Obituary - Edward George Day

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


South Australian Register, 14 November 1893




Death has removed a familiar citizen in the person of the Rev. Edward George Day, whose patriarchal figure was so well known amongst us. Mr Day, who was in his eighty-fourth year, died at his residence, Brown-street, at 3 o'clock on Monday afternoon from paralysis of the brain. On the previous day he attended the church, which he had to leave before the conclusion of the service.


Mr Day was the much-beloved minister of the New Church in this city. He was born on June 30, 1810, in the parish of St Giles, Cripplegate, London, being baptized in that church and rebaptized when an adult "into the Faith and life of the New Jerusalem" at the Church in Cross-street, Hatton Garden, during the ministry of the late Rev. Samuel Noble. Before he left England he was lay reader, librarian, and Superintendent of the Sunday-school at this church.


He arrived in South Australia on 20 June 1850 by the ship Countess of Yarborough, and at once became one of the four preachers of the Adelaide Society of the New Church, the late Mr Jacob Pitman being at that time the minister.


Mr Day's talents were soon appreciated by his religious associates in Adelaide. Having early acquired a taste for literature he read considerably, and especially delighted himself in the writings and teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose doctrines he earnestly advocated for upwards of thirty years in this City and through the Church periodicals in England and the colonies.


When Mr Pitman left for Victoria in July, 1859, Mr Day was appointed  his successor in the leadership of the Church here, but it was not until February 10, 1878, that he was ordained to the ministry. The ordination was performed in Melbourne by the Rev. J.J. Thornton. Since the departure of Mr Thornton the only other ordained ministers of the New Church in Australia were Mr Day and Mr Bates, of Queensland.


Profoundly versed in the theology of his Church, and possessed of high intellectual qualities, Mr Day ministered unceasingly to the congregation in Hanson-street, and his services to the time of his death were gratuitous.


His failing eyesight compelled him during the past twelve months to preach extemporaneously.


Up till January last he had solemnized 823 marriages and baptized 499 persons.


Like most followers of Swedenborg, Mr Day was exceedingly abstemious and remarkably regular in his habits. In winter and summer he rose at 6 o'clock every morning and retired at 10 at night.


Mr Day was for many years in the Survey Department in this colony. In the early days he was a schoolmaster at Hope Valley, and afterwards was engaged in storekeeping at Norwood. He was married in February, 1837, at St Pancras Church, New-road, London, to Elizabeth Chalken, sister of the Rev. Thomas Chalken, of the New Church in England. Mrs Day died about five years ago.


The rev. gentleman leaves three sons, two daughters, seventeen grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren. One son is Mr Edward Day, storekeeper, Lefevre's Peninsula; another is a storekeeper near Port Lincoln; while a third, now at the  Chicago Exhibition, will be remembered as the agent for a number of British Exhibitors at the Adelaide Jubilee International Exhibition in 1887. The daughters are Mrs Hastwell, who resided with her father, and Mrs Smith, of Nairne.