Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Petrie, Andrew Lang (1854–1928)

from Queenslander

The death on Sunday of Mr. Andrew Lang Petrie has removed a figure prominent for over 50 years in the political and commercial life of Queensland. The deceased gentleman, who has been seriously ill for about 12 months, and whose condition for the past week had been regarded as critical, would have been 74 years of age in June next. He will be sincerely mourned by friends and admirers throughout Australia. 

No name more honourably associated with the progress of the State of Queensland from the early days stands forth than that of the Petrie family. Mr. Andrew Lang Petrie was named Andrew after his grandfather, Andrew Petrie, who arrived in Sydney in one of Dr. Lang's ships, the Stirling Castle, in 1831, and the name Lang was bestowed from the late Dr. Lang, one of the most brilliant publicists of the earlier days of Australia, and certainly the prime mover in the immigration which helped to lay the solid and lasting foundation of Queensland colonisation. The pioneer of the Petries in Australia, Andrew Petrie of 1831, was formerly in the Royal Engineers, England, and he was appointed foreman of Government works in New South Wales in 1832. 

The Petries of Queensland, including the father of the man now mourned by all, came to Queensland in 1837. On arriving in Brisbane, John Petrie purchased an area of land in Queen-street, opposite the present Customs House, and at this spot was their home established and his excellent family reared. He was a pioneer citizen of Queensland, whose record will live while the history of the country is preserved. He was the first Mayor of Brisbane, was a consistent and self-sacrificing worker in laying the foundations of the future State, and was ever one of the most energetic and capable masters of industry. John Petrie was loved as well as respected, and was an employer whose records are even by the present generation held in the warmest affection. A contractor of wide estate, he opened up quarries, brickyards, &c., and none of the Petrie employees knew what it was to be without a friend in times of sickness or other adversity. Such was the record of John Petrie, and fashioned in similar mould was his stalwart son Andrew. 

Andrew was born at his father's residence on June 25, 1854, and was educated at the Normal and Collegiate schools. He made his business start in life in Her Majesty's Customs office, and there received the foundation of his future commercial education. Later on be became a partner in, and manager of, his father's very large contracting and industrial businesses in and around Albion, Clayfield, Eagle Junction, and other areas, and only too readily and gladly did he follow on the lines laid down by his father. The young manager of the firm, therefore, soon won confidence and affection by his fair and loyal treatment of the men working under him. He was elected a member of the Toombul Divisional Board, and held the position for about five years. The Hamilton being then constituted a new local authority, Mr. Petrie was elected chairman without opposition, and he held office until the close of 1892. Now being well qualified for a wider sphere in the development of the State, Mr. Petrie was in 1893 cordially requisitioned to contest the Toombul seat in Parliament, and was returned to the Legislative Assembly with a very large majority. Similarly was he honoured in 1896, 1899, 1902, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1915, 1918, 1920, and 1923, and he retired from politics at the 1926 election. His long run of election successes was a great achievement, and when Mr. Petrie won he always did so "hands down." Always a Liberal in politics, Mr. Petrie held the responsible and arduous position of Chief Whip to the party when that party was in power, and when in opposition similar responsibility rested upon his shoulders. Mr. Petrie was a member of the Brisbane General Cemetery Board, and was a director of several public and private institutions. He served on several Royal Commissions, including the Commission on Public Works appointed in 1900. 

The late Mr. Petrie was always a believer in fair play and freedom, and as a Queenslander had abounding love for, and faith in, his country. He saw the State grow from small to great things, and the name of Petrie will be always associated with the early growth of Queensland. 

He is survived by a widow and four children, Miss M. Petrie and Messrs. J. G., A. L., and E. S. Petrie, all of Brisbane.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Andrew Lang Petrie

Citation details

'Petrie, Andrew Lang (1854–1928)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/petrie-andrew-lang-16164/text28113, accessed 20 August 2017.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2017