No corrections yet
THE HON. G. W. COLE.
THE Hon. George Ward Cole, M.L.C. for the Cen tral Province, died at his residence,- Bay-street, North Brighton, on Saturday, April 26, at the ad vanced age of 86.
According to "O'Byrne's Naval Biography," George Ward Cole, who was born in 1793, entered the navy in October, 1807,as volunteer on board the Lark, 18 guns, Captain Kobert Nicholas, which was placed on the Jamaica station, and there he soon at tained the rating of midshipman, Subsequently he served in the Fleur de la Mer, schooner, Lieutenant commander Daly, and the Daadalus, 32, Captain S. H. Inglefield. In 1810 he joined the Princess of Orange, 74, flag-ship in the Downs of Vice-admiral George Campbell. In November of the same year he was transferred to the Cracker, and on the 22nd of that month he took, in the North sea, the Diane, privateer, of four guns and 22 men. He remained in tho Cracker until January, 1814, serving under Lieutenant - commanders H. P. Jauncey and M. Felton. Ile then joined the Tonnant, 80, flagship of Sir Alexander Coch rane. In December, 1814, he was promoted to the command, with the rank of acting-lieutenant, of the Destructive, gun vessel. He was concerned in the expedition against New Orleans, and was slightly wounded during a serious conilict, which resulted in the capture, by the British, of five American gunboats. In March,' 1815, he was confirmed in the rank of lieutenant, when he returned to England in the Wasp, sloop (Captain John Fisher). During the two following years Mr. Cole served in the West Indies on board the Primrose, 18 (Captain C. G. R. Phillott) ; the Pique, 30 (Captains J. H. Tait and
John MMÍellar) ; and the Active, 38 (Captain P. Carteret). While in the Primrose, on her passage from England to Jumaica, Mr. Cole intrepidly plunged overboard, and, at the risk of his own life, saved that of one of the crew. In October, 1817, he retired from the service on half-pay. He was promoted subsequently to the rank of com mander, his seniority dating from December 7. 1837.
Captain Cole subsequently engaged in various mercantile pursuits, and in 1839 he came to Port Phillip. Here he found ample employment for his active mind. He entered upon the business of a merchant, shipping agent, and bonded store keeper. He purchased several allotments at the Government land sale held early in 1839. He had not been in Melbourne long before he was honoured with several public appointments. He was created a local director of the Bank of Australasia, a member of the committee formed to promote immigration independently of the Sydney Government, a director of the Port Phillip Steam Navigation Company, a trustee of the Port Phillip Savings Bank, and a director of the Mel bourne Fire and Marine Assurance Company. He assisted at the reception given to Sir George Gipps, Governor of New South Wales, on visiting Port Phillip in October, 1841, and was chairman of the committee to whom the arrangements for a public dinner to his Excellency were entrusted. He built the City ot' Melbourne, the first steam ship constructed in the colony. In 1842 ho bought the land on tho north bank of the Yarra on which now stands Cole's Wharf. In constructing this great public accommodation, the expenditure out stripped calculation, and Captain Cole became in volved in difficulties., A composition with credi tors had to be made, but afterwards Captain Cole was enabled to discharge all his liabilities in full. For a few years Captain Cole devoted himself to squatting. During that time he was the holder of a station in the Pyrenes district, which has since been known as Mount Cole.
Separation having been obtained, Captain Cole was disposed to take a part in the deliberations of the first Legislative Council of Victoria. With that view he became a candidate for the repre sentation of the city of Melbourne at the election in 1P51, but was unsuccessful. However, on Mr. Robert Turnbull resigning his seat for Gippsland, early in 1853, Captain Cole offered himself for the vacancy and was elected. Soon after his election he obtained the appointment of a select committee to consider the harbour regulations, as they affected the shipping interest, and especially witt reference to the then existing system of pilotage. He assisted in the framing of the Constitution Act, and he remained in the Legislative Council until May, 1855, when he resigned.
In August, 1857, Captain Cole was created a territorial magistrate, having been for five years previous a magistrate for the city of Melbourne. Shortly afterwards he paid a visit to Europe, where he remained about two years. On his return, in 1859, he was elected to represent the Central Province in the Upper House in succession to Mr. John Hood, who had resigned. The follow ing year he was re-elected for a period of 10 years without opposition. He was also re elected in 1870 for a Bimilar period. For some
years he was the representative of the M'Culloch . Government in the Legislative Council. Captain Cole had his own views, and they placed him, as a rule, in opposition to the groat majority of his fellow members ; but he was undeterred, and struggled gallantly on despite all difficulties. His age and his venerable appearance made him one of the most conspicuous figures of the Council Chamber.
Captain Cole was a strong protectionist, and at one time set forth his views on the question in a pamphlet. He took a great interest in the estab lishment of a Mol bourne Harbour Trust and in the
defences of Port Phillip ; and it may be mentioned that be was the originator of the design to im¿ prove the Yarra by cutting through Fishermans Bend, which is now likely to be adopted. Captain Cole waB twice married, and had seven children, only three of whom survive him.