Edward Henty becomes Old Colonists second President

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Edward Henty becomes Old Colonists second President

April 26, 2019

Edward Henty became second President of the Old Colonists Association in 1871. He was in the position for two years before his successor, stockbroker J B Were, assumed the mantle.

Henty is acknowledged as among the first Victorian Colonists, a man who settled in Victoria after moving from Launceston with enough stock and farming gear to start his proposed settlement across Bass Strait at Portland. On 6th December 1834:

“I stuck a plough into the ground, struck a she-oak root, broke the point ; cleaned my gun, shot a kangaroo, mended the bellows, blew the forge fire, straightened the plough, and turned the first sod in Victoria.”[1]

Although obviously committed to the aims of the Association, according to OCAV Minutes, he attended few meetings and presided as Chairman only a few times. Nevertheless, his role as President and pioneer was much lauded. He was the honoured guest at a luncheon following an Annual General Meeting in 1877, where he was welcomed by President Judge Pohlman as a ‘…very old and respected Old Colonist…’ [2]

Edward Henty was the first of two in the Henty family closely associated with the Old Colonists’ Association.

In May 1869, twenty men who attended the foundation meeting of the Old Colonists, included a Hy. Henty. He attended alongside Judge Robert Williams Pohlman, Henry Creswick, J B Were, and Thomas Moubray.  George Coppin had chosen them for their contribution to the early history of the colony.  There was no ‘Henry’ Henty of the pastoral family at that time so possibly this is a mistake with Edward Henty’s name.

Francis (Frank) Henty followed in brother Edward’s footsteps as President of the Association twice: from 1884 to 1885, and then from 1887 to 1888. He was also among a group of donors behind the first Jubilee Cottage built by architect Joseph Crook in 1887. The other donors were Sir Henry Loch, the then Governor of Victoria, Canon Perks, a local Anglican cleric, Francis Clarke and A G Young. Eight cottages in all formed part of the Jubilee Cottages group which have since been demolished.

Louisa Henty[3], Edward’s niece, played her part in the life of the Rushall Park village too. Her annual gift of a Christmas pudding to the villagers was much appreciated, as acknowledged by the Secretary of the Association in 1898: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Yours is all gone.”[4]

[1]Portland Guardian 16thJune 1930 P4 ‘The History of Portland’
[2]Minutes AGM OCAV November 1877
[3]http://www.glenelg.vic.gov.au/files/52799_TALISKER_HOMESTEAD_COMPLEX_HO229.pdf
[4]Letter Book, 4 January 1898.

For someone who wants to be a history academic volunteer Liam Nixon is getting some invaluable grass roots learning at OCAV’s Leith Park village.

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