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The Telegram Obituaries



Death of Mr. Matthew Martin, Engineer.
Evening Telegram October 9, 1916

I received a telegram this morning from H.F. Fitzgerald, Magistrate of Grand Falls, stating that his father-in-law, Mr. Matthew Martin, had died at Harbor Grace at 9 o'clock last night (Sunday). Mr. Martin was born in Harbor Grace, seventy-nine years ago, and sprung from one of the most respected, as well as pioneer families in Conception Bay. At an early age he devoted his talents and great natural ability to scientific work, and being upright calm and self-confident he forged, straight ahead, battled steadily, along the upward path until he had arrived at the summit of his profession. His was a quiet, unaffected personality of real kindliness which won the affection of all. In his early years there were not such facilities for learning engineering and other scientific work as we possess today, as we had no such institutions as the Reid Nfld. Co.'s machine shops, and other extensive industries. Nearly sixty years ago, he became a marine engineer and inventor, and took charge of the great Seal Oil Manufacturing Plant of the firm of Punton & Munn. When required he was employed as engineer of the steamers. It was Matthew Martin who invented and patented the machine for cutting up seal fat, as well as-other useful machines in connection with fishery products. He also devoted much time and attention to the manufacture of medicinal cod oil, and invented many improvements in refrigeratory processes, as well as sending frozen bait fishes to other countries.

He took the deepest interest in educational maters, and was a mathematician of a very high order. A consistent member of the Anglican Church, he was always broad-minded and tolerant towards his fellow-man upon all matters, religious, political or, any other way, and his chief friends were to be counted amongst those whose views may have differed with his, but all were ready, to acknowledge his sterling qualities and manly disposition. I think he was one of the founders of Lodge Harbor Grace, F. and A.M., and probably the oldest member at the time of his death. He was a most enthusiastic and invaluable supporter of all manly sports, and never within my remembrance, has a regatta been held on Lady Lake without Matthew Martin being either coxswain of one of the boats, or, at least, a most prominent and energetic member of the committee. These regattas were always, carried on under the patronage of the Harbor Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade, but has been discontinued since the great war. For the past eight or nine years Mr. Martin held the position of light-house keeper at the Point of Beach, Harbor Grace.

He has left to mourn their sad loss a widow, five daughters, viz., Mrs. H. F. Fitzgerald (wife Magistrate Fitzgerald, Grand Falls), Mrs. Stanley Greaves, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.; Mrs. John Lockyer, Bonavista; Mrs. James Cron, Harbor Grace, and Miss Belle Martin also in the old town. There are three grandsons at present serving the colors, viz., Arthur and George Fitzgerald and James Cron. Arthur Fitzgerald and James J. Cron took part in the great drive of July 1st: both being in B: Company, 1st Nfld Regiment; the latter being wounded but young Fitzgerald came through safely.

Mr. Frederick Martin, Chief Engineer of the S.S. Fiona is a brother, and Mrs. George Corbin, of New York is a sister of the deceased gentleman. Mr. Martin will be sorely missed, not alone by his family connections, but by the entire public of Harbor Grace and vicinity who ever found a warm friend and wise councillor in the veteran, who has been so lately called away from amongst them. It may be well and truly said that Matthew Martin has left all friends and not a single enemy behind him. His remains will be interred in the Church of England Cemetery in his native town, where he lived and died tomorrow, Tuesday evening.



Page contributed by Geoff Martin

Page Revised by Ivy F. Benoit (Wednesday February 20, 2013)

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