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Sir James Oswald Fairfax (1863–1928)

James Oswald Fairfax, by Walter A. Bowring, 1929

James Oswald Fairfax, by Walter A. Bowring, 1929

National Portrait Gallery, 2002.79

By the death of Sir James Oswald Fairfax, which occurred on a golf links in Sydney yesterday, Australia and the rest of the British Empire loses a splendid citizen. Sir James Fairfax came of a family which has won a merited distinction in the history of Australia. His grandfather founded the Sydney Morning Herald, and set before himself, in the conduct of his paper, the highest ideals of public service and justice, which were faithfully kept in view by his son, the late Sir James Reading Fairfax, and the grandson who has just died. In Sydney and elsewhere in Australia it is said with pride that "the Fairfaxes always conducted their paper well," and that is very high praise, said as it is said. Sir James O. Fairfax might have enjoyed much more leisure than he did, but he believed that it was his duty to take an active and personal interest in all matters that affected the public welfare. His work as Chairman of the Australian Section of the Empire Press Union showed the earnestness of his spirit. Members of that section felt that in him they had an excellent leader and representative. As Chairman of the New South Wales Division of the Australian Red Cross Society also, Sir James O. Fairfax did not spare his energies. It was the very kind of work in which his humanity revelled. He was an Australian by birth, and an Australian in his manliness, his probity, his dislike of all show and bombast; and he was always proud of the land of his birth. And because he was proud of Australia he was a good citizen of the Empire. He was, in short, a man who in all things proved himself to be a representative Australian, and he would have asked no better reward than to be so regarded.

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'Fairfax, Sir James Oswald (1863–1928)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 July 2024.

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