We seldom think of honour these days, but it was once the mark of a gentleman.
Richard Green Snr suffered a severe financial embarrassment during the wool crisis of 1848 and came to an arrangement with his creditors.
After later finding success in the Victorian gold rush, he returned to Launceston unbidden and paid out all his debts in full.
It was a matter of honour, such as would never be seen today. His creditors presented him with a valuable piece of silverware in commemoration of what The Examiner called a rare "act of chivalrous integrity".
Richard Green came to Van Diemen's Land in 1831 at the age of 22, accompanied by Dr Mathias Gaunt.
They were brothers-in-law and Richard later married Gaunt's niece Hannah.
They landed in Hobart Town and loaded their possessions onto a bullock dray and walked to Launceston, taking up land at what is now Swan Bay and Windermere.
Richard joined James Henty & Co as accountant and general manager, and when the Hentys retired in 1843 he carried on the business under his own name.
His honourable reputation led to many opportunities and he was in demand because his involvement in a company brought public trust.
While managing director of the Launceston Gas Works from 1859, he also became chairman of the Launceston & Western Railway and the Cornwall Fire and Marine Insurance Co, managing director of Mount Bischoff Tin, chairman of the Tasmanian Copper Co. and a director of many Beaconsfield gold companies.
He was president of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce, elected an alderman in 1860 and soon became master warden of the Marine Board as well.
Although not interested in politics personally, resigning as an alderman before completing his term, he backed Sir Richard Dry into parliament and lobbied on behalf of railways, and the miners and settlers at Beaconsfield.
Richard Green was not limited to commercial interests however, and was known and revered for his charity.
He served 34 years as secretary of the Trinity Church Sunday School, and was a trustee of Launceston Grammar and their secretary and their treasurer for many years.
He also served on the Anglican Synod and it was there, in Hobart in 1878, that he became ill.
For months he suffered, becoming increasingly exhausted, until dying at home in Cimitiere Street in September, aged 69.
Launceston shops half-closed their shutters as a mark of their respect and ships in the harbour lowered their flags to half-mast.
His death left a hole in local business and society that was almost impossible to fill.
In the words of The Examiner: "His business habits were exemplary, his moral conduct irreproachable, his kindly disposition much esteemed."
He was buried at the Cypress Street Anglican Cemetery, now gone.
A public subscription created a scholarship in his name at the grammar school.
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