Arthur White was a quiet and – as some may have judged – a shy man. Though his many virtues had deceptively hid his strengths.
After a long struggle, Arthur White, the loving husband of Gwen for 51 years and father of nine, died in Glengarry Hospice on 22 December aged 78.
Large numbers packed St Dominic’s Church in Innaloo for his concelebrated Requiem Mass on 30 December.
Arthur White was a quiet man; some may have judged him to be a shy person.
But in reality, he was blessed with many virtues, not the least of which was his humility.
He was never loud or outspoken, which deceptively hid his strengths: love and integrity to his wife, his large family, the Church, society and his trade.
On 6 February 1960 he married Gwen Hogan in Queen of Martyrs Church, Maylands. They had nine children: Therese, Marie, Vincent, Edward, Robert, Louis, David, Peter and John.
In 1962, they purchased their home at 242 Holbeck St, Doubleview and never moved.
As his son Vincent said in his eulogy: “It became home to nine children, nine dogs, in excess of 20 birds, two cats, a blue tongue bobtail, a long-necked tortoise and a pet magpie.
Combine that with a pool table, trampoline, skateboard ramp and cricket pitch and there was never a dull moment in our backyard … and all the neighbours loved us.”
Son Louis, who also gave a eulogy, said: “Our parents taught us good moral values but that is not to say on occasion we haven’t strayed from the path.
Our parents always supported us no matter what we had done wrong. It was comforting on all levels.”
Arthur White was a painter all his working life, from the time when he left the Christian Brothers’ College, Leederville at age 12 to work for his father – a contract painter – until his retirement from his own business at 73.
Like St Joseph, whom St Matthew described in Scripture, Arthur White was a man of honour.
This is testified to by those who contracted him.
His work as a professional painter was thorough and meticulous.
Some have said he was generous to a fault because of the work he did for nothing or an inordinately low fee.
He had a deep sense of duty to issues and institutions he judged to be fundamentally important, the parish church and school, the pro-life movement, charity to the poor by way of St Vincent de Paul, the Australian Family Association, the NCC and to his social responsibilities which, during their long marriage, was the work of his loving partnership with wife Gwen, a counsellor for years with Pregnancy Assistance and a helper in SVDP op shops.
Arthur White was a staunch member of the Painters Union, which led him into the realm of politics.
In the 1950s, he opposed the pro-communist takeover of unions, particularly the Painters, and the Labor Party.
In the 1963 Federal Elections, he was the Democratic Labor Party candidate for the seat of Perth and ,in the 1971 state election, for the seat of Toodyay.
Society was enriched by the goodness of his presence.