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Walker, George (1796–1883)

The venerable old colonist has been called over to the great majority, and many will miss his pleasant face. He was born in the great commercial capital of Scotland, the city of Glasgow, March 12, 1796. His father was engaged in manufacturing pursuits, and was in the employment, in a responsible position, of his relative, Robert Dalglish, Esq., one of the merchant princes of Glasgow, and one of whose sons, and succesor of the same name, was Lord Provost of, and represented the City in, the British Parliament for a number of years. Young George was intended for the Presbyterian ministry, for which he studied, and was licensed; but retired from the church, and, on the inducement of Dr. Lang, he came out to Australia in 1837. In 1838 he commenced scholastic work in Windsor and carried on teaching there for 21 years, until 1859, when, with advancing years and changing circumstances, he determined to retire from so harassing a profession. As a teacher, he was one of the old regime, a strict disciplinarian, who insisted upon careful study. For a short period subsequently to 1860 he acted as District Registrar, at Windsor, until the Government determined, on the score of economy, to transfer all such appointments where practicable to the clerks of petty sessions. Apart from scholastic work he witnessed many remarkable events. For instance, he was present at the launching of the first steamboat, namely, the historic Comet, of only 25 tons, which in 1811 was placed on the Clyde by the constructor, Henry Bell, and which has been the forerunner of the magnificent steamships now found in every sea, for which the Clyde builders are famous. He was a youth during the sanguinary Peninsular War which culminated in the battle of Waterloo, and he participated in the martial spirit of the time, which prompted even the boys of Glasgow to form themselves into juvenile regiments. He had an uncle by marriage, who was a non-commissioned officer in the celebrated and gallant Scots Greys, and he has told the writer how this brave warrior, who was one of the few who survived the fight and returned home, visited his father's family in uniform, described the battle, and drew and brandished his immense sword by way of illustration, giving the younger children about him a great fright. He was associated with the liberals of Glasgow in their agitations in support of Earl Grey's Reform Bill of 1832. In this colony he was an ardent follower and disciple of the late Dr. Lang, who in most things, political and religious, was his ''guide, philosopher, and friend."

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Citation details

'Walker, George (1796–1883)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/walker-george-16171/text28124, accessed 25 November 2017.

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