Sunday, August 31, 2014

Patrick Allen Reutens, Death 10 July 1916, Singapore

The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1942), 11 July 1916, Page 10


The house flag of the Straits Steam Ship Company was half masted yesterday over their office ashore, as well as on their steamers afloat, as a special mark of respect to the memory of Mr. Patrick Allen Reutens, the Secretary and Bookkeeper of the Company, who died at the General Hospital here on Sunday evening, of blood poisoning brought on by a whitlow on his right hand, at the age of 68 years. Born in Penang in 1848 he was the youngest son of the late Mr. Philip Reutens, at one time Secretary to the Raffles Library, by his first marriage. The deceased received his early education at the St. Xavier's Institution, Penang, and when the family moved to Singapore he continued and finished his education at the St. Joseph's Institution here. On leaving school he joined the Government services as a junior clerk in the Shipping Office, one of his colleagues being Mr. (now Sir) John Anderson. Being a youth of push and ambition he quitted the Government and joined the mercantile service by entering the now defunct firm of Maclain Fraser and Co. and he rose rapidly to the position of bookkeeper under the late Mr. C. Dunlop, Mr. L. J. Fraser, Mr. A Gentle and others, and he was highly thought of by his chiefs. On the formation of the Straits Steam Ship Company, some 30 years ago, Mr. Reutens was engaged as Secretary and Bookkeeper, and in this service he continued up till three weeks ago, when he had to go to hospital for treatment for a whitlow. It is no secret that he never spared himself, never taking a leave or availing himself of a public holiday. He was even known to forego his holidays on such occasions as Christmas and New Year. He was a man of a retiring disposition, and for a person of his ability, position and standing, where others sought publicity Mr. Reutens abhorred it and he must be said to have practiced self effacement in an extraordinary degree. It is no exaggeration to say that if the Eurasian Community of Singapore had been asked to vote for a Representative in the Legislative and Municipal Councils Mr. Rutens would have been unanimously voted as their fittest man. The writer of this obituary had the pleasure of Mr. Reuten's close friendship for nearly 50 years, and he is in a position to say that no Eurasian before him commanded the same amount of respect from his countrymen as he did. He was a prominent member of the old Singapore Volunteer Corps, and as such became closely associated with the late Mr. W. H. Read, the late Mr. C. B. Buckley and the late Mr. Phillips, the father of the present Principal of the Raffles Institution. He was an accomplished musician, and in his younger days was a pianist to the Tanglin Club. He took a lively interest in the choir of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, of which for many years he was choir master and organist. He was a renowned chess player, and with the late Mr. R. W. Hullett and Mr. J. B. Elcum were the principal Singapore representatives in the various chess tournaments got up from time to time with the other Settlements and Hongkong and Shanghai, and it is believed it was mainly owing to his superior play that the Singapore team was invariably victorious in the tournaments.

Mr. Reutens has left behind him a widow and several daughters, but no son, and young grand children, for whom the greatest sympathy will be felt, not only by the Eurasian community of Malay, but by a large circle of friends outside of his own countrymen, for Mr. Reutens possessed in an exceptional degree the rare quality of making friends but no enemies. Requiescat In Pace.

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