Local Identities

Dr William Adam Kennedy (c1852 – 1938) – Obituary

There was perhaps no better known nor more respected identity in Harvey and district than Dr. W. F. [sic, W. A.] Kennedy, whose sudden death on Thursday afternoon served to cast quite a gloom over the district. The doctor had not enjoyed the best of health of recent weeks, but his condition was never at any stage considered serious and his unexpected death severely shocked his very wide circle of friends and acquaintances.

The late Dr. Kennedy was born in Newcastle on Tyne and at the time of his death was in his 86th year. Having received his primary education in Newcastle, he graduated at the Durham University and for several years practised with his father in Newcastle. On his father’s death he carried on the practice alone, till he disposed of it to take a post as ship’s surgeon under sail on the ill-fated Hesperus. He foresook the sea to settle at Ballarat and later came to Perth.

In 1907 he returned to England where he married. In August 1908 he again arrived in Perth, where he practised till December 1914, when he took up residence as Harvey’s first resident doctor. He continued in practice till the time of his death. His arrival in Harvey was welcomed by district residents who had been isolated so far as medical attention was concerned, prior to his advent.

Of a kindly and understanding disposition, the doctor soon weaned his way into the hearts of residents of the district and his punctilious attention to the many calls made upon him till further enhanced the esteem in which he was held. His was a profession to which he was prepared to devote his all and in fair weather and foul the doctor never hesitated to leave the comforts of his home and family to apply his skill in the relief of suffering humanity. His unbounded charity was practised in an unostentatious manner and many a home bears happy and grateful remembrances of a kindly practitioner whose skill as a professional man was only sincere sympathy with those needing his help.

The late Dr. Kennedy was a keen yachtsman and was elected a life member of the Perth Royal Yacht Club. He was a foundation member of the Harvey Bowling Club and till the time of his death was one of the most frequent habitants of the greens, where his keen sense of sportsmanship and interest in new devotees to the game made him a particularly warm favourite.

He leaves a widow, a daughter and son, to whom the sympathies of the whole district are being extended on the loss of a loving husband and devoted father. The funeral left his late residence in Young-street, Harvey, at 11 a.m. on October 29 and proceeded to the Anglican portion of the Harvey Cemetery where the remains were interred in the presence of a large and representative gathering.

The graveside service was conducted by the Rev. Arnold Fryer of South Bunbury. The pall bearers were Messrs. G. Clayton, R. O. Hayward, M. Gibbs, Aubrey Smith, Ian Rennie, W. Middleton, J. Lowe, R. A. Johnson, Geo. Horrocks and E. Davies.

(Harvey Murray Times, 3 November 1938)