The Brisbane Courier/1889/Mr. O'Malley's appointment

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The Brisbane Courier  (1889) 
Mr. O'Malley's appointment by A. Meston

Source: 'MR. O'MALLEYS APPOINTMENT.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), 13 December 1889, p. 6.,



Sir, After waiting patiently to read what hostile critics had to say concerning the appointment of Mr. O'Malley to the Civil Service Commission, I will, with your kind permission, give expression to my own opinion, which may safely be regarded as impartial, alike destitute of political prejudice and sympathy for sectarian creeds. The ancient philosopher who decided to refute the slanders of his enemies by "living so that nobody should believe them," was dearly not aware that all his lifetime would be occupied in the living down process, and that his true merits would only be fairly recognised after he was dead. In the present age, when we boast of our ntellectual supremacy and the emancipation of the human mind from the errors of our ancestors, it is time that, in accordance with this glorified progress, we entertain a principle of justice allowing every man to be fairly judged while he is yet alive. Judging the dead, according to the old Egyptian custom, is but an inferior sort of satisfaction to the relatives of the deceased, and only mighty poor consolation to the corpse itself. Mr. O'Malley will not likely be at all gratified to find that either his ability or his reputation requires any defence, or any testimonial, at this advanced period of his career. But "bitter constraint and sad occasion, dear," compels me, like the eulogises of Lycidas, to defend an absent friend, and record his worth in the face of ungenerous imputations from men to whom he is totally unknown. The one sole question to be considered is his qualification for the position. Those who drag in religion, as one of your contemporaries has done, resemble the woman who was constantly expressing dread of a "great deal of immorality existing in the community," she herself being at the same time one of the most doubtful characters in the city Mr O'Malley has been known to me for fourteen years, during three years of which I saw him every day. When I say the Government made a wise choice, it is simply because I know Michael O'Malley to be a just and upright and honourable man, as near as human nature will allow him to be a realisation of the ideal of Horace.

The man of iron and noble soul,
No factious clamours can control:
No threatening tyrant's darkling brow,
Can swerve him from a just intent.

My estimate of Mr. O'Malley was given publicly in Ipswich twelve years ago. It was repeated in my position as chairman at the banquet given to him by all the leading citizens on his departure from Cairns and the Cairns Port reported as follows when the local magistrates and solicitors were expressing a genuinely said farewell:—"Mr. A. Meston, J.P., on behalf of the bench, then rose. He said he considered it a duty he owed Mr. O'Malley to endorse in the most emphatic manner the graceful recognitions of his merits by the gentlemen of the legal profession present. He had known Mr. O'Malley for many years as a friend, and always regarded him as an upright and honourable man, who in both his private and judicial capacity had commanded the respect and confidence of all classes of the community. He sincerely regretted his departure from Cairns, where judicially and morally he had exercised a highly beneficial influence in the community. While expressing earnest regret of his departure, he would also congratulate him on the high and honourable position to which he had been promoted a position Mr. O'Malley would occupy with satisfaction to the cause of justice and credit to himself and the colony." Rarely before in North Queensland did any man receive such a gratifying testimonial as the Cairns people gave to Michael O'Malley when he left to take the position of police-magistrate at Bowen and sheriff of the North. So long as he remains a member of the Civil Service Commission, never will his most unscrupulous enemies have the smallest chance of accusing him of partiality based on friendship. south moralists, religion, or politics.—I am, sir, &c.,


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