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Corbett, Michael (Mick) (1860–1923)

from West Australian

Michael Corbett, n.d.

Michael Corbett, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 15 December 1923

There were few better known and more appreciated men in the State than the late Mr. Michael Corbett, and the news of his sudden death through heart failure, while on a twelve months' trip abroad, came as a great shock to his numerous friends. The actual place of his death could not be ascertained yesterday, but letters received by recent mails stated that he was having an enjoyable time in Ireland.

Accompanied by his wife, Mr. Corbett left Perth at the end of March on a twelve months' tour of the world, and went via the Vancouver route, through America and Canada to the British Isles. All of his letters and postcards have been of a most cheerful character, and there was nothing to indicate any symptom of illness. It would be difficult to imagine a more gentle, or kindlier nature than that possessed by the deceased gentleman, and his energies in endeavouring to advise, and improve the positions of others seemed inexhaustible. His wide knowledge of men and matters placed him in a position to render sound advice, particularly in regard to pastoral and stock matters generally. He was born in Perth in 1860, and was the son of the late Mr. James Corbett, a carpenter and contractor, who came to the State from Tipperary, Ireland, in the fifties. At the completion of his education the late Mr. 'Mick' Corbett was associated with his father for three years, but his inclinations were for the wider spaces, and, after an interval in the Great Southern districts, where he was associated with the sandalwood trade, he entered into station pursuits with Messrs. Grant, Anderson and Edgar, on the De Grey River. Seven years later he took up the Warrewagine country, which subsequently was exchanged with Messrs. Darlot Brothers for Muccan Station, a fine property of 387,000 acres further to the east, on the De Grey River. He then had as a partner Mr. G. Boll. During his early experiences in these outposts of civilisation, considerable difficulty was experienced with natives, Mr. Corbett's life on one occasion being only saved through the faithful services of Barney, an aborigine, who is now living at Marble Bar. In 1907 Mr. Corbett established a magnificent home at Telyarup, a property he acquired in the Gnowangerup district and, having purchased Mr. Ball's interest in Muccan, he took in Mr. Charles Holthouse as managing partner of that station. Mr. Corbett did much to assist in the development of the Gnowangerup district as chairman of the Progress Committee, and as president of the local agricultural society. He also started a merino stud at Telyarup and bred a high class of Berkshire pigs from stock which he purchased in England. While on a visit to Europe in 1911, he purchased a Percheron stallion in France, which he intended to use on Clydesdale mares, but a few years later he sold Telyarup to Mr. H. O. Timms and came to the city to live, having married shortly before. Although having practically retired from active business, Mr. Corbett was closely associated with several public bodies. He assisted greatly in the repatriation of returned soldiers on the land and went to endless trouble in advising applicants for land in regard to values and also in the placing of new arrivals in the State in some channel of profitable industry. For years he was on the council of the Royal Agricultural Society, was for a term president of the society, and at the time of his death he was a vice-president. This society had no more energetic worker, and his services will be greatly missed both at the council meetings and at the annual shows. At the beginning of last year the deceased was mainly instrumental in forming the W.A. Merino Stud Sheepbreeders' Association, of which he was president and at a meeting of that body on Wednesday night, he was re-elected to the position. Mrs. Corbett survives him, but there were no children. A brother (Mr. James Corbett) is the City Treasurer, and another brother (Mr. Patrick Corbett) manages Springhill Estate. A sister (Mrs. Guilfoyle) resides at Geraldton.

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Citation details

'Corbett, Michael (Mick) (1860–1923)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/corbett-michael-mick-249/text1669, accessed 17 September 2019.

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