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Rushden Echo, 28th May 1909, transcribed by Kay Collins
Death of Mr. Geo. Hustwaite
A Higham Ferrers and Rushden Schoolmaster
A Useful Career Unexpectedly Ended

A great loss to the district, and one that has given rise to general grief, has been occasioned by the sudden death of Mr. George Hustwaite, the highly-esteemed headmaster of the Council Schools, Higham Ferrers, who passed away quietly at his residence on Saturday last at 5.15p.m. at the age of 58 years. To his wide circle of friends the news of his unexpected death came as a great shock, as on the previous Wednesday evening he cycled to Dean and back, and on the return journey met several friends and conversed with them, and it was then that he undoubtedly contracted the chill which finally compelled him to take to his bed. On Thursday morning, although feeling very weak, he had a great desire to get up and open school, which inclination he followed, afterwards walking up to the doctor’s. He took to his bed immediately upon arriving home and no perceptible change in his condition occurred until 1p.m. on Saturday, when he experienced a severe heart attack, and it became necessary to send for the doctor who injected morphia, which freed him from pain.

At about 4.30p.m. the Rev. Mayson Penn, Wesleyan minister, visited Mr. Hustwaite and prayed with him, and the sufferer was able to follow the prayer and responded at its close; but at 5p.m. a sudden change was noticed. The family were immediately called and at 5.15p.m. Mr. Hustwaite passed quietly and peacefully away just as if he were entering into sleep, without a sound or movement of any description, and of him it can be truly said, “As he lived, so did he die.” Never was there a more unselfish life than his, his one thought ever being for others. He was a devoted husband and a loving father and was greatly esteemed and loved by all who knew him.

As a Headmaster

He ideal, his chief interest being always in those scholastically under his charge and in whose welfare he felt a personal concern.

The deceased gentleman was a prominent Wesleyan, and was connected with the Higham Ferrers Wesleyan Methodist Church for 24 years, and was for 22 years a member of the choir in that place of worship.

He was also a Freemason, being a member of the Pemberton Lodge, Rushden.

Many expressions of sympathy have been received by his widow and the four children whom he leaves—three sons and one daughter. Two of the sons are abroad, one, Mr. Percy Hustwaite, being an army schoolmaster at Singapore, and the other, Mr. Edgar Hustwaite, a teacher of languages at Crefeld, Germany.

A more fitting end to the life he lived could not possibly be imagined. Just as his life had been one of a calm, even temperament, so was his death—a peaceful sleep.

To his many intimate acquaintances, the loss is indescribable. He was ever ready to sympathise and advise when necessary, and his life from beginning to end was wholly dedicated to his fellow men.

Born at Tollerton, Yorks, on Aug. 7th, 1850, he began his education at Tollerton Private School in 1856 where he remained until 1857. In 1858 he went to Tollerton Wesleyan School and commenced his scholastic duties there in 1864, continuing there as pupil teacher until 1869. In 1870 he entered Homerton College, London, and gained distinction in many subjects.

In January 1872, he went to Nottingham to take charge of Houndsgate British School in that place, and in April of the same year

Removed to Rushden

and took the headship of the General School until April 1877. During his residence at Rushden he married.

Board schools began then to be established, and Mr. Hustwaite was successful in obtaining an appointment as headmaster of Buckland Brewer School, Bideford, Devonshire, where he remained until April 1882, then leaving for Walcott, Lincoln.

In December 1884, he was appointed headmaster of the Higham Ferrers Board School (now Council School) where he remained until his sudden call.

Mr. Hustwaite’s life was so good and noble and full of the true spirit of his Master that he must have influenced for good some hundreds who have been under his care. He fully realised the responsibility of his position with regard to the moral training of the young, and so lived for others. His beautiful life of self-sacrifice cannot fail to be an inspiration to many, those who knew him best loving him the most. Of him can be truly said “He liveth long who liveth well.” In his desk among other papers was found the following verse of Charles Wesley’s, his favourite hymn writer:-

When darkness intercepts the skies,
And sorrow waves around me roll,
When high the storms of passion rise
And half o’erwhelm my sinking soul,
My soul a sudden calm shall feel,
And hear a whisper, “Peace! be still!”

How truly significant of his end was this verse, just a quite passing back to the heart of the Eternal.

Time only can efface the sense of loss which the district has sustained in his decease, and his influence will live on.

[Part of a much longer article, including the funeral report.]

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