Passing of the Pioneers

A further ten pioneers join the Pioneer Obituary Index this month.  They include a woman who was a pioneer in the transport industry from Cobden through to Port Campbell and a man who travelled the same routes carting goods.  There is also a Coleraine storekeeper, a Colac politician and a man still training racehorses into his eighties.  Remember to click on the underlined text to read further information on a subject.

ROBERTSON, William – Died 24 June 1892 at Colac.  William Robertson was the second son of William Robertson of Colac Estate. He was born in 1839 at Hobart and by 1842, the Robertsons arrived in Victoria.  William returned to Hobart for his high school education before studying law at Oxford University. In 1861, he was a member of the winning crew of the annual Oxford vs Cambridge boat race and throughout his life, kept the trophy from the event, a cut-down oar. William returned to Victoria in 1863, marrying Martha Mary Murphy. He worked as a barrister in Melbourne until 1871 when he was successful in winning the seat of Polworth and South Grenville which he held until the next election in 1873 when he didn’t seek reelection.  William’s father died the following year and Colac Estate was divided in four for each of William Robertson Sr’s sons.  William Jr became the owner of The Hill (below).

“THE GOVERNORS DRIVING TOUR.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 24 March 1894: 30. Web. 15 Jun 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138115318&gt;.

William returned to politics in 1881, holding the seat of Polworth and South Grenville for the next five years, then in Victoria’s Legislative Council in the seat of South-West Province until 1888.   The Robertsons were known Australia wide as breeders of fine Shorthorn cattle and their stock sold for large sums.  Williams’ funeral on 28 June 1892  was one of the biggest seen in the district.  Various noted men from Colac attended as well as those from the world of politics.  Numerous wreaths were sent including one from the Governor. The Colac Brass Band led the cortege to the cemetery and shops closed.  Martha died at Armadale in 1909.

PART OF “THE HILL” HOMESTEAD, COLAC IN 1970. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/216917

WIGGINS, Charles Aug. – Died 23 June 1901 at Hamilton.  Charles Wiggins was born in Tasmania in 1836 and arrived in Portland with his parents when a boy, attending school at Portland.  In his early twenties, Charles went to Hamilton to live with his uncle James Wiggins. Charles was appointed secretary of the Hamilton Common and was a sheriff’s officer and bailiff until 1883.  In the same year, he married Emma Lawn.  Charles joined the Grange Lodge of Freemasons and was a member of the Australian Natives Association.  He was also secretary of the Hamilton Hospital and the Hamilton P & A Society.  Charles and Emma lived in Clarke Street, Hamilton and attended the Christ Church Cathedral.

SMITH, Sidney – Died June 1916 at Warrnambool.  Sidney Smith was born in Cambridgeshire, England in 1848. Arriving in Victoria as a child, he attended Geelong Grammar School.  Sidney started his working life at fifteen at the offices of R.Busche, Solicitors of Timor Street, Warrnambool.  He then worked as an accountant for a mercantile and shipping firm at Port Fairy, Messrs Bateman & Co.  Later he went into partnership with Messrs Bateman with the firm becoming Bateman, Smith & Co.  Operations moved to Warrnambool and Sidney’s brother Spencer went into partnership with him.  They operated the company until 1898. Sidney then worked as an insurance agent until his retirement due to ill health.  Outside of business, Sidney was a vestryman at the Warrnambool Christ Church. (below)

CHRIST CHURCH WARRNAMBOOL c1907., Photographer Joseph Jordan. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/54344

CLARKE, Edward Henry – Died 21 June 1918 at Digby.  Edward Clarke was born in Tipperary, Ireland in 1847 and arrived at Portland with his parents on the Helen to Portland in 1852.  The family first went to the Mount Gambier district before settling around Digby.  In 1873, Edward settled on his own property Lovely Banks at Digby.  Edward enjoyed football and cricket and was always a spectator at local games.  During the war, he donated to the various patriotic and relief appeals.  Edward’s wife Elizabeth Taylor died in 1909. Eight of Edward and Elizabeth’s ten children were still living at the time of Edward’s death. His youngest son John Clarke was serving overseas and returned to Australia in 1919.

LESSER, Louis – Died 19 June 1921 at Coleraine.  Louis Lesser was born around 1832 in Swarzędz, Poland, then under Prussian rule. When Louis Lesser arrived in Australia about the 1850s, his first job at Sandridge (Port Melbourne) moving sand from the nearby sand dunes.  He then went to the diggings at Bendigo and Pleasant Creek (Stawell).  Louis’ brother Abraham arrived in Australia and the two moved to Coleraine, opening a store in Whyte Street. The partnership in the store was mutually dissolved in May 1865 when Louis left for London and in 1867, Louis married his sister-in-law’s sister Londoner Evelyn May and they left for Australia.  They arrived in Melbourne and made their way to Coleraine to join Abraham and his wife Elizabeth, Evelyn’s sister.  The partnership in the Coleraine store appears to have resumed with Louis operating the store with other family members after Abraham’s death in 1886.

A.LESSER & CO, COLERAINE. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769410

Louis was a member of the Coleraine Racing Club for sixty years, retiring in 1918 as an honourary life member. He also served on the Wannon Shire Council and was a Justice of the Peace.  He was also a generous man, donating to many causes and was one of Hamilton Hospital’s leading donors.  In his will,  Louis’ requested a fund be established after his death called the “Louis Lesser Charity Endowment Fund” with an annual sum going to various organisations annually.

“Obituaries.” Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 – 1931) 9 July 1921: 34. Web. 28 Jun 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165649115&gt;.

The Ballarat Synagogue was one of the recipients of the fund, receiving  £1000 pounds annually.  On 11 June 1922, a memorial was unveiled at the Ballarat Synagogue (below) by Louis’ nephew.

BALLARAT SYNAGOGUE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/214178

HARVEY, Martin – Died June 1929 at Cudgee.  Martin Harvey was born at Penzance, Cornwall in 1836.  Around 1851, the Harvey family arrived at Geelong where Martin held his first jobs. Soon he was working a bullock team, taking food to outlying settlements, then returning to the Geelong port with a load of wool.  He spent time around the Minyip district moving from property to property working as a shearer.  He also took a bullock team on three trips from Ballarat to Dimboola.  He married Elizabeth Swan in 1867 and they spent time farming around Ballarat before moving to Cudgee near Warrnambool.  Martin finally settled down and lived there until his death at ninety-three. Martin and Elizabeth had seven sons and four daughters.

ROBERTSON, Marslie May – Died 15 June 1930 at Hamilton.  May Robertson was born in Inverness-shire, Scotland in 1844 and was eight when she arrived in Melbourne with her parents. The Robertson family stayed in Melbourne only a few days before journeying to Portland, then on to Straun Station near Coleraine where May’s uncles had already settled.  In 1868, she married William Sudgen Price Lewis, the stepson of Richard Lewis, a former owner of Rifle Downs at Digby. William leased Hilgay near Coleraine until around 1871.  They then moved to Hamilton.  Marslie was an excellent horsewoman and showed horses including Gold Dust for Samuel Winter Cooke in September 1890 at the Hamilton Show in the Ladies’ Hack Class.

Marslie and William had eight children and some time after 1890, the Lewis’ took a young boy Arthur into their care, raising him as their son. They resided at Pine Lodge in Mill Road, Hamilton. In 1914, Arthur Lewis was one of the first Hamilton enlistments for WW1.  He died as a result of his wounds at sea on his way from Gallipoli to an a hospital in Alexandria, Egypt on 13 August 1915. The shock of Arthur’s death was a great loss to William and he died In October 1915 at Hamilton.  Marslie was involved with the Hamilton Red Cross during the war and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  Each Sunday, she gave out flowers at the Hamilton Hospital.

COOKE, Eliza Jane – Died 29 June 1932 at Cobden.  Eliza Cooke arrived in Australia when she was eight and the family made their way to Ballarat. In 1866, she married Charles Morehead They arrived in Cobden in 1880 and Charles died in 1881 aged forty.  A son was born in August of the same year.  Eliza ran a store in Cobden and from around 1882 was operating coach services departing from the store.  She pioneered coach services between Cobden, Princetown and Peterborough.

“Classified Advertising” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 20 August 1889: 1. Web. 29 Jun 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22474287&gt;.

For forty-seven years, Eliza held the mail contract between Cobden and Camperdown.  Eliza’s business grew and as her sons eventually joined her.

“Advertising” Heytesbury Reformer and Cobden and Camperdown Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 26 February 1915: 3. Web. 29 Jun 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article152613189&gt;.

On 5 August 1931, Eliza celebrated her ninetieth birthday at her home Kooringa, Curdie Street Cobden.  At the time she was President of the Cobden Ladies’ Benevolent Society and  still chairing meetings.

JEFFERS, Jonas – Died June 1933 at Cobden.  Jonas Jeffers was born at Connewarre around 1848.  Around the age of twelve, Jonas walked to Cobrico north-west of Cobden.  When he was older he bought land in the district and married Selina Westerland of Terang in 1869.  Jonas worked as a carter throughout the district, passing through the Heytesbury Forest when there was only the roughest of tracks.  He carted wool from Glenample near Princetown to Geelong and timber for the first bridge over the Sherbrooke River, east of Port Campbell.  He also carted wood for the first hotel in Cobden in the 1860s and items from the wreck of the Loch Ard to Colac in 1878.  At the time of Jonas’ death, Selina was still living along with ten of their children.

HANLON, James – Died 26 June 1940 at Casterton.  James Hanlon was born in Dublin, Ireland around 1854 and his family set sail for Australia soon after his birth. He lived in various towns including Narrawong and Hamilton and operated a hotel at Heywood. By they time he was twenty-one, it was thought he must have held the record for the number of successful racehorses he owned or leased. James was always interested in horses and twice travelled to India with horses exported to that country.  The first horses he raced were Paddy the Larrikan and My Lord. In 1878, James married Morgey Gooding Smith and they had four sons and two daughters.

In 1931, at the age of seventy-seven, Jim walked eighteen miles between Casterton and Coleraine scaling hills like a “mountain goat”.  He was in training for a veterans race over a mile at Mount Gambier on September 1931 in which James ran third riding Dutch Dull, beaten by a rider sixteen years his junior.  His training feats made the Weekly Times on 3 June 1939. A race meeting about three years earlier was referred to.  The jockey didn’t arrive for the ride, so James, then around eighty-four, put on the silks and rode the horse himself.  In the year before his death, James prepared a horse called Furnival.

“CASTERTON VETERAN’S TRAINING TRIUMPH AT EIGHTY-FIVE” Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954) 3 June 1939: 58 (FIRST EDITION). Web. 29 Jun 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224436779&gt;.

Aside from racing, James was a Mason for over fifty years including past Master of the Portland Lodge No. 6. James’ obituary in the Naracoorte Herald of 2 July 1940,  named fifty horses he was connected with during his life.

 

Passing of the Pioneers

Ten pioneers join the Pioneer Obituary Index this month and an interesting group they are.  Previously I have mentioned how bringing the monthly pioneers together revels things they have in common. This month it’s the name Alan/Allan.  There are three pioneers bearing the moniker this month, two of whom were given it as a second name but preferred it over their first.  A reminder that all underlined words are links to further information about the subject.

James WIGGINS – Died 21 October 1896 at Hamilton.  James Wiggins was born in Launceston, Tasmania on 23 February 1833 and arrived at Portland with his parents in 1840.  In the early 1850s, James headed to the goldfields around Eaglehawk before giving up and going to Drysdale near Geelong where he and his brother John purchased the Buck’s Head Hotel for £6000. It was there James met recently widowed Jane Blastock (nee Fountain) from Hamilton, ten years older than himself.  At the time, James was a cross-country rider but Jane did not approve, so on the day before they married in 1859, James rode in and won his last steeplechase.

The couple soon moved to Hamilton, taking up residence at Sandal on Digby Road overlooking the Grange Burn.  James turned to farming with root crops his main priority.  He was also elected to the Dundas Shire and was president for a time.   James was on the first Hamilton Borough Council formed in 1863. As Mayor on 24 May 1872, James laid the foundation stone (below) for the first Hamilton Town Hall in Gray Street.

044-2

FOUNDATION STONE OF HAMILTON’S FIRST TOWN HALL. IT IS NOW LOCATED ON THE SIDE WALL OF THE HAMILTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE.

At the time, James expressed disappointment funds wouldn’t allow for a bigger structure.  Fourteen years after James’ death, in 1910 a new, grander Town Hall was opened in Brown Street to replace the original building (below)

Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/765800

HAMILTONS FIRST TOWN HALL IN GRAY STREET. Image courtesy of the Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au

As a young man, James excelled at competitive sport. He was a “one of the best and boldest footballers” and could “wield the willow as well as most up-country players”.  He also participated in competitive walking and the aforementioned cross-country riding.  After his vow not to ride, James instead owned and bred horses and sat on the Hamilton Racing Club committee.  He also had an interest in greyhound racing.  James was for a time president of the Hamilton Cricket Club and the Hamilton Bowling Club and was a bowls champion. He was a member of the Hamilton Pastoral and Agriculture Society and won many prizes for his roses at flower shows. James received the Commission of the Peace and when he died was, along with David Laidlaw, the most senior Justice of the Peace in the town and was a respected for his attention to detail as a Magistrate. James’ wife Jane lived on for a further five years after his death.  They had no children.

Caroline Agnes HENTY – Died 1 October 1914 at Merino.  Caroline Henty was born in 1849 at Portland, a daughter of Francis Henty and Mary Ann Lawrence.  She grew up at Merino Downs, the large pastoral run of her father.  In 1889, Francis Henty died and left Caroline his property in Portland including Claremont (below).

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CLAREMONT, PORTLAND

Also, Merino Downs  was split three ways and shared between Francis’ daughters Louise, Alice and Caroline. The following year when Caroline was around forty, she married Alexander Magnus MacLeod at Holy Trinity Church, Kew.

"Family Notices" The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 22 August 1890: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8429127

“Family Notices” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 22 August 1890: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8429127

The marriage set tongues wagging and the difference in age questioned along with Alexanders’s worthiness to marry a woman of high status.  Alexander was in fact only two years older than Caroline and was himself from good standing. His father John McLeod was a member of Victoria’s Legislative Assembly and owned several large properties including Castlemaddie at  Tyrendarra.

"Personal." The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 - 1950) 30 August 1890: 3. .

“Personal.” The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950) 30 August 1890: 3. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86271136&gt;.

Caroline and Alexander’s first daughter Caroline Agnes MacLeod was born at Hawthorn in 1892 and in 1894, Alexandra Frances MacLeod at Albert Park.  In 1901, Caroline and Alexander built Talisker on Caroline’s share of Merino Downs and they took up residence there.

TALISKER, MERINO 1901. Image courtesy of the Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766380

TALISKER, MERINO 1901. Image courtesy of the Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766380

In 1910, Alexander and Caroline were staying at Melbourne’s Menzies Hotel when Alexander died on 19 July aged sixty-four. Caroline returned to Talisker and died there four years later and buried at the Merino Cemetery. Applications for Probate for Caroline and Alexander’s estates were lodged in December 1914, and the joint worth of the couple was a tidy sum for the times.

"Wills and Estates" Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954) 12 December 1914: .

“Wills and Estates” Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954) 12 December 1914: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article132723107&gt;.

In 1959 for the purpose of a Red Cross fundraiser, Caroline’s gowns and even her “unmentionables” were displayed by her descendants.  You can see the photos from the Australian Women’s Weekly on the link –  Caroline’s Gowns

Alan McCALLUM – Died October 1914 at Dandenong. Alan McCallum arrived at Cavendish in the early 1860s and worked on stations around the area as overseer and station manager.  He then purchased the Cavendish Hotel and general store and spent time on the Dundas Shire Council.  Alan then sold up and went to Heywood, operating the Commercial Hotel for several years.  He then went to Hamilton taking up the lease on the Prince of Wales Hotel in Thompson Street.  He was soon on the move again, operating a store in Cobden for two years before returning to Hamilton where he remained until 1913. He then moved to Dandenong to live with his sister and remained there until his death the following year.

Emala ILIFFE  – Died 29 October 1915 at Koroit.  Emala Iliffe was born in Warwickshire around 1826.  She came to Australia with her husband Ephraim Brittain in 1855 arriving at Port Fairy aboard the Samarang with a three-year old son Charles and baby Jane.  They spent two years at Port Fairy before moving to Koroit where they remained for the rest of their lives.  They went on to have a total of seven sons and six daughters. Emala attended the Koroit Methodist Church (below).

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63789

KOROIT METHODIST CHURCH. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63789

Ephraim died in 1904.  At the time of Emala’s death, she had sixty-eight grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren. Six of her grandsons enlisted for WW1.  

Michael MUGAVIN – Died October 1916 at Crossley.  Michael Mugavin was born in Ireland around 1832 and arrived in Australia sometime between the mid 1850s to 1860s.  Michael and his wife Mary Lineen settled in the Crossley area.  Michael had early success as a farmer, becoming quite prosperous.  He was described as having a “…quiet and inoffensive disposition, honest and thrifty”.  He had a son and four daughters, one of whom was a Catholic nun with the Convent of Mercy at Warrnambool.  Requiem mass was held for Michael at the St Brigid’s Catholic Church at Crossley and he was buried in the Tower Hill Cemetery.

Sarah Ann HICKS – Died 16 October 1918 at Mortlake.  Sarah Hicks was born near Bristol, England in 1844 and arrived at Melbourne in 1863 aboard the Princess Royal with her cousin Mr Fielding.  They then travelled to Logan Station at Mount Elephant near Derrinallum.  In 1864, Sarah married William Whitson and they selected land at Mortlake.  They had a large family of twelve. Despite failing health, Sarah contributed greatly to the Red Cross during WW1.

Catherine MEAGHER – Died 24 October 1918 at Hamilton. Catherine Meagher was born in County Tipperary in 1841 and travelled to Australia when she was fifteen with her parents aboard the Clara, arriving at Portland. After a short time, she went to South Australia to live remaining there around five years.  She then moved to Hamilton where she married Henry Anslow in 1866. They settled on Mill Road and lived there until their deaths. Henry died in 1908. Catherine’s funeral left Hamilton’s St Mary’s Catholic church for the Hamilton Cemetery.

James Allan LEARMONTH – Died 29 October 1928 at Hamilton. James Learmonth better known as Allan, was born at Merino Downs in 1856, a son of Peter Learmonth and Mary Pearson.  By 1859, the Learmonths had taken up residence at Prestonholme, beside the Grange Burn on the eastern side of Hamilton.  Allan attended Wesley College and gained his matriculation.  He then went to work for Andrew Rowan, a Melbourne merchant.

By 1879, Allan was back in the Hamilton district, running his father’s flour mill at Penshurst but his life almost ended soon after. In April of that year, Allan was in the mill’s engine room, leaning on the bed of the boiler and about to start the engine when the boiler exploded, sending it twenty yards away from its base.  Allan was found lying under bluestone, lucky to be alive. The full account of the explosion is on the following link to The ArgusPenshurst Mill Explosion.

In 1881, it was decided Allan and Stanley would travel to Mexico to run their father’s 82,000 acre share of Nacimiento Ranch purchased by David McKellar of Strathkellar. The Learmonths share was called La Mariposa.

"Items of News." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 6 December 1881: .

“Items of News.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 6 December 1881: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226060700&gt;.

Allan left for Mexico with a heavy heart as he was leaving behind his sweetheart Annie Thomson, a daughter of James Thomson of Monivae, south of Hamilton.  On 2 August 1882, Allan wrote a letter home of his first impressions of the “mystic land”, published in the Hamilton Spectator of 28 September 1882 under the headline – News From Mexico.  Allan’s letters were regularly published in the Spectator during his time there.

Although several years had passed, Allan and Annie’s love remained strong and in 1886, Allan returned from Mexico to marry her.  The wedding was a large social occasion and sparked much interest within the Hamilton community.

"The Portland Guardian," Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 3 September 1886: 2 (EVENING.). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63406515

“The Portland Guardian,” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 3 September 1886: 2 (EVENING.). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63406515

Allan returned to Mexico with Annie and they remained there until 1892, arriving back in Australia with four children, all born in Mexico.  Allan then took up the running of  Corea near Dunkeld. The following year, his father Peter Learmonth died and Allan took over Prestonholme.  There he built up one of the best flocks of Lincoln sheep in the state.  An all round sportsmen, Allan participated in cricket, golf and bowls.  At the time of his death, Allan left three sons and three daughters.  Annie died two years later and was buried with Allan at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

 

learmonth6

HEADSTONE OF JAMES ALLAN LEARMONTH AND ANNIE THOMSON, HAMILTON OLD CEMETERY

Highly recommended further reading on the Learmonths is the book Mariposa:  A Story of the Learmonths of Western Victoria and Mexico, 1834-1930 by Anita Macdonald available from the Hamilton History Centre.

Samuel KING – Died 29 October 1940 at Cobden.  Samuel King was born around 1870 and went to the Cobden district around the age of twenty.  Taking up a life on the land, he soon became a renown breeder of Southdown sheep and Hereford cattle.  That led to show judging with Samuel well known in all states of Australia for his good eye for livestock. He was among the oldest members of the Hereford Cattle Breeder’s Association and the Society of Breeders of British Sheep.  Samuel was also a Councillor on the Heytesbury Shire for three years in the 1920s.  Samuel left a family of five sons and two daughters.  He is pictured below with two of his sons and a grandson.

"DEATH OF WELL KNOWN SHEEP JUDGE" Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) 21 November 1940: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92400968

“DEATH OF WELL KNOWN SHEEP JUDGE” Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954) 21 November 1940: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92400968

Henry Alan CURRIE – Died 10 October 1942 at Burrumbeet. Henry Currie was born around 1868 at Geelong, a son of John Lang Currie of Larra, Camperdown.  Better known as Alan, he attended Melbourne Grammar School and then Melbourne University studying engineering.  He then joined the Victorian Board of Works as a surveyor with the Western Australian Public Works Department working on providing water to Kalgoorlie. After returning from Western Australia, Alan managed Mt Elephant Station near Derrinallum for his father until John Currie’s death in 1896 when Alan inherited the property.

During WW1, Alan served with the Royal Field Artillery, suffered wounds several times and was awarded a Military Medal. After his return from war in 1920, Alan sold Mt Elephant and purchased Ercildoune Estate at Burrumbeet.  He also developed a group settlement scheme for returned serviceman.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/283228

ERCILDOUNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/283228

At Ercildoune, Alan became a renowned breeder of Merino sheep owning the only flock with descendants of John Macarthur’s Merinos. Alan’s interest in horse racing began while still at Mt Elephant.  He owned Mala a champion two and three-year old and a winner of the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in 1910.  His horses also won the Grand National Steeple and Grand National Hurdle. Such was his passion, he even purchased a thoroughbred while on leave in England during WW1.  Alan was elected to the committee of the Victorian Amateur Turf Club in 1909 and was chairman in 1910.  He resigned from the committee because of the war but returned in the 1920s, and was later was chairman.  In 1937, Alan Currie was knighted.  Five years later Alan died at Ercildoune and was buried at Learmonth cemetery.  There is more information on Alan in his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry on the link – Sir Henry Alan Currie