight be won.  While for the stricken ones, dearer to him than life, we bare the head and bend the knee to the Father of us all.  For him we feel no grief.
No, at noonday in the bustle of man’s worktime
    We greet the unseen with a cheer!
Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be
    ‘Strive and thrive’, cry ‘speed - fight on for ever there as here’.”

    The Rev C H Nield said that the news of the death of Sir Frederick Holder must inevitably have a saddening, if not a stunning, effect upon those engaged in the work of social reform and social service in this State and far beyond it.  Generous and unstinting tribute will, no doubt, be paid to his value as a statesman and leader of affairs, and to his distinguished services in the religious world, but perhaps no one would feel more acutely the loss sustained by his death than those whom he has so ably assisted and advised in every effort towards a purer and loftier citizenship.  To remember that within two short months we have had such leaders as Thomas Price, David Nock, and Frederick William Holder taken from us is enough to create among those engaged in moral reform a feeling of appalling loss.  Each of the three had been President or Vice-President of the South Australian Temperance Alliance, and Sir Frederick was also a Vice-President of the Anti-Gambling League from the time of its inauguration.  To each of these also the league had been indebted beyond expression.  As my immediate predecessor in the Presidency of the Alliance, I naturally sought Sir Frederick’s advice before and during the strenuous local option campaign of 1906 - especially in matters of critical moment; and he freely gave his time as speaker, writer, or counsellor at every important stage of the movement.  I know also that he just as ably and generously helped the same movements in the other States.  His benefactions, too, were liberal.  He was far-sighted and sagacious, a keen student of history and of men and movements of today in different parts of the world.  He attached great value to all questions affecting national character, national ideals, and the trend of popular thought and feeling.  He was anxious to lessen the force and aura of temptation for the rising generation.  He had the very keenest sympathy for all preventive work.  I think he felt that there would always be more people concerned with effects than with the causes of misery and social and moral wreckage, and therefore he helped mostly those engaged in clearing the path for the younger generation.  He was a dignified and distinguished leader of men, sagacious as a counsellor, unfailing in his courtesy, essentially broadminded, willing to welcome any instalment of reform, and was lifted far above all that was petty and paltry in his methods and aims.  He was also generously appreciative of the good work of others, younger, less experienced, and less able than himself.  Personally, I always knew where to go for guidance and inspiration in a difficulty when he was accessible, and it is quite impossible for me to express the extent of our loss through the passing of the late Speaker of the Federal Parliament, and one of the truest and ablest friends of reform in the Commonwealth.  I need not say that intense sympathy will be felt for Lady Holder, his loyal comrade and co-worker in all his reform and religious labours, and all the members of his family.


                                                                                            Melbourne, July 23
An Incomparable Man
    At the time Sir Frederick Holder passed away the Prime Minister (Mr Deakin), who had been strongly advised to leave town on account of his indifferent health, was on his way to Point Lonsdale.  Besides communicating to his colleagues in Melbourne expressions of the deepest sorrow as soon as he learnt of Sir Frederick Holder’s death, he sent to The Argus the following tribute:-  “We have lost an incomparable arbiter in political strife, an eminent Parliamentarian, equipped for all the problems and casuistries of constitutional practice, and a man of rare probity, sincerity, and sagacity.  His loss to the House is irreparable.”

A Noble Life
    In the absence of the Prime Minister from the city today the Minister for Defence (Mr Joseph Cook) was asked as the senior Minister at hand for an estimate of the late Speaker.  He said:-  “Naturally we are all very much shocked at the staggering blow which has been dealt us.  It is not too much to say that the feeling of the entire Parliament is that of a personal bereavement.  To see him stricken down in our very midst, and while our  party warfare was in progress, gave us all to pause.  Sir Frederick Holder was much more to us than the Master of Assemblies.  He was the guide, philosopher, and friend of the whole House, ready at all times with wise and sane counsels to any who cared to seek them.  This is neither the time nor place to attempt an estimate of his life and character.  This must be left for another occasion; but it may be permitted me to say that I have never known a more alert mind, a wiser judgment, a higher or more full orbed character.  I had been speaking with him only a few minutes before he fell about a departmental matter, in which he was urging what seemed the just claims of one of his constituents.  The ending of his life was in every way a noble one.  He laid down his harness at the post of duty and passed out to his rest and reward.  His passing leaves a great blank which will not be easily filled.  He spent himself for his country, and for many a day to come his memory will speak to us of his devotion to duty, of service rendered with rare fidelity and high aim, and we shall do well to follow in the shining track which he has blazed for us.  We are full of regret, but that regret is tempered by all that his life has meant to our young Commonwealth.  We may well leave him to his richly earned rest, and those near and dear to him to the consolations of a kind Providence.”


    The Leader of the Federal Opposition (Mr Fisher) said:-  “Sir Frederick Holder was an exceptionally fine Speaker, and has been especially successful during three rather trying parliaments.  His ability to deal with difficult situations in the House enabled him to get members into a calm mood in any troublous circumstances which arose.  He was always careful to follow the proceedings, and often the actual words uttered by members when likely to be out of order were repeated more correctly than the member himself believed he had spoken.  I never knew him to lose his temper in the Chair, and it is only fair as a general statement to say that those members who on rare occasions made a complaint of an oversight on his part freely admitted after the heat of the debate that he was the best Speaker they had ever addressed.  The Commonwealth has lost a valuable public representative, and this Parliament a presiding officer who will be missed for many years.  The profound sympathy of Australia will go out to Lady Holder and members of the family in their sudden and sad bereavement.  It is an exceptional circumstance for a Speaker to die within the precincts of Parliament, and almost while on duty.  It is remarkable the number of representatives in the Commonwealth Parliament who have succumbed during their period of representation or shortly afterwards.”


Institute of Journalists
    At the time the sad news was received in Adelaide a largely attended meeting of journalists of South Australia was being held.  It had already been decided to form a South Australian Institute of Journalists, of which it was hoped that the late Sir Frederick Holder would have been a member.  When the first mournful toll of the Town Hall bells rang out its sorrowful message the proceedings of the meeting were stopped.

    Mr C R Wilton (Vice-President) said journalists of South Australia had lost a kind friend.  He remembered him from the time he was editor of The Burra Record, before he entered Parliament, and since then Sir Frederick had written in a journalistic capacity for many papers published in this State, and also for others.  Everybody who had been on the press and everybody who had anything to do with Parliamentary work in this State knew his genial, good, kind, considerate nature.  Sir Frederick was always considerate to press-men.  He was a clear and distinct speaker, and even after he had delivered a heavy speech he would put himself to inconvenience to be helpful to the reporters.  Often when Sir Frederick was going to make a big speech he would beforehand allow the reporters to see his full notes, so as to simplify their tasks, and would occasionally write a resumé of his speech to help them.  He had been associated as a journalist with Sir Frederick in Parliamentary work, and he had the highest admiration for his character and for his willingness and ability to assist and sympathize with all journalists.  No one in the community would regret more than the members of the newly formed Institute of Journalists the death of Sir Frederick Holder.  He moved:-  “That the secretary be instructed to write to Lady Holder, conveying to her and the family the sympathy of the Institute of Journalists of South Australia in their heavy bereavement,”

    Mr C J Stevens (Vice-President) said it was with pain he seconded the motion.  He had watched the career of Sir Frederick Holder from the time he was a schoolmaster, then through journalism to Parliament, and on to the Speaker’s Chair in the House of Representatives.  In every capacity he had shown great ability and a readiness at all times to assist members of the press.  The suddenness of the blow and the loss the family had sustained called forth the sympathy of everyone.

    The motion was carried by all present rising quietly in their places.

St Peters Council
    At the meeting of the St Peters Council on Friday evening the death of Sir Frederick Holder was referred to.  Ald Newberry, in moving that a letter of condolence be sent to the widow and family of the late Speaker, said that his death had come as a severe blow to them - nearly as severe as that of the late Premier (Hon T Price).  Mr Holder was not only a native politician, but had done wonderful work for the State.  Since his election he had occupied the position of Speaker with credit to himself and honour to the State which he represented.  His death was a greater loss in view of the fact that he was in the prime of life, and in the midst of the activity of Parliamentary work.  In seconding the motion, Cr Twelftree said the late Speaker had lived just across the road from the boundary of the town.  He had been one of the best representatives of the State, both from a political and a humanitarian point of view.  The motion was carried.

Trades and Labour Council
    Sympathetic references were made to the death of Sir Frederick Holder at the meeting of the Trades and Labour Council on Friday evening.  The President (Mr A F Block) mentioned the sad tidings as soon as the delegates had assembled, and moved - “That the council adjourn for five minutes out of respect to the deceased, and that a letter of condolence be forwarded to Lady Holder.”  Mr J McInnes seconded the motion, which was supported by Messrs T Ryan MP, J Jelley, and W Fitzgerald.  Mr Ryan said he had been intimately acquainted with Sir Frederick for 20 years, and only on Sunday last he had not thought it beneath his dignity to cross the street, congratulate him on his election, and express the hope that he would be true to the best traditions of the Labor Party.  The public life and the reform movement of South Australia would be the poorer for his death.  Mr Jelley stated that Sir Frederick had been as near to one of the Labour Party as anyone outside of it.  The motion was carried unanimously.


    Melbourne, July 23
    The body lies in the Speaker’s Room, behind the Chamber of the House of Representatives.  What Lady Holder wishes is to be done as regards the funeral arrangements, and her wishes will be known tomorrow morning.  The Federal Ministry has offered a State funeral, and if Lady Holder finds herself able to comply with the wish that State honours may mark the obsequies, all sections of members of Parliament will join forces to honour one whom all respected intensely.  It is expected that the body will be carried to Adelaide for interment, and that if there is a State funeral the South Australian Government will co-operate with the Commonwealth Government.

    On behalf of the Prime Minister (Mr Deakin), Mr Joseph Cook (Minister for Defence) this afternoon caused the Premier of South Australia (Mr Peake) to be advised of Sir Frederick Holder’s death.  Mr Peake was asked to break the sad news to Lady Holder in such a way as he thought best, and to inform Mr Deakin what her wishes were as to the time and place of interment.  The Federal Government would provide a public funeral if the family concurred.

    The Funeral of Sir Frederick Holder


    The following notices appeared in the Adelaide Advertiser on Monday 26th June 1909:

    THE FRIENDS of the late Sir FREDERICK HOLDER, KCMG, are respectfully informed that his Remains will be interred in the West Terrace Cemetery on MONDAY, 26th inst.

    A Funeral Service will be held in the Kent Town Methodist Church at 12 o’clock noon, at the conclusion of which the Cortege will proceed to the West Terrace Cemetery, where the interment will take place at 1.30 pm.
                        EDWIN A. MAYFIELD, Undertaker.

    FUNERAL of the late HONOURABLE SIR F W HOLDER, KCMG, Speaker, House of Representatives.

    The following will be the order of the procession of the Funeral:
Officiating Clergymen
Mourning Coaches containing the Family and Relatives
His Excellency the Governor-General
His Excellency the Governor
Commonwealth Minsters
Privy Councillors
Chief Justice of High Court
President of the Senate
Judges of High Court
Chief Justices of States
Premiers of States
State Ministers
Presidents of State Legislative Councils
Speakers of State Legislative Assemblies
Knights, Honourables
Members of Senate
Members of House of Representatives
Judges of State Supreme Courts
Members of State Legislative Councils
Members of State Legislative Assemblies
Mayors of Capital Cities
Heads of Departments Commonwealth Service
Heads of Departments State Service
Representatives of Municipalities and District Councils

    The procession will leave the late residence of Sir F W Holder, “Wavertree”, Kent Town, at 12 o’clock noon on Monday 26th July, for the Kent Town Methodist Church, thence to the West Terrace Cemetery.
                        L H SHOLL, Under-Secretary.
                    Chief Secretary’s Office, Adelaide July 24, 1909.


    Conveyances for Members of the Commonwealth and State Legislatures will leave Parliament House at 11.30 am, on MONDAY, July 26, 1909.
                        JOHN G RICE, Chief Secretary

(1th Battalion)
    A GUARD OF HONOUR consisting of 100 Rank and File, proportion of Sergeants, and Regimental Band, will Assemble at Parade Ground at 10.45 am, on Monday, July 26.
    Dress Review Order.
    Half-day’s pay will be allowed.
                        J J HUGHES, Captain,
                    Adjutant 10th A I R, 1th Battalion.
    S A Advertiser, Monday 26th July 1909.
(From our Special Correspondent)
                                                                                                    Melbourne, July 24
    The star of the late Speaker of the House of Representatives came above the horizon of Federal watchers at one of the most dramatic moments in the Federal story.  It moved out into the silence in a still more dramatic way, leaving us all with a feeling that there has been a great eclipse,
                The shadow cloaked from head to foot,
                That holds the keys of all the creeds,
is over all.

    It was at the time when everyone was wondering what was going to happen after Lord Hopetoun had sent for the Premier of the senior State, Sir William Lyne, to form the first Federal Ministry, that two men were waiting on the North Melbourne platform for the express to arrive from Adelaide.  These two were Mr Deakin and Sir George Turner, then Premier of Victoria.  In a way Sir George Turner held the key of the Federal situation.  In reality the master key was in the hands of Sir Frederick Holder, then Premier of South Australia.  He was coming on in the express with but little knowledge of all that was going on under the surface as between Mr Reid, Sir William Lyne, and Mr Deakin, for though Sir Edmund Barton was the titular leader of the Federal Party he was scarcely more than a figurehead.  The Labor party had not come into being as a Federal factor.  Mr J C Watson was still one of the rank and file of the New South Wales Labor Party, and Mr Fisher was unknown outside Queensland.  The two men waiting at North Melbourne were there to intercept the South Australian to have a quiet talk with him before he officially reached Melbourne.  The long, spare man who stepped out of the sleeping car there was interesting because his strength was unknown to all but one who had such an accurate knowledge of Federal forces as Mr Deakin.  Up to this time others had looked upon Mr Kingston as the master power coming from South Australia.  As I heard the story afterwards, Mr Holder, as he then was, had but one question to ask, “They tell me,” he said, “that all the offices have been allotted, and that we are dealing with a cut-and-dried situation.”  He was assured that this was not so, and at once he came into line with the Federal representatives who had determined that Sir William Lyne could not be the first Prime Minister of Australia.  He left that same evening for Sydney with Sir George Turner.

    It will probably be a long time before the whole story of those days is told.  No one has got the story from the point of view of the late Governor-General, Lord Hopetoun, but looking back upon that time I think that had Sir Frederick Holder thrown in his lot with Sir William Lyne at the time, a Ministry would have been formed with most of, if not all, the State Premiers in it, and the more exclusively Federal leaders in Opposition.  Sir Edmund Barton, Mr O’Connor, Mr Reid, and Mr Deakin would have been left out.  Perhaps it will lead to some better appreciation of the spirit just gone to revert to the un-told story of those days. It has been gathered bit by bit, much of it coming within my own personal knowledge.  My memory carries me back to one day when we were all hungry for news as to what was going on in Sydney, where all were waiting on the Governor-General’s call.  When I dropped into Mr Deakin’s chambers late in the afternoon he pushed forward a telegram.  It merely said - “It is Lyne.”  “What are you going to do?”, I asked.  “I am going to Point Lonsdale,” was the answer.  Late on the same evening everything was at sixes and sevens in the lobbies in Melbourne, for everyone was trying to find out what Sir George Turner intended to do.  “Where is Mr Deakin?”, asked Sir Alexander Peacock, who at that time was Sir George Turner’s lieutenant.  To a question as to what Sir George was going to do, he answered - “He is waiting to see Mr Holder.”  That was why the two men waiting at North Melbourne were so anxious.  The man coming from Adelaide had it in his power to set the direction of the current of the coming Commonwealth.  Beyond that one question and answer only two now have any knowledge of what was decided at that time, but in the light of subsequent events Mr Holder probably decided to stand in with the Deakin chain.  “Will Sir William Lyne get through?” Mr Deakin was asked.  “Oh, I think so,” he answered.  “He has so much to offer that I do not think the chain will hold.”  It did hold, but Sir Frederick Holder was the one man strong enough to break it if he so chose.

    With those outside the anxiety still continued when the two southern Premiers left for Sydney.  There was a strong dislike among the Federals to the inclusion of Sir William Lyne into the first Ministry.  He had nothing in common with them.  Up to this time, all through the Convention and the Federal campaign, he had been at cross purposes with them.  He was then exactly what he is now, a Hal-o’-the-Wynd fighting for his own hand.  All we know about that time is that Sir George Turner and Sir Frederick Holder were in consultation with Sir William Lyne till well into the morning, and they carried one message to him, which was that he must step back.  Somehow, I think that in the crisis Sir Frederick Holder settled the question by giving up his seat in the first Cabinet to Sir William Lyne.  It would be like him to do this.  Sir Frederick was altogether in too strong a position to be left out except with his own consent.  The Speakership was not in any one’s gift, and anyhow there was a long road to travel before that could be talked about.  It is not hard to hazard a guess that the issue was settled by Sir Frederick Holder putting Sir William Lyne in the Cabinet in place of himself.  There was another dramatic moment in the story, for when in the early hours of the morning the two southern Premiers came out from the Conference they found a messenger from the Governor-General pacing up and down waiting for them.  They were taken at once to see Lord Hopetoun.  It was a very thankful Governor-General who heard the story first that he was able to get back from the position he had first taken up and to send for Sir Edmund (then Mr) Barton to form the first Ministry.  The Federal complications have been bad enough during the last eight years.  We were saved almost from chaos by the wisdom and unselfishness of Sir Frederick at that time.

    As Speaker of the Federal Parliament Sir Frederick came upon everyone as a surprise.  There were South Australians in the first Parliament who disappointed the watchers.  Mr Kingston was a puzzle, for he appeared but in flashes.  Before the first Parliament closed the puzzle was solved by the breakdown of Mr Kingston’s health.  He was evidently a sick man from the beginning.  The strength of the Speaker chosen was his knowledge of the traditions of Parliament.  His work was foundational, and therefore all the harder.  He had to rule a House of strong and sometimes turbulent men, but more than this he had to rule a House which was new, which had few common interests, and no traditions.  Outside the chair the foundational work has fallen upon the shoulders of Mr Deakin, and when we get the proper perspective of this work it will be found to have been well done.  We have already got the perspective of Sir Frederick Holder’s work.  From the very first he impressed one with the feeling that he carried with him all the great traditions of the Mother of Parliaments.  It was not only that he had great courtesy - one might have that and still be a weak Speaker - nor was it only that his rulings were always wise.  He had not even an iron hand - a velvet glove. It was simply that he had gathered the confidence of the whole House, and the least suggestion that the Speaker was being defied roused the whole of the members to his defence.  Members knew that they did not dare even to mutter when the Speaker’s tone grew emphatic.  It was his kindly interest in them which attracted members.  In the beginning of this session one member made an important speech.  Later on he had occasion to speak to the Speaker, who, alluding to the speech made in difficult circumstances, said “I do not think it could have been better done.”  Our Parliamentary institutions depend more upon a great Speaker than most people know.  A great Speaker needs to be all courtesy, to be permeated with the best traditions of Parliamentary government, to be a master of procedure, and to be everyone’s friend.  All this Sir Frederick Holder was.


    A biography of Patrick McMahon Glynn written by his grandson, Gerald O’Collins SJ, gives another explanation of Holder’s failure to be offered a Ministry in the first Federal Government :

    The Commonwealth was to be inaugurated on 1st January 1901, and Lord Hopetoun was appointed first Governor-General.  Poor Lord Hopetoun began badly.  On the voyage from England he was wretchedly unwell.  A few days after his arrival in Sydney he surprisingly called upon Sir William Lyne to form the first federal ministry.  The previous year Lyne had supplanted George Reid as Premier of New South Wales.  When Sir George Turner, the Victorian Premier, and Holder, the South Australian Premier, refused to serve under Lyne, he had to return his commission and Barton, a far more popular and deserving choice, was sent for to be the first Australian Prime Minister.

    Holder’s refusal to join was an important factor in the defeat of Lyne.  An “honourable” explanation of Holder’s position is suggested in Professor J A La Nauze’s “The Hopetoun Blunder” :
    It seems likely that his talk with Deakin and Turner in Melbourne showed him that a government without the leading Victorians would inaugurate the Commonwealth amid unhappy personal dissentions; so he would not join unless they would. ...... Turner insisted in later years that Holder would have joined Lyne if he himself had been willing to do so.  It was much to Holder’s credit that he made this condition, when he had no personal obligations to Barton, and suspected with good reason that Lyne’s failure would mean the choice of Kingston rather than himself as South Australian representative in the cabinet.

    In the brief account of the affair in his diary Glynn did not credit Holder with such lofty motives.  He recorded that Holder’s refusal to serve under Lyne appeared to have been bought by the offer of a position in Barton’s ministry.
    The secret history of the canvassing for the Premiership and positions in the Cabinet would probably not show some of those concerned in the best of lights.  There is a general sense that the offices and posts had been bespoken beforehand by a political syndicate of which Barton, Deakin, Kingston, and probably Turner (but that is doubtful) were the chief shareholders and directors.

    Holder was met at North Melbourne by Deakin and Turner who impressed on him the desirableness of not allowing Lyne to form a Ministry.  This was when he was on his way to Sydney, to meet and confer with Lyne by request.  He was further pressed in Sydney by R E O’Connor, who appears to have assured him that in Bartonian appointments he would not be overlooked.  Holder objected that he could scarcely see under what obligation he was to open the way to position and power for others at the risk of losing a certainty for himself.

    However, Turner’s refusal to join forced Holder to advise Lyne to throw up the sponge.  Turner knew that Deakin’s exclusion from the first Ministry would be unpopular in Victoria, of which the eloquent and diffuse Alfred is the present pet, and felt that he himself was a certainty for the Bartonian team.  Two New South Wales appointments called for two Victorian and the claims of Tasmania would have to be ignored for the purpose of satisfying the Victorians.  Tasmania was small, incapable of forcible remonstrance through its mild mannered and soapable Premier Lewis, whom the personal honour of a position in any capacity in the Cabinet would doubtless mollify.

    So Holder reluctantly gave way and Barton was sent for by the Governor-General.  Barton soon fixed up his cabinet, and let it go to the world that the inclusion of Kingston or Holder, whichever of the two it was to be, depended on the result of a conference between the two South Australians, to bring about which he had telegraphed to the returned Holder who again left Adelaide for Sydney.  On arrival in Sydney Holder was ignored.  He was not approached or in any way consulted, and heard nothing of the completion of the Ministry until it was announced in the papers of Monday, 31st December 1900.  He was simply sold, and as far as his somewhat neutral nature is capable of strong feeling, furious and disappointed.

    Barton lamely explained that he had twice tried and failed to speak to Holder by telephone before the ministry was finally arranged.  Glynn commented that “Barton’s attempt, if made, to meet a Premier whom he had summoned to Sydney was scarcely adequate to the circumstances.”

    Deakin, in his book “The Federal Story”, praised Holder for his “singularly lucid mind”, “faculty for logical expression”, “great mastery of detail and cautious judgment”, and “thoroughness and fairness in debate”.



    The remains of the late Sir Frederick Holder will be committed to the grave in Adelaide today.  Soon after the fact of his death was made known the Commonwealth Government offered to provide a State funeral as a public tribute to the respect in which the deceased was universally held.  This offer was accepted by Lady Holder, and the arrangements in connection with it have been carried out by the Chief Secretary’s Department, acting for the South Australian Government on behalf of the Federal authorities.

    The body of the deceased was brought across from Melbourne by a special train, which arrived at the Adelaide railway station at 7 o’clock on Sunday morning.  Attached to the engine was also a special boudoir car, in which members of the Federal Ministry and Houses of Parliament, as well as some of the chief executive officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives made the trip to be present at the obsequies.  The legislators who have come to attend the funeral are Sir Albert Gould (President of the Senate); the Hon L E Groom (Minister of External Affairs); the Hon P McM Glynn (Attorney-General); Mr A Fisher, leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives; and Mr James Matthews, MHR.  The officers who accompanied them were:- Mr C Gavan Duffy, clerk of the House of Representatives; Mr G Upward, clerk assistant of the Senate; Mr W A Gale, clerk assistant of the House of Representatives; Mr Harry Friend, chief Parliamentary reporter; and Mr Arthur Wadsworth, Parliamentary librarian.  Mr E M Holder, a son, and Mr A H Harry, a son-in-law of the deceased, both of whom went to Melbourne on Friday after the sad news was received, as well as the Rev T S B Woodfull, of Bendigo, a close personal friend of the family, also travelled by the special train.

The Funeral Arrangements
    The funeral is timed to leave “Wavertree”, Kent Town, the late residence of the deceased legislator, at 12 o’clock today, and will proceed from there to the Kent Town Methodist Church, where a short funeral service will be conducted by the Rev Brian Wibberley.  This will occupy about half an hour, and upon its conclusion at 12.30 pm the order of procession for the State funeral will be arranged.  On account of the comparative shortness of the streets in the neighbourhood of the church it is anticipated that the procession as it is being formed will extend into several of them.  The hearse will be near the church, with the horses’ heads facing south, and from there the cortege will extend  back to the corner of King William Road, Kent Town, from there to the corner of Kent Terrace and King William Street, and thence along the eastern side of King William Street towards College Road.

    The marshalling of the cortege will be directed by the police, who have been entrusted with this duty by the Chief Secretary, and the order of the procession will be:-
(here follows the order of procession as listed in the Funeral Notice)

    It has been arranged in response to the expressed wish of Lady Holder, that the Premier (the Hon A H Peake) and Sir Frederick’s old Ministerial colleagues in this State shall act as pall-bearers in conveying the coffin from the hearse to the graveside.

    From the Kent Town Methodist Church the cortege will proceed to the West Terrace Cemetery by the following route:-  Kent Terrace to Wakefield Road, thence to East Terrace, down Angas Street and Gouger Streets, round Whitmore Square, and down Sturt Street to the burial ground.

    In connection with the funeral the Chief Secretary has arranged for conveyances for members of the Commonwealth and State Legislatures to leave Parliament House at 11.30 am for Kent Town.

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 25
    The body of the late Speaker of the House of Representatives was taken from Parliament House on Saturday afternoon, and conveyed by special train to Adelaide, where interment takes place tomorrow.

    Prior to the removal of his remains a brief but impressive service was held in the Chamber in which Sir Frederick Holder had so long and honourably presided, and the solemn hush was in marked contrast to the tumultuous proceedings which have been so regrettable a feature of the present session.  It was not generally known that the service would be held, but the gathering was representative of the political, religious, and commercial life of the community.  Included among those present were the President of the Senate (Sir Albert Gould), and several members of the Senate, Mr Joseph Cook (Minister of Defence), Sir John Forrest (Treasurer),  Mr Groom (Minister of External Affairs), Mr Glynn (Attorney-General), Sir Robert Best (Minister of Customs), Mr Fisher MHR, Mr T W Woodlard (Sergeant-at-arms), Messrs Murray (Premier of Victoria), Watt (Treasurer), Prendergast MLA, F Madden (Speaker of the Legislative Assembly), Rev W Williams FLS (President of the General Methodist Conference of Australia), the Rev Dr Fitchett, Dean Morley, the Revs F J Nance, T S B Woodfull, A E Albiston, C  Tregear,  R Ditterich, E T Cox, E H Sugden (Master of Queen’s College), and A R Edgar, Messrs H Berry, A Hoadley, J W Eggleston, E Harcourt, and Dr Wilkinson.

    Dr Morley read two short passages from the New Testament and Dr Fitchett prayed.
”He was Loved and Trusted”
    The Rev W Williams delivered an address, in which he said:-  “Gentlemen, it was in this Chamber that Sir Frederick Holder performed for a long time his patriotic work.  His life was open to the keenest scrutiny and the most searching examination.  It was here that he won for himself a high place in the estimation, not alone of the gentlemen who come here to do the work of the country, but of the people throughout the Commonwealth.  Two things are in my mind to say of him.  The first I can put in the words of Holy Scripture, “Ye know that a prince and a great man hath fallen.”  Sir Frederick Holder was a prince and leader among men; he was a great man.  We use the word ‘great’ relatively as applied to men, but he was a man who, I think, scarcely knew how great he was, and how much he was loved and trusted.  He was not a man who wore his heart upon his sleeve and told the first enquirer all that was in it.  To some extent he lived a life apart, but he was a man strong enough and sufficiently at peace with his conscience to live his life most openly.  But we shall know him and value him by his loss, and I think I am speaking for a wide constituency when I repeat those words - “A prince and a great man hath fallen”.  I say that most sincerely for my own church, to which he was so loyally and devotedly attached, and whatever the judgment of others may be, we feel that one of our princes, one of our leaders, has left us, no more to be with us.  We have lost, too, a comrade.  I am sure there are many gentlemen here who will say that in all questions of statesmanship, and of political life, our friend was abundantly fitted to be a comrade to work side by side and hand in hand with, and one who would so work without vainglory and without guile.  I am impressed with the fact that I am speaking to members of two Parliaments - one is the Parliament of the Commonwealth, charged with high responsibility of legislation and administration, and the other is the highest parliament of our own Methodist Church throughout Australia.  In our last general conference, which met in 1907, Sir Frederick Holder was a loved and trusted member, and the loss which we as a church have sustained is one which must disturb us.  We realise that such a loss as his is hard to bear, and exceedingly difficult to supply.
A Blameless Life
    “This is not the place nor the time for anything like an elaborate analysis of the character and life of our departed friend.  We come here today with the privileges of friendship, comradeship, of spiritual kinship, and of national kinship, to say our dear friend was greatly loved and deeply trusted.  With everything that tended to the welfare of the people, the uplifting of the downtrodden, and for the establishment of righteousness our friend was in keen sympathy.  I am here to say he lived his life as a Christian man, that Christianity covered all his character, and touched all his conduct.  He was not a man who kept his religion and his work separate - the one purified the other - and I have no hesitation in saying that he belonged to that class of man of whom it is said “he reverenced his conscience as his king”, and if I may quote further from the same poem I should say, “He ever wore the white flower of a blameless life”.  Speaking in the presence of those who knew him in his political life, as well as those who have watched his life from a religious point of view, I am not afraid to say that through every stormy sea, whether in politics or anything else, he steered the course which in his judgment was straight, and he always steered for a noble goal.  He was a man who loved his God and served his God.  He served his God partly by serving his fellow men, whether in the Legislative Chamber, in the Speaker’s chair, or in the pulpit preaching the truths of the Gospel of Christ.  I am glad to be able to say such words as these of our friend, not in a spirit of fulsome flattery or eulogy, but as the barest tribute to the excellencies of his character, which many of us marked and were glad to mark.
The Hour of Grief
    “May I be permitted a personal reference?  Dr Fitchett prayed for his widow in her lonely hour of grief, and her position touches me with special closeness, because we were schoolfellows at the same Sunday and day school.  From the days of her youngest childhood I have known Lady Holder, and now my old schoolmate is a widow with a broken heart.  I am sure I will make an appeal which will awaken a response when I say I trust that in our approaches to God we shall pray for the brokenhearted widow.  There are many others whose sorrows are as deep as hers, and may God pity them all.  We are about to follow all that is mortal of our dear friend, and I rejoice greatly to know that this is the least considerable part of what his life was.  He is now away from us, he has been released from the ceaseless strain and strife of his earthly life, and has passed into the presence of God to his eternal reward.  May God give to us as high conceptions of our duty as our friend had; may he help us to walk in the life of our own conscience, simply, steadily, and directly as he walked, and when it comes for us to leave these activities, may our friends say of us, and with as much reason as we can say of him, “He reverenced his conscience as his king”, and that the light of his conscience and the light of his God bound him with chains which to him were dear, and from which he never strove to break.”

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 25
    The first stages of the final earthly journey of the body of the first Speaker of Australia’s national Parliament were begun in Melbourne on Saturday, amid manifestations of national mourning which have no precedent in the story of the Commonwealth.  The over-shadowing presence of the Angel of Death in the national Legislature was felt on Saturday morning through a thousand channels.  The flags at half-mast, the shut front door and drawn blinds over every window, were but the outward and visible signs to the public eye of a subtle influence which seemed to permeate the whole building.  Members and officials wearing deep mourning moved about softly, conversing with carefully subdued voices, while those whose wrangling on the floor of the House of Representatives during the past few weeks did so much to rack the nerves and try the patience of the man who once presided over them, had a chastened look on their faces.  Ministers and chief officers of the Senate and House of Representatives completed the arrangements for a national funeral well before 10.30 am.

    Owing to the difficulties of vehicular communication from Point Lonsdale, the Prime Minister (Mr Deakin) was unable to come up to Melbourne in time to take part in the religious service, and the procession which formed the initial rites in the State obsequies, but Mr Deakin was in close touch through the telephone with Mr Joseph Cook, who, with Messrs Glynn and Groom, represented the Cabinet in the preliminary work of organising the sad functions of the day.

    On Mr Deakin’s behalf the late Sir Frederick Holder’s son, Mr Sydney Holder, and son-in-law, Mr A H Harry, were met by the Treasurer and Attorney-General at the Spencer Street railway station, and were taken to Parliament House, when they saw the remains of their beloved relative, and were made acquainted by Mr Duffy, clerk of the House of Representatives, with the programme tentatively devised.  Messrs Holder and Harry approved of the Ministers’ proposals, and conveyed what they believed would be Lady Holder’s wishes concerning further action.  Before midday a telegram had been dispatched by Mr Cook to the Premier of South Australia requesting him to do all that was necessary to ensure a dignified State funeral in Adelaide tomorrow.  It is unnecessary to add that Mr Peake promptly complied with the Commonwealth Government’s desires, and so arranged matters that the funeral will be over in time for the Federal Parliamentary delegation to catch the evening express back to Melbourne.

    The House of Representatives will meet on Tuesday, solely for the purpose of paying a tribute to the memory of the late “First Commoner” in the land, and naturally the delegation now in Adelaide desire to be present at this solemn gathering.

    It was a happy and appropriate inspiration which led the Parliamentary and Ministerial authorities to make the central feature of the portion of the State funeral of Sir Frederick Holder on Saturday a religious service, in the very hall through which his strong voice had so often rung since 1901.

    The service itself was attended by men of all creeds and by men over whom creeds as such have but a slight hold.  The simple but deeply effective ceremony was unique in the history of Australia and probably in that of the British Empire.  The nearer approach to the precedent was the famous lying-in-state ceremony in Westminster Hall in May 1898, when the body of another great Liberal Churchman, though of a different ecclesiastical school, William Ewart Gladstone, was placed on a catafalque for three days, and over 2,000,000 people passed by it in single file.  The service on Saturday symbolised the belief held very tenaciously by the deceased Speaker, namely that the secular and the sacred should be so blended and united in the life of a true Christian publicist that all human activity could be judged by an exalted standard of duty.

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 25
    The coffin containing the remains of the deceased statesman after the service was borne from the Speaker’s room through Queen’s Hall to the hearse at the foot of the front steps.  The pallbearers were Sir Albert Gould, Messrs Fisher, Murray, F Madden, and Dr Fitchett.  The coffin passed through a group of officers in Queen’s Hall, amongst whom were Major-General Hoad (Chief of the General Staff), Colonel Stanley (District Commandant), Lieutenant-Colonel Sellheim (DAAG for Victoria), Colonel Monash (commander of the Victorian Intelligence Corps), and Major Bruche (DAG for Western Australia).  On the steps were Lieutenant Burford, Engineer Lieutenant Owen, and Lieutenant Keightley, and a guard of honour consisting of a detachment of the naval forces and the RAA.

    The ministers and laymen of the Methodist Church who were present at the service followed on foot immediately behind the hearse as it moved slowly down Bourke Street, which was lined with crowds of people, who stood with bared and bowed heads.  Members of Parliament and the Lord Mayor of Melbourne rode in carriages.  There was also a carriage belonging to the Lieutenant-Governor (Sir John Madden), who was represented by Captain Vallange.  Mr Victor Hood also rode with Captain Vallange as representative of the State Governor (Sir Thomas Gibson-Carmichael).

    The special train which conveyed the body to Adelaide left Spencer Street shortly after 4 pm, and many journeyed by it to take part in the ceremonies in the South Australian capital.

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 25
    The special train conveying the remains of Sir Frederick Holder to Adelaide passed through Ballarat at 6.30 pm yesterday, when a number of representative citizens, some of whom had been acquainted with the deceased gentleman, assembled on the platform of the western station to meet the train and to express sympathy with relatives and friends.  Many heads were uncovered as the train steamed out of the station on its way to South Australia.  References were made in the Methodist and other churches of Ballarat today to the sudden death of Sir Frederick Holder.  Special hymns were sung and prayers were offered up for the comfort of Lady Holder and family in their bereavement.  The deceased gentleman, it was mentioned by several ministers, had frequently preached in churches in Ballarat, in the Sunday-schools of which he had taken considerable interest.  Reference was also made in various Methodist churches in Bendigo and suburbs.


    Since the announcement of the death of Sir Frederick Holder, Lady Holder and her family have received telegrams and messages of condolence from every part of Australia.  Through his long association with politics - State as well as Federal - Sir Frederick became known, either personally or by repute, to every one of his fellow legislators in the Commonwealth.  The tributes of respect received by the family from public bodies will serve to show the esteem in which he was held.  The messages and telegrams received from the representatives of Royalty and the Governmental institutions are as under:

    The Governor-General (Lord Dudley) telegraphed as follows:-  “Lady Dudley and myself have heard with profound regret of the death of your husband, and we hasten to offer you our sincere sympathy, which I feel sure will be shared by all Australia.”

    Sir Day Hort and Lady Bosanquet sent the following message:-  “Our deepest sympathy and most sincere condolences are with you in your grievous affliction.”

    Sir Edmund Barton, who now occupies a seat on the Federal judiciary, but at one time was a Parliamentary colleague of Sir Frederick Holder, and with him a member of the first Federal Convention, telegraphed:- “Accept my deep sympathy in your heavy sorrow.  Parliament has lost a great Speaker and Australia a patriotic son.”

    The Chief Justice of Victoria (Sir John Madden) wrote:-  “I venture in your great sorrow to express to you the earnest sympathy and condolence of Lady Madden and myself.  The sudden taking of Sir Frederick Holder is inexpressibly sad, and his loss is universally deplored throughout Australia.  The honour and respect in which he has been, and is, held will surely comfort you in some degree, though nothing can, of course, compensate you in your fresh grief.”

    The Speaker of the State Assembly (Sir Jenkin Coles) telegraphed:-  “Please accept for myself and members of the House of Assembly our heartfelt sympathy in the irreparable loss you have sustained by the death of Sir Frederick.”

    Mr Crawford Vaughan telegraphed as follows in the name of the South Australian Parliamentary Labor Party:-  “Parliamentary Labor Party extends deepest sympathy in your bereavement.  Australia has lost a great statesman and the cause of humanity a noble servant.”

    The Premier of Victoria (Mr Murray) sent the following telegram to Lady Holder:-  “On behalf of the people of Victoria I offer you our deepest sympathy in your great trouble.”

    The Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly (Mr Frank Madden) telegraphed:-  “On behalf of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria I beg to offer you and your family our deepest sympathy and to add our tribute of sincere respect to the memory of one who has served Australia with such faithfulness and devotion to duty.”

    The Premier of New South Wales (Mr Wade) telegraphed:-  “Lady Holder - The Government and people of New South Wales offer you deepest sympathy on the death of Sir Frederick Holder, and deplore the loss of so notable a public servant to the State and the Commonwealth.”

    The Premier of Western Australia (Mr Moore) sent the following message to Lady Holder:-  “The Government and people of Western Australia extend to you and your family every sympathy in your sudden and sad bereavement.  We recognise what a loss Australia has suffered by the death of so eminent a statesman, but the loss to you of a husband and father is much greater.”

    The Speaker of the Perth Legislative Assembly telegraphed:-  “On behalf of this Assembly I beg to tender sincere sympathy upon your sad bereavement.”

    The Premier of Tasmania (Sir Elliott Lewis) telegraphed:-  “Tasmanian members join with the people of Tasmania in expressing deep sympathy with you in your great bereavement, and in the irreparable loss which the Commonwealth has sustained.”

    Condolences of a more private nature have also been received from the following:-  The Lord Mayors of Melbourne and Sydney, the Mayor of Albany, Lord Richard Nevill, the Speaker of the New South Wales House of Assembly, the Federal Postmaster-General, Sir John Downer, Sir Alexander Peacock, Mr A Fisher MHR, Senator Keating, Messrs Hutchison, Dugald Thomson, Poynton, and Batchelor (members of the House of Representatives), the Consul-General for China, Mrs T Price, the Hon E H Coombe, Mr T H Smeaton MP, the State Railways Commissioner (Mr A B Moncrieff), the State Military Commandant (Colonel Lee), Miss Vida Goldstein (on behalf of the Victorian Women’s Political Association), and Professor Rennie.

    Methodism, in which the deceased was a prominent figure, is represented in the list of condolences by messages from the president of the South Australian Methodist Conference (Rev W G Clarke), and from the Methodist Churches of New South Wales, Queensland, and New Zealand.  Telegrams and letters of sympathy have also reached the relatives from the New South Wales committee of the Union of Churches, the secretary of the Sunday school department of the Methodist Church in this State, and the secretary of the Board of Missions of the Australasian Methodist Church.

    Other institutions that have also paid their tribute of respect to the deceased are:-  The Albert District IOR, the SA Trades and Labor Council, the ANA, the South Austra-lian Headquarters of the Salvation Army, the Kooringa Lodge of Freemasons (of which the deceased was a member), the South Australian School of Mines Students’ Association, the Victorian Temperance Alliance, the Victorian Rechabites, and the Australasian Conventions of the WCTU.  In addition a large number of messages of condolence have been received from private friends of the family.

    The Premier has received the following messages of condolence:-
    From the Premier of Victoria - “On behalf of the people of Victoria, I condole with you in the great loss sustained by your State and Australia generally in the sudden death of so distinguished a statesman as Sir Frederick Holder.”
    From Mr J Tonkin, Mayor of Kadina - “Kindly convey to Lady Holder and family sincerest sympathy from Kadina residents.  Sorrowing with them.”

                                                                                            Melbourne, July 25
    The Federal Government received a large number of messages of condolence on Saturday, and amongst them were the following:-
    From Mr J T Bell, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland:-  “I desire to express my deep sympathy and that of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland at the death of your Speaker.”
    From the Lord Mayor of Melbourne:-  “On behalf of the City of Melbourne I desire to express deep regret at the sad death of Sir Frederick Holder, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the irreparable loss which the Commonwealth has thereby sustained.”
    The South Australian members of the Federal Parliament telegraphed from Bacchus Marsh on Friday evening:-  “South Australian members of the Federal Parliament deeply pained to learn the sad news of the death of our beloved colleague, the Speaker.”
    The Governor of South Australia addressed a telegram to the Deputy Speaker as follows:-  “Desire to offer you and your House sincere sympathy at death of Speaker.”

    Shortly before midday on Saturday a special issue of the “Commonwealth Gazette”, with deep black border, was published, and displayed at various public places in Melbourne.  It was as follows:
Commonwealth of Australia
NO 40                                    1909


The Prime Minister, with feelings of profound regret, announces to the public the decease, yesterday, at Parliament House, Melbourne, of the Honourable Sir Frederick Holder, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The funeral will move from Parliament House at half-past three o’clock this day.
                    ALFRED DEAKIN
                            Prime Minister


    A tribute to the memory of Sir Frederick Holder was paid by Dr Chapman and the audience of men at the Exhibition Building yesterday afternoon.  In front of the green rostrum was fixed a harp of white flowers and greenery in honour of the dead statesman.

    Dr Chapman said that a week ago Sir Frederick Holder had sat just to his left on the platform as an interested listener, so he was told.  Today he was in the presence of his King.  From all he could hear of Sir Frederick Holder and his influence on the community as a statesman, a Christian, and a citizen, he had come to the conclusion that he was a man who had stood always for righteousness, and whose life counted for good.  The community had suffered almost an irreparable loss.  He knew that was so from all that he had heard.  They told him Sir Frederick was ready.  Were they ready?  He asked them to lift a monument to the memory of Sir Frederick Holder by placing their handkerchiefs over their hands and raising their arms when he gave the signal.  They would first sing softly a verse and chorus of the hymn that had been Sir Frederick Holder’s favourite.  The choir softly sang the verse:-
Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth be past,
Till within the jasper wall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
That was a great verse, said Dr Chapman, to sing to Sir Frederick Holder’s memory.  In a whisper the chorus was sung:
Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by,
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
”Now, gentlemen,” said Dr Chapman, “lift your hands to the memory of this great man, and ask yourselves the question whether, if you should stand before God e’er this week is ended, you would be ready.”

    As the choir again sang softly the chorus, thousands of arms, capped by white handkerchiefs, rose slowly, and then became stationary.  The effect was sepulchral, for the mute audience presented the appearance of spectres.  Sadly all gazed at the harp of flowers and thought, no doubt, of the uncertainty of life and of the departed statesman’s nobility of character.  Dr Chapman prayed, and then the choir softly sang the chorus once again.

    Dr J R Stephens, father of Lady Holder, was present at  the meeting.


    At the fortnightly meeting of the Unley Democratic Association on Saturday evening last, the president (Hon J V O’Loghlin) referred in feeling terms to the loss sustained alike by the State of South Australia and the Commonwealth by the sudden death of the late Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives. He had been connected with the deceased gentleman for the past 30 years, was on his committee when he contested the Frome election several years ago, and for between four and five years was associated with him in the Kingston Ministry.  He remembered the great help rendered him by Sir Frederick not only in State politics, but also in the Federal Legislature, and was quite sure he voiced the thoughts of each one present when he said he deeply felt the loss of a good, great man.  He moved “That the regret and sympathy felt by all present be placed on record.”  It was unanimously agreed that a copy of the resolution should be sent to Lady Holder and family.


    Arrangements have been made for a guard of one captain, two lieutenants, and 100 rank and file of the 1th Battalion, 10th A.I.R., with the Regimental Band, to parade, under regimental arrangements, which appear fully in a advertisement, to be in position in front of the residence of the late Sir Frederick Holder at 11.50 am today to take part in the funeral.  Officers and other ranks are invited to attend and wear full dress.

                                                                                            Melbourne, July 25
    Preaching at Glen Iris tonight, Archbishop Clarke, referring to the death of Sir Frederick Holder, said, “Let us all pay our just tribute of respect to one who nobly won honour in his office, and, at the same time, let us ask that the highest traditions he upheld may become the rule of our Parliamentary life.”


    The Chinese flag was flown at half-mast on the quarters of the Chinese Empire Reform Association out of respect for the memory of Sir Frederick Holder, and when the Chinese Consul-General (Liang Lan-hsan) arrived in Adelaide from Western Australia on Saturday on his way back to Melbourne, one of his first enquiries was as to what had been done in the matter, and to express his satisfaction with the action of the Chinese of Adelaide.  At a meeting of the Chinese Empire Reform Association at 202 Hindley Street on Saturday evening, the president (Mr C Fong) occupying the chair, a resolution of sympathy with Lady Holder and family was passed.  Mr Way Lee (an ex-president of the association), in moving the vote of sympathy, said the Chinese residents in South Australia were grieved to hear of the death of Sir Frederick, and recollected that during his connection with the State Cabinet, and also in his Federal office, he had proved himself kind-hearted to the Chinese nation, and just to all foreign races represented in Australia.  They recognised that the deceased was a great statesman and a true Christian gentleman.  The association expressed their intention to be represented at the funeral.


    Hamley Bridge, July 24. - Profound regret was expressed by townspeople when, through the medium of “The Advertiser”, it became known that Sir Frederick Holder had died.  The deceased was well known here, especially to the young men connected with the Young Men’s Christian Society.  He won their respect, and his addresses from time to time were looked forward to with eagerness.

    The flags and pennants at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday were flown at half-mast on account of the death of Sir Frederick Holder.

    At the Bowden Methodist Church on Sunday morning the Rev W A Langsford said it had been a delight for Methodist ministers to have the late Sir Frederick Holder in their homes.  He had known Sir Frederick 37 years and had had the honour of asking him to give his first public address.  Sir Frederick had been always willing to preach the Gospel and he did it cheerfully.  As an honourable man he had set a noble example.

    In the evening, referring to the death of Sir Frederick Holder, the Rev John Blacket said that as a State and Commonwealth and as a Methodist Church they had been sorely bereaved, for they had lost one of their greatest and best men.  Sir Frederick was taken away in the midst of his work and usefulness.  He was a man who could be ill spared.  He was a great statesman in the highest and truest sense, one who not only served his country well, but his God and Church.  He did not know of anyone who could fill his place in the Church, for he held a unique position, and he did not know anyone who could better carry out his public duties.

    At the instance of the Mayor (Mr R G Thiselton) the Brighton Town Council on Friday evening adjourned its sitting for a short period out of respect for the memory of the late Sir Frederick Holder.

    At a special meeting of the Woodville Local Board of Health on Saturday, reference was made to the death of Sir Frederick Holder.  The secretary was instructed to send a letter of condolence to Lady Holder and family.

    When the Old Age Pensions Appropriation Bill was under consideration in Committee of the House of Representatives in the early hours of Friday morning (says the Melbourne “Herald”) there was a stirring scene in which Sir William Lyne was the central figure.  It was just before the close of this sitting that Sir Frederick Holder had his fatal seizure.

    The House had gone into Committee of Supply, and the Treasurer moved an appropriation of £1 000 000 for the old age pensions during the current year.

    Sir William Lyne said that much had been said about finding the money for pensions, but it would be easy to place a land tax on the Statute book during the present year.  If the Government was put out of office this could be easily done.
      Mr Joseph Cook - We won’t squeal as you do.
    Sir William Lyne - I am not hungering for office. (Ministerial laughter.)  I am only sorry (pointing his finger at the Prime Minister) to see a good old man destroy his career.  (Loud Ministerial cries of “Shame!”)
    Mr Joseph Cook - It is cowardly to attack a man like that.
    The Chairman - I must ask the Minister for Defence to withdraw that remark.
    Mr Joseph Cook - Mr Chairman, I withdraw and apologise, but I ask you whether we are to sit here and be insulted.  (Uproar and loud cries of “Chair”.)  The member for Hume is always insulting someone.
    The Chairman - The Minister for Defence is evidently reflecting on me.  The remark of the hon. member for Hume was brought about by an interjection from the Minister.  If hon. members do not assist me I cannot maintain order.
    Mr Joseph Cook (advancing to the table) - All right.  I shall have to move a motion.  (Loud uproar and Labor cries of “Move it!”)
    Mr Catts - Is this bullying?
    The Chairman - I must ask the hon. member for Cook to withdraw that.
    Mr Catts - I will withdraw it if it is out of order.
    Mr Joseph Cook - I wish to say, by way of personal explanation, that the member for Hume made an insulting observation as to the size of my brain.  (Loud laughter.)
    Mr Page - How does he know the size of your brain?  (More laughter.)
    Mr Fisher said that all regretted the heat that had been displayed.  He for one would do his best to uphold the ruling of the Chairman.
    Mr Deakin - I am sure we all agree with the Leader of the Opposition, but there is a line beyond which we are not justified in going, and it is when not even the dead are left alone.  (Sensation.)
     The Chairman - I did not hear any reference to the dead.
    Mr Hume Cook - Sir William Lyne referred to the father of the hon. member for Darling Downs and said he would turn in his grave if he saw his son now.  (Uproar.)
    Sir William Lyne (shouting) - You keep quiet.
    Mr Hall - If a person has not reflected on the dead, is that out of order?
    Mr Mauger (loudly) - Shame!  Shame!
    Mr Page - It is pretty rough if we cannot refer to the dead.
    Mr Hall - It is a question of taste.
    The Chairman - It is a matter of practice, and has been ever since the Commonwealth parliament has existed, that if exception is taken to any remarks it is the custom to withdraw them.  In this case I will ask the member for Hume to withdraw.
    Sir William Lyne (angrily) - Mr Chairman, I did not say one word about the dead, the honoured dead.  I honour the memory of the dead.
    Mr Crouch - To strike the living.
    Sir William Lyne - I will strike the living now.  I would not refer to my great old friend to his harm.  I only regret he is not here.  (Shame.)  I would have followed him to the end of the earth, but I will not follow his son.
    The Chairman - I must ask the hon. member to withdraw.
    Sir William Lyne - Withdraw what?
    The Chairman - Withdraw the statement.
    Sir William Lyne - If the Chairman wants me to I will, but I will not have a stigma placed on me.  At your request I withdraw.
    The proceedings were then resumed.

    The Register, Monday July 26, 1909
                                                                                            Melbourne, July 25
    A special Federal Gazette was issued yesterday, at the instance of the Prime Minister, announcing the death of the Speaker.  It was heavily bordered in black.  The announcement was as follows:-  “Death of the Honourable Sir Frederick William Holder, KCMG (Speaker of the House of Representatives).  The Prime Minister, with feelings of profound regret, announces to the public the decease yesterday, at Parliament House, Melbourne, of the Honourable Sir Frederick Holder, (Speaker of the House of Representatives).  The funeral will move from Parliament House at half-past three o’clock this day. - Alfred Deakin, Prime Minister.”
Funeral Ceremonies
    It had been thought that the funeral ceremonies in Melbourne in connection with the death of the late Speaker would not take place before Monday, and many of those who sincerely mourned his loss, including the Prime Minister (Mr Deakin), who was away at Port Lonsdale, were unable to be present yesterday afternoon, at which time the ceremonies it had been suddenly arranged should be observed.  This was the result of the arrival in Melbourne of Mr Evan Holder, son of the late Speaker, and Mr A H Harry, a son-in-law.  Arrangements were hurriedly made.  A special train was engaged, and it was decided to take the body to Adelaide yesterday afternoon.
A Remarkable Spectacle
    Notwithstanding the shortness of the notice, the late Sir Frederick Holder was so well known and so highly respected that an unusually representative and distinguished gathering attended at Parliament House to pay the last respects to his memory.  So many came that the Ministers’ lobby, in which it had been decided to hold the preliminary service, was found to be too small, and the Chamber of the House of Representatives was used instead.  It was a remarkable spectacle.  The Chamber was unlighted.  As the mourners filed in and filled its benches its gloomy shade spread an air of solemnity over all.  Only a few hours before in that Chamber the spirit of turbulence and uproar had been suddenly hushed as the Speaker slipped to the floor, struck by a fatal seizure.  The signs of the confusion and strife of the all-night sitting were plain when the attendants stripped the holland cover from the Ministers’ table.  Papers and books and glasses lay as they had been dropped.  There the white paper, which Mr Cook had taken up when he threatened to “move a motion” as the outcome of the turbulent proceedings.  There were the copies of the Old Age Pension Act which members had thrown down to cross the floor for the three divisions the Speaker had taken about 4 o’clock on Friday morning - his last divisions.  Hansards, Commonwealth statutes, notice papers, writing pads littered the table.  It took a few minutes to restore it to order.  Then the lights were switched on, and everyone breathed more freely as the yellow radiance vanished the depressing shadows which had hung around the Chamber.  All that was mortal of the Speaker lay encased in an oaken coffin in the little sitting room across the lobby, into which he had been carried unconscious at half-past 5 o’clock on Friday morning.
A Distinguished Company
    It was a distinguished company which filled the benches of the House of Representatives.  For the first time in the history of the Parliament its benches were occupied by those who had no right to sit on them, and the members were addressed by those who had no constitutional authority to speak in those halls.  On the Treasury bench were the Treasurer (Sir John Forrest), the Premier of Victoria (Mr Murray), the Minister for External Affairs (Mr Groom), the Minister for Defence (Mr J Cook), the Minister for Customs (Sr Sir Robert Best), the Attorney-General (Mr Glynn), Mr Evan Holder, Mr A H Harry, the Revs Dr Fitchett and Morley, and the Rev William Williams.  All the clergy - and there were many of them, for Sir Frederick Holder was a pillar of the Methodist Church - were seated on the Ministerial benches.  The State Governor was represented by Mr Victor Nelson Hood and the Lieutenant-Governor (Sir John Madden) by Capt. Vallange.  The President of the Senate (Sir Albert Gould) and the Acting Clerk (Mr G Upward) sat on the second Opposition bench.  Sir William Lyne, sad and disconsolate, sat next to Mr Mauger on the front Opposition bench.  The Leader of the Opposition (Mr Fisher) was there also.  The Treasurer of Victoria (Mr Watt) and the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly (Mr Prendergast) were also present.  There was not room enough on the benches and the gangway was crowded.  The Lord Mayor of Melbourne (Col. Burston) and the Town Clerk (Mr John Clayton) were in the gangway.  Mr Howard Berry represented the Chamber of Commerce; Mr R W V McColl represented the President of the Legislative Council (Sir Henry Wrixon).  Mr T G Watson (Clerk of the Legislative Assembly) and Mr W R Alexander (the Sergeant at Arms) were there with the Speaker (Mr Frank Madden).  There were a large number of members of the House of Representatives and many Senators.  The officers of the House, whose head Sir Frederick Holder had been, mustered in strong force.
”Let Us Cease All Strife”
    The Rev Dr Morley read the lesson, then the Rev Dr Fitchett prayed.  Until Saturday afternoon only one man had ever prayed in the House of Representatives, and that man was Sir Frederick Holder.  One of Dr Fitchett’s sentences went home to the hearts of members of the House of Representatives.  “Oh God,” he said, “let us cease all strife, and may this great and sudden event be taken as Thy rebuke.”
The Funeral Oration
    The President of the General Methodist Conference of Australia, the Rev William Williams, pronounced the funeral oration.  He said:- “We stand here in this Chamber where the stroke fell upon our dear and departed friend.  It was here that his patriotic work was done and where his life was open to the scrutiny and examination, and where he won a position so high, not only in the esteem of the gentlemen here but in the hearts of the people of the whole Commonwealth.  Two things are in my mind.  The first I can put in the words of Holy Scripture.  “Know ye not that there is a Prince and a great man fallen?”  A Prince and a leader among men, he was a great man as men are great, but a man who, I think, scarcely knew how great he was.  He never knew how he was loved and trusted.  He was not a man who wore his heart on his sleeve, not a man who told the first enquirer all things.  He was a man who, to some extent, lived a life apart.  Perhaps he never knew how many throughout the Commonwealth there were who realised the high position that he had won in their esteem; but we shall know and feel it by his loss.

    “When I repeat these words, “That a Prince and a great man has fallen,” I say that for my own church, the church to which he was so devotedly, so loyally attached.  Whatever may be the opinion of others, we feel that one of our Princes, one of our leaders has fallen from among us.  We have lost a comrade.  I am sure that every gentleman here will say that on all questions of statesmanship and political life our dear friend was abundantly fitted to be a comrade, to be a loyal helper with whom to work side by side, and hand in hand, and heart to heart, without vanity and without guile.  I am impressed with the fact that I am speaking today to the members of the two Parliaments, to the members of the Parliament of the Commonwealth which is charged with the high responsibility of legislation and Commonwealth administration, and I am speaking to the representatives of the Parliament of our own Methodist Conference throughout Australia, which met in 1907.  Of that Conference Sir Frederick Holder was a loved and trusted member.  I feel that we have lost a comrade.  We have lost in Sir Frederick Holder a man of loyal heart, pure spirit, and strong hand.  The loss which we as a church have sustained is one which it will disturb us to contemplate.  We realise that such a loss as this is hard to bear, and consequently difficult to supply.  This is neither the place nor the time for anything like an elaborate analysis of the character and life of our departed friend, but I claim that we come here with the privileges of friendship and comradeship and national kinship.  I say that our dear friend was greatly loved and deeply trusted, how much, I think, he never knew.  He strove for the uplifting of the downtrodden, for the establishment of righteousness.  He had the welfare of the people greatly at heart, and I am here to say that he lived his life as a Christian man, and that his Christianity coloured all his character and touched all his conduct.  He was not a man who kept his religion and his politics separated in watertight compartments.  His religion purified his work.  I think he was a man who reverenced his conscience as his King throughout his life, and to take another phrase from that poem, “He wore the white flower of a blameless life.”  I speak in the presence of gentlemen who knew him in his political career as well as those who watched his life from a religious point of view.  I am not afraid to say that through every stormy sea, whether in politics or anything else, he steered the course which in his judgment was straight.  I do not know what better we can say than such things as these, that he loved his God and served his God, and he served his God partly by serving his fellow-men, and whether in the Legislative Chamber, in the Speaker’s chair, or in the pulpit preaching the truths of the Gospel, he was a man who spoke out the truth that was in him.  I am glad to be able to say such things as these, not in the spirit of fulsome praise, not in eulogy, but as the barest tribute to the excellencies of his character.  Dr Fitchett prayed for Sir Frederick Holder’s widow in her lonely sorrow.  Her position touches me with particular closeness, because we were schoolfellows.  From the days of her young girlhood I have known Lady Holder, and it comes home with great closeness to me today that my schoolfellow is a widow, broken-hearted, and I am sure our thoughts go out to her.  Gentlemen, we are about to follow to the railway station all that is mortal of our dear friend, and I rejoice greatly to know that this is the least considerable part.  What is left is not the man, is not the spirit we have loved, not the man we have trusted.  He is away from us; he is away from the toils, and stress, and strains of this earthly life.  He has passed into the presence of God for his eternal reward.  May God give to us as high a conception of duty as our dear friend had.  May God help us to walk in the light of our own conscience as simply and straightly and directly as he walked.  When it comes for us to leave this mortal sphere, may our friends be able to say of us, and with reason, what we say of him - that he reverenced his conscience as his King, and that the light of his conscience and the light of his God bound him with chains from which he never strove to break.”
The Last Scene
    After a final prayer the clergy and the pallbearers moved from the Chamber to the Speaker’s sitting room.  The rest of those present stood in two lines in Queen’s Hall.  A representative gathering of officers of the military forces in full dress lined the antechamber.  The coffin was carried along the Speaker’s lobby, through Queen’s Hall and the antechamber, and down the front steps.  The pallbearers were the Minister for Defence (Mr J Cook), the Treasurer (Sir John Forrest), the President of the Senate (Sir Albert Gould), the Premier of Victoria (Mr Murray), the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly (Mr Frank Madden), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Andrew Fisher), the Lord Mayor (Col. Burston), and the Rev William Williams.  Behind the coffin walked a number of the friends and the relatives of the late Speaker.  Those who had waited in Queen’s Hall joined in the procession as it passed, the military officers bringing up the rear.  A hearse, drawn by four horses, was waiting at the foot of the steps, and the way down was lined by men from the RAA and the Cerberus.  The RAA detachment headed the procession down Bourke Street.  Behind them marched the military officers who had attended.  Following the hearse, which was covered with flowers, came the naval detachment, and then a long line of carriages, including Sir John Forrest’s motor car, in which were seated Sir John, Mr Joseph Cook, and Sir Robert Best.  The military officers present included the Chief of the General Staff (Major General Hoad), the Quartermaster-General (Lieut. Col. Legge), the Director-General of Medical Services (Surgeon-Gen. Williams), and the State Commandant (Col. Stanley).

    A special train, consisting of a mortuary van, sleeping car, and observation car, was waiting at Spencer Street.  The van was carpeted in black, and draped with black crepe.  The train left at 4 o’clock.  In it went the Attorney-General (Mr Glynn), the Minister for External Affairs (Mr Groom), the President of the Senate (Sir Albert Gould), the Clerk Assistant of the Senate (Mr G Upward), Rp Andrew Fisher, Rp Mathews, the Clerk of the House of Representatives (Mr C G Duffy), and the Clerk Assistant (Mr Gale), Mr Evan Holder, Mr A H Harry, the Rev T S B Woodfull (who represents the Council of Churches), and the Prime Minister’s Private Secretary (Mr Shepherd).


    Lady Holder has accepted the offer of the Federal Ministry that the funeral of Sir Frederick Holder shall be with State honours.  The South Australian Government communicated with the Commonwealth authorities on Saturday morning informing them that they would be prepared to make all the arrangements in connection with the obsequies.  The Premier (Hon A H Peake) received the following reply:-  “The Government will be grateful if you would, on our behalf, make all arrangements for a State funeral for Sir Frederick Holder on Monday.”

    Lady Holder has expressed a wish that the Premier (Hon A H Peake) and Sir Frederick Holder’s old Ministerial colleagues in this State shall act as pallbearers, and it will be complied with.  The Minister for Home Affairs will be represented by Mr John Gardiner, Public Service Inspector.
The Cortege
[The order of the funeral procession was given.]
    The funeral arrangements are being supervised by the Chief Secretary’s Department.  The cortege will leave the residence of the deceased statesman, Wavertree, Kent Town, at midday, for the Kent Town Methodist Church, where a service will be conducted by the Rev Brian Wibberley.  The route will be along Kent Terrace to Wakefield Road, thence to East Terrace, down Angas Street and Gouger Street, around Whitmore Square and via Sturt Street, to the West Terrace Cemetery.
Military Honours
    Arrangements have been made for a guard of one captain, two lieutenants, and 100 rank and file of the 1th Battalion, 10th AIR, with the Regimental Band, to parade, under regimental arrangements, which appear in an advertisement, to be in position in front of the residence of the late Sir Frederick Holder at 11.50 am today to take part in the funeral.  Officers and other ranks are invited to attend, and wear full dress.

                                                                                            Melbourne, July 25
    Universal regret at the death of the Speaker was shown yesterday by the large number of messages of sorrow which reached the Federal Ministers.  The Prime Minister (Mr Deakin) received telegrams from all the State Governments and one from the Government of New Zealand.  Among these are the following:-

    From New Zealand:-  “On behalf of the Dominion of New Zealand I extend to the Commonwealth of Australia the deepest sympathy on the death of its distinguished Speaker (Sir Frederick Holder).  J Carroll, Acting Prime Minister.”

    From Queensland:-  “I am deeply grieved to hear of Sir Frederick Holder’s death, and am fully sensible of the great loss the Commonwealth has suffered.  W Kidston, Premier.”

    From Tasmania:-  “The Tasmanian Ministry deeply sympathises with the members of the House of Representatives in the loss of their distinguished Speaker.  Lewis, Premier.”

    From the Netherlands:-  “It is with the deepest regret that I have learned of the death of the honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Sir Frederick William Holder KCMG.  I regret for the great loss which the Commonwealth of Australia and Lady Holder have suffered, and express the deepest sympathy with them in their sad bereavement.  Kindly convey the assurance of my deepest sympathy to the House of Representatives and Lady Holder and family.  W Boschardt, Consul-General for the Netherlands.”

    From South Australian members of the Federal Parliament:-  “Deeply pained to learn the sad news of the death of our beloved colleague, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”

    The Women’s Political Association sent the following telegram to Lady Holder yesterday:-  “The Women’s Political Association deeply sympathises with you in the loss of your husband, always our good friend.  Vida Goldstein, President.”

    Sir William Lyne said yesterday that he desired to add his tribute to the worth of the late Speaker:-  “He was one of my greatest friends” said Sir William Lyne.  “He was a monitor to me.  He was one of those who stood firm in the early history of the Commonwealth when I was endeavouring to form a Ministry, and he refused to be drawn off by friends who were trying to do so.  An ideal Speaker was the late Sir Frederick Holder, being one of the most able and lovable of men.  Everyone trusted him.  Words cannot express my feelings of the loss we have sustained.  He was a good man.”

    Reference was made to Sir Frederick Holder’s death by Rev Mauger in an address which he delivered at the Presbyterian Church, Brunswick, today.  Mr Mauger said that the people of Australia had yet to learn the extent of the loss the Commonwealth had sustained by the death of Sir Frederick Holder.  The late Speaker had been a man of ripe knowledge, great experience, and unsullied character.  He felt that he had sustained a personal loss, for he had been associated with Sir Frederick Holder in temperance, church, YMCA, and social work.  Those who had formed part of the mournful procession that had left Parliament House on the previous day had sunk political and religious differences to follow the remains of a great man.

    The Rev J B Gason, preaching at St John’s Church, East Malvern, today, said:-  “I desire to add my tribute of respect to the memory of a good man.  The bereaved family will have the heartfelt sympathy of the whole Commonwealth for their great loss and ours.  In this young country we need at its head men like the late Speaker, men who make the Bible theirs, statesmen, manual men, who oppose all oppression and monopoly, men whose lives are pure in political, social and domestic life, men who fear God, honour the King, and love the brotherhood.  Such a man we believe the late Sir Frederick Holder to have been.  The Federal Parliament and all our statesmen are the poorer for his loss.”

    Archbishop Clarke conducted a service at Glen Iris tonight, and in the course of his sermon said:-  “In every Commonwealth there are some great servants of the State, whose duties are performed without public notice, and such a one was the late Speaker of the Federal Parliament.”  In conclusion he said they should all pay their just tribute to one who nobly won honour in his office, and at the same time they should ask that the high traditions Sir Frederick Holder upheld should become the rule of Australian Parliamentary life.

    Sympathetic reference was made throughout the churches today to the death of the late Sir Frederick Holder.  At the Central Mission’s Pleasant Sunday Afternoon the Rev A E Alliston said that Sir Frederick Holder would be remembered as a notable member of the Methodist Church, as well as a high public character.  His advice, ripe wisdom, and statesmanship were highly valued.  As a member of the General Methodist Conference he had always illuminated debate by his interpretation of some knotty point.  His death was a distinct loss to the church, to the community, and to the nation, and they extended their heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved widow and family.

    The Minister for Customs (Sir Robert Best) said that all would mourn the decease of Sir Frederick Holder, whom he knew as one of the wisest counsellors of the Parliament of Australia, and to whom all had looked upon with probity, integrity, and faithfulness.  At the combined Sunday service of the Loyal Orange Institution of Victoria, at the St Kilda Town Hall this afternoon, the following resolution was carried:-  “That this meeting of the citizens of St Kilda hereby expresses its intense regret at the tragic death of Sir Frederick Holder, records its admiration of his great and varied gifts, and his high-toned Christian character, and its appreciation of the unique services he rendered to the Commonwealth of Australia.  This meeting further respectfully desires to convey to Lady Holder and the sorrowing family their heartfelt sympathy and condolence in their irreparable bereavement.  It also voices the hope that his untimely death will lead to such alteration of the law of Parliamentary procedure and conduct as shall lessen the strain on any man occupying the high position he filled with such distinguished ability.”

    In the course of a sermon at Geelong tonight the Rev Robert Kelly said it was against Nature to have all-night sittings of Parliament.  The late Speaker had fallen a martyr to duty.  The wrangling that had been going on for the last few weeks was a sin against God.  Some of the men in Parliament had been raging like wild beasts, and they must be held morally responsible for the death of Sir Frederick Holder.

    The New South Wales Political Labour League telegraphed:-  “We convey to you and to the members of your family our sympathy and regret on your sudden and sad bereavement in the loss of your illustrious husband.”

    The Premier of Western Australia (Mr Moore) sent Lady Holder the following telegram:-  “The Government and people of Western Australia extend to you and family every sympathy in your sudden and sad bereavement and recognise that while Australia is suffering loss by the death of a great statesman, the loss to you all of husband and father is much greater.”  The Premier also telegraphed the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth:-  “Parliament is sympathising in the loss sustained.”  The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly (Mr Quinlan) dispatched a telegram of condolence to Lady Holder.

    At the Brisbane Central Methodist Mission today the Rev G E Rowe made sympathetic reference to Sir Frederick Holder, who was in Brisbane about three months ago.

    His many Broken Hill friends are sincerely grieved at Sir Frederick Holder’s death.  He had frequently visited Broken Hill.  Reference to his career and sudden end was made at several churches today, especially those at which he had conducted services and delivered addresses.
South Australian Tributes
    The Hon R W Foster, who was a colleague of the late Sir Frederick Holder when the ex-Speaker was Premier of the State, telegraphed from Quorn on Saturday morning:-  “The intelligence of the death of Sir Frederick Holder is a shock to the community.  He was a great favourite in the north, and was regarded generally as South Australia’s foremost statesman.  Personally I regarded him as my greatest political friend.  I feel the loss very keenly.”

    Burra, July 24.  When the news arrived of the sad ending of the brilliant career of the late Sir Frederick Holder a profound gloom was cast over the town.  Flags were half-masted and other expressions of sympathy were witnessed, and for some time little groups of residents were seen earnestly discussing the sad event, as the deceased statesman was practically claimed by Burra.  Although not born in the district, he commenced to climb the ladder of usefulness in the town.  Coming here as a young man in connection with educational work, he owned and ably conducted the local paper until his first call to public life, which he lived with unqualified success.  For years his name was a household word throughout the district.  During his residence here he accomplished magnificent works for the town and people.  As a journalist he ably advocated the people’s cause, and as Town Clerk and afterwards Mayor of Burra he did excellent work for the town.  Later as a member of the State Parliament, he fought well for the welfare of the district, and as the representative of the district in the Commonwealth Parliament he carried out the duties with dignity and marked ability.  There are many persons here who are able to speak of his sincerity and worth as a representative and a gentleman.  He also, in company with his wife, did magnificent work for the church, and as a local preacher and class leader in connection with Methodism he was respected by all Burra people.

    Jamestown, July 24.  Profound and deep regret has been expressed by all sections of the community here at the sudden death of Sir Frederick Holder.  It is [said] that through his death the Commonwealth has lost one of its most able men.

    Green’s Plains, July 23.  The startling intelligence of the death of Sir Frederick Holder came almost as an electric shock this evening.  As one of the representatives of this division in the Federal Parliament Sir Frederick was well and widely known for his great political abilities but was even more highly esteemed for the many good personal qualities by which he had endeared himself to his numerous friends in this district, by whom sincere and profound regret is felt and expressed at the sudden termination of such a useful and brilliant career.


    “Recently” (writes a correspondent) “I had occasion to have a chat with the late Sir Frederick Holder concerning the office which he held, and as a result he forwarded me the notes below, which will, I think, be now found specially interesting reading:-
The First Speaker
    “A very high honour indeed I felt it to be when, on the first assembling of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, it was upon me that the choice fell, and that unanimously, to fill the important office of Speaker of the House of Representatives.  The Speakership in any Parliament is a post of honour and responsibility, but here was not only the presidency over a House of Parliament, but the assumption of the office at its first and formative stage, with all precedents to make and a standard to set.  The new Parliament included very many experienced members who had served long apprenticeships in one or other of the six Parliaments of the six States of which the Commonwealth was made up; and in these apprenticeships, while the general practice of each House was broadly based upon the pattern of the “mother of Parliaments”, yet details of rule and practice varied, and in the new House a uniform code of standing orders must be observed.  These had been prepared by two most experienced Parliamentary officers - a complete code, following slavishly no one of the State codes, but based on them all, now following one form and now another, in each case adopting that which seemed to have worked most smoothly.  The result was, of course, that Speaker and members all had a new set of rules to conform to, and no one found the practice he had grown accustomed to applied.  Work, however, has during the eight years proceeded, and the House has as time passed built up precedents of its own, and with very slight changes, chiefly in the shape of additions, these standing orders have continued in operation.
    “Coming from six States, some of them very vast and differing very widely in their conditions, and representing a continent which stretched from the torrid far south through the temperate zones and considerably more than 2000 miles from eastern to western shores, there necessarily appeared in the debates of the earlier years much purely local and provincial colour, and the speeches indicated great unfamiliarity with the conditions and needs of other States distant from those in which the speakers dwelt.  The debates, however, together with increased intercourse and more extended travel, all had a very marked educative effect, and a really federal spirit has begun to develop and a truly national sentiment - which State rivalries had previously rendered impossible - has grown up.
British Party Instinct
    “If now and again still there are occasionally indications of jealousy between parts of the Commonwealth and other portions, it is well to remember that State rivalries, not to say antagonisms, had prevailed and been nourished for 80 years, and the Commonwealth has existed for only eight years, so that we could not hope for the entire putting away of the past so suddenly.  The Parliament has all along been divided into at least three considerable parties, and members have adhered with most praiseworthy persistence to the policies they announced on the hustings, so that compromises have been rare, and party feeling has run high, as it always must when men are in earnest and compromise does not have scope for its narcotic effects.  Yet the existence of that Parliamentary instinct which British people seem specially to possess has sufficed to enable work to go on and legislation to find its way on to the statute book.  Debates have, however, been of extraordinary length, not only on large but also frequently on small issues.  It has not, however, been yet decided to reduce the Parliament to debating society level by adopting a time limit for speeches.
Lack of Humour
    “Speeches are for the most part in very deadly earnest, and humour is not so much in evidence as is desirable.  Now and again, however, amusement can be extracted from mere Parliamentary debate, as for instance, in the following one, which can be turned up in the pages of Hansard.  A certain imperturbable member had been toiling for nearly an hour in the endeavour to draw the Minister in charge of a Bill, who is often rather volcanic under provocation, but the Minister had himself wonderfully well in hand, and made no sign for a long time.  At last he burst out in reply to a specially severe criticism of the Bill, “Is not the honourable member in favour of justice?”  The imperturbable member assumed a look of profound surprise, and striking an attitude, exclaimed “Justice!  The honourable the Minister talks about justice.  Why, if the hon. the Minister met justice and a barber’s pole walking down Bourke Street together he wouldn’t know one from the other.”  Evidently the idea was to suggest that the Minister had not even a nodding acquaintance with justice.  The House roared, and no one laughed more heartily than the Minister himself.
Limitations of the Speaker
    “A Speaker is the mouthpiece of the House; is its voice whenever it speaks.  The Prime Minister speaks only for the dominant majority for the time, and any other leader for his followers, but the Speaker for the whole; but for himself in expression of his own views and sentiments he may not speak.  An absolute avoidance of any indication of party or political opinion is essential to his ability to secure complete fairness of opportunity for all views and all parties or members in the House.  The Speaker enjoys none of the pleasures of debate, and can take no part in interesting passages-at-arms, while he must listen, without any sign of distaste, to speeches occupying many hours, often tiresome iteration and reiteration.  It is, however, very pleasant to recognise the ready compliance by all the worrying factions, in the midst of keen conflict of political strife, with all the usual rules of debate and the practice of Parliament.
Quaint Customs and Valuable Traditions
    “Parliament has evolved along the ages, and many of its forms excite merriment as they are observed by casual visitors from time to time, but in them is recorded many a crisis, through which Parliamentary institutions have passed, and if these forms, apparently, perhaps, meaning less, were eliminated the history of Parliaments might be lost sight of and posterity be the poorer.  The wig and gown of the Speaker, the mace on the table - or under it - the Speech from the throne, and the Address-in-reply are often referred to as survivals which might well be abandoned, but it would be a pity indeed if in the abandonment of any mere form any of the substance of the instinct of Parliamentary government which represents victories dearly fought for and hardly won, and which so peculiarly characterises the British race, were sacrificed.  The Speaker presides today over a House elected by the manhood and womanhood of the Commonwealth on the broadest franchise without any property qualification, and representing a total population of about 4¼ millions.  It is to be hoped that the foundation of Parliamentary practice as being laid down now may be such as shall endure when the people of the Australian Commonwealth shall have increased manifold, and their liberties and prosperity have grown in like measure.”

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 25
    The standing orders of the Federal Parliament provide that upon a vacancy in the Speakership occurring from any cause such as the tragic death of Sir Frederick Holder the Clerk shall report to the House at its first meeting, when the election of a new Speaker shall be proceeded with “forthwith”.  The Prime Minister and several other members of Cabinet are out of Melbourne, but those members who were seen today do not expect that the election will be proceeded with until Wednesday.  The names of several members are already mentioned.  The claims of Mr Reid are regarded as undeniable, but it is not thought that this gentleman will desire to submit himself for nomination.  The whole matter of a definite choice is at present much in the air, but so far as can be judged the three names which may be selected from those which have been suggested among members as likely to fill the vacancy are those of Messrs Dugald Thomson, Bruce Smith, and Agar Wynne.  Another suggestion which has met with favour among a considerable section of members is that Mr J Cook might resign his portfolio to become Speaker.  From what can be gathered, however, about the lobbies, the balance of opinion appears to be in favour of Messrs Thomson, Smith and Wynne in the order named.

    The Register, Tuesday July 27, 1909

    “There is no death!  What seems so is transition.”  Looked at from that standpoint the late Sir Frederick Holder, whose tragic passing away on Friday in the House of Representatives, over which he so ably presided from the initiation of the Federal Parliament, came as a shock to the whole Commonwealth, has left the suburb of “this life of mortal breath” and entered the “life elysian” through that portal “we call death”.  He is at rest, and all that remained for his legion of friends was to pay that respect to his memory which was at once a tribute to his worth and a solace to the sorrowing relatives who remain behind.  In no unmistakable manner did South Australia mourn for her departed son.  From every quarter poured in messages of sympathy; from every flagpole in the city flew flags at halfmast; post and telegraph services were freely used as media of communication by absent friends; gardens and nurseries gave of their best to exhale their sweet perfume around the body of one who had, in his political  and domestic affairs, surrounded himself with the wholesome atmosphere of straightforward devotion to duty; above all, there was the personal attendance at the funeral on Monday of thousands of people who thus showed their grief at the death of one who held a place in their hearts by reason of his own good qualities, and their sense of loss sustained by Australia in general, and the Central State in particular, at his removal from all earthly duties.
    His voice is silent in your Council hall
    For ever.

    Luncheon hour was the appointed time for the funeral; West Terrace Cemetery the place.  Short services were held at the house, Wavertree, Kent Town, and at the Kent Town Methodist Church.  From the latter place the route lay through the city, via Angas and Gouger Streets, and the closing of shops en route added one more indication of the general feeling in the community. The funeral was public in character, and was attended by representatives of every section of Parliamentary and civil life.


    The service at Wavertree, the late residence of the deceased statesman, was conducted by the Rev Brian Wibberley.  At 12 o’clock the hearse moved away from Wavertree to the Kent Town Methodist Church.  Drawn up outside the building was a guard, 100 strong, comprising the 1th Battalion of the 10th AIR, under Lieut. Langsford, and a detachment of the Royal Australian Artillery.  Inside a large and representative assemblage had gathered.  The centre seats in the body of the church were occupied by members of the Federal and State Ministry and Parliaments, and prominent officials and citizens; while on each side several rows were filled by ministers of religion.  His Honour the Chief Justice (Sir Samuel Way, Bart) and His Excellency the Governor’s ADC’s sat immediately behind the relatives, who occupied the front rows.  Neither Lady Holder nor any of the daughters was present, but the family was represented by Messrs Evan, Sydney, and Clem Holder (sons of the deceased), Mr H R Holder (brother), Dr Stephens (father-in-law), and Mr F C Catt (brother-in-law).  The procession into the church was headed by the pastor (Rev Brian Wibberley), the President of the Methodist Conference (Rev W G Clarke), and the Revs R S Casely and T Piper.  Among those who attended in a representative capacity were the Rev T S B Woodfull (President of the Victorian Council of Churches), Mr R J Lavis (representing the Baptist Union), and the Rev A J Wade (Presbyterian Assembly).

    It was an impressively solemn service.  “Jerusalem the golden” was the opening hymn, and the Scripture having been read by the Rev Brian Wibberley, the ex-President (Rev Isaac Rooney) offered prayer.  “Heaven is enriched, but earth is poorer.”
A Nation’s Sorrow
    The Rev Brian Wibberley said:-  “This gathering is a symbol of a nation’s sorrow.  A great grief is ours, a great calamity, an irreparable loss.  The shock was so great, and my relation to the late Sir Frederick Holder was so personal as his pastor, that I cannot trust myself to speak this morning.  This is an official ceremony, and there are others who must speak.”  Mr Wibberley mentioned that on Sunday next he would conduct an in memoriam service.
The President of Conference
    The Rev W G Clarke said:-  “I have but few words to speak this morning.  This is not the time to pass in review the life of the deceased statesman.  When the eyes are wet with tears and the heart overflowing, it is difficult to clothe our thoughts and feelings with the vestment of words.  “We have no language, but a cry.”  And yet we feel that in the name of the living Christ whose he was and whom he served, in the name of the church he loved so well, there are some words that ought to be spoken as we stand in the presence of our dead.  During the past few weeks our State has suffered severe bereavement.  Upon our late Premier’s grave the grass is scarcely green, and now death has come again, not as in the case of Thomas Price with slow, uncertain steps as if hesitating whether to strike or spare; but swiftly, suddenly, with no note of warning.  Swiftly, indeed, the shadows wrapped him round, and suddenly the night fell.  We can scarcely believe, indeed, that he is gone.  The fact beats upon the brain and clamours at the door of the heart; but we feebly push it from us and say, “it cannot be - it is a dream.”  And yet, alas! we know that it is so. Death has given us one of his swift surprises.  How many these surprises are.  Today the red rose of life paints the cheek of our loved ones, and tomorrow it is supplanted by the white lily of death.  Today we press the hand of the strong man, and tomorrow we close his eyes in death.  “In the midst of life we are in death.”

    “I do not forget the meaning of death to the Christian.  It is not that “drear voyage from whose night the ominous shadows never lift.”  It is an entrance into a more abundant life.  We have folded the hands here, but yonder they are uplifted in larger service.  We have closed the eyes here, but they have opened upon a fairer vision in “that light that never was on sea or land.”  Said a good man and a great:-  “For two years I have not once looked into the face of the dead without a feeling of envy.  I love life, but I am so sure that on the other side of the door there is larger life and clearer vision of God that I will be glad when it is time to go on the other side of the door.”
    A voice was heard on earth of kinsfolk weeping,
    Alas! one that they loved; but he is gone
    Where the mariners throng the waves,
    And from the steeple
    The funeral bell tolls slow;
    But on the golden streets the happy people
    Are passing to and fro, and as they meet
    “Rejoice! a brother waited for is come.
    The heart of Christ is glad, another brother
    Has found the Father’s Home.
    Yes, another brother has found the Father’s Home.”

    “What Frederick Holder was as a statesman we all know.  The clever mental grasp, the illumined mind in turn illuminating others, the administrative ability, the sagacity in counsel, the lucidity of utterance.  We know also that these great qualities were at the behest of his fellow-citizens laid upon the altar of public service.  He was not of the number who -
    On every side fall off, we know not how,
    To selfishness, disguised in gentle names.
He had but one interest - to care for the interests of all; but one ambition, to make the State a better State, the Commonwealth a better Commonwealth; to make the best fruits of civilisation the servants of all.  But today we think most of the stainless record; the un-blemished character, the sense of duty that would not allow either the praise or blame of men to swerve him from the straight path.  And is it not true that -
    He serves his country best
    Who lives pure life and doeth righteous deed
    And walks straight paths, however others stray,
    And leaves his sons as uttermost bequest
    A stainless record, which all men may read.
But the altar of service has again proved to be the altar of sacrifice.  For his country he lived, and in the service of his country he has died. Arnold von Winkelried, in Switzerland, gathering the spears of the foemen into his own breast; Nelson falling wounded upon the deck of his battleship; Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, and McKinley, stricken down by the bullet of the assassin, did not more surely die for their country than has Frederick Holder died for his.  Even so, that sacrifice is not a warning, but a call to others to continue in that same path.  The fires of sacrifice may burn out the body, but they purify and prepare the soul for larger service.  The blood of the martyr is the seed of the Church, and the salt of sacrifice is the cleansing and sweetening power of every State and community.  And what of the piety of Frederick Holder?  In the presence of this we forget the brilliance of the rhetorician, the eloquence of the orator, the reasoning of the philosopher.  We remember that which is infinitely better - the holy life, the pure mind, the spirit of Christ which pervaded his whole career.  How unspoiled was his simplicity?  How unostentatious his religion?  Nature’s most powerful workers are ever the most unobtrusive.  The light that diffuses itself day by day is more potent for good than the lightning flash - that startles and arrests for the moment only.  Life, which covers the earth with verdure and beauty, does not cry nor make its voice heard.  Gravitation, unseen, unheard, “holds the compact of the physical universe together,” wheels suns and systems about.  Such was the piety of Frederick Holder.  To the last he was the unostentatious saint, the humble preacher, the servant of the Church of the living God.  We all miss him from our church ranks.  From pulpit and platform, from committee room and conference; in city and country he will be missed.  As ministers we trusted him; his best advice was always at our disposal.  In our perplexities we were ever sure of his sympathy.  We loved him.  And what was the secret of the life so well-lived?  Simple trust in a personal, living Saviour.  At the Exhibition Building yesterday his favourite hymn was sung.  It was this:-
    Trusting Him while life shall last,
    Trusting Him till earth be past,
    Till within the jasper wall,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
That trust was a channel through which God was enabled to pour the rich tides of His grace, and made him a true saint of God.  But he is gone from us.  He has entered death’s hall of silence, even so.  His personal character is indissolubly linked to the events, the course of which he helped in the State and Commonwealth to determine.  He lives in the great moral and social reforms he helped to bring about.  He lives in the many living souls which he has helped to build in the Temple of God.  He has helped on the day when:-
    .... all men’s good
    Be each man’s rule, and universal peace
    Lie like a shaft of light across the land,
    And like a lave of beams athwart the sea.

    “May I speak another word?  Last Sunday night the voice that is now silent proclaimed the message of the Gospel in my pulpit at West Adelaide.  It was a sermon, beautiful in simplicity, in sincerity, in earnestness, and the closing words were these:-  “If this should be my last message” - prophetic utterance - “and if you forget everything else I have said, will you remember this - ‘God is able to cleanse; God is able to keep.’”  I want to offer that message as one of comfort to sorrowing ones today.  God is able to comfort and to give the consolations of His grace.  God is so able to bestow his grace that you may walk in the footsteps of him who has
    Not gone from memory, not gone from love,
    But gone to the father’s home above.
I want to offer it to all as a message of comfort and strength, as an assurance that He is able and will lead us on:-
    O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent,
    Till the night is gone,
    And with the morn those angels’ faces smile,
    Which we have loved long since and lost awhile.
”The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.””

Victorian Eulogy
    The Rev T S B Woodfull said they were present under the sense of a great loss and common sorrow.  They in Victoria had had the privilege of knowing the great gift South Australia had given them in Sir Frederick Holder.   He had become a man of the Commonwealth because of his qualities and the grace which adorned his character.  Speaking as representative of the Council of Churches in Victoria and as a personal friend, he recognised Sir Frederick as a man of exceptional and extraordinary power.  His personality was outstanding though so unassuming.  They recognised in him that power which came from a wide and exact knowledge.  He had studied the men and the times in which he lived.  He knew the history and the trend of current events and opinions, and was wisely able to gauge all.  He had a mastery of detail as well as a comprehensiveness of grasp, and was able in that lucid and logical way to express himself so tersely and yet so aptly that all were able to understand the directness and purpose of his convictions and reasoning.  His was the power which came from gentleness. If the mantle of Christ’s gentleness had ever fallen on a man it was upon Sir Frederick Holder.  All who had associated with him, whether in a legislative capacity, as a private individual, a social reformer, or a sincere Christian, felt the accessibility of that great man, who never changed, but was loyal to his friendships and to his duty.  Yet such was his persuasive gentleness that while he touched one as gently as a sunbeam touched the most tender plant, there was a strength which made one feel one was in the presence of a great personality.  He was a colossal man, but running right through his life was the magnifying of God’s grace in him.  They regarded him as one in that noble succession of the great, good, and wise men God had given to the earth.  Carlyle had said that the history of the world was the shadow of its great men, and thus they could trace the history of the world.  Moses, David, and Samuel were prophets and legislators, and God had honoured Sir Frederick Holder as coming in that great succession.  He did not sever his religion from public life.  Some men had attempted to do that, and had failed disastrously.  They were thankful that God had touched such a man, and had given him to Australia.  While such men were given to their land they need not fear for the destiny of this great Commonwealth.  They trusted that in the future those who followed him, having had such an expression of strength and nobility of character, and beauty and gentleness of disposition, would worthily fulfil the call when it came to them, and that their Parliaments should realise and people understand that in this sudden touch of God’s hand there was that which meant not a disaster to them but a blessing.

    The service closed with the late Sir Frederick Holder’s favourite hymn, “Lord of all being, throned afar”.  As the mournful procession passed out of the church the organist (Dr E Harold Davies) played Chopin’s “Dead march”.  The coffin was returned to the hearse, and in the presence of a large and sorrowful gathering the vast concourse moved off for the cemetery at 1 o’clock.


    For several hours before the cortege appeared a crowd of people waited along the approaches to the cemetery.  A driving shower of rain forced them to verandah cover, but the sun came out, and the prospect of comfort at the graveside, so far as the weather can provide it, seemed hopeful.  A new grave was dug in the Holder family allotment, on the first road just beyond the main entrance of the cemetery.  The plot almost adjoins that of the late John Abel McPherson, the first Parliamentary Leader of the Labour Party.  It had previously received the remains of the late Speaker’s father and mother, his brother (Clement J Holder), and two infant children of the latter.  The headstone also memorialises the late Dr S E Holder, Sir Frederick’s youngest brother, who was lost in the steamer Priam off Corunna on January 11, 1889.  A large squad of police, under Inspector Burchell and Inspector Raymond, kept the merely curious spectators outside of a roped enclosure, and a contingent of bluejackets from the Protector, under Gunner R Fulton, also assisted to preserve decorum.

    It was nearly ten minutes past 2 before the hearse arrived at the cemetery gates.  The necessary interview with Curator Mildred occupied only a few moments, but in the meantime the clouds had gathered again and broke in a perfect deluge.  The mourners remained in their carriages for some minutes in the hope that the weather would lift, but as the rain seemed to have set in definitely there was nothing for it but to face the elements.  The coffin was carried to the grave by the undertaker’s staff, surrounded almost exclusively by Methodist clergymen, including the Revs W G Clarke (President of the South Australian Conference), T S B Woodfull (representing the Victorian Council of Churches), Dr Burgess, I Perry, W J Mortimer, R S Casely, and G W Kendrew (Methodist Military Chaplain).

    The weather continued sadly depressing.  Capts. Wright and Neame, from Government House, and Major Stuart (Sir Samuel Way’s Associate) stood bravely with uncovered heads and without the shelter of umbrellas.  The rain pelted down, and made such a clatter on the upraised umbrellas that the voices of the officiating clergy could scarcely be heard at very short range.  Many of the mourners did not leave their carriages at all.  The Rev B Wibberley very sensibly curtailed the service to the limits of decency and respect, and Dr Burgess’s prayer did not occupy more than two minutes.  Sir Frederick’s body was lowered into the grave in the most gloomy circumstances imaginable, and everybody was glad of the consideration shown by the Methodist ministers.  Five minutes after the short ceremony the cemetery was practically deserted.

    Around the grave, in addition to the chief mourners, were Capts. Wright and Neame, ADC’s to His Excellency the Governor, the Chief Justice (Sir Samuel Way), the Premier (Hon A H Peake), and other members of the State Ministry, the Speaker (Sir Jenkin Coles), and members of the Legislative Council and House of Assembly, Sir Edwin Smith, Sir John Downer, Sir Langdon Bonython, members of both Houses of the Federal Parliament, and many heads of the State and Commonwealth Public Service.  The naval forces were represented by the naval Commandant (Capt. Clare CMG), and the military by Major Patterson (Acting Commandant).

    The interstate visitors included the Minister for External Affairs (Mr Groom), the President of the Senate (Sir Albert Gould), the Clerk Assistant of the Senate (Mr G Upward), Rp Andrew Fisher, Rp Mathews, the Clerk of the House of Representatives (Mr C Gavan Duffy), and the Clerk Assistant (Mr W A Gale), the Rev T S B Woodfull (who represents the Council of Churches), and the Prime Minister’s Private Secretary (Mr Shepherd), the Commonwealth Parliamentary Librarian (Mr Arthur Wadsworth), the Chief of the Commonwealth Hansard Staff (Mr B Harry Friend), and Mr Waite (attendant to the President of the Senate).  Mr John Hill laid a wreath on the grave on behalf of Rp W N Hedges (WA), who also had a vehicle in the procession.

    Included in the public and semi-public bodies represented were the Adelaide Chamber of Commerce, the School of Mines Council, of which the late Speaker was a member, the Trades and Labour Council, the University of Adelaide, the South Australian branch of the Royal Geographical Society, the Anti-Gambling League (of which the deceased was a Vice-President), the committee of Prince Alfred College, the Botanic Garden Board, the Destitute Board, the State Children’s Council, and the Council of Churches.

    Among the country representatives were the Rev H C Farley, minister of the Burra Methodist Church, in which the late Speaker was married; Mr T W Wilkinson, a cotrustee of the same church with Sir Frederick, and one of his oldest personal friends; Crs. S Burns and E J Harris, representing the Burra Corporation, of which the deceased was an ex-Mayor and ex-Town Clerk; and the Town Clerk of Clare (Mr Smith).

    The President of the Legislative Council (Hon Sir Lancelot Stirling) was unable to attend the funeral, as he was unaware until too late to come to town of the time for which it had been arranged.


    Today the Prime Minister received the following telegram from the Governor-General (Lord Dudley), who is in Queensland :-  “I have learned with the deepest regret of the death of the Speaker.  The loss of so able and experienced a member of the House of Representatives will, I feel sure, be greatly deplored throughout Australia.”

    After the Cabinet meeting today the Prime Minister expressed his keen regret at not being able to be present at the funeral of the late Sir Frederick Holder in Adelaide.  He went to Point Lonsdale on Friday afternoon, and found it impossible to reach Melbourne in time to board the Adelaide express on Saturday.

                                                                                            Melbourne, July 26
    No action will be taken by the House of Representatives tomorrow afternoon in the matter of electing a Speaker in the place of the late Sir Frederick Holder.  The standing order which provides for action “forthwith” will not be interpreted so literally as to prevent the customary tribute of adjournment being paid to the memory of the late Speaker.

    The Prime Minister (Mr Deakin) pointed out today that Tuesday’s meeting of the House would be the first meeting since the actual death of Sir Frederick Holder.  Therefore the House will adjourn tomorrow afternoon after the Clerk has formally announced the death of the Speaker to the House and leaders have voiced the regret of themselves and their parties.  The election of a new Speaker will be the first business before the House on Wednesday.  Nothing definite has as yet been done either by the Government or the Opposition in the direction of choosing a nominee for the position, but it appears probable that there will be two candidates, one from each side of the House.

    S A Advertiser, Tuesday 27th July 1909.

    The last sad rites in connection with Sir Frederick Holder, Speaker of the House of Representatives, were carried out in Adelaide on Monday, when the body was accorded a State funeral by the Commonwealth Government.  From all public buildings flags were flown at half-mast and on every hand there were evidences of a nation’s mourning for the decease of a great man.  There was a large gathering of mourners in the vicinity of “Wavertree”, the late residence of the deceased, where, shortly before noon the Rev Brian Wibberley conducted a short service in the presence of the members of the family and other relatives.
At Kent Town Church
    At 12o’clock the cortege left for the Kent Town Methodist Church, at which the late Sir Frederick was a worshipper for many years.  There was an immense concourse of people in front of the building.  A guard of 100 rank and file from the 1th Battalion, 10th AIR, and a detachment from the RAA were drawn up in front of the church, and the strains of the “Dead march” in “Saul”, played by the Regimental Band, announced to the congregation inside that all that was mortal of Sir Frederick Holder was being conveyed into the building.  The funeral procession was a most impressive spectacle, and when the coffin was placed in front of the pulpit many of those present were visibly affected.  Their Excellencies the Governor-General and the Governor were represented by aides-de-camp, and among the other mourners present were members of the Federal and State Ministries, members of the Federal and State Parliaments, the Chief Justice, the Speaker of the House of Assembly , the Naval Commandant, and a large number of representative citizens.  The Rev Brian Wibberley occupied the pulpit, and beside him were the Rev W G Clarke (President of the Methodist Conference), the Rev Isaac Rooney (ex-President), the Rev W A Langsford (President of the South Australian Council of Churches), the Rev T S B Woodfull (chairman of the Council of Churches in Victoria), the Rev A J Wade (representing the Presbyterian Church), and Mr R J Lavis (President of the Baptist Union).  Lady Holder was not present, but the family were represented by Messrs Evan, Sydney, and Clement Holder (sons), Mr H R Holder (brother), Dr Stephens (father-in-law), and F C Catt (brother-in-law).  After the opening hymn, “Jerusalem the golden”, the Rev Brian Wibberley read Psalm 90, and the Rev Isaac Rooney offered prayer.

    Mr Wibberley said the gathering that day was the symbol of a nation’s sorrow.  A great grief was theirs; a great calamity; an irreparable loss.  His relations with the late Sir Frederick Holder as his pastor were so personal and intimate that he could not trust himself to speak that morning.  That was a special ceremony, and there were others who must speak.  He desired to say, however, that on next Sunday evening a memorial service would be held in that church, and then on his own behalf, and on behalf of his church, he would try to express his sense of the personal loss he and they had sustained.

[The Rev Clarke’s sermon, and the Rev Woodfull’s remarks were reported.]

At the Grave
    There were thousands of people at the entrance to and in the West Terrace Cemetery waiting for the funeral procession to arrive.  The rain descended in torrents intermittently for an hour or two, and drenched those who were waiting to pay their last tribute of respect to one who had been intimately associated with the public life of South Australia.  It was a remarkable tribute to the personality of Sir Frederick Holder and the respect in which he and his family are held by the citizens of the State that they stood for hours in the drenching rain waiting for the procession.  When the hearse rounded Whitmore Square and the strains of the “Dead march” in “Saul” were heard, those who lined the streets to the cemetery stood uncovered.  When the hearse reached the gate the rain descended with such force that it was deemed prudent to make a stop and delay the service at the grave.  The downpour continued for a considerable time, but ultimately the clergy of the Methodist Church, who had charge of the burial arrangements, decided that it was better to complete the service without further delay.  Accordingly they approached in front of the hearse, and just a few yards from the entrance to God’s Acre the coffin, containing the remains of an illustrious statesman and revered Christian gentleman was placed alongside the grave.  Nearby were the resting places of several of Sir Frederick’s relations.  Despite the pouring rain an immense number of people gathered around the grave and listened to the beautiful service that was conducted by the president of the Methodist Conference (Rev W G Clarke), the Rev Brian Wibberley, and the Rev Dr H T Burgess.  The members of the naval and military forces were within the cordon, and as the coffin was lowered into the grave the latter presented arms.

[Those present at the graveside were listed as in the Register, with the addition of Sir Josiah Symons, Mr Justice Gordon, and a representative of the Farmers and Producers Political Union.  The School of Mines was closed during the afternoon, and the staff and about 50 students attended the funeral.]

                                                                                            Burra, July 26
    The sudden death of Sir F W Holder was a great shock to his Burra friends, who claim a closer intimacy with him than any other portion of the State.  It was here that he started as a schoolteacher, being afterwards secretary to the corporation and later Mayor of the town, also proprietor of the “Burra Record”.  After embarking on politics, he often filled the pulpit here, as well as in other portions of the State.  At the Kooringa Methodist Church today the Rev H C Farley made sympathetic reference to the loss sustained by the Methodist Church and the community generally by Sir Frederick’s death.  The church was draped in mourning, and the pew which the family formerly occupied was left vacant.

    The Register, Wednesday 28th July 1909.
                                                                                            Burra, July 26
    There was a large attendance at the Methodist Church last night, when the Rev H C Farley made special reference to the death of Sir Frederick Holder, who had been a valued local preacher, class leader, and member of the church for many years.  The preacher said that whatever Sir Frederick Holder had been to the Commonwealth or to their own State, he had been much more to the church and Methodism.  He would not soon forget how at the last Conference the deceased gentleman had shown his interest and love of those with whom he had been associated in former years in connection with their church.  He had made reference to members of their congregation, calling them by name, and he knew the names of their children.  They would never know the love that was in his heart.  The church was suitably draped, and the pew which the deceased had for many years occupied was vacated by the present occupiers for the occasion, and a card bearing the words “In grateful and loving memory” was placed there.  Prior to the benediction the congregation stood with bowed heads whilst the organist played “The dead march” in “Saul”.  Several residents left Burra by the early train today to attend the funeral.
    S A Advertiser, Wednesday 28th July 1909.
                                                                                                Tuesday, July 27
    The Speaker (Sir Jenkin Coles) took the chair at 2 pm.
    The TREASURER (Hon A H Peake):-  I beg to move, Mr Speaker, “That this House desires to place on record its high appreciation of the eminent services given to South Australia by the late Sir Frederick Holder, and also to express the deep sorrow which it feels on account of the death of this distinguished statesman, and that the hon. the Speaker be instructed to convey a copy of this resolution to Lady Holder.”  I am sure that the House would be disappointed if the earliest opportunity were not taken to give expression to the sense of loss that the community feels in the death of the late Sir Frederick Holder.  The seizure was so sudden and the shock so great that it is hard to realise that the Commonwealth has been bereft of one of its most eminent and illustrious citizens.  But the signs of mourning are still apparent and the voices of lamentation are still heard so loudly in our streets that the sorrowful truth is borne in unmistakably upon the most doubtful and unwilling mind.  This State has been struck very hard of late by the shafts of the Great Archer, and we are reminded forcibly of what shadows we are and what shadows we pursue.  Without referring to the deaths of others who were with us in political life and who gave valuable service to the community, we have lately lost men of quite exceptional weight and talents.  Little more than a year ago the Right Hon. Charles Cameron Kingston, who had given to the State and the Commonwealth all the service of a great and powerful mind, was laid to rest.  Less than two months ago the honoured Premier of this State (Mr Price) passed away, and if I say nothing more with respect to him now it is because the House will have another opportunity presently of referring to him and his loss to the State.  And now, as if those public misfortunes were not enough “Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears and slits the thin-spun life” of one of the most highly gifted and best loved men that it has been the pride of the State to furnish for carrying on the great work of the Commonwealth.  In speaking to this motion, little can be added to the fine and eloquent eulogies which have already been written by the press and uttered by public men.  But this House will remember with proud feelings that it was within these walls that Sir Frederick Holder was trained for Commonwealth service, and on this floor that he gave proof of the great qualities which he displayed in the Federal arena.  His long association in Government with Mr Kingston furnished a remarkable case of two great men with different qualities of mind, but complemental to each other, uniting for common purposes.  Even by death they have not been very long divided.  Sir Frederick Holder filled many offices in this Parliament, and all with success.  Treasurer for many years, and during the most trying times, he did splendid service for his country.  Afterwards, as Premier of this House, he upheld the best traditions attached to that high office, and won admiration by his brilliant leadership.  Several of the thinning band who came into this House while he was in it can remember, not only his clear and illuminating speeches and skilful conduct of public business, but more gratefully the help and assistance we had from him when it was most needed by us, and most useful to us.  We knew him, too, as a most useful citizen, ready at all times to give ungrudgingly his assistance to every worthy cause or institution that asked it of him.  In giving Sir Frederick Holder to the Commonwealth, South Australia gave of its best.  His career in the Federal Parliament will be spoken of by members of that House, who sat under his able and impartial presidency, and who made him the first Commoner of the Commonwealth.  It is not for me to open the door of that home where his sorrowful wife and family are now prostrated with grief, but I know that one who was so simple, so gentle, and so sincere must have been a most loving and lovable husband and father.  We can only hope that every comfort and consolation that sympathy and religion can supply may be theirs in fullest measure.  His memory will long be cherished by this House and in this country, in which he was so great a figure.  He was so great in conduct and so rich in example that of him it may be justly said :-
    So when a great man dies,
    For years beyond our ken,
    The light he leaves behind him lies
    Upon the paths of men.

    Mr VERRAN:-  It is with great regret that I rise to second the motion, moved so ably by the Premier.  We all deeply regret the sad end of Sir Frederick Holder, with whom I had not the pleasure of sitting in this House.  I feel today as if I were in another sphere, in which I was brought into close contact with him.  I can confidently say that to know him was to love him.  He was good and kind to his fellows, and he carried through his life the spirit of the highest ideals of manhood.  He gave his life’s service to his country, and “his sun truly went down while it was yet day”.  I deeply regret that the Commonwealth should be bereft of one of its most gifted sons and one whom it could ill afford to lose at this moment.

    The Hon. R BUTLER:-  As an old colleague of the late Sir Frederick Holder, I would like to join the Premier and the leader of the Opposition in saying a few words in support of the motion.  As the Premier remarked, the Great Reaper has been very busy in our ranks during the last year or two.  No fewer than four ex-Premiers have been called away, and also another member who was deeply loved here - the late Mr Paech.  I am sure that everyone will recognise the late Sir Frederick Holder’s worth and work.  As a politician he stood high in the public estimation, and his conspicuous abilities were recognised almost from the first day he entered the parliamentary arena.  His untiring industry and unfailing courtesy must be recognised on all hands.  When he left us he took the very high office of Speaker of the first Federal House of Representatives.  Among the many distinguished gentlemen who have held the position of Speaker in Australia - and you, Mr Speaker, are one of the most distinguished - there are few who have displayed qualities in that office equal to those of the late Sir Frederick Holder.  His tact, firmness, and impartiality were so fully recognised by his associates in the Federal Parliament that I believe, if he had been spared, he would have had no rival for the position so long as he cared to fill it.  Whether the work he did in connection with religious and philanthropic institutions did anything to undermine his constitution which at no time appeared to be strong, is not for us to determine, but we recognise that it was a joy to him to be associated with work of that kind, and his transcendent abilities enabled him to carry out the duties with much greater ease than many of us not equally endowed could have carried them out.  I join with the Premier in expressing my deepest sympathy with the widow and children who have been deprived of a good husband and father.

    Mr BURGOYNE:-  I thoroughly agree with the Premier and leader of the Opposition in saying that the Commonwealth has been bereft and South Australia has lost one of her most illustrious sons.  On a sad occasion like this it is not necessary to multiply words, but having been one of Sir Frederick Holder’s colleagues in his first Ministry, shortly after he was elected to Parliament, I am in a better position to speak of his great capacity and his amiable character than most of the present members of this House.  I had always regarded him as one of the ablest - nay, the ablest - politician South Australia has produced.  It will be admitted that his foresight in all important matters of State was very considerable.  He was a man who saw from afar and was able to provide for what he anticipated.  He was a tower of strength when engaged in charitable and religious work.  His loss will be felt severely by the members of the community associated with him in that noble work, and it will be felt by the whole of the Commonwealth, where he made so many friends - I will not speak of the great loss felt among the intimate relations of the dead.

    Mr ARCHIBALD:-  I desire to support the motion.  I entered the House of Assembly in 1893 on the formation of the Kingston Government, when Mr J A McPherson occupied the seat where Mr Blundell sits today, and it was a very powerful Government indeed.  I would like to refer to what I know of Sir Frederick Holder as one of its members, and as a member of the House.  As a statesman and a public man, he will always be remembered.  The Commonwealth and South Australia have sustained a great loss.  I knew Sir Frederick as a Minister of the Crown, and am sure that his many acts of courtesy and kindness towards me personally were extended to every member of the House at the time.  Sir Frederick’s word was his bond, and directly or indirectly he never misled a member under any circumstances whatever.  The world said he was a Methodist.  I know nothing of that, but I always realised that Sir Frederick was the finest type of Christian gentleman I ever met.  It is stated somewhere in the Scriptures that one must go into the world with the wisdom of the serpent and the harmlessness of the dove.  I do not know whether Sir Frederick’s wisdom could be compared with that of the serpent, but the reference to the dove applied in his case with absolute accuracy.  I regret his loss.  His mind was different from mine.  He was of a Puritanical turn of mind, and was absolutely consistent according to his religious beliefs.  It would be a sad day for this country if we did not allow full play for the exercise of religious opinion.  He was undoubtedly a statesman; a Radical after the type of Gladstone, but not imported to South Australia.  He was a South Australian born, and the highest ideals of the Labor Party, I believe, were more nearly associated with the late Sir Frederick Holder than with any public man in politics I know of.  South Australia has reason to be proud of such a man, and if the young men who will follow us can in any way equal his splendid talents and give evidence of his great ability, well and good.  If they can emulate his child-like simplicity, his manly character, and his devotion to the public service as a Minister of the Crown it will be well for South Australia.  As a Minister he was a master of his own office absolutely.  I join with others in paying a tribute to such a man, whom I respect as much if not more than any other public man with whom I have been associated.

    The motion was carried.


    The Rev J L Haslam, of Bendigo, Victoria, in referring to the death of Sir Frederick Holder on Sunday, said he once asked him:-  “Is preaching upon a Sunday too great a strain with the pressure of your Parliamentary duties?”  Sir Frederick replied,  “No; I regard my Sundays as oases in the desert of my political life.  You cannot imagine what it is to me, after the associations of the week, to find myself on the Sabbath in such an atmosphere of rest and refreshment.”

    Sir William Lyne, in a telegram to the Sydney “Daily Telegraph” on Saturday, said:-  “Sir Frederick Holder was one of my oldest friends, and greatest, with whom I have never exchanged an unkind or harsh word during the many years I have known him, both outside and inside Parliament.  In fact, I had such a high regard for him that when in any political difficulty I always appealed to him for advice.”

    The Bishop of Adelaide (Dr Thomas) was represented at the funeral of Sir Frederick Holder on Monday.

    The late Sir Frederick Holder’s only surviving brother is Mr H R Holder, music teacher, of Kent Town.  His only sister is Mrs J E Morley, whose husband is a member of the firm of A W Dobbie & Co.


    After the notices of motion had been disposed of in the Legislative Council on Tuesday the Chief Secretary (Hon. J G Bice) said that it was his painful duty to move:-  “That this Council places on record its high appreciation of the eminent services given to this State by the late Sir Frederick Holder, and the deep sorrow it feels at the death of so distinguished a statesman; and that the President be instructed to convey a copy of this resolution to Lady Holder.”

    He said they could not fully grasp the extent of the calamity through the premature death of Sir Frederick.  His death was premature because up till the hour of his death he had exercised his great talents for his country’s good.  (Hear, hear.)  Although he had arduous duties to perform, Sir Frederick retained that lovable sympathy which was his great characteristic.  They had had reason to hope that Sir Frederick would have been spared for many years to devote to Australia his great ability.  They deeply mourned the loss of a great man, whose place it would be hard to fill.

    The Hon. F S Wallis seconded the motion.  On his own behalf, and on behalf of the Labor Party he joined in the expressions of regret so ably stated by the Chief Secretary.  Sir Frederick was one of the ablest men who had occupied seats in the State or Federal Parliaments.  Sir Frederick resembled the late Premier in his general sympathetic attitude to such reforms as were calculated to lessen the temptation to wrong-doing, and to assist the cultivation of a high standard of morality in the community.  With his talents and the evidence he had given as a member of the State Parliament, and because of his capacity as a statesman, there were some people who felt that he could have rendered more valuable service on the floor of the House of Representatives than as Speaker, but it had to be remembered that the position of the first Speaker of that House, with many precedents to be made, was one that could only be entrusted to a man of exceptional qualifications.  Such a man was Sir Frederick Holder.  Their sympathy went out to Lady Holder and her family in their sudden bereavement.

    The Hon. J H Howe, in supporting the motion, said he had been asked to do so by his colleagues.  He regretted that such a useful life should have been so suddenly ended.  The end did not come, however, until good and faithful work for his country had showered its favours upon him.  It was forty years since he and Sir Frederick first met.  After some years they met in the South Australian Parliament, and became colleagues in a Ministry.  When Sir Frederick formed his first Ministry he was the first member asked to join him.  He was, with Sir Frederick, a member of the Federal Convention, and the deceased was then looked upon as one of the leading men of the Convention.  When Federation was consummated Sir Frederick was called upon to fill the Speaker’s chair, and the choice could not have fallen on a fitter man.  Sir Frederick was the real originator of the Braddon clause.  Their departed friend had led a clean life and was a lover of humanity.

    The President (Sir Lancelot Stirling) stated that on receipt of the news of the death of Sir Frederick he had sent a message of sympathy to Lady Holder and had embodied with it the regret of the Legislative Council at the sad bereavement.

    The motion was carried in silence.

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 27
    When the House of Representatives met today at 3 pm the Clerk (Mr Duffy) announced with regret the death of the Speaker (Sir Frederick Holder).

    The Prime Minister (Mr Deakin) said he regretted the circumstances under which the members assembled that day.  When the House rose there were no such grave anticipations as subsequent events had warranted.  Members did not realise that they had looked for the last time on the Speaker whom they all revered and trusted.  He wished to submit a resolution, and he moved:-  “That the Parliament records its high appreciation of the many and eminent services rendered to the Commonwealth by the late Sir Frederick Holder, particularly during his tenure of the arduous office of Speaker from its first assembling until his decease on Friday last.  Inspired by a lofty conception of the duties of his office, he presided over the House of Representatives with conspicuous ability, firmness, and impartiality.  An unsparing devotion to his administrative duties was associated with a personal courtesy which endeared him to the members and officers of the House.  The founding of a national Library has been among the most important of his special interests.  All the citizens of Australia will concur in tendering their profound sympathy to the bereaved wife and family of a most distinguished Australian, whose loss is deeply felt by the whole community.  That this resolution be transmitted to the Senate for its consideration.”

    In moving this resolution Mr Deakin said it was perhaps desirable to say by way of supplement that prior to attaining his high office in the Commonwealth the late hon. gentleman had achieved many honours both within and without his own State.  Little favoured by the circumstances in which his career opened, the late Sir Frederick Holder was, to use a homely phrase, the “son of his own works”, and furnished a fine illustration of the freedom of Australian life and the frequency of the opportunities it afforded to courage and ability, without regard to station.  Throughout his State career Sir Frederick did not appear to have been exceptionally assisted by fortune, but his exemplary labours were fruitful in the religious, educational, and social spheres, as well as in current politics.  Prior to his appointment to the Speakership he had occupied the highest office in the State of South Australia, and he accepted the office of Speaker with the same calm resolution and devotion to its best purposes.  With the same lofty spirit that had characterised his previous life he confronted its inevitable trials bravely and with self-respect.  It was common knowledge that even this high position was not his first choice, but in this, as in the whole of his life, he accepted willingly the conditions imposed upon him and surmounted all the difficulties of office with most conspicuous success.  No Speaker had been more gentle, honourable, and successful in presiding over a deliberative assembly.  The strength of his control was in no small degree owing to the dignity with which he maintained the high position of his office and the directness with which he responded to every appeal.  His rulings were based upon close study, without being unduly overweighted, and as delivered were swift, incisive, and clear, assisting most clearly the transaction of public business.  Keenly sensitive, none of the functions which he discharged were a matter of course.  In that chair he was always obviously under a perpetual strain, and nothing escaped him.  He identified himself with the House to an extraordinary degree, and he cherished its character and its reputation as his own.  No man relied less upon his position for the authority he swayed, he was simple and unaffected without ostentation or even the appearance of it, and he occupied the highest place in the House with great modesty.  The House had not yet been able to measure the potency of the late hon. gentleman’s influence.  It was silent, unobtrusive, and persuasive, but it was also deep, and he trusted, lasting as a permanent heritage to that House.  Members owed the late Speaker their enduring and inexhaustible gratitude.

    Mr A Fisher, leader of the Opposition, added a eulogy of the deceased statesman.  Mr Deakin, he remarked, had rightly said the late Speaker’s knowledge of procedure enabled him at all times to guide that Assembly.  Added to his general ability, his kindliness of character and consideration for everyone enabled him to win the confidence of the youngest, as well as the oldest, Parliamentarian.  The House had lost a great Speaker, and his record would be a guide for succeeding Parliaments.  He was, above all, a sincere man, and it had been said that sincerity was the sum of all the virtues.  Sir Frederick Holder was unostentatious and always seeking some new means of conducting that Assembly as it should be conducted.  The House of Representatives and the Commonwealth Parliament had lost a great Parliamentarian who, instead of guiding that Chamber, might have guided the policy of the Commonwealth; but that was not to be.  He had finished his labours in a tragic but, at the same time, an heroic and ideal way.  For those who were near and dear to him it must have been a pang not to see him in his last moments.  He performed his duties in a manly, straightforward, and distinguished way.  The time had come when the Australian Parliament should take care to have a record of its distinguished men.
    Mr Deakin - The Government have taken action in that direction.
    Mr Fisher said time was depleting the ranks of the distinguished men who had done so much to bring about the federation of the States.  The resolution proposed by Mr Deakin expressed the feelings of all members, but nothing could make up the loss to the late Speaker’s family, for he was a noble, worthy, and devoted husband and father.
    Messrs O’Malley and Maloney supported the resolution, which was agreed to.
    Mr Deakin then moved:-  “That as a mark of respect to the memory of the late Speaker, the House adjourn until the following day.”
    The motion was agreed to, and at 3.25 pm the House adjourned until next day at 2.30 pm.

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 27
    The Federal Opposition members complain that the press organs opposed to the Labor Party are suggesting that the tactics of the Opposition are to some extent responsible for the tragedy in the House of Representatives last week.  They indignantly repudiate the idea.  Some of the Opposition members remarked today that the late Speaker was in his own room nearly the whole of the evening, and that he only came into the Chamber a few minutes before he was stricken down.  The heart of the late Speaker was not very robust of late years, and was failing more rapidly than was suspected by members generally.  On the Friday prior to his death Sir Frederick Holder hurried from a tram-car in Bourke Street to catch the Adelaide express, and when he reached the carriage he was exhausted.  Some members who were present were alarmed, and when Sir Frederick had recovered somewhat they strongly advised him not to hurry for the train again, warning him that the results might be serious.

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 27
    A cable message was received by the Prime Minister (Mr Deakin) today from Sir George Le Hunte (Governor of Trinidad and formerly Governor of South Australia) expressing deep regret at the death of Sir Frederick Holder.

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 27
    One of the first duties that the newspaper of the House of Representatives will be called on to perform will be to issue a writ for the election of a member to succeed the late Speaker.  Sir Frederick represented the constituency of Wakefield in South Australia.  He was opposed only once, in 1906, when Mr J H Vaughan was nominated against him.  Sir Frederick polled 6972 against his opponent’s 3953, thus having a majority of over 3000.  It is probable, if the writ for Wakefield be issued on, say, Thursday next, that the date for the closing of nominations will be August 15, and the polling day August 28.

    The Register, Thursday 29th July 1909.
                                                                                                Melbourne, July 28
    When the Senate met today, the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Mr Millen, NSW) said he had the sad duty of moving the concurrence of the Senate with a motion relative to the death of Sir Frederick Holder.  He was fully conscious that any mere words would fail to express the sense of personal loss which he had no doubt all must feel at the loss which had been sustained.  It was, however, meet and fitting that they should pay their tribute of respect and affection to one who had endeared himself to all with whom he had been brought into contact.  There were others who could speak better than he could.  Sir Frederick Holder had displayed great strength and determination and unfailing courage in all that he did, and at all times, above all, a deep and undeviating devotion to duty.  He was true to principle and was possessed of lofty ideals.  In his later years he had done yeoman service in the framing of the Constitution, and in every step he took, no matter what, he had always tried to do his duty here.  When they came to represent a United Australia, he had been selected as Speaker, an office with the greatest responsibilities.  He had expressed his deep sense of the obligation placed upon him and of his determination to carry out the duties so as to meet approval in all parts of the Empire.  As Speaker he was called upon to try the experiment of controlling those trained under varying conditions, and the task was a difficult one.  He had to explore an unknown region.  He had, however, brought to the task clearness of vision, soundness of judgment, firmness and unfailing courtesy, and with the exercise of these qualities had secured the full confidence of all over whose deliberations he was called to preside.  Great as had been his public services, his personal characteristics had induced them to esteem him most.  In all his work he was imbued with a serious conception of his duty, whether it was in Parliament or in social and religious movements.  He was universally esteemed.  “He being dead yet speaketh.”  It was not possible to turn aside the sharp shaft of grief to those more nearly concerned, but it might be hoped that the resolution and its accompanying message might to some extent tend toward that end.

    Mr McGregor (SA), as one who had had the privilege of knowing the late Speaker for many years, with regret seconded the motion.  Sir Frederick had the entire confidence of South Australia.  The feeling of sympathy for the wife who had lost a loving and faithful husband, and the family who had lost the protection of a father, he knew was entertained by all.  The occupier of the highest position in Parliament, Sir Frederick Holder had been at all times animated with a desire to carry out his duty to those with whom he was associated.  There was no Senator among them but would deplore his loss.

    Sir Josiah Symon (SA) said the late Sir Frederick Holder had been to him a friend of many years’ standing.  He was his colleague with four others in the Convention.  As a Senator from the State in which Sir Frederick Holder was born, and to which he gave his devoted service, he would like to say a few words.  They all felt pangs of grief, and he would hesitate to say one word after the most eloquent address of the Vice-President, followed by the speech of Mr McGregor on the other side, but he would like to say that Sir Frederick was a man to whom worldly fortune had not been kind.  He had, however, made his own way, and carved out his career by the great qualities he possessed.  His capacity was known to all of them.  No man was less of a partisan, and no-one less moved by hate or clamour.  The year 1887, in which Sir Frederick first became a member of Parliament, was the same in which he himself entered public life, and their acquaintance soon ripened into a friendship.  He had inspired confidence with the best requital.  In 1897 he entered the Federal Convention, and members who were there would bear witness to the high services which he rendered.  He could never forget the strenuous position he had taken up in fighting for the principles of democracy and freedom.  In 1901 the deceased entered the Federal Parliament and became Speaker, a position he filled to the end in a manner which evoked expressions of universal admiration.  The Vice-President had referred with emphasis, and in a manner which would be difficult of imitation, to the deceased’s earnest devotion to duty.  All that he would add was that he had trod the path of duty with firm and unfaltering steps to the end - “after life’s fitful fever he sleeps well”.

    The President (Sir Albert Gould), in putting the motion, said he wished to briefly express his deep feeling of regret at the death of the late Speaker.  During the last few years he had had an opportunity to come into contact with him.  He was an upright man, whose connection was an honour to the Federal Parliament.  As a personal friend he had learned that he was a man not only to be esteemed, but respected and also loved.  His friendship could always be relied on.  The passing away of such a man was always a great loss.

    The motion was carried, and the Clerk was instructed to forward it to Lady Holder.  The Senate, as a mark of respect, adjourned its proceedings till 4pm.

                                                                                                Melbourne, July 27
    The Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council today placed on record their deep sense of the loss which the Commonwealth has sustained through the death of Sir Frederick Holder, and their appreciation of his eminent services to Australia.

    Private letters written by SA Chief Justice Sir Samuel Way show a more personal view of Sir Frederick Holder :
To Rev H W Horwill 27 July 1909  -  “At Sir Frederick Holder’s funeral yesterday the service at the grave had to be very much shortened, as it was during a storm of rain, and the guard of honour and the others who walked were drenched to the skin.  The service at the Kent Town church was a beautiful one, quite worthy of a State funeral, but the President’s address and Mr Woodfull’s were both too long.  Sir Frederick has come to the fore since you were here, but you must know him by reputation, and something of his relations with me during the discussions on Clause 74.  [Clause 74 of the Commonwealth Bill dealt with the right of appeal to the Privy Council.]  I only heard him preach once; I went to show that I nurtured no animosity.  He was a reader and thinker in Theology, and his discourses were much beyond those of the ordinary local preacher.”
To W B Luke Esq 27 July 1909  -  “I shall send you papers narrating the sudden death of Sir Frederick Holder, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.  There was no Wesleyan layman who showed greater friendship to the Minor Methodists than he did, or threw himself more heartily into the Union.”
To His Excellency Sir George R Le Hunte KCMG 31 August 1909  -  “Sir Frederick’s family are not left destitute.  His estate amounted to about £6000, most of which must have been saved since he was Speaker.  He was never well off, and lost his small savings after he got into the Assembly, through taking a friend’s advice and investing them in a mine.”
To Rev W F James 18 October 1909  -  “I read your sketch on Sir Frederick Holder in the Methodist Times and thought it very good.  I hope you have sent a similar one to the Christian Advocate.  I have subscribed £5-5-0 to the testimonial.  Lord Tennyson’s judgment in a recent letter is as follows :-  “Poor Holder.  He has covered himself with glory during his Speakership.  He had too tortuous a mind for a good statesman.”  I think it correct.  I had quite forgiven Sir Frederick his treachery to me over Clause 74, and I am glad that his tenure of the Speakership rehabilitated his reputation, which had been sadly injured whilst he was a politician, when under Kingston’s domination.  Can one touch politics “and not be defiled”?”
To Rev J M Buckley 24 Nov 1909  -  “Confidential.  You ask about Sir Frederick Holder.  There was no appreciation by me in the Register because of my difference with Sowden, the principal editor, over the Public Library dispute, and that which I gave to the Advertiser was spoiled by the stupidity of a conceited reporter, who substituted his phraseology for mine.  Sir Frederick acted badly to me during the Clause 74 controversy, but I came to forgive him this because, although still conscious of his want of candour, I gradually recognised that he had come under the domination of a more powerful will, in my old pupil Kingston’s mighty influence, and another old pupil, Sir Josiah Simon’s.  They ground his honour away as between the upper and the nether millstones.  Sir Frederick and I were always on the same side in Conference debates, and I admired his loyalty to Methodism.  He was a reader and thinker in Theology, and preaching was the one recreation he allowed himself.  He preached on Sundays all over the continent.  The culmination of his career was his Speakership of the House of Representatives, and there he was not subjected to the same banal influences as he had been as a politician.  He was at one time a small journalist (he had previously been a village schoolmaster).  He was neither a brilliant writer nor a popular orator, but he sprang into the front at once when he entered politics, for he had a genius for public finance and for administration, and was almost unrivalled in debate and as leader of the House.  If you saw him walking in the street, a tall spare man with one shoulder a little elevated, and a sidelong step, you would say his appearance betrayed his psychological defects, but “on the floor of the House” he was transformed - he seemed to expand physically, and you would admire his mastery of the most complex facts, and his almost Gladstonian readiness in distinguishing the case he was advocating from apparently absolute precedents the other way.  Kingston “tricked” him out of the first Federal ministry.  The Speakership was his compensation, and in this - freed from the banal influences to which I have referred - he displayed his highest qualities.  The dignity and fairness with which he filled the office set a pattern not likely soon to be surpassed. ......
    When I read what I had dictated about Sir Frederick Holder, I perceived I had transgressed the rule “de mortuis nil nisi bonum”.  Despite his failings he was a genuinely religious man, and of irreproachable life.”