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Rodric Gordon O'Connor (1887–1939)

Well-known pastoralist and one of the most outstanding producers in Australia of fine Merino wool, Mr. Rodric Gordon O'Connor died at his home, "Connorville," Cressy, early last night. He was aged 52.

Mr. O'Connor, who was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. A. F. A. O'Connor, of "Benham," Avoca, was educated in England, and later at the Geelong Grammar School, Victoria.

The ROC brand, under which the wool of "Connorville" and "Benham" is sold, is known the world over, and Mr. O'Connor's sheep produce probably year in and year out the finest wool grown in the Commonwealth. Mr. O’Connor was his own studmaster and the constant improvement he made not only to the wool from his own flock but to that of the "Benham" flock, of the estate of his late brother, Mr. Arthur O'Connor and owned by his nephew, Mr. Barney O'Connor, was due largely to his knowledge and capable management.

The O'Connor family has grown wool since 1824. The "Connorville" and "Benham" estates have been handed down from O'Connors, and the name is known wherever wool men gather in Australia. The O'Connor family came to Tasmania early in the last century.

World Record Price

The world record price of 46 3/4d a lb. was obtained by Mr. O'Connor at the Launceston wool sales in 1937 for an offering of super fine Merino wool from "Connorville." At the sales in 1939 eight bales of extra super fine wool from "Connorville" was sold at 26 1/2d a lb. - an Australasian record for Merino. Mr. O'Connor had been manager of "Connorville" for the last 17 years.

Mr. O'Connor will be remembered for his kindly nature and personality, which made him a man loved by many people. He had a manner and nature which endeared him to all with whom he came in contact.

He was a keen golfer, at which sport he represented Tasmania. He was a winner of the Northern Tasmanian championship. He took great interest in horse racing, and his father at one time owned and bred racehorses. While at school he was a prominent cricketer and also played football. Mr. O'Connor was a member of the Launceston Club, and a member of the Launceston and Longford golf clubs.

He leaves a wife (formerly Miss May Fairthorne, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. F. K. Fairthorne) and one son, Rodric, who is a student at the Geelong Grammar School, Victoria. Interment will take place at the Pisa Cemetery to-morrow. The cortege will leave "Connorville," Cressy, at 3 p.m.

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Citation details

'O'Connor, Rodric Gordon (1887–1939)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 July 2024.

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