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Forster, Thomas Richmond (1862–1951)

Thomas Forster, n.d.

Thomas Forster, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 June 1951

Thomas Richmond Forster, widely known and well loved throughout New England and further afield, died at his station home—Abington, in the Armidale district of New South Wales— on the 11th May in his ninetieth year.

The second son of Christopher Brooks Forster and Catherine Marzetti, he was educated at The King's School—at the time of his death he was its oldest "Old Boy"—and at the age of 15 (in 1877) he joined the Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney, subsequently becoming manager of its Raymond Terrace and Paterson branches. In 1891 he married Kate Sarah, eldest daughter of the late Mr. F. R. White, of Booloominbah, Armidale, and the same year bought Abington from Messrs. Morse Bros., gradually improving it into a beautiful park-like property and building good homes on it for his employees. In 1904 he added to it by the purchase of 10,000 acres of adjoining country called Nuandle from Mr. Joseph Scholes.

In 1923 Mr. Forster bought 14,000 acres of Yallaroi, called it Murgo, and formed a partnership of Forster and Sons, whose pastoral interests have of latter years been managed by the youngest son (Geoffrey). Nuandle and Murgo were subsequently disposed of.

A great enthusiast for the improvement of stock quality, the late Mr. Forster in 1894 founded a fine wool Merino stud on Harben Vale blood and this is still maintained, being No. 1 Stud in the Australian Stud Merino Flock Register. Another highly successful stud venture was initiated when in 1920 he imported ten Aberdeen Angus cows and one bull from New Zealand for his second son Norman, who on that foundation built up a stud which became world-famed. Mr. Forster always bred good saddle horses, ponies, and draughts, and Abington horses are still a fine lot.

No one was keener or more practically helpful than Mr. Forster in improving facilities for education. For 30 years, from 1904 till 1934, he was a member of The Armidale School Board; he gave Booloominbah homestead and land to Australia as a New England University site and was deputy chairman of the Advisory Council; he was one of the founders of Cranbrook School, Sydney; and he gave memorial gates to The Armidale School in memory of Old Boys killed during the 1914-18 war. He was a member of Armidale Diocesan Synod from 1904 and a Lay Canon, a member of the Armidale P.P. Board in the '90's, and for very many years a member of the Graziers' Association of New South Wales and the N.S.W. Sheepbreeders' Association.

Mr. Forster is survived by his daughter Dorothy and son Geoffrey. His wife died in February 1949, his eldest son Frederick, M.C., Lieut. R.F.A., was killed in 1917, and his second son Norman died in November 1949.

Original publication

Citation details

'Forster, Thomas Richmond (1862–1951)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/forster-thomas-richmond-394/text395, accessed 13 December 2017.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2017

Thomas Forster, n.d.

Thomas Forster, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 June 1951