Sir Cornthwaite Hector Rason: Eleventh Mayor of Guildford 1896 -1897

Bovril and Terry’s chocolate – Mayor Rason’s connection?

Sir Cornthwaithe Hector Rason was born in England, the son of a Royal Naval surgeon. He came to Australia in 1881 in search of his fortune but returned home to England 18 months later, none the richer. In 1883, he married Mary Evelina Terry great niece of Joseph Terry, co-founder of Terry’s of York (confectioners). He then returned to Western Australia with his wife, and W. R. Terry his wife’s brother. They became storekeepers and general merchants in Toodyay and Guildford later forming Rason, Webster and Company, Guildford.

On the 6th November 1896 Mr. C. H. Rason topped the poll for Mayor by 23 votes. He was received with prolonged cheering and thanked the ratepayers for their support. Several interesting decisions were made by the council during Mayor Rason’s tenure.

In 1897 the council were granted 100 trees by the Forestry Department for planting in commemoration of Her Majesty’s Queen Victoria’s record reign of 60 years. ‘A purchase of a tank and hose for watering the growing ornamental trees in the street was made’.

The Health Officer brought under the notice of the Board the fact that there were several low lying pieces of land in the town, chiefly in Hugh Street, where water and filth of all sorts accumulated. These he condemned as dangerous to health. ‘Owners of property having low lying ground, were notified to rectify’.

A new artesian bore was put down at Guildford for the purpose of securing a supply of water for domestic and stock uses. The original site chosen was the North West corner of Stirling Square. However a Government representative, acting under instructions from his Department, had inspected the site and recommended that the plant be placed not on Stirling Square but on that portion of the reserve known as the town well [Spring Reserve].

Building of the Guildford Post Office at 24 Stirling Street commenced (formerly the convict depot and infirmary). This was the first custom built Post Office in Guildford – postal services had been operational since 1834.

In later life Rason became Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Justice in 1905, but resigned in 1906 to take up the post of Agent General in London. He was Chairman and Director of Bovril Ltd. Australia, a position he held until his death in 1927.