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Leonard Albert Cuff (1866–1954)

Mr. Leonard Albert Cuff, one of Tasmania's outstanding sportsmen and sport administrators in the past half century, died at his home in Launceston on Friday night, in his 89th year.

Mr. Cuff, who was born in Christchurch (N.Z.), represented New Zealand for four seasons at cricket, and captained New Zealand against New South Wales, Queensland, and the 1896 Australian XI.

For 57 years he jointly held a first-wicket record in New Zealand cricket of 306, his contribution being 176.

He played cricket in Northern Tasmania, and in his best season scored 1,100 runs at an average of 77, hitting five centuries in the season.

He was president of the Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association for 15 years before retiring from the office in 1948.

He visited England in 1892 as a member of the New Zealand Amateur Athletic team, securing three firsts, three seconds, and three thirds on the tour.

He was one of the founders of the New Zealand Amateur Athletic Association.

He was the New Zealand representative at the conference in Sydney in 1897 when the Australian Amateur Athletic Union was formed.

After he came to Tasmania he won the Tasmanian open golf championship once, the Northern title three times, the Launceston club championship six times, and the foursomes championship of Tasmania, with the late T. E. C. Archer, three times.

He played golf for Tasmania against New South Wales and Victoria.

With Mr. Archer, he founded the Northern Tasmanian Golf Association, and was secretary for some years and later president.

He also assisted in the formation of the Tasmanian Golf Council, of which he was president for many years.

He was captain of the Launceston Golf Club eight times and president for three years.

Mr. Cuff laid out the Kings Meadows, Rosny, Longford, Campbell Town, and Greens Beach links.

At bowls Mr. Cuff represented and skipped for Tasmania against Victoria and South Australia, and for Northern Tasmania against the South.

In 1926 he won the Shield championship of Northern Tasmania, and skipped the winning team in the Tasmanian Shield competition.

Mr. Cuff arrived in Tasmania in October, 1899, to manage the Phoenix Assurance Co. in Launceston.

He later also managed the Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation for Tasmania.

He took over the management of W. T. Bell and Co. in 1916, and continued to control the two insurance companies.

He retired from W. T. Bell and Co. to take over the management of the Commercial Assurance Co. for Northern Tasmania and of the Ocean Corporation for Tasmania.

He was on the original committee of the Fire Underwriters Association of Tasmania, was vice-chairman on several occasions, and the first chairman, of the Accident Underwriters' Association.

He was a sharebroker in Launceston from 1936 until 1951.

Mr. Cuff was a foundation member of the Launceston Rotary Club, president in 1929-30, and an honorary member since 1937.

He was honorary treasurer of St. John Ambulance Association from 1929 to 1950, and was made an Officer of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

He was a member of the executive of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce for 21 years, from 1923 to 1945, and was president of the chamber for three years.

He was elected a life member in 1942.

He was on the committee of the Launceston Club for many years, vice-president for two years, and a life member since 1949.

Mr. Cuff married Miss Ella Kathleen Maddox, daughter of the late Dr. W. G. Maddox, in Launceston, in 1901, and is survived by his widow, one daughter, Mrs. J. S. Millen, and two sons, Messrs. Alan Cuff, Deloraine, and John Cuff, in Launceston.

An elder daughter (Mrs. H. G. Doolan) died some years ago.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Cuff, Leonard Albert (1866–1954)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

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