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Buck, Henry (1860–1933)

The death has occurred in England, his many friends will regret to learn, of Mr. Henry Buck, a leading merchant of Melbourne. Mr. Buck became ill last week, and died on Sunday in a London nursing home. Mrs. Buck was with him.

Born at Danby, Yorkshire, in 1861, Mr. Buck came to Australia in 1887. He was then in extremely delicate health, but after a sojourn of three years on a Queensland station his health had so greatly improved that he came to Melbourne. In 1890 he established the men's wear business now known as Henry Buck Pty. Ltd., in Swanston street. As the business grew he extended his activities to manufacturing, and established various businesses, including Wallace Buck and Goodes, the London Tie Manufacturing Company, Eyelets Pty. Ltd., and the Beaucaire Knitting Mills, of all of which he was governing director.

Mr. Buck was keenly interested in many public movements. The work of the Melbourne Philharmonic Society had his earnest support and in 1891 he became secretary of the society for a year. He proved to be an executive of conspicuous ability, possessing as he did keen business insight, initiative, and resource, and he guided the business affairs of the society on safe and sound lines. He gave the society a piano and cancelled a debt of £100 due to him for his services as secretary. After he retired from the secretaryship he continued to take an active interest in the welfare of the society.

Returned soldiers throughout Victoria remember with gratitude and affection Mr. Buck's many kindnesses and courtesies to them during the war years and for many years afterwards. In 1915 he organised the Red Cross Volunteer Motor Corps, the members of which conveyed returned soldiers from ports of disembarkation to various destinations, and provided health trips for invalid soldiers, sailors, and nurses. In the five years of the corps' existence 21,000 cars were used in the work and 85,000 returned men and nurses were taken on 921 health trips. Mr. Buck himself in his own car, never failed to meet a returning transport or hospital ship, and the success of the work was largely due to his untiring efforts as director of the corps. His work was recognised with the O.B.E. Mr. Buck was a member of the Victorian Red Cross Council until his death. Officials of the Returned Soldiers' League expressed yesterday their keen regret at his death.

Mr. Buck was one of the foremost bridge players of Melbourne. He was an acknowledged master of the legislation of the game, on which subject he was constantly in touch with the Portland Club of London. His rulings on disputed points were continually sought by bridge enthusiasts. Other activities in which Mr. Buck took a lively interest were the work of the Big Brother Movement, the Royal Society of St George and all movements which had the interest of the Empire at heart. He was a member of the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria and the Melbourne Cricket Club and past president and a life governor of the Master Drapers' Association of Victoria. For about 40 years he had been a member of the Commercial Travellers' Association and he was among the oldest club members. The flags on the association building were flown at half-mast yesterday. Mr. Buck was also a member of the National Safety Council. He was on his 14th visit to England. He is survived by Mrs. Buck and a daughter, Mrs. Fred Dennett. The establishment of Henry Buck Pty. Ltd. will be closed to-day from noon as a mark of respect to the memory of its founder.

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'Buck, Henry (1860–1933)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/buck-henry-12824/text35411, accessed 21 August 2019.

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