Since then I have been lucky to make contact with one of Benjamin’s grandchildren and she very kindly send me the photograph and the article below from The Australian Baptist, 3 July 1928.
Death of Rev. B Gawthrop
“ Christian Gentleman”
Tributes to his life and ministry
After a protracted illness, Rev. Benjamin Gawthrop, A.T.S., passed into the Eternal Presence late on Saturday night last at a private hospital in Randwick (Sydney). Though his death, judged from the nature of his illness, seemed imminent, the end came more suddenly than was expected. Within twenty-four hours of his passing, all the members of his family had been with him, but none of them thought he was so near life’s close. Happily, those closing hours brought consciousness and Mr. Gawthrop was able to enjoy his last fellowship with those dearest to him
In his death the Baptist denomination in New South Wales has lost one of its ablest, wisest and most gifted ministers, and his passing leaves another gap in the fast thinning ranks of our senior ministers.
It is twenty years since Mr. Gawthrop came to Australia, and up to the time that his health began to fail, he occupied a commanding place in our ministry, and exerted wide and beneficient influence. He was one of our Greathearts, radiating sunshine and goodwill wherever he went and in whatever he did.
Mr. Gawthrop was a native of Colne, Lancashire, England. Had he lived till August he would have reached his 59th milestone on life’s journey. Educated at Rawdon College, where he gained his A.T.S. degree, he entered upon his first pastorate as minister of the church at Heaton (Newcastle-on-Tyne).
After a ministry there extending over 14 years, the call came to succeed the late Rev. Dr. Thomas Porter at Petersham, and 1908 Mr. Gawthrop made his great adventure and followed the gleam which led him to Australia. His fruitful ministry at Petersham continued for ten years, and one of the happiest features of the funeral service conducted in the church previous to the interment at Rookwood was the presence of quite a number of young men who had grown up in his Bible-class, and came to pay their last tribute to his memory and his influence.
From Petersham, Mr. Gawthrop went to Katoomba, and later to Newcastle, where he was minister of the Tabernacle for four years, with conspicuous success. In both these spheres of service his memory will long remain as a sweet savour. From Newcastle Mr. Gawthrop returned to Katoomba, but as an invalid. It was hoped that the mountain air and a subsequent visit to England, would cure him an his malady. But it was not to be, and soon after his return to the lowlands his friends realised that his days of active service were over.
Mr. Gawrhrop is survived by his widow, his only daughter (Mrs. Horace Simpson) and three sons (Mr. Clifford Gawthrop, Mr. Martin Gawthrop, and Master Jack Gawthrop).