Cemetery history in focus

Port Augusta lost one of its most valued and best-known pioneer citizens with the passing of Aquila William Gosden on Friday, May 18, 1934, aged 67.

Aquila, (QUID) was born December 25, 1866, was one of a very small band of Port Augustonians with a citizenship record of over half a century, had been suffering from a growth for some time and death came in the nature of peaceful release.

Married March 8, 1894, to Lydia Ellen Bottomley at the residence of Robert Bottomley, father of the bride, interesting note at the bottom of the notice in the Advertiser 10th April "no cake, no cards"

They had five daughters, Hilda Marion, Edith Lucy, Millie Rose, Jessie Alma and Vera Isabell.

Aquila did much to advance Port Augusta as a citizen and townsman. He was a member of the Port Augusta Council for thirteen years, and took part in various public movements, prominent member of the Methodist Church, local preacher and Sunday School teacher and had not missed a Sunday School picnic for over forty years.

He dearly loved children and was continually making toys and distributing them amongst the children of the town. He was often called "the children's friend."

He was a great sportsman in his younger days. His association with cricket dates back to early 1890s when he played for Curdnatta in the Port Augusta Association, was a valuable player for his side as a slow bowler and reliable field.

More than once he was instrumental in turning what looked like defeat into victory. He had some remarkable bowling averages, secured with "googlies" that tempted most batsmen to hit out only to be caught on the boundary or stumped.

As a footballer Quid was outstanding being conspicuous in any part of the field. A splendid high-mark, good captain and a most attractive player to watch.

On the Saturday following his death players in the South-Flinders match at the Central Oval stood in silence for some minutes as a mark of respect. As a member of the Port Augusta Quoits Club he had many stirring battles against visitors and local players, one match in particular causing unusual interest, resulting with Aquila winning the last throw.

In later years he payed tennis and bowls, always hard to beat in either game.

He was one of the oldest members of the East Park Tennis Club, for several years held the office of president, as a result of good work that he put in with the club he was rewarded with life membership.

Quid was also a member of the Rifle Club, the Rowing Club, Swimming Club, Town Band and a member of the fire brigade.

As Vice-Commodore of the Port Augusta Yacht Club he was the official who helped to place the club on a high plane.

Representatives of the Yacht Club marched in his funeral.

This all-round sportsman was one of the finest men one could meet in a day's walk, an admiring colleague said of him "he was ever a true sport, always enthusiastic, and the most unselfish man I have ever met - a thorough gentleman."

On the more serious side he was for nearly half a century a respected and honoured employee of the S.A. Brewing Company was associated with the brewery for five years before being taken over by another Company, continued for another five years before he left town to follow mining pursuits at Blinman, returning after seven years re-joined the local staff.

For twenty-eight consecutive years after that he carried out his duties as waters and cordial maker and foreman of the factory and yard.

He was one of a Port Augusta band of pioneer citizens, to whom the town and district owed a debt of gratitude which could never adequately be repaid.

The whole town and district paid a fine tribute of respect at the funeral procession, and later, on the sporting field players and officials paid a gracious tribute.

Taken from the memoirs of Patrick Hannagan talking about the Enterprise picture theatre -

"We thought it was a good idea to wait until the bell rang to go in and then go in with the crowd, put sixpence in Quiller's hand and keep walking. He would say 'Hey, Hey, Hey, a few times and then put the sixpence in his pocket. I bet he go a pocketful some nights."

"One night the hall was packed and people were being turned away. We found out later that five Whyalla lads tried to get in Dick Turner's door and because he wouldn't let them in, they 'jobbed' him and a running fight started up the board floor passage and made quite a noise. Big Charlie Kittle called 'Fire' and caused a stampede.

"The hall was closed in no time, just to see the fight still in progress. One of the chaps had grabbed poor old Quiller in a tender spot and was strangling him. Then the cops came. The boys couldn't crank their old Chev, quick enough and were caught."