Sir Philip Sydney Jones (1836 – 1918) Congregational deacon, surgeon
Sir Philip Sydney Jones, the second son of David Jones, prosperous Sydney draper kept abreast of medical science by visits to Europe and through active participation in the NSW Branch of the British Medical Association and the NSW Board of Health. He was knighted in 1905 for his work towards the treatment of tuberculosis. He promoted good causes advanced by other adherents of evangelical churches, such as the City Night Refuge and Sydney City Mission, the New South Wales Institution for the Deaf Dumb and Blind, and the Kindergarten Union.
The second son of David Jones, prosperous Sydney draper and leading Congregational layman, who affectionately called him ‘my doctor boy’, Philip was educated in private schools in Sydney and from 1853 onward at University College, London, where he became a FRCS, house surgeon and physician, and resident medical officer in the college’s hospital. He returned to Sydney in 1862, practised in rooms in College Street, emulated his father by becoming a deacon of Sydney’s Pitt Street Church, and pursued his career as surgeon at the Sydney Infirmary.
In 1863 he married Hannah, the daughter of the Rev George Charter, minister at Wollongong and a former LMS missionary in Tahiti. Jones supported the LMS through its NSW Auxiliary. He became a fellow of the Council of Camden College, the Congregational theological college (founded in 1864) a fellow of the senate of the University of Sydney, 1887-1918, and vice-chancellor 1904-06. From 1875 he resided at Strathfield, while continuing to practise as a specialising consultant in his Sydney rooms. He became a member and deacon of the Burwood Church nearest his new home, Llandilo, at Strathfield. In 1889 the Congregational minister of Burwood, the Rev George Littlemore, seceded, with a group of its members, to form Trinity Church, Strathfield.
Jones then became a deacon and benefactor of Trinity Church, which adopted liturgical and architectural features closer to Anglican custom and attracted well-to-do families which were open to scientific discovery and higher criticism. Jones, while affirming the central Congregational test of membership—acceptance of Christ as Saviour and Lord—quietly supported broad intellectual inquiry and Trinity Church’s more liturgically formal worship.
He kept abreast of medical science by visits to Europe and through active participation in the NSW Branch of the British Medical Association and the NSW Board of Health, pioneered the open air treatment of tuberculosis in Australia through the King’s Tableland complex of sanatoria at Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, and was knighted in 1905 for his work in combating the disease. He promoted good causes advanced by other adherents of evangelical churches, such as the City Night Refuge and Sydney City Mission, the New South Wales Institution for the Deaf Dumb and Blind, and the Kindergarten Union.
His personally self-effacing and earnest commitment to his church and to good works set standards for Congregationalists in what were then Sydney’s comfortable outer middle class western suburbs. Like his contemporary Sir James Fairfax, son of the dissenter newspaper proprietor John Fairfax, Jones held fast to Congregationalism, some members of both families became Anglican. Predeceased in 1892 by his wife, he died on 18 September 1918, survived by three sons and four daughters. He was buried in the Congregational section of the Rookwood cemetery.
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Jones was a founder of the Queen Victoria Homes for Consumptives which in 1897 took over J. H. Goodlet’s sanatorium at Thirlmere. He was president of the King’s Tableland Sanatorium for Consumptives at Wentworth Falls and in 1912 was appointed to the Tuberculosis Advisory Board. In 1914 he was a leader in founding the National Association for the Prevention and Cure of Consumption and was its first president. In 1905 he was knighted for his work in combating tuberculosis.
Charitable and philanthropic, Jones was honorary medical officer of the City Night Refuge, vice-president of the New South Wales Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind and a strong supporter of the Kindergarten Union. A devout Congregationalist, he was deacon first at Pitt Street, then at Burwood and in 1889 at Trinity Church, Strathfield, which seceded with its minister from Burwood. He worked for the Congregational Union of New South Wales and the auxiliary to the London Missionary Society and was a member of council of Camden College, the Congregational theological college.
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