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Norman Wilson (1849–1924)

There is something mournfully appropriate in referring to the death of Mr. Norman Wilson, following a discussion on the recent Caulfield meeting. Mr. Wilson was the moving spirit in the formation of the Victoria Amateur Turf Club, which originally had its headquarters at Ballarat, but was afterwards moved to Caulfield. From the beginning he was directly connected with the club until he went to Queensland in 1898.

He was appointed judge at Caulfield on his return in 1905, and in 1913 was appointed to fill the same position at Flemington.

Though it was probably through this that he was best known to the general public and the younger generation of sportsmen, Mr. Wilson played many parts in his time.

In conjunction with a brother he was for many years prominent in pastoral matters, and it was from one of their stations that the Coongy Handicap, a race at Caulfield, gets its name. Mr. Wilson was a fearless horseman and a sportsman in the truest sense of the word.

It was his very life, and if it cost him dear at times, as it has done many another, I feel sure he always met it with philosophical resignation. I have often likened Mr. Wilson in this respect to two other sportsmen long since deceased, who strove to attain their object as far as sport was concerned regardless of what it would cost. One was Mr. Pierre Lorillard, the great American sportsman, who won the English Derby of 1881 with Iroquois, and the other was Mr. J. R. Smith, of Tucca Tucca, so well known in connection with Gozo and other horses.

To hold the various positions he did until he was over seventy years of age, and to still retain some of them until a few months before his death at seventy-four, shows the unbounded energy of this splendid specimen of a sportsman.

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'Wilson, Norman (1849–1924)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

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