Alfred Percy Lord was born at Avoca in Tasmania on 26 October 1852. Alfred was the youngest son of Simeon Lord and Sarah Birch. He had six brothers - Francis, William, George, Frederick, Robert and Simeon - and two sisters - Louisa and Emma. Another brother, Edward, had died as a young child.
The family lived on their property, Bona Vista, near Avoca . Initially the children had a governess for their early education but then records show that at least two, probably all, of the older boys returned to England for their education - Frederick and Robert attended Kings College School. In the book, Victoria Downs, Mary Roberts noted that Alfred was educated in Tasmania but she did not know where.
Mary Roberts, in the introduction to her book, provides a summary of Alfred's early career. At the age of 17 he left Tasmania for Queensland to go to his father's property, Brookstead. From there he spent a short time at Wilde Bay before joining his brothers, Robert and Frederick at Ravenswood in North Queensland. The three brothers with Mr H E King formed a partnership - The Gympie Quartz Crushing Company. They had two crushing plants and decided to take one to the Normanby goldfields and sold the second to a company in Chartres Towers. Unfortunately for the Lord Brothers, Normanby was not successful while Chartres Towers proved to be a profitable area for mining.
Returning to Gympie the partnership purchased a property in the Wilde Bay region - Woolooga - while maintaining interests in other goldming areas including Pioneer, Lady Mary and Caledonia Reefs and the Emperor Mine along with interests in Southfield Limited and Caledonia Pub.
On 11 April 1877 Alfred married Catherine Anna Louisa Hillcoat at the Memorial Church, Hale Street, Milton. The official name of the church is Christ Church and the stone building with shingle roof, in which Alfred and Catherine were married, was destroyed in a storm in 1890. A new building was subsequently built on the site.
|Memorial Church - Image held John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland|
Alfred decided to try his luck once more on the land and he purchased a property, Kiah Lake, near Cooma in the Monaro district of New South Wales. The homestead was a stone building. Apparently the Sydney Mail in November 1897 wrote an illustrated story on Alfred Lord and his Kiah Lake homestead. Deciding that the property was unsuitable, in February 1898 Alfred sold the property to a Mr Rogers from Dubbo. He then managed a sheep station out of Narrabri for a number of years.
The Sands Directories record that Alfred had a house in Mary Street Lane Cove. In her book Mary Roberts recounts a story about Alfred's two youngest sons playing in the Lane Cove River. In 1903 he was living at Ferdinand Street, Hunters Hill as in November 1903 his name, at that address, appeared in a list of new JPs. In 1903 produce was still being sold under his name at Narrabri and the property, Oceanic View, was listed in his name in the Sands Directories until 1907, so probably one or more of his sons worked on the property while Alfred and Catherine, with the younger members of the family, lived in Sydney. They later moved to a new house, Eskdale, 8 Ferry Street in Hunters Hill.
|Eskdale 8 Ferry Street, Hunters Hill|
Alfred's wife, Catherine died on 1 January 1907. She had not been well for a number of years and would have stayed in Sydney while Victoria Downs was being purchased.
Alfred continued to purchase properties in Queensland for his sons to manage including Chatham and Biddenham in 1909 and Dunstan in 1915. The house in Quinton Road, Manly, named Bona Vista after the family property in Tasmania where he was born, was put in the name of his two daughters. According to heritage walk notes produced by Manly Library, stone for the villa Bona Vista at no 20 Quinton Road may have been quarried on site and from the imposing cliff face opposite.
|20 Quinton Road, Manly|
Alfred enjoyed sport and in his later years was a member of the Manly Bowling Club. According to the Advertiser (Adelaide) 21 November 1905 page 7) Alfred represented NSW (or Sydney) in lawn bowls including playing in Adelaide in 1905. One of his team mates was Harry Moses.
Alfred Percy Lord died at Bona Vista on 18 May 1927 and the funeral was held at the Rookwood Crematorium. He was 74.
Alfred Percy Lord was my great grandfather.