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DICTIONARY OF AUSTRALIAN BIOGRAPHY

PERCIVAL SERLE

Angus and Robertson--1949

X-Z

Main Page and Index of Individuals 
Biographies:
A  Ba  Be-Bo  Br-By  Ca-Ch  Cl-Cu  D  E  F  G  Ha-He  Hi-Hu  I-K  L  Mc
Ma-Mo  Mu-My  N-O  P-Q  R  Sa-Sp  St-Sy  T-V  Wa  We-Wy  X-Z 

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YOUNG, SIR HENRY EDWARD FOX (1808-1870), [probably should (1803-1870) - ebook editor]

governor of South Australia and Tasmania,

son of Sir Aretas William Young, a well-known peninsular officer, was born at Brabourne, Kent, on 23 April 1808. He was educated at Dean's School, Bromley, Middlesex, and, intended for the bar, entered at the Inner Temple. He was, however, appointed in 1827 to a position in the colonial treasury, Trinidad, and in 1828 was transferred to Demerara, British Guiana. In 1834 he became treasurer, secretary and member of the council at St Lucia, but from 1835 he was again in British Guiana as government secretary, and did important work over a period of several years during which occurred the emancipation of the Negro slaves. He was in London in 1847 and was appointed lieutenant-governor of the eastern district of the Cape of Good Hope, but a few months later was transferred to South Australia where he arrived on 11 March 1848. It was hoped that he would be able to announce some measure of responsible government but he had nothing to say on this subject, and it was not until February 1851 that an ordinance was passed constituting a legislative council of 24 members, of whom eight were nominated by the crown and 16 were to be elected. This was a considerable advance on the old council which consisted of eight members of whom four were official members. The royalties question which had caused so much feeling during Robe's (q.v.) governorship was raised soon after Young's arrival, and he gained much popularity by suspending their imposition pending further consideration of the question. In the following year an ordinance was passed through the council abandoning them. His attitude was that it would be unwise to bring in legislation which was opposed to the general opinion of the colonists. When the new Council met in August 1851 the long debated question of state aid to religion was dealt with in the first measure brought forward and was defeated by three votes. This question having been finally disposed of the council brought in a useful education act, which was followed by a district councils act, and a bullion act, passed as a temporary expedient when the colony was threatened with disaster on account of a great shortage of coinage. Young objected to the proposal at first but eventually gave his consent. In 1853 a bill was brought in for the granting of responsible government to the colony, which was passed but not accepted by the British government. Other important happenings in Young's period were the inauguration of railway and telegraph systems and the opening up of steamer traffic on the Murray. On 20 December 1854 Young's governorship of nearly seven years came to an end when he left to assume the same position in Tasmania. He had been an ideal governor for a time of transition, sagacious, tactful and popular.

Young began his duties in Tasmania in January 1855. At this time the constitution act was awaiting the royal assent, and the legislative council might wisely have postponed meeting until news of this had been received. It, however, met in July and one of its acts was to form a committee to inquire into the working of the convict department. Dr Hampton, the comptroller-general of convicts, was summoned to appear as a witness and refused to attend. The council decided he was guilty of contempt and arrested him. Hampton served a writ of habeas corpus upon the sergeant-at-arms and the opinion of the law officers of the crown was against the legality of the council's proceedings. Young then attended at the house and prorogued the council until 20 October. The London Times severely commented upon Young's conduct, but he was commended by the British government. The Tasmanian supreme court ruled against the council, and when it was taken to the privy council this decision was confirmed. The new constitution was soon successfully instituted and Young welcomed the change in his position, feeling that he was now above the battle and freed from much trying responsibility. He travelled through the island, showed much interest in its development, and capably carried out the work of his office. He left Tasmania on 10 December 1861 for Melbourne whence he travelled to England and lived in retirement at London until his death there on 18 September 1870. He married in 1848 the eldest daughter of Charles Marryat who survived him. He was knighted in 1847.

Young was one of the ablest and most successful of the Australian governors. He may have acted with precipitation in proroguing the Tasmanian legislative council, but his career was marked by first-rate administrative ability, enthusiasm and wisdom.

Dod's Peerage, etc., 1869; The Times, 20 and 21 September 1870; B. T. Finniss, The Constitutional History of South Australia; J. Blacket, History of South Australia; E. Hodder, The History of South Australia; J. Fenton, A History of Tasmania.

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YOUNG, SIR WALTER JAMES (1872-1940),

business man,

son of John Young, pastoralist, was born at Moonta, South Australia, on 2 April 1872. He was educated at Whinham College and obtained a position with Elder Smith and Company at Adelaide in 1897. His energy and ability soon marked him out for promotion and 25 years later, at the early age of 40, he became general manager of the company. In 1929 he was appointed managing-director. Though well-known in business circles Young did not come into public notice until the 1914-18 war, when he was a member of the Commonwealth shipping board, and vice-chairman of the Commonwealth central wool committee. In 1917 he went on a special mission to the United States for the British government. In 1920 he was chairman of the London committee which carried out negotiations with the British government relating to Australian Wool carry-over, and he was also a member of the advisory committee of the Australian wheat board. In 1923 Young was a member of the committee of inter-Imperial exchanges at the Imperial economic conference held at London, and showed himself to be a man of wide knowledge.

From this time onwards Young's opinions were much valued by state and federal governments. He was chairman of a special committee appointed by the South Australian government in 1927 to advise on the state finances. Again in 1930 he was chairman of the advisory committee to advise in connexion with the depression. For 15 months he was indefatigable in supplying facts and advice, working many nights in the week and at week-ends without thought of reward. He was able to resign in 1932 having recommended that South Australia should fall in with the "premiers' plan". He was a director of various companies, a member of the council of the university of Adelaide from 1924, and was chairman of the South Australian branch of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. He died at Adelaide on 5 January 1940. He was created C.B.E. in 1918 and K.B.E. in 1932. He was unmarried.

A quiet, modest, kindly man much interested in his garden and in books, and never seeking notice, Young did great work for his state and Australia. His devotion to the public good lifted him far above party politics, and during the difficult times arising out of the 1914-18 war and the world-wide depression which began some 10 years later, his country owed much to his knowledge and his wise and far-seeing mind. A brother, Sir Frederick William Young, born in 1876, was in the South Australian house of assembly for eight years and held office, was agent-general for South Australia in 1915-18, and a member of the house of commons, 1918-22.

The Advertiser, Adelaide, 6 January 1940; Debrett's Peerage, etc., 1938; Who's Who, 1941.

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YOUNG, WILLIAM BLAMIRE (1862-1935), always known as Blamire Young,

artist,

was born at Londesborough, Yorkshire, in 1862, the second son of a family of 12. His father, Colonel Young, came of prosperous yeoman stock. Blamire Young was educated at the Forest School, Walthamstow, where he received a classical training, and going on to Cambridge university specialized in mathematics. That he completed his course with no better than third-class honours was no doubt partly caused by his discovery of the print collection in the Fitzwilliam museum, and his association with the Cambridge Fine Art Society. It had been intended that he should become a clergyman, but Young felt that he had no vocation for that work and obtained the position of mathematical master at Katoomba College, New South Wales. He remained eight years at the college, and was a capable master taking a full part in the life of the school. In his spare time he practised painting, and meeting Phil May (q.v.) received some instruction from him in painting in oil. In 1893 he returned to England and after working for a few months under Herkomer, became associated with James Pryde and William Nicholson in poster work. In 1895 Young returned to Australia and with the Lindsay brothers and Harry Weston did some excellent posters. But the field was limited and many years of poverty followed, during which a certain amount of writing was done for the press. He began exhibiting at the Victorian Artists' Society, but sales were few and the one-man show was then unknown. During his visit to England he had married Mabel Sawyer, an expert wood-carver, and while the lean period lasted Mrs Young helped to keep the house going by executing commissions for Melbourne architects. It was not until 1911 that the appreciation of Young's art really began to be shown. In that year he held an exhibition at Melbourne of small pictures, some of which had similar qualities to the Japanese coloured wood-cuts of the eighteenth century. Sales were good, partly because the prices were low, and the artist was sufficiently encouraged to hold an exhibition at Adelaide. This was both an artistic and a financial success, other shows followed in Melbourne and Sydney, and at last, in his fiftieth year, Young's reputation as an artist was established. In 1912 he sailed for Europe and after a stay in Spain settled in England. Eighteen months later in August 1914 his first show, opened at the Bailey galleries. All the arrangements had been made and the pictures hung when war broke out. Young had been a good marksman in his youth, and for three years worked as an instructor in musketry and machine-gunnery at a salary of 18s. a week. Immediately after the war he took up his painting again and exhibited at the Academy and the Royal Society of British Artists. Back in Australia in 1923 Young established himself at Montrose in the hills about 20 miles east of Melbourne. He acted as art critic for the Herald and held occasional one-man shows. His position was now secure, and he was recognized everywhere as one of the leading artists in water-colour in Australia. He died at Montrose on 14 January 1935 and was survived by his wife and two daughters. He is represented in the Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Geelong galleries. In addition to his newspaper writings he published a one-act play The Children's Bread in 1912, and in 1923 The Proverbs of Goya, an interesting attempt to disclose the inner meaning of Goya's series of etchings known as the "Desparates". Another one-act play, Art for Arts Sake, was produced at the Melbourne Repertory Theatre in 1911.

Blamire Young was 6 feet 3 inches in height, well-built, distinguished and courteous. His quiet meditative manner disguised a humorous and witty character only to be fully appreciated by his intimate friends. He would not take part in any art movement though he condemned none. His work was based on nature, but it was nature seen through a temperament, and he believed that an artist should always be creating something. His composition is good, he had a beautiful sense of pattern and his colour is excellent. His drawing is not always faultless but as a rule he draws firmly enough. He had a vision of beauty, and was able to express it in his own way. It would be a mistake to assume it was an easy way for he was always experimenting and had his share of failures. But he felt that "art is emotional, not precise; a joy, a refuge, a compensation".

Art in Australia, 1921; J. F. Bruce, The Art of Blamire Young; The Argus, 15 and 19 January 1935; R. H. Croll, Preface to Catalogue, 1935; personal knowledge.

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ZEAL, SIR WILLIAM AUSTIN (1830-1912),

politician,

son of Thomas Zeal, was born at Westbury, Wiltshire, England, on 5 December 1830. He was educated privately, obtained his diploma as a surveyor and engineer, and came to Melbourne in 1852. He was employed as an engineer in charge of railway construction by private contractors and was in the government service for some years. He was elected a member of the legislative assembly for Castlemaine in 1864, but, having joined forces with Sir William Mitchell (q.v.) in a station in the Riverina, resigned his seat in 1866. Drought conditions caused Zeal to resume his practice as an engineer in 1869, and in the following year he was again elected for Castlemaine, but pressure of business caused him to resign again. In 1882 he entered the legislative council as a representative of the North Central Province, and in April 1892 he became postmaster-general in the Shiels (q.v.) ministry. He resigned in November and was elected president of the legislative council. He was re-elected to this position in 1894, 1897 and 1900, He was one of the representatives of Victoria at the 1897 federal convention and at the first federal election in 1901 he was elected as one of the Victorian senators. He was elected again in 1903, but would not stand in 1906 as he was then in his seventy-sixth year. He was a director of several of the leading financial companies and he retained his interest in these. until his death, following an operation, on 11 March 1912. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1895. He never married.

Zeal's shrewdness and honesty made him a valuable member of parliament. He was a persistent critic of the legislation brought forward, and though he had a fiery and peppery style of speaking he was accepted as a man not afraid to say what he thought and was generally popular. He whole-heartedly opposed the "Octopus" railway bill which was before parliament in 1889-90, and seems to have been one of the few men of the period who realized that the undue optimism of the time was leading to disaster. He was a thoroughly capable president of the legislative council.

The Age and The Argus, Melbourne, 12 March 1912; The Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903; Burke's Peerage, etc., 1911.

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ZELMAN, ALBERTO (1874-1927),

musician,

was born at Melbourne on 15 November 1874. His father, Alberto Zelman, the elder, was born at Trieste, Austria, in 1832 of Italian parents. He was educated as a musician and made his mark as a conductor in Northern Italy. He then went to Calcutta, India, where he was successful for some years as a teacher and conductor, and about 1870 came to Australia as conductor of an opera company. He settled at Melbourne, was much esteemed as a man and as a musician, was for many years conductor of the Melbourne Liedertafel, and was a well-known teacher of the pianoforte. His compositions included orchestral works, masses and many solos for the violin. He died at Melbourne on 27 December 1907 leaving a widow; and four sons. Of his sons, Alberto also took up music. He was educated at King's College, Melbourne, and showed early talent as a violinist, afterwards becoming a teacher of the violin. He was connected with the Melbourne Philharmonic Society for over 30 years, first as leader of the second violins in the orchestra, and from 1912 as conductor. He was leader of the British Musical Society's quartet, and after the death of Marshall Hall (q.v.) founded and conducted the Melbourne symphony orchestra. Considering that this orchestra had no endowment Zelman did remarkable work with it, and he was always hoping that all the musical interests in Melbourne would pool their resources so that his native city should have a permanent, properly supported orchestra. In 1922 he visited Europe, and at Berlin was invited to conduct the Berlin philharmonic orchestra. He was enthusiastically received, and in November of the same year conducted the London symphony orchestra at London, but was less successful than at Berlin. On returning to Australia Zelman resumed his teaching and conducting, and died at Melbourne after a short illness on 3 March 1927. He married Maude Harrington, a well-known singer, who survived him. He had no children. A brother, Victor Zelman, studied painting and became known as a capable painter of landscapes; an example of his work is in the national gallery, Melbourne. Zelman was a slight, rather wistful looking figure of a man, devoted to music, and free from the jealousies not infrequent among musicians. He was kindly and sympathetic, a good violinist and an excellent and enthusiastic conductor. His too early death was a loss to musical culture in Australia.

The Age, Melbourne, 30 December 1907, 4 March 1927; The Argus, Melbourne, 4, 7, 14 March 1927; personal knowledge.

 

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