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David H. Power (1853–1924)

Mr. David H. Power, well-known in the Darling country years ago, and latterly in South Australia and New South Wales, died in Sydney on 21st May following an operation. He was the eldest son of the late Mr. David Power, of Moorak, near Mount Gambier, and later of Toorak, Victoria, who died in 1884. He was born on the station at Mount Gambier in 1853, and was sent to Scotland, to pursue his studies at St. Andrews, in Fifeshire. Afterwards he attended a school at Leamington, Warwickshire, England. At the close of his scholastic career he engaged with the London woolbroking firm of Southey, Balme and Co., and twelve months afterwards shipped for Victoria. For a few years in the early seventies he was in Queensland, but from then on until the end of the nineties his lot was cast on Polio and Cuthero Stations, River Darling, and it was here that the name of this honourable man stood out in such great lustre.

In 1899 he purchased Wirrilla Station, Manoora, S.A. This was originally a portion of the Martindale Estate, and comprised 5454 acres of excellent pastoral country. Subsequently it was purchased by the Government for closer settlement purposes, and Mr. Power bought another property at Georgetown, which carried the same name as his former place. This was sold in 1920 to Mr. R. Dawes. A year later he acquired an interest in the firm of Parsons and Robertson Limited, in which he was a director.

A year ago he purchased Widgeongully, in New South Wales, where he resided until his death. Mr. Power was twice married, and of the first marriage there survives a daughter, Miss Dove Power. In 1900 he married a daughter of the late Hon. J. Langdon Parsons, and sister of Mr. Justice Angas Parsons, Adelaide, and the widow and three sons survive—Keith (who is in England), Angas and Laurie Power (Widgeongully).

David Power was a great favourite with all who knew him. His ability as a sheepbreeder was generally recognised, but he will be specially remembered among those who were fortunate enough to come into contact with him as a kind, loyal, generous friend, and one who was the soul of honour. As one of his oldest friends writes of him:—

"He was the personification of all that men love to see in a man, excelling as a youth in running, riding, shooting, wrestling and boxing—generous, kind, and tender; gentlemanly in high degree, of honour unsurpassed; yet withal strong and resolute in difficulty, none of higher courage. He hated a wrong, no matter by whom perpetrated, and where the necessity arose could administer the fury of contemptuous indignation, or the might of blows. His was a combination of character and manhood, great in excellence and nobility, strength, wisdom, gentleness, honour, wit, courage, kindness and loyalty. He saw the Darling days from their inception of prosperity to their zenith and decay in 1902, and as manager of properties for his relatives he fought the vicissitudes of low wool prices, droughts and rabbits, with no mean ability and judgment. Afterwards he resided in South Australia, where he founded a valuable Merino stud flock at Wirrilla, and upon which he bestowed marked capability as a breeder, and attained to considerable success in the stud sheep world. His residence in South Australia added to his wide circle of friends, all of whom greatly mourn his decease.

'He was a man; take him all for all,
I shall not look upon his like again.'"

Original publication

Citation details

'Power, David H. (1853–1924)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

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