The first St Georges Church was built in 1847. In 1857 it was rebuilt, the foundation stone having been laid by Mrs. Short, wife of the Bishop. In 1909 the tower was completed.
Dr William Hull Lewis 1806-1875, died age 68 at “Yenda”, Gawler, South Australia on the 1st of June 1875. He was memorialised by a stained glass window erected in his memory at St. George’s Church in Gawler, South Australia. The window was crafted by the Melbourne stained glass firm of Ferguson & Urie in 1877.
“MEMORIAL WINDOW, – We have inspected (states the Bunyip) a very beautiful stained glass window, raised by subscription and just erected in St. George’s Church, Gawler, in affectionate memory of the late Dr. Lewis, J.P. The central figure illustrates the Good Samaritan ministering to the wounded traveller. It is the work of Messrs. Ferguson & Urie, of Melbourne, church decorators, and is an artistic and admirable specimen of the stained-glass painter’s art. It seems to embody in measure Ruskin’s idea – “The true perfection of a painted window is to be serene, intense, brilliant, like flaming jewellery, full of easy, legible, and quaint subjects, and exquisitely subtle, yet simple in its harmonies.” The inscription beneath is – “In memoriam William Hull Lewis, J.P., surgeon, Gawler, Synodsman St. George’s Church 21 years. June 1, 1875.” It is placed next the window bearing Colonel Gawler’s crest and arms.”
The Lewis memorial window depicts “The Good Samaritan” and was restored in 1999. The memorial text at the bottom of the window reads:
‘IN MEMORIAM WILLIAM HULL LEWIS SURGEON GAWLER SYNODSMAN FOR ST GEORGES CHURCH 21 YEARS 1st JUNE 1875’.
Photos courtesy of Kerry Kroehn 19th May 2011.
“During the past week,” writes the Bunyip of June 4. “a severe double bereavement has fallen upon Mr. W.R. Lewis, solicitor, whose wife died on Sunday morning, after a very short illness, and whose father expired only two days after. Both the deceased were most highly esteemed in Gawler, and the deepest sympathy is everywhere expressed for the bereaved husband and son. The remains were interred in the Church of England cemetery – those of Mrs. Lewis on Monday, and Dr. Lewis on Wednesday. In each case there was a very large attendance, although, doubtless, a great many who would have been present were prevented by the bad weather which prevailed. Canon Coombs officiated at each interment, and spoke highly of the virtues of the departed. In consequence of his long membership, the Gawler Lodge of Freemasons followed the remains of Dr. Lewis in procession. Dr. Lewis was born in the city of Cork, Ireland, in 1806, and having decided to follow the medical profession he commenced his studies at Dublin, and completed them in London. In 1830 he went to Queen’s County, where he followed his profession for many years. In 1851, about the time of the great gold discoveries in Victoria, he emigrated to South Australia, and finally settled near Gawler, where he purchased land built Baroma Lodge, so long known as his residence. After his settlement at Gawler Dr. Lewis practised his profession, and also devoted a portion of his time to agricultural pursuits, but his delicate health prevented him from answering all the numerous calls on his professional skill and care. In the comparatively small circle in which he ministered to the sick and needy, he was most highly esteemed, and was constantly called in consultation with professional brethren, both in the town and from Adelaide. His name is fondly cherished as a household word in many homes, the scenes of his skill, where he was truly esteemed as the ‘beloved physician.’ As a magistrate, a gentleman, and a public man, he was a foremost citizen of Gawler, where to the last he always exercised a powerful influence for good, and his high character and thorough conscientiousness always added weight to any course he took.”
(This transcription above was submitted by me to Obituaries Australia 14/03/2012)
Note: According to information on the web site http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au the Ferguson & Urie window was restored in 1999 to the memory of George Alexander Weaver, by his wife Betty and Family.
National Library Australia photo c.1995: St Georges Anglican Church, Gawler, SA