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Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Buckland, Edwin (1871–1959)

by Charles Fahey

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, (MUP), 1993

Edwin Buckland (1871-1959), shire councillor, was born on 14 June 1871 at White Hills, Victoria, son of James Smith Buckland, a butcher from England, and his Adelaide-born wife Elizabeth, née Smith. The family left Sandhurst in 1880 and bought Kington Vineyard in the neighbouring district of Goornong. On 15 December 1897 Edwin married Julia Henrietta Oberin at St George's Anglican Church, Goornong.

Having invested in the gold-mines at Fosterville in 1896, Edwin worked for ten years as engine driver for Stewarts United Gold Mining Co., of which he and his father were part-owners. In 1906 he returned to the family farm and four years later was elected to the Huntly Shire Council. He served as a councillor for the next forty-nine years and was reputed to have missed only two meetings; he was president on seven occasions, the first in 1914, the last in 1959.

As councillor, Buckland took a keen interest in local issues; he was active in securing the provision of water for the town of Goornong and in erecting several local bridges. More important to him was the provision of reliable water for the farmers of the Huntly and surrounding districts. He attended the first meeting (1904) convened to call for the damming of Lake Eppalock, acted as the secretary of the Coliban investigation committee and gave evidence to government inquiries into the project, but was to die before he saw the completion of his dream.

Aware of the need for local councils to act in concert, from 1914 Buckland was a member of the Municipal Association of Victoria (president 1946) and of the Northern Municipal Association which he served as president for twenty-two years. He was, as well, a foundation and life member of the Victorian Decentralisation League, president of the Bendigo Agricultural Society and belonged to the Victorian Country Fire Authority (president 1954). Involved in many other community organizations, he was also a justice of the peace for more than thirty years and a sworn valuator for at least twenty-two. For his services to the Huntly council, he was appointed M.B.E. in 1950.

Ted Buckland was said to be 'the best known personality in Bendigo and the North'. Although his ideas were not always shared, the Elmore Standard reported that everyone admired 'the enthusiasm which he infused into everything which he considered would be for the advantage of his district'. A Freemason of long standing, he was master of the Campaspe Lodge at Elmore. He died on 31 May 1959 at White Hills and was buried in Bendigo cemetery. Predeceased by his wife, he was survived by five daughters and three sons.

Select Bibliography

  • Shire of Huntly Anniversary Book (Elmore, Vic, 1941)
  • M. Shaw, Our Goodly Heritage (Bendigo, Vic, 1966)
  • Annals of Bendigo, 7, 1988
  • Age (Melbourne), 1 June 1959
  • Bendigo Advertiser, 1 June 1959
  • Elmore Standard, 4 June 1959.

Citation details

Charles Fahey, 'Buckland, Edwin (1871–1959)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1993, accessed online 23 September 2020.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, (MUP), 1993

View the front pages for Volume 13

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