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JUNE 1, 1927

Berwick Mourns Death of Prominent Citizen

S. C. Parker, Lifelong Resident of Berwick and One of Town’s Foremost Citizens, Passed Away Thursday Morning.

Berwick was shocked on Thursday morning last when news came from the hospital of the very serious condition of Mr. S. C. Parker, and when, about an hour later, it was learned that he had passed away, the town was overwhelmed with grief.  It did not seem possible that his genial and much-loved presence had been removed.

He had been about town as usual on Saturday, attending a meeting of the Executive of the Kings Mutual in the afternoon, and only his immediate family knew he was not feeling quite well.  On Sunday he suffered what he thought was indigestion and did not go to church and as the pain continued and localised on Monday and Tuesday, an operation was decided necessary and he went to the hospital Tuesday evening.  Going as he did in, apparently, the best of health, every hope was entertained for his recovery and his many friends did not dream but that he was coming out of it just as well as ever.  But conditions were found to be very serious, with complications, and about 10 o’clock on Thursday morning he passed away.

Mr. Parker filled such a large place in the community that it is hard to adjust to the fact that he is no longer here to continue his work.  His articles for The Register, which have created such interest, remain unfinished.  The insurance policies for the month of May are unsigned by the President.  Three organizations are without a President, and one without Secretary.  The Hospital, in which he took such a deep interest and to which he gave his wholehearted support, has lost its best friend.  The church, the town and the County have all suffered an irreparable loss.

Samuel Chipman Parker, eldest son of the late Theodore Harding Parker and wife, was born in Berwick in 1858.  During his whole life his home has been in this town.  In early manhood he visited Florida, but soon returned to nova Scotia, where he frequently and emphatically expressed the opinion that apple-growing in the Valley was far in advance – both in pleasure and in profit – of orange growing in the South.  As a fruit-grower, he attained much prominence.  For many years he was the Secretary of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association and at meetings of that body his advice and suggestions were listened to with interest and appreciation.  He represented that Association at the celebrated “Siege of Ottawa” in 1910 and was understood to have been responsible for the decision to remove tariff duties from fertilizers.

In November, 1901, the electors of Ward 13 chose Mr. Parker to be their representative in the Municipal Council of Kings County.  At the two elections, in 1904 and 1907, he was re-elected.  At the close of his third term he retired, having served his Ward and his County faithfully for nine years.  So far as party politics are drawn into the business of the Municipality Mr. Parker was an efficient “leader of the opposition” during those nine years, but he always enjoyed the friendship and esteem of his colleagues without regard to party.

When Berwick became an incorporated town in 1923, Mr. Parker was enthusiastically chosen as the first to hold the office of Mayor.  He was re-elected at the close of his term but shortly after resigned the position.  From 1912 to the autumn of 1926 Mr. Parker was Postmaster at Berwick.  Early in life he was appointed a Justice of the Peace, but seldom acted.

Mr. Parker’s recent articles published in the Register have been read with deepest interest.  In that which appeared last week, he began to give reminiscences of schools and school-boy days in Berwick.  He was most excellently qualified for this work.  When his school days were over and he had attained to man’s estate, he was repeatedly chosen to the office of Trustee and was active in his work in that capacity.  No man in Berwick could equal him in knowledge of the work in, and history of, our public schools.

Mr. Parker was a faithful and devoted member of the Berwick Baptist Church.  For years he was Treasurer of that organization and his duties in that position were always performed in an efficient and business-like manner.

Mr. Parker was thrice married.  His first wife was Miss Augusta Illsley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Preston Illsley, of Berwick.  They were married on October 31, 1894.  Six years later, in 1900, she passed away.  Later, he became the husband of Miss Elizabeth Chute, daughter of the late Lemuel Chute, of Clarence.  Her mother, Mrs. Hanna L. Chute, had since the tragic death of her husband, been engaged as teacher in one of the departments of Berwick School and was widely and most favourably known.  She is now a resident of Canard.  Her daughter’s married life was short.  She died, deeply regretted by very many friends, in the early years of her residence in Berwick as a wife.  The third wife was Miss Gertrude Chute, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Chute, of Somerset, but now residents of Berwick.  In this bereavement she, her daughter, Annie, Mr. Parker’s adopted daughter, Miss Helen Hivey, and the surviving sister, Miss Ida, have the sincere sympathy of all who enjoy the privilege of their acquaintance.

The funeral services, on Friday afternoon at 3 o’clock, were to have been held at the residence, Commercial Street, but owing to the very large attendance and the continued rain, it was found necessary to have them at the United Baptist Church, which only barely accommodated the large gathering.  Not only was the entire town represented, including the Town Council, officials of Kings Memorial Hospital Association, of which Mr. parker was President; Kings Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of which he was President; Berwick Fruit Company, of which he was a charter member and Secretary; local Red Cross, of which he was President; the Medical Board of the Hospital; the Oddfellows, who attended in a body; the teaching staff of the Berwick school – but also the local members of the Provincial Legislature, officials of the Conservative Association, members of the County Council and many other outstanding men of the County.

Rev. H. E. Allaby conducted the service, assisted by Rev. A. R. Reynolds, Parrsboro, and Rev. John Hockin, Rev. David Price and Rev. Arthur Hockin.  Mr. Reynolds, in his address, said he wished to do two things – “to pay a just tribute and acknowledge an obligation.”  He spoke of his association with Mr. Parker, particularly in Hospital work in which Mr. Parker carried a heavy burden, financially and otherwise and to its problems had given unsparingly of his time, his loyalty, his wise counsel and his broad vision.  He said the deceased had lived here the sixty-eight years of his life and had used the fine qualities of mind and soul in serving his King and his community.  He had builded his craft, not for the small, landlocked harbors of life, but had fashioned a larger, worthier craft for the broad ocean of eternity.  The speaker acknowledged his personal obligation to Mr. Parker for help in his problems, and for the inspiration he had received fro contact with Mr. Parker’s high ideals, his broad culture and his fine friendship.

Mr. Allaby spoke of Mr. Parker’s connection with the church and his recognition of the importance of the church in the community.  In supporting and serving the church, the speaker said the deceased had followed the traditions of his father and grandfather who had been largely instrumental in building it up.  He made a plea for others to follow their examples and give the church their best influence and support.

Rev. Arthur Hockin, in his closing prayer, very fittingly expressed the feeling in the community when he said, “Truly, a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel.”

The choir was present and assisted with the music and Mr. Fred Bennet sang “Christians Good-night.”

The floral offerings were numerous and beautiful, all organizations with which Mr. Parker had been associated sending flowers, as well as relatives and a host of friends.

The pall-bearers were lifelong friends of the deceased:  Rev. H. S. Shaw, J. M. Patterson, A. S. Banks, S. B. Chute, Capt. E. F. Robbins and A. L. Morse.

The Oddfellows marched to the cemetery and conducted their last rites at the grave.