Tag Archives: Goldie

Port Fairy Cemetery – Part 1

If you find yourself travelling along Victoria’s south-west coast, don’t miss the Port Fairy Cemetery.

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Last summer, I revisited the cemetery with the aim of photographing as many headstones as possible.  During our four days in Port Fairy, the weather was hot and our days were spent at the beach.  My only chance was to head off early to beat the heat.   I took the dogs, and after a stop at the beach for a run, them not me, we arrived at the cemetery around 7.30am.

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Taking photos and holding two dogs on leads, is not an easy task.  I’m glad they didn’t see the rabbits sitting among the graves but I didn’t count on the burrs.  Soon the dogs were stopping periodically to pick burrs from their paws.  I didn’t get as many photos as I would have liked but I have captured some of the older and more interesting headstones.  I will post the photos in two parts.

On one of my past visits to the Port Fairy Cemetery, I joined a tour run by the Port Fairy Genealogical Society.  It was fantastic and I wished I had our knowledgeable guide Maria Cameron on this visit as I tried to remember the stories behind the graves.

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As sealers and whalers, Charles Mills and his older brother John, first saw Port Fairy in 1826, eight years before the Henty brothers arrived at Portland.  However, their whaling camps were not considered permanent in comparison to the Henty settlement, thus the Hentys take the title of first European settlers in Victoria in most discussions on the topic.  Launceston born Charles Mills passed away in 1855 aged 43 and John in 1877 aged 66.   The biography of the brothers is on this link – John and Charles Mills 

 

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HEADSTONE OF BROTHERS CHARLES AND JOHN MILLS

 

 

"BELFAST." The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 21 Nov 1855: 6. .

“BELFAST.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 21 Nov 1855: 6. .

 

"Family Notices." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 24 Sep 1877: .news-article5938525>.

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 24 Sep 1877: .news-article5938525>.

 

This was the home of John Mills in Gipps Street, Port Fairy just across the road from the port where he was harbour master.

 

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FORMER HOUSE OF JOHN B. MILLS, GIPPS STREET, PORT FAIRY.

 

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Port Fairy Harbour

PORT FAIRY HARBOUR

 

An obituary for John Mills, published September 28, 1877 in the Portland Guardian:

 

"BELFAST." Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) 28 Sep 1877:.

“BELFAST.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 28 Sep 1877:.

 

The Portland Guardian published an interesting article about the Mills Brothers on September 21, 1933.  It included their life stories and that of their father Peter Mills who served as secretary to Governor Bligh  – Early Settlers

 

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GRAVE OF BROTHERS CHARLES AND JOHN MILLS (Foreground)

 

William and Agnes Laidlaw were early pioneers of the Port Fairy district, arriving from Scotland with their family around 1841.  William was born on January 20, 1785 and died on April 6, 1870 and Agnes was born on September 20, 1790 and died  on February 12, 1867.

 

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HEADSTONE OF WILLIAM AND AGNES LAIDLAW

"Family Notices." Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 - 1875) 23 Apr 1870 .

“Family Notices.” Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875) 23 Apr 1870 .

 

At least two of their children had great success.  David Laidlaw went on to serve five times as Mayor of Hamilton and was also a leading businessman in that town.   Robert became well-known in the Heidleberg area as a land owner and sheep breeder.  The following is a family photograph taken at Robert’s 90th birthday.  Robert is at the front with the white beard and brother David to his right.

 

"A Nonagenarian Birthday Party." Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939) 23 May 1907: .

“A Nonagenarian Birthday Party.” Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939) 23 May 1907: .

 

James Andrews (1780-1855) and Elizabeth Andrews (1811-1870) nee O’Brien and their two sons, Michael and Patrick lie in the following grave.

 

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HEADSTONE OF JAMES AND ELIZABETH ANDREWS AND THEIR SONS MICHAEL AND PATRICK.

 

The headstone is difficult to read from the photo, so I have transcribed it:

Sacred to the Memory of 

James Andrews

Formally of Ratoath County Meath

Ireland

Died January 1855 aged 55 years

Elizabeth Andrews

His Beloved Wife

Died 26 August 1870, aged 59

Also their two sons

Michael

Died 3rd May 1854 aged 15 years

Patrick

Died 15 March 1863, Aged 23 years

There was little information around about the Andrews family but I thought I would check shipping records.  An Andrews family arrived at Portland during October 1853 aboard the Oithona.  They were from Meath, Ireland, matching the headstone.  The family consisted of James, aged 56, Elizabeth aged 45, Patrick aged 12, Fanny aged 10, James aged nine and Therese aged 2.  On arrival James snr and the family went on to Port Fairy of their own account.  If this is the same Andrews family, James was in Victoria only two years before he died.

 

After sorting my photos I’m really disappointed with myself.  The following Goldie family grave is one I remember well from the cemetery tour.  Maria pointed out the top of the grave purposely broken off to signify a life cut short. Firstly, I didn’t get a photo of the top of the grave and secondly I didn’t get a photo of the reverse side of the grave

Instead I got the following photo showing John and Elizabeth Goldie epitaphs.

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GOLDIE FAMILY GRAVE

 

If I had a photo of the reserve side, you would also see three babies. It was their the lives cut short:

Catherine Goldie
Died in Scotland Feb 1859
Aged 21 Months

Margaret
Died Sep 1862 Aged 19 Months

John
Died May 1864 Aged 17 Months

John Goldie and Elizabeth Clarke arrived in Melbourne aboard the Greyhound in 1862.  With them were their children, Elizabeth aged 11, James aged 2 and Margaret aged 1.  John was born in 1862 at Port Fairy and Margaret barely survived the voyage, dying in 1862.

John Goldie snr was a pioneer of the agricultural industry, working with the Agricultural Department planting experimental crops.  Photos of one of his experimental sugar beet crops is below.

 

JOHN GOLDIE'S SUGAR BEET CROP TRIALS.   Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. IAN01/10/95/20  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40232

JOHN GOLDIE’S SUGAR BEET CROP TRIALS. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. IAN01/10/95/20 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40232

 

John died in 1901 after a cow knocked him down.  Elizabeth had passed away 29 years earlier aged 45.

 

"OBITUARY." The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954) 3 Sep 1901: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73029026>.

“OBITUARY.” The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954) 3 Sep 1901: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73029026>.

 

Son of John and Elizabeth, James Goldie. who was two when he arrived at Port Fairy. was a previous Passing Pioneer – James Goldie obituary

 

The grave of William Kerby goes back to the earliest years of the cemetery.  William was buried in 1847 in a grave with headstone and footstone arranged by his wife Mary.

 

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GRAVE OF WILLIAM KERBY

 

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HEADSTONE OF WILLIAM KERBY

 

Look a little closer at the next headstone and a sad story begins to emerge.  A check of the marriage record of Robert and Annie Grosert sees the story turn sadder still.  Robert Grosert, the son of  a Port Fairy butcher and himself in the trade was born in 1852.  He married Irish immigrant Annie Greer in 1877.  By November 14 of that year Robert was dead and by December 4, so was Annie.

 

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GROSERT FAMILY GRAVE

 

George Best was born in Port Fairy in 1853, a son of  George Best and Lucy Weston.  He married Emilie Melina Jenkins in 1877 at Wagga Wagga, NSW and they settled at Port Fairy.  George enjoyed sailing and it was while competing in a regatta on the Moyne River at Port Fairy in March, 1891, he was knocked overboard and drowned.

 

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BEST FAMILY GRAVE

 

 

A diver recovered George’s body from the river floor.  A team of townspeople worked on George for two hours trying to revive him.  An  account of the drowning appeared in the Portland Guardian on March 13, 1891 and described the incident and the preparations of the diver which makes interesting reading.

An inquest was held into the accident.

 

"THE BOATING FATALITY AT PORT FAIRY." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 10 Mar 1891: 5. Web..

“THE BOATING FATALITY AT PORT FAIRY.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 10 Mar 1891: 5. Web.<http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8482214&gt;.

 

Coincidentally, George’s father, George Best snr a Port Fairy saddler, drowned in almost the same place 30 years before.  His body was never located.

 

"THE EDUCATION DIFFICULTY SOLVED." The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) 23 Apr 1861: .

“THE EDUCATION DIFFICULTY SOLVED.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 23 Apr 1861: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154888852&gt;.

 

George and Emilie’s daughter, Elsie May Best was buried with her parents.  She died on October 10 1897 at Port Fairy aged 20 years and 10 months.

 

"Family Notices." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 23 Oct 1897: 55.  .

“Family Notices.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 23 Oct 1897: 55. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138629574&gt;.

 

George’s wife  Emilie Melina Jenkins died in a private hospital “Somerset House” in East Melbourne on April 10, 1924.

 

"Family Notices." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 12 Apr 1924:  .

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 12 Apr 1924: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1903476&gt;.

 

When you walk through a country cemetery and see dozens of unfamiliar names, then later research those names, it’s amazing what you can dig up, so to speak.  Francis Alexander Corbett is one such name. Francis born in 1818, was buried in the Port Fairy cemetery with his wife Ellen Louisa Lane.

 

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GRAVE OF FRANCIS ALEXANDER CORBETT AND HIS WIFE ELLEN LOUISA LANE

 

After searching Trove newspapers, I discovered that Francis arrived in Australia in search of gold and after some time on the diggings went to Melbourne and worked as a reporter for the Argus. Not fond of the work, he moved to the Census Commission conducting the 1854, 1857 and 1861 census as Census Secretary.  He was also a life member of the Royal Society of Victoria.

 

corbett1

 

In 1857 he wrote a book Railway Economy in Victoria and in the same year married Ellen Louise Lane born c1829.  During the 1860s, Francis and Ellen moved to Port Fairy and Francis managed the estate of James Atkinson.  They later moved to Kirkstall near Warrnambool.  In 1889, the following article appeared about Francis Corbett in the Australian Town and Country Journal:

 

"Western Seaports of Victoria." Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907) 5 Jan 1889 .

“Western Seaports of Victoria.” Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 – 1907) 5 Jan 1889 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71113608&gt;.

 

Francis was visiting Port Fairy when he died suddenly at the Commercial Hotel (now Royal Oak Hotel) on June 10, 1893.

 

ROYAL OAK HOTEL, PORT FAIRY (FORMALLY THE COMMERCIAL HOTEL)

ROYAL OAK HOTEL, PORT FAIRY (FORMALLY THE COMMERCIAL HOTEL)

"Family Notices." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 17 Jun 1893: 42.  .

“Family Notices.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 17 Jun 1893: 42. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138656519&gt;.

 

An obituary appeared in the Argus:

 

"COUNTRY NEWS." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 12 Jun 1893: .

“COUNTRY NEWS.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 12 Jun 1893: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8563251&gt;.

 

The information contained in Francis’ will was even more enlightening especially that about his brother John Corbett.

 

"Wills and Bequests." Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939) 28 Jul 1893:  .

“Wills and Bequests.” Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939) 28 Jul 1893: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145711319&gt;.

 

I tracked down John Corbett or rather,  Admiral Sir John Corbett born 1822 and died 1893, five months after Francis.

 

"[No heading]." South Australian Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1895) 16 Dec 1893: 4. .

“[No heading].” South Australian Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1895) 16 Dec 1893: 4. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page8442835&gt;.

 

On December 4, 1904, 11 years after Francis, Ellen passed away at St Kilda.

 

"Family Notices." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 5 Dec 1908:   .

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 5 Dec 1908: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10188785&gt;.

 

Five members of the Finn family lie in the following grave.  The first to pass was John Finn in 1879.  John was the owner of the Belfast Brewery and the Belfast Inn with his licence issued in 1841. He was also one of the trustees of the old cemetery which possibly refers to the Sandhills Cemetery although the Port Fairy cemetery website says. at times both cemeteries were referred to as the “old cemetery.”

 

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FINN FAMILY GRAVE

 

The next death in the Finn, family was John’s daughter-in-law Ellen, wife of Laurence Finn.  In 1896, Laurence and Ellen’s youngest son, George passed away aged 25.

 

"Family Notices." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 21 Mar 1896: 45. .

“Family Notices.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 21 Mar 1896: 45. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139723181&gt;.

 

Another son, William Henry passed away in 1902.  That left just Laurence who died on May 24, 1914 aged 81 years.  His obituary appeared in the May 2013 Passing of the Pioneers.  Laurence died a wealthy man having inherited land from his father, however his will was contested.  A hearing in 1916 saw many witnesses called to assess the soundness of Laurence’s mind when his will was drawn up.  The article is available on the following link – http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73880024

 

Just a handful of graves, yet so many interesting characters and stories.

 

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For more information about the Port Fairy Cemetery, check out the website –  Port Fairy Public Cemetery.   Also ABC Local Radio did a great story on the cemetery including an interview with Maria Cameron and you too can listen to Maria talk passionately about the cemetery.  There are also photos with the story which are so much better than mine.  It is available on the following link  – Radio Interview.  The Find A Grave entry for Port Fairy has had some great work done on it with hundreds of headstones photographed.

 


Passing of the Pioneers

June Passing of the Pioneers features the obituaries of several former Councillors, Mayors and a Mayoress.  There are members of  well known pioneering families and a man who died with no other relatives in Australia.  There is also a Hamilton cricket champion who had the potential to play for Australia.

William RUTLEDGE – Died June 1, 1876 at Farnham.  William Rutledge, born in Ireland, arrived in Sydney in 1833 aged around 27.  After his marriage in 1839, he headed south to Queanbeyan, N.S.W. then Kilmore, Victoria in 1840.  A visit to Port Fairy in 1843 saw him buy the business of John Cox and he transformed it into William Rutledge & Co, importers.  He also selected a large amount of  land at Farnham near Koroit.  William also sat on the first Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1851.  The Christ Church Anglican church at  Warrnambool has a  memorial window dedicated to the memory of William.

DEATH OF MR. WILLIAM RUTLEDGE, OF FARNHAM. (1876, June 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5890095

DEATH OF MR. WILLIAM RUTLEDGE, OF FARNHAM. (1876, June 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 5. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5890095

A biography of William Rutledge (below) by Martha Rutledge in the Australian Dictionary of Biography tells of Edward Henty having referred to William as “Terrible Billy”.

WILLIAM RUTLEGE.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Image no. H5056/68

WILLIAM RUTLEGE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Image no. H5056/68

George OSBORNE – Died June 14,  1884 at Geelong.  George Osborne was born in Sydney around 1809, his father a member of the 45th Regiment of Foot.  George was a ship maker’s apprentice and worked on a whaling ship as ship’s carpenter.  George first arrived in Victoria  in 1840 at Portland.  He then went to Melbourne before returning to Portland where he remained with his family. While he had lived in Portland for 25 years, after his wife’s death, George moved amongst his family members until his death.  He was buried at the Port Fairy Cemetery.

Eliza PITTS – Died June 2, 1914 at Edenhope.  As an infant, Elizabeth Pitts travelled to Victoria with her parents aboard the “Severn” in 1846 and they settled at Wattle Hill, Portland.  In 1860, Elizabeth married Richard Guthridge.  They raised a family of six sons and six daughters.  Son Frederick has also been a Passing Pioneer.  In the early years of their marriage Richard and Eliza moved several times between Portland, Mt Gambier and Carapook before settling in the Edenhope district.  They were a well respected family, renown for their longevity.

Walter DISS – Died June 3, 1916 at Port Fairy.  Walter Diss died with no relatives in Australia.  He was born in London around 1851 and arrived in Victoria during the 1880s.  He ran bakery businesses in Port Fairy and for a time ran the Exchange Hotel at Sale, East Gippsland.  He returned to Port Fairy after the death of his wife, two years before his own passing.

Ellen MALONE – Died June 20, 1916 at Killarney.  Born in Queen’s County, Ireland around 1831, Ellen arrived at Portland in 1855 aboard the “Caringorm“.  In 1856, she married Thomas Shanley and they settled at Killarney and raised seven children.  At the time of her death, Ellen had 42 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Robert WOOD – Died June 27, 1917 at Warrnambool.  Robert Wood was born in Scotland in 1847 and arrived at Port Fairy, with his parents, aboard the “Athletae” in 1854.  He farmed around  Hopkins Point and Woodford before taking up a job as a storeman for R.H. Patterson of Warrnambool.  He had a strong association with the Warrnambool Fire Brigade, serving as a member for 42 years, 20 years of which he was the station keeper.

Agnetta VIGAR – Died June 24, 1917 at Ararat.  Agnetta Vigar was born on the island of Guernsey around 1831.  She arrived in Adelaide in 1852 and married William Aggett.  They moved to Ararat during the 1860s, settling on the Stawell Road.  She left one son, Thomas, serving in Europe at the time of her death.

John TWOMEY – Died June 30, 1918 at Lilydale.  John Twomey was born at ‘”Banmore” Penshurst, the son of John Twomey a pioneer squatter of the district.  John Jr entered in the stock and station business and lived at Warrnambool.  He was a member of several racing clubs and was a successful owner.  In the years before his death he moved to Melbourne then Lilydale where he passed.  He was buried at Warrnambool Cemetery.

John DOYLE – Died June 8, 1922 at Heywood.   John Doyle was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1842.  He arrived in Port Fairy about 1856 with his twin brother and they set up a carrying business.  John then bought land in Casterton before purchasing the Hamilton Inn at Hamilton.  Tired of life as a publican, John bought land at Cape Bridgewater and Heywood and  farmed dairy cows.   He served as a Councillor with the Portland Shire. After the death of his first wife in 1877, he remarried.  He left five sons and two daughters.  A sixth son predeceased him.  John’s twin brother died five weeks before at Hamilton.

James GOLDIE - Died June 4, 1924 at Port Fairy.  James Goldie’s death was tragic  but it should not take away from the contribution he made to Port Fairy.  James was born around 1860, the son of John Goldie of Port Fairy.  He was the first butter factory manager in Victoria, running a factory at Rosebrook.  He later managed a large butter factory in N.S.W.

James’ father, John Goldie tended his farm using the latest scientific practices.  A photo of his farm is below.  Taken in 1895, it shows trial crops of sugar beets.  After John died, James took up part of the farm and became a respected breeder of Ayrshire cattle.

SUGAR BEET GROWING AT PORT FAIRY ON THE FARM OF JOHN GOLDIE c1895.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image No. IAN01/10/95/20 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40232

SUGAR BEET GROWING AT PORT FAIRY ON THE FARM OF JOHN GOLDIE c1895. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image No. IAN01/10/95/20 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40232

James served on the Council of the Borough of Port Fairy with two terms as Mayor.  He was also a member of the Agriculture Society committee and he was one of the men that established the Glaxo Milk Company at Port Fairy.

Mary FLETCHER – Died June 19, 1942 at Sandringham.  Mary Fletcher was born in Scotland around 1847 and arrived in Victoria as a child.  Her parent settled at Goroke and in 1865 she married William Affleck.  William passed away in 1867 and in 1869 she married James Wooton Shevill.  James was a Warrnambool Councillor from 1875-1878, holding the Mayoral role in 1877-1878.  In later life the Shevills moved to Melbourne.

Peter DUSTING – Died June 30, 1946 at Melbourne.  As Peter Dusting was the last surviving member of the family of  John and Sally Dusting of South Portland, this obituary is more a Dusting family obituary rather than Peter’s.  In fact I was able to find little about Peter from it.  He was born in Portland around 1866 and followed his father and brothers into the fishing business.  Later he moved to Melbourne and remained there until his death.

Emma Watsford TERRILL –  Died June, 1948 at Hamilton.  Emma Terrill was born at Cape Bridgewater around 1880, the youngest daughter of Mr & Mrs George Terrill, pioneers of the district.  Emma married William Jennings in 1905.  William was the grandson of Cook Abraham Jennings and Hannah Birchall, also Cape Bridgewater pioneers.   Emma was an expert on poultry and was often sought after for advice.   After living all her life at Cape Bridgewater, two years before her death she moved into Portland.  Emma passed away in the Hamilton Hospital.

George KENNEDY – Died June 1950 at Hamilton.  When I think of Hamilton cricket, I think of Kennedy Oval.  George Kennedy is the man who the oval was named for.   An obituary for  George Kennedy  in the Portland Guardian of June 29, 1950, suggests a decision by Melbourne born George to leave the city for Hamilton as a young man in 1905, may have cost him the opportunity to compete at interstate or even at international level.  He played for the Grange club in Hamilton and excelled at both batting and bowling, the later his specialty.  His talent was on display in 1912, when a touring English team played at Hamilton and George’s bowling figures where 3/35.  After the match, the ball and a bat signed by the English team was presented by one his scalps, Sir Jack Hobbs, the most prolific scorer in first class cricket history.  George was 71 at the time of his death.


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