History of West Australia/Ernest McGillicuddy

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Ernest McGillicuddy HOFWA.jpg
Photo by
Greenham & Evans.

HER years of Responsible Government have been full years for Western Australia. The population so devoutly wished for since 1829 has cheered the colony at the rate of thousands per month. Revenue and export have become magnified beyond colonial parallel, and the values of real estate have undergone a revolution. A few feet of sand at Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, which in 1892 were in he midst of wilderness, cannot be purchased in 1897 for £60 a foot. The lucky investor of few hundred pounds in Perth land in 1891 obtains in 1897 an annual income therefrom which enables him to smile at the unenterprising plodder. The enemy of the "unearned increment"—whatever that may mean—can find matter in Western Australia sufficient to fill prodigious tomes with anathema.

And these years have been full years for Western Australian residents. Half a lifetime of energy and excitement has been concentrated into a few little months. The hope of today is realised to-morrow; next year it becomes but memory. Amid inordinate emotion the people have been gathering the harvests of these fat years. There little in life so attractive, so absorbing, so full, as abnormal industrial excitement. It is delightful to see prosperous people; it is delightful to be prosperous with them. There is at these times as much electricity in men's minds as was ever stored in a magnetic mountain.

Ernest McGillicuddy was born at Benalla, Victoria, in 1867, and was educated at the High School, Bendigo, and at St. Patrick's College, Melbourne. In 1882 he matriculated at the Melbourne University, whereupon he began the study of medicine. By combining study with relaxation he spent a happy three years' course at the University; then he lost all desire to emulate Samuel Weller's "Sawbones." He embraced the study of law for some time, but even this did not satisfy.

In September, 1894, Mr. McGillicuddy came to Western Australia, just on the eve of the chief developments in real estate prices. He at once entered the Perth Land Estate Company, and became its manager. Within a few months he was absorbed in the tide of excitement, and conducted some very large land sales for the company. As an auctioneer he was among the brightest and most favoured in Perth. In the middle of 1896 he entered into partnership with Mr. T. F. Quinlan, M.L.A. and became one of the most active agents in land matters in the colony. On one occasion he conducted the record sale in Perth real estate, when he cleared the Sons of Australia property, at the corner of Barrack and Goderich Streets, for £35,000.

After twelve months' fruitful partnership he and Mr. Quinlan separated, as the latter determined o devote himself exclusively to public matters. Mr. McGillicuddy now has sole charge of a very important business. His interests in real estate in Perth and its environs are very large. His strict and honourable attention to the business of his clients ensures a happy issue to his enterprise. He was among the first to subdivide and open up the now populous suburb of Subiaco. In a surprisingly short period he has become a leader in real estate matters. He is also interested in mining.

Mr. McGillicuddy gives a hearty helping band to almost every branch of sport. Whether on the turf, in cycling, or in football, he has been an active and useful supporter. Because of his vital force, his enthusiasm, and his kindness, he is an esteemed Perth resident. His success has been phenomenal, and he has enjoyed to the utmost the fulness of Western Australian prosperity. Moreover, he has brought many varied experiences within the compass of three years.