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Turnbull, Richard (1875–1951)

In Melbourne on 29th June the death occurred of Mr. Richard Turnbull, of whom it may be said that he was the last of a dynasty of Victorian pastoralists who exercised a very wide influence over the industry in Central Western Queensland.

He was educated at Geelong Grammar School, Vic., and began his land career as a jackeroo on Evesham (Longreach) in the mid-nineties. He was later a partner in Baratria and in 1916 took over from his father the administration of his family's properties—Lansdowne, Evesham, Tambo, and Bayrick. He was also a director of the Portland Downs Pastoral Co. Ltd. and of the Western Queensland Meat Co. Ltd., while for very many years he was associated with the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co. Ltd., having been on the company's local board for Australia since 1913. He was actively administering his affairs until shortly before he died, having visited Lansdowne and Tambo as recently as last April.

As a young man Mr. Turnbull's sporting interests included rowing, at which he stroked his school crew. His elder son rowed in the winning Cambridge crew in 1939 and also for England in the Empire Games, but Richard Turnbull was perhaps best known for his association with horse racing, and particularly its executive side. He had been a committee member of the Victoria Racing Club since 1925 and chairman from 1942 until his recent resignation from the position, while a principal race of the V.R.C. Spring Meeting is named the Turnbull Stakes. Mr. Turnbull had the distinction of being the only V.R.C. chairman to see his own horse win a Melbourne Cup. This was in 1944, when Sirius was successful.

Mr. Turnbull's wife died in 1948, and their only two sons were killed in action in the second World War. One married daughter, living overseas, survives him.

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Citation details

'Turnbull, Richard (1875–1951)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/turnbull-richard-980/text981, accessed 18 October 2021.

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