Many people die in the hope of resurrection. Today, I show you a sublime example of the Resurrection Angel, holding a trumpet and pointing the way to God and Life Everlasting. It was commissioned by a loving (and rich) son, in memory and hope for his parents.
Although 'reserved and retiring', he was a 'very kindly gentleman', with neatly brushed hair and a trim beard and moustache. He was a member of Killara Golf Club, and was an excellent photographer.Thus goes the entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography for Sir William Dixson, after whom the Dixson Wing of the State Library of New South Wales is named. I will refer to him as Sir William, not in deference to the imperial Honours System, but because this monument gives no greater emphasis to him than to any other member of his very large family. The Dixson Wing comprises a gallery, and a library. The Dixson Gallery was opened in 1929 and the Dixson Library, housing Sir William’s great collections of rare books and manuscripts, coins and stamps was opened in 1959, seven years after his death. In the 1930s, Sir William gave to the library its great bronze entrance doors, and three stained-glass windows in the main reading room.
Sir William himself was a bachelor who was buried with Anglican rites, whereas others in the family were cremated with Presbyterian forms.
This is actually the monument of his father, Sir Hugh, but I don’t want to talk about him because he started the family fortune from tobacco. But, to their credit, it was what they DID with the fortune that was interesting. Sir Hugh and his wife, Dame Emma (*groan* those honours again!), were philanthropists of a religious and uplifting bent. They had six sons, and four daughters. Four of the sons predeceased them, their youngest, Thomas Storie, was a Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards who perished at Amiens in 1916.
But it is the reserved and retiring Sir William, who has left his mark on our city.
This is my contribution to the Taphophile Tragics community.