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Affleck, William James (1868–1932)

With the death of Mr. William James Affleck (president of the Royal National Agricultural Association), which occurred at St. Martin's Hospital last night, there passed a notable figure in the commercial and agricultural life of the State. Born at Warwick 64 years ago, Mr. Affleck's early boyhood was spent on a farm at North Toolburra, where his aged mother still resides. He was educated at the Warwick State School, and after coming to Brisbane at the Normal School. On bidding farewell to the classroom, 47 years ago, he entered the service of the National Mutual Life Association. Steadily mounting the ladder of success, he was entrusted with important pioneering insurance work at Bowen. So successfully were his duties accomplished that he was next sent to Townsville, and finally returned to Brisbane to take over the important post of manager for Queensland. About six months ago he went into retirement, and was granted extended leave of absence, which had not expired at the time of his death.

It was while Mr Affleck was in Townsville that he became closely associated with the local Agricultural Society, and was a keen competitor in the horse and Jersey cattle sections. When he returned to Brisbane he linked up with the Royal National Agricultural Association, of which he was an enthusiastic and active member for 31 years. He was for 29 years officially connected with the council of the association. Mr Affleck interested himself in the dairy cattle section, and as a result the Brisbane Exhibition is to-day one of the largest dairy cattle shows in the world. It is generally admitted that this is due to his untiring labours. Affleck House in the Royal National Association's grounds stands as a constant reminder of his great work on behalf of the dairy cattle breeders of Queensland. At one time he held the position of president of both the Ayrshire and Jersey Cattle Societies. He was one of those first seized with the idea of establishing herd books and herd book societies and in the early days practically conducted the herd book in an honorary capacity.

Consequent upon the splendid work performed by him he was appointed honorary treasurer of the association, a position he held for seven years. For five years, from 1922 to 1927, he was chairman of the Council. His achievements throughout that period earned for him elevation to the presidential chair. His election took place in November, 1930 in succession to the late Mr Ernest Baynes.

Mr Affleck was also closely associated with the Brisbane Rotary Club, of which he was a foundation member. Ultimately he was honoured by the members with the distinction of a past service membership in recognition of his intense interest in the clubs affairs. He was a member of the Brisbane Club, and was actively connected with the Auchenflower Bowling Club.

He is survived by his widow, two daughters (Mrs Eric Lahey, of Brisbane, and Mrs Mackay Charles, of Longreach), and a son (Mr K. Affleck, of Brisbane). The funeral will leave the funeral parlour of Cannon and Cripps, 45 Adelaide Street, City, at 4 p.m. to-day, for the Toowong Cemetery.

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Citation details

'Affleck, William James (1868–1932)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/affleck-william-james-13472/text24162, accessed 3 December 2022.

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