Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

George Thomas Rait (1842–1912)

George Rait, n.d.

George Rait, n.d.

from Pastoralists' Review, 15 October 1912

Mr. George Thomas Rait, a gentleman who for very many years was intimately connected with Australian finances, died at his residence at Beckenham, England, at the beginning of July. Mr. Rait had been ailing only a fortnight, but four years ago he suffered from a severe illness, and it was a recurrence of this that brought about his death. He was born at Milton, East Lothian, in July, 1842, and was educated in Scotland, finishing his studies at Edinburgh University. He became an accountant at Edinburgh, and after some years of professional work there, visited Australia, with which country he was identified commercially till the time of his death. In 1866 he went to London, where he became largely associated with joint-stock enterprises, and it was a singular fact in his career, proving the influence he exercised over his fellowmen, that of any concern he joined, he was almost invariably subsequently asked to become chairman. While acting in this capacity to the Crystal Palace Company he originated the idea of the great South African Exhibition which was held in 1895. He was also chairman of the Scottish-Australian Investment Company, Scottish-Australian Mining Company, and a governor of the Van Diemen's Land Company, a member of the Royal Colonial Institute and of the Royal Society of Arts. A forceful and persuasive speaker, and, above all, imbued with sound, common sense. Deep regret will be felt that such a man has passed away, but his memory will long remain fresh in the recollection of those with whom he came in contact and those who had the privilege of his friendship.

Original publication

Citation details

'Rait, George Thomas (1842–1912)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

George Rait, n.d.

George Rait, n.d.

from Pastoralists' Review, 15 October 1912

Life Summary [details]


July, 1842
Milton, East Lothian, Scotland


July, 1912 (aged ~ 70)
Bekenham, England

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.