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Robert Buck Leake (1837–1924)

The death occurred to-day of Mr. Robert Buck Leake at an advanced age at his residence, 168 Grosvenor-road, North Perth. Old residents and particularly those who have for many years been connected with the pastoral industry, will learn with deep regret of his passing, for the deceased was one of the foremost workers whose aim was to put the pastoral industry on a sound footing in this State.

The late Mr. Leake was born at Bradlington, New Yorkshire, England, and came to Australia in the sailing ship True Briton, lauding at Melbourne in 1857. Mr. Leake was a chemist by profession, and after he had spent ten years in Melbourne he found that his health was giving out and decided to go elsewhere to recuperate. Upon arrival in Western Australia he met—by letter of introduction—Mr. Robert Hardey, of Mt. Hardey, York. He accepted the advice of this good Weatralian and took up pastoral pursuits in the Moorinoppin district. When the land was selected there were no other pioneers—with the exception of. Mr. C. S. Massingham— for miles around, these two hardy settlers, resourceful, far seeing and courageous, being the only settlers between York and the South Australian border for many years.

For a number of years the late Mr. Leake worked hard on his station, and when he came to retire 35 years ago the station was in a high state of improvement, while much had been done to elevate the class of stock bred. The deceased was first married to Miss Parker, of York, and again some years after his wife died, to Miss Massingham.

Widespread sympathy is felt for the widow and family, consisting of four sons and two daughters. When the deceased retired from his farm his son, Mr. Maitland Leake, took it over, Mr. Hubert Leake taking up the property now known as 'Mooninoppin West' and Mr. Bruce Leake (the well-known flock master) the adjoining estate of Cardonia. The youngest son, Harry, engaged in farming interests at Kununoppin. Upon retirement the late Mr. Leake took up residence in Perth until the outbreak of the great war, when he went to Kununoppin to look after his son's property during his absence at the front, and remained there for a period of 10 years, returning not so very long ago to Perth. One daughter, the late Mrs. W. H. Shields, pre-deceased her father some little time.

Mr. Robert Leake was a man who won the respect of the whole State for his uprighteous character, his pioneering ambition, his steadfastness of purpose and high ideals. He was in everv sense of the word the right type of settler, and his kindly influence will be sadly missed. Through out his long life he took a great interest in the affairs of big district and State, and his helpful advice to those who settled around him and helped to make the Eastern districts what they are to-day will long be remembered with gratitude. It was only natural to suppose that a man of such outstanding ability and of such noble purpose would be selected as a justice of the peace for the whole of the State. Mr. Robt. Leake carried out this duty for the past 30 years. The aboriginals resident in the Moorinoppin district were the deceased's special care, and during his life he did much for their comfort. His friends of the old days still tell many humorous reminiscences of the early pioneering days. Church affairs also claimed a fair share of Mr. Leake's time. He was the son of a Methodist minister, and throughout his life in Australia had been identified with the growth that church.

Original publication

Citation details

'Leake, Robert Buck (1837–1924)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 11 December 2023.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2023

Life Summary [details]


3 February, 1837
Bridlington, North Yorkshire, England


24 April, 1924 (aged 87)
North Perth, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

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