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Thomas Montague Howden

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Thomas Montague Howden (1865-1901)

1903 Obituary [1]

THOMAS MONTAGUE HOWDEN, born at Williamstown on the 23rd December, 1865, was a son of the late Mr. Francis Welsh Howden, for many years Secretary for Trade and Customs to the Victorian Government.

After matriculating at Melbourne University, the subject of this notice was employed, during the years 1883-86, as a draughtsman in the Victorian Railway Department.

Thence he passed, in a similar capacity, into the service of the Water-Supply Department of the same colony.

In 1889 he was appointed to the permanent staff as a certificated Engineer of Water-Supply under the Chief Engineer, Mr. Stuart Murray. It was a period of marked activity in the prosecution of water-supply schemes throughout the colony, both for domestic and for stock and irrigation purposes, and Mr. Howden’s duties comprised the review of the schemes and the supervision of the works of a large number of town and country bodies expending loan funds under Government control.

In 1898 Mr. Howden was appointed as "Expert Officer" to supervise, on behalf of the Government, the expenditure of about £45,000 in improving and completing the pumping-plants and distributing works of the Mildura Irrigation Colony - a responsible position attended with no little difficulty. With his young wife and family he took up residence at Mildura. By 1901 his labours there were nearing completion when failing health compelled him to seek leave of absence. He was not again to resume duty, and after patiently-borne suffering died at Christmas Hills on the 9th November, 1901.

Mr. Howden’s career in the Water-Supply Department had won the approbation of his professional Chief, and the Minister for Water-Supply on learning of his death expressed high appreciation of his ability and good qualities. Possessed of marked ability and tenacity of purpose, careful, methodical and neat in all his work, Mr. Howden’s steady progress in professional advancement was to be expected. But it is for his upright, manly and generously kind qualities that he will be chiefly remembered by those who knew him best.

Mr. Howden was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 5th May, 1891.

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