JH Munday obituary by Frederick J Gould, 19 January 1918

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Title: JH Munday obituary by Frederick J Gould, 19 January 1918
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Date: 1918
Author: Frederick J. Gould
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License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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19.1.18

Our dear friend, John Hill Munday, had, many years ago, courageously & decisively made up his mind his [illegible]  relations with his fellow-man & with nature at large. Towards his fellow-men his attitude was that of duty & honour. Towards nature his attitude was one of study & reasoned [illegible] , without any attempt to penetrate to supernatural secrets, or to spend [illegible]  time in discovering a world beyond death. In other words he was both a good citizen & and staunch Rationalist. Such was his record, honest & clear, when he died at the age of 73. His memory is honoured by wife, son & daughters & by his [illegible]  in the struggle,—the victorious struggle—for liberty & progress of thought. When, nearly twenty years ago, a small band of us laid the foundations of the Rationalist Press Association, our friend not only gave his sympathy to this [illegible]  on behalf of intellectual light for England & the world, he {} substantial aid in drawing-up the Articles of the new Association. For it was important, besides taking up the enterprise for freedom of the mind with enthusiasm, to refine & state its objects with plainness, with precision, with business-like [illegible]  word & phrase, so as to give confidence to supporters as well as candid & unmistakeable notice to the public. Trained & accustomed to the practice of law, our friend proved that he was

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both a good solicitor & an earnest diciple of Reason & Humanism. He took a seat willingly at the Board of the Association, & his fellow-[illegible]  found him, from the beginning & all the time, a most useful & competent colleague; not fond of much speaking, but attending with regularity, & [illegible]  careful consideration to all plans & proposals. Several years ago, his keen legal eye detected certain points in the R.P.A. articles that needed improvement & safe-guarding. Like a man who schemes a building, & devises to lay its stones & [illegible]  truly & well, he framed a new statement, met his colleagues in many consultations, presided, discussed, persuaded, persevered, & so at length satisfied himself & his friends that the Association was solidly established & its aims were efficiently promoted.

The work of months was tedious, but all was done with a good heart & valiant purpose. In matters of political & other opinions, he was for his own part firm & consistent; but towards those who differed, even towards the odd & eccentric, he was good-naturedly tolerant. It was therefore most natural that his colleagues should feel a very kindly attachment for him. On his retirement from partnership in his law-firm, the R.P.A. board assured him of their cordial respect. His reply intimated that, in co-operating for the spread

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of Rationalism (thence for the welfare of mankind,) he had spent the happiest hours of his life. It was, indeed, that fruitful kind of happiness which was good for the man himself, & good for world-wide humanity. And here may be noted two things in our friend's field of interest. He was always glad to hear of the extended curculation of books that aimed at the moral education training of the young on humanist & rational lines. And he was specially active in the dispatch of our literature to soldiers engaged in the war, in comap or at the front; & many have been the evidences that such gifts were appreciated.

On the hearts of his wife & children is graven the recollection of his constant & tender thoughfulness in the relationship s & experiences of the home. Whatever may have been his sense of physical failure in the latter days, his master motive was to manage affairs, to guard against discomforts, to provide for the future, — in a word, to do all that a kind ingenuity & practical sense could [illegible]  to ensure the peace & solace of those he loved, & assistance to the public cause for which he had so untiringly laboured. A man of absolute integrity in his business, a very loyal friend, a sure keeper of the plighted

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word, he was of simple taste & habits & he carried this simplicity to mark the last rites. Hence we see here no crowding of memorial flowers. But there is at least one flower that we offer, & one that he would have thought of with a smile of gratitude; — the flower of respect & homage from a life of usefulness of steady & brave connviction, of fidelity to an unpopular cause, of domestic affetcion, & of generosity towards his fellow-men.

Frederick J. Gould.

Saturday 19th January 1918.