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Aitken, George Lewis (1864–1940)

Widely known throughout Australia as a leading figure in the wool industry, Mr. George Lewis Aitken, C.B.E., formerly manager of the Melbourne branch of Dalgety and Co. Ltd., died at his home in Westbury street, East St. Kilda, yesterday.

Mr. Aitken, who was born in 1864, at Skipton, Victoria, was a son of the late Mr. James Aitken, who was for many years managing director of Dalgety and Co. In 1875 Mr. Aitken enrolled at Scotch College, and during his school days he was conspicuous as a member of the Scotch crew and in other sports. After he left school he played football with Melbourne, being captain of the team.

He joined the staff of Dalgety, Blackwood, and Company as a clerk in 1882, and later he became sub-manager of Dalgety and Co., Melbourne. He was subsequently appointed joint manager with Mr. M. R. Macrae, and he held this position for several years until he was appointed Melbourne manager in 1915. Mr. Aitken's long association with Dalgety's gave him an extensive knowledge of the pastoral industry of Australia, particularly wool. He was frequently called upon to assist in an advisory capacity in pastoral investigations. From its inception until he retired from Dalgety's in 1936, he was president of the National Council of Woolselling Brokers of Australia.

Besides being a trustee and attorney for numerous estates, he was director of Tubbo Estate Co. Ltd., and at one time a director of the British and Foreign Marine Insurance Co. Ltd. Mr. Aitken's keen interest in pastoral research has been widely recognised. It was almost entirely due to his enthusiasm and personal effort that the Pastoral Research Trust was founded in 1930. He had been president since it was founded.

Mr. Aitken's interest in Scotch College never slackened. He was a member of the College Council for many years, and was made a life member of the Old Scotch Collegians Association. In 1894 Mr. Aitken married Miss Alice G. Burt, daughter of the late Mr. James Burt, of Bindi Station, Gippsland. He has left a widow, two daughters, Miss Marjorie Aitken and Mrs. S. M. Artaud, and one son, Mr. James B. Aitken, a partner in Blake and Riggall, solicitors, Melbourne.

Mr. Aitken was a member of the Melbourne and Australian clubs, and his recreations were tennis and gardening. For many years he was a member of St. George's Presbyterian Church, East St. Kilda.

The funeral will take place at the Springvale Crematorium at noon to-day. Arrangements are in the hands of A. A. Sleight Pty. Ltd.

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'Aitken, George Lewis (1864–1940)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/aitken-george-lewis-1498/text1500, accessed 23 September 2019.

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