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Falkiner, Norman Fraser (1872–1929)

MR. NORMAN FALKINER. DEATH IN LONDON.

Sportsman and Horse Breeder.

LONDON, May 12.

The death is announced of Mr. Norman Fraser Falkiner, member of the Legislative Council of Victoria. Mr. Falkiner left Melbourne in the Mongolia on March 26 to consult specialists in London in regard to his health. His condition became worse on the steamer, and immediately upon his arrival he entered a nursing home.

Mr. Falkiner, who was aged 56 years, was a son of the late Mr. F. S. Falkiner, a well-known pastoralist who owned a number of stations in Victoria and the Riverina. He was born in Geelong in 1872, and was educated at the Geelong Grammar School, where he took a leading part in football and rowing. He and his brothers have left an enduring memorial of their gratitude to their old school in the form of a chapel, which they recently caused to be erected in the grounds of Geelong Grammar School at a cost of £16,000. After leaving school Mr. Falkiner went into the pastoral industry as manager of his father's station, Moonbria, near Jerilderie. He later managed Moira, at Moama, and Boonoke North, then known as Widgiewa. Mr. Falkiner then bought Tuppal station, which he afterwards sold to Mr. Ben Chaffey, finally purchasing Noorilim, which he owned until his death. Apart from breeding racehorses and merinos Mr. Falkiner was also interested in Clydesdale horses, Shorthorn cattle, and Border Leicester sheep, and animals from his studs were always eagerly sought by purchasers. Fond of sport and outdoor life generally, Mr. Falkiner possesed a nature that endeared him to a wide circle of friends who will deeply mourn his death.

Until last year, Mr Falkiner had never taken an active part in public affairs. He then stood as Nationalist candidate for for the Melbourne South Province in the Legislative Council and after a close contest, in which Mr E. R. Reynolds and Mr Falkiner ran almost neck-and-neck, Mr. Falkiner obtained a margin of 23 votes over Mr. Reynolds on the second count, and was then easily able to defeat the Labour candidate on the non-Labour preferences. Mr. Falkiner did not make many speeches in the Council but when he spoke he contributed something consturctive and was heard with respect.

Mr Falkiner who was known to racing men is the owner of the famous Noorilini stud in the Goulburn Valley and as the owner of a great many racehorses. At Noorilini Mr. Falkiner bred some of the best horses that have ever raced in Australia. His constant aim was to acquire for his stud the best blood available, and for many years the leading sire at Noorilini was Comedy King. In several seasons Comedy King was at the head of the list of winning sires in Australia, and other stallions with whom Mr. Falkiner did well were Spearhead and Crowdennis.

As the owner of racehorses, Mr Falkiner was most successful, and for may years he was never far from the head of the list of winning ownes in Australia and New Zealand. One of his favourite horses was that great steeplechaser Bullawarra, winner of the Australian Steeplechase in 1913, when he carried 12:11. Later Bullawarra was sent to England. He was at the Liverpool Grand National Steeplechase, but he fell when carrying 11:12 — eqal top weight. Another great steeplechaser raved by Mr. Falkiner in more recent years was Clan Robert, who in 1926 won the V.R.C. Grand National Steeplechase at Flemington. Hamnan, too, was successful over fences for Mr. Falkiner.

Red Signal was a good performer owned by Mr. Falkiner. Among his wins were the Maribyrnong Plate and the V.R.C. Sires' Produce Stakes. He started second favourite for the V.J.C. Sires' Produce Stakes but he finished only fourth. The race was one by Cetigne. Midilli won a Caulfield Guineas for Mr. Falkiner but she failed in the Derby and Oaks. Among the others in which Mr. Falkiner won races were Land of Song, Snitch, Sonora, Widgiewa, Lord Walla, Even Song, Court Jester, Lucky Escape, Red Dome, Adorn, Grey Abbey, and Sir Prim. One of his best recent performers was Valwyne, a particularly good mare at Caulfield.

Mr. Falkiner was a member of the committe of the Williamstown Racing Club.

Mr. Falkiner married in April, 1901, Miss Mary Louise Smithwick, the only daughter of Canon Smithwick of Monastreven, Co. Kildare, Ireland. There are seven children, Mrs M.L. Blakeney, wife of Captain Blakeney of the Indian Army; Nancy, Standish, Marjorie, Tempe, Elizabeth and Norman. His brothers are Messrs F.B.S., Ralph, Otway, and Leigh Falkiner, and his sisters Mrs. Fred Knight,  Mrs H.L. Wilkinson, and Mrs. L.F. McBean, all of Melbourne.

Original publication

Citation details

'Falkiner, Norman Fraser (1872–1929)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/falkiner-norman-fraser-19528/text30890, accessed 24 January 2018.

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