Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference
SIR CHARLES EDWARD MORTIMER, C.B.E.: born at Shipley, Yorkshire, on 1st January 1886. He trained for the Methodist ministry at Hartley College, Manchester, 1907—1910. He served in several circuits, Oakengates (Salop), Harrogate and Ryde and Ventnor, until 1916, when a severe breakdown in health necessitated superannuation. Medical advice suggested that the illness, acute arthritis, could be alleviated in a dry and warm climate. As his parents were then living in Nairobi, Kenya, he joined them, and early in 1917 secured a post as clerk in the Lands Department. By 1937 he had risen to become Commissioner for Local Government, Lands and Settlements.
For seventeen years he was a member of the Legislative Council and for nine years a member of the Executive Council. He was Deputy Speaker for four years, and held a number of government’ posts, as well as twice being Mayor of Nairobi. In 1974, at the age of eighty-eight, he visited his son, Leonard Mortimer, in Brisbane, Australia, and died there on 3rd September. The funeral service was conducted by the Chairman of the Brisbane District, Rev. George Nash, O.B.E.
Charles Mortimer was a faithful and generous supporter of the Church, and of many social institutions, throughout his fifty-eight years in East Africa. He preached until his latter years and was greatly respected in all the churches. Some of his outstanding qualities were: devotion, humility, geniality, and industry. In his retirement he used his experience and position to help social and religious organisations, notably Rotary and the Order of St. John. He was one of the important builders of the Kenya nation, becoming a citizen in 1964, and contributing immensely throughout his life to Christian witness, service, and good community relations.
Charles was born on 1 January 1886 at Shipley, Yorkshire, to parents Joseph, a butcher, and Lucinda.
Charles worked as a butcher before entering the ministry (1901). He was baptised on 21 February 1886 at Low Lane Methodist Chapel, Shipley.
He married Sarah Annie Oldfield (b1885) on 30 December 1914 at Saltaire Road PM Chapel, Shipley, Yorkshire.
The 1933 Methodist Who’s Who reports that they had four sons.
Charles died on 3 September 1974 at Brisbane, Australia.
- 1910 Oakengates
- 1913 Harrogate
- 1914 Ryde & Ventnor
- 1917 Nairobi
- 1926 Stoke Newington (S)
Methodist Minutes 1975/194
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers