Cover image for Rev William George Fitzgerald
Agency:
Rev William George Fitzgerald
Agency Number:
Start Date:
30 Jan 1876
End Date:
30 May 1965
Description:
Rev. William George Fitzgerald was born on 30 January 1876 at Gould's Country in north-east Tasmania. His grandfathers, W H Fitzgerald and Richard Apted, were among the first settlers in the district. He was the eldest of eight children born to William Joseph Fitzgerald and Ellen Apted. His family attended the Protestant Union Church and William was secretary of the Gould's Country Blue Ribbon Society for the promotion of temperance. 

His first job was as an axeman splitting palings for the Anchor Mine buildings. In 1897 the lure of the booming west coast saw him spend one year at Zeehan. He returned to Gould's Country and took on construction work at the Liberator Mine. In September 1898 he left Gould's Country for Beaconsfield where he met and later married (1903) his wife Miriam Grace Johnston. They had six children in various towns as he moved around as a Presbyterian minister. Miriam Rosetta (1905 Ranelagh, Tas); Vera May (1907 Lilydale, Tas); William H L (1909 Beaconsfield, Tas); Gordon Lawrence (1911 Deloraine, Tas); Ida Grace (1914 Kaniva, Vic); and Ellen Harriet (1917 Brunswick, Vic). Rev. Fitzgerald also worked overseas and was a Sunday School teacher of the future Prime Minister Robert G Menzies.

Rev. W G Fitzgerald wrote a series of reminicences and history of Gould's Country which was published in 'The Examiner' newspaper in March-April 1955. On 30 May 1965 he died aged 89 at a private hospital in Bentleigh, Victoria. It was thought that he was the oldest Presbyterian minister in Victoria at the time and he had been the Assistant Moderator on several occasions. He was buried at the Wivenhoe Cemetery, Burnie, Tasmania, with his wife Miriam who had died in October 1957.
Information Sources:
Tasmanian Pioneer Index; Tasmanian Federation Index; Victorian BDM Index; TAMIOT; Fitzgerald biography file, Launceston Library; Rev. W G Fitzgerald, 'Conquerors of the rugged north east', published by the St Helens History Room, 1995.
Functions Performed:
Arts and culture
Religion
Series Created By Agency:
LMSS548 'footprints in Gould's New Country'01 Jan 197931 Dec 1979