BEYOND THE TREE | Arthur raised funds for charity

The Beyond the Tree regional-history exhibition at Liverpool Regional Museum includes a growing community tree to which you can add your own family history. Bring in photos of your family moments to be scanned, printed, mounted and added to the display. It's in conjunction with Liverpool Genealogy Society. Volunteers on Tuesdays to Saturdays help with research and family enquiries. The Champion is running a series of local family stories to tie in with the exhibition. Kathleen's son Brian Smith married Ann Thompson 80 years after Ann's great-grandfather Arthur was awarded a medal for his services to Liverpool.

ARTHURFrederickThompson was a well-known identity in Liverpool in the 1890s. He was born in Littleton in New Zealand in 1861 to boat-builder ArthurHaroldThompson and MaryAnnChapple and he was the eldest of 12 children.

As a young man he came to Sydney and married CatherineRiordon. Sadly, she died a few years later. He subsequently married ElsieHowlett, of Parramatta, in 1898. They moved to DrummondCottage on Scott Street at Liverpool with his two sons, Arthurjunior (born in 1885) and Cecil (born in 1891).

Arthur Frederick was president of the Bakers Union and accepted the position of foreman at a Liverpool bakery.

Three more sons were then born into the family -- Harold (born in 1897), Albert (1898) and Leslie (1901) -- and they were all baptised in StLuke'sChurch.

Once settled at Liverpool, Arthur wasted no time organising the LiverpoolBenefitClub which arranged concerts for good causes. He became the secretary-manager for the group as well as being a performer.

Throughout the late 1890s he continued raising money for distressed families who'd suffered loss by fire or by the death of the breadwinner, for StAnne'sOrphanage, for MyChildren'sHome and for many other beneficiaries.

Early in December 1900 the Liverpool Benefit Club held a concert in the new hall at the Liverpool Asylum. Arthur directed the production and his son Arthur junior also performed.

Three years later, although Arthur had now moved away from Drummond Cottage, he was invited to return to Liverpool for a presentation which was reported in the Liverpool Herald.

"A very pleasing function took place in the local council chambers on Saturday evening last, January 10, 1903, when Arthur Thompson, who held the position of secretary of the Liverpool Benefit Club prior to his departure from the district, was presented with a prettily designed silver medal by the members of the club as a token of their appreciation of his services to the club and as a mark of the respect and esteem in which he is held by them."

The medal was inscribed: "Presented to Mr. A. Thompson by the members of the Liverpool Benefit Club, 1903." The obverse was engraved with the monogram "A.T."

Arthur's great-granddaughter, AnnElizabethThompson, married my son, Liverpool boy BrianSmith, 80 years later.

This story All the locals loved Arthur first appeared on Liverpool City Champion.

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