Further information is now to hand concerning the sad death of Mr. Christopher Gordon Downie, which occurred at the Planet mine, Arcturus, on Monday last.
It appears that the deceased, who was working the Planet mine on tribute, was engaged in a drive on the third level, endeavouring to loosen a mass of rock which had collected just above the box hole. Suddenly a heavy piece of rock was released, which fell striking him on the legs. The force of the impact threw him off the timber on which he was standing and he fell to a depth of 20 feet. At the same time the rock in the bin was forced out and he was crushed beneath the load death being instantaneous.
An inquest, which was held on Tuesday, returned a verdict of "accidental death."
The late Mr. Downie was born in 1878, in Glasgow, and came to Rhodesia some 15 years ago. He was first employed at the Tati Concessions, and in 1905 he came to Mashonaland, joining his brother, Mr. J. W. Downie, of the firm of Messrs, Cotton and Downie. three years later, however, he returned to the Tati Concessions, where he took over the Monarch mine on tribute. He successfully worked this proposition until the year 1911 when he returned to Salisbury and became associated with several mining ventures, the chief of which were the Ceylon and Planet, both situated in the Enterprise district.
He had a natural gift for mechanics and it was his knowledge of this science coupled with his undoubted energy and general abilities which contributed so largely to the success he won in mining circles.
He was married in 1901 to a young Scottish lady, Miss Barron Murray, and leaves several children. To the widow and family, as well as to his brother, Mr. J. W. Downie, and relatives,the most profound sympathy will be extended by their many friends.
The funeral took place at the local cemetery yesterday and was largely attended. Mrs Downie and three children were the chief mourners and amongst others present at the graveside were : Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Downie, Mr. Carrol, Mr. M. E. Cleveland, Mr. L. Lezard, Mr. J. Morris, Mr. Milne, Major McDonald, Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Wood, Mr. W. Smith, Mr. Thomson, Mr. George Elcombe, Mr. Dickson, Mr. N. A. Arnold, Mr. Jackson, and other friends.
The pall bearers were : Messrs. G. Elcombe, McWilliams, Stenson, W. H. D. Jackson, Swire, Thompson, J. O. Penman, R. B. Wood, and Major McDonald.
The last rites were performed by the Rev. Evan Thomas, minister of the Presbyterian Church.
Numerous floral tributes were laid on the coffin, including wreaths from the following : The Widow and Children, James and Sandy Downie, Miss Isa Downie, Nell and Tom Murray, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Downie, Messrs. Jenkin Bros., Mrs. L. Durrant, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Morton, the Staff of the Goldfields, Mr. and Mrs. Swire Thompson, Mr. L. Lessard, Mr. Apps, Mr. Richardson, Mr. Brown, Mr. Jones, Messrs. Fraser and Chalmer, the S. A. T. Co., Mr. D. McWilliams, Major McDonald, the Staff of the Grand Mine, Mr. J. J. Rouneivall, Mr. McCombie, Mr. C. S. Cooper, Mr. W. M. Munro, Mr. and Mrs. Grant, Mr. F. C. Blakeway, Mr. R. C. Brown, Mrs. Arnold, Mr. and Mrs. Schults, Mr. and Mrs. Stenson, Dr. and Mrs. Melli, Mr. T. Lace, Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Wood, Mr. James McClean, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Elcombe, Mr. J. C. Penman, Messrs. Cotton and Downie's Staff, Messrs R. S. Cotton and Co., Mr. and Mrs. Caroll, Mr. and Mrs. Milne, Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Walker, Mr. J. A. Morris, Mr. G. G. Cook ( Postmaster, Arcturus), Messrs. Lennon, Ltd.,