Newspaper articles – The West Australian – 27th February 1885

The West Australian



A public meeting was held at Roebourne on the 16th February, for the purpose of expressing the feelings of the community at the recent terrible murders of Messrs. Anketell and Burrup. About 25 persons were present, and Mr. Laurence, Government Resident, was voted  to the chair.

The CHAIRMAN, in a few words, explained the object of the meeting. He felt sure that he spoke the feelings of all present when he said that the recent horrible murders had filled the community with grief and dismay. There was a feeling of horror that so foul a crime should have been committed in their midst, and also a deep personal sorrow to every one in the loss of dear and valued friends.

Mr. Anketell had been some time amongst them, and, by his unvarying courtesy, his conspicuous unselfishness, and his many social qualities, had endeared himself to all in the district. He could not put into words the feelings of sorrow so generally felt for his loss.

Mr. Burrup, though he had not been so long in the district, had by his bright cheerfulness and obliging character gained the affection of many, and they all felt that they had rarely met a more amiable and gentlemanly young fellow. It seemed hard to believe that valued and valuable lives could have been so recklessly sacrificed in pursuit of gain.

The meeting would no doubt adopt an expression of sympathy with the relatives of the deceased, now waiting in painful anxiety for full particulars of the terrible events which the telegraph had already announced to them. Though words might seem inadequate, yet it might be some comfort to them to know that their loved ones had gained the regard of those among whom they lived, and that their loss was sincerely mourned.

Mr. H. W. SHOLL then moved – That Messrs. A. McRae, M.L.C., E. H. Laurence, Government Resident, and J. A. O’Meehan, J. P., be appointed a committee to draw up a letter of condolence with the relatives of our deceased  friends, Messrs. Anketell and Burrup, and sign it on behalf of the district.

Mr. EATON seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously.

Mr. A. MCRAE then moved -That a copy of the minutes of this meeting and of the letters to be drawn up by the  committee be forwarded to the news papers for publication.

Mr. H. W. SHOLL seconded the motion.

Dr. O’MEEHAN, in speaking to the resolution, desired to express his entire agreement with what had fallen from the Chairman, and his sense of the deep loss the district had sustained. No words were needed to deepen the universal feeling of regret.

The resolution was then carried unanimously, and, with a vote of thanks to the Chairman, the meeting separated.  The following are the letters drawn up by the Committee :


Roebourne, 16th February, 1885.

Dear Sir,

At a public meeting held in Roebourne this evening the following resolution was unanimously adopted. (See first resolution.) In pursuance of that resolution we approach you with a respectful expression of deep sympathy with you and your family in the terrible event which has deprived you of your son,  During his residence amongst us Mr. Thomas Anketell had become universally esteemed for his unvarying courtesy, his diligent attention to business, his conspicuous unselfishness, his many genial social qualities, and his ready and liberal help to every enterprise undertaken for the advancement or enjoyment of this community. To many he had become a very dear and valued friend.  While we feel how feeble are any words in the presence of so great a sorrow as has fallen upon you and yours, it may be some solace to receive-as it is a melancholy satisfaction to offer -this assurance of the high regard and sincere affection entertained for your son by the people of the North District.

Believe us, dear Sir,
yours most sincerely,

To J. W. Burrup, Esq., was sent  similar letter of sympathy in the event which had so early cut short the life of his son. The letter adds :

” Though Mr Henry Burrup had been but a short time among us, he had, by his unassuming, good nature, his cheerful manners, and his readiness to oblige, won the true regard of all with whom he had come in contact. Many among us had already learned to looked upon him as a dear friend ;” and, further, an ” assurance that your son had gained the affectionate regard of the community in which he had come to live/and that his cruel death is sincerely mourned.”

[Inquirer and Herald, kindly copy.