12.6 C
Newcastle

Maitland unveils six inductees to its Hall of Fame

SHARE

Pride was at the forefront of a special ceremony, acknowledging six incredible individuals, at the Maitland Park Rotunda on Tuesday.

With delighted families, friends and dignitaries looking on, Jane Taylor (2021), Lance Murray (2021), Colonel Alexander Wilkinson VD (2023), Henry Chamberlain Russell (2023), Lieutenant Colonel Robert Scobie VD MID (2023) and Robert Fletcher Watson (2023) were inducted into the City of Maitland Hall of Fame on 28 May.

Frederick Goode OAM accepting on behalf of Colonel Alexander Wilkinson VD; Carolyn Murray accepting on behalf of Lance Murray; Sue Flannery accepting on behalf of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Scobie VD MID; Peter Woodley accepting on behalf of Henry Chamberlain Russell; Maitland City mayor Philip Penfold; Jane Taylor; and Terry Bailey accepting on behalf of Robert Fletcher Watson. Photo: Rod Thompson

The service also doubled as an opportunity for council to unveil the honourees at the newly-refurbished gazebo, with a physical representation now in place.

Maitland City budgeted $50,000 for the renovation project, which saw the historic Maitland Park Rotunda upgraded with new pavers and engraved with the names of the new, as well previous, inductees to create a lasting tribute to its most notable citizens.

Established in 2016, the Hall of Fame celebrates residents from across the community who have made outstanding achievements and contributions in their respective fields, spanning everything from arts, theatre, literature and education to sport, science, research, business, military service and more.

Due to the postponement of the 2021 ceremony, courtesy of COVID-19, those inductees were installed with the class of 2023.

Maitland City mayor Philip Penfold with [left to right] Councillor Ben Whiting; Carolyn Murray accepting on behalf of Lance Murray; Terry Bailey accepting on behalf of Robert Fletcher Watson; Frederick Goode OAM accepting on behalf of Colonel Alexander Wilkinson VD; Peter Woodley accepting on behalf of Henry Chamberlain Russell; Sue Flannery accepting on behalf of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Scobie VD MID; Jane Taylor; and Councillor Sally Halliday. Photo: Rod Thompson

“The City of Maitland Hall of Fame is about honouring local people who have truly made a difference in our community,” Maitland City mayor Philip Penfold said.

“Many of our inductees have spent their entire lives in Maitland, while others joined us later, but all have made significant contributions to our city.

“Placing the physical depiction of the Maitland Hall of Fame in the Maitland Park Rotunda allows us to celebrate and showcase our Hall of Fame inductees with the entire community.

“With construction dating back to 1908, it boasts a rich history, from hosting concerts to being a symbol of community gatherings.

“Now, the rotunda will serve as the home for our Hall of Fame inductees, elevating its importance within Maitland Park.”

Carolyn Murray accepting on behalf of Lance Murray; Terry Bailey accepting on behalf of Robert Fletcher Watson; Frederick Goode OAM accepting on behalf of Colonel Alexander Wilkinson VD; Peter Woodley accepting on behalf of Henry Chamberlain Russell; Sue Flannery accepting on behalf of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Scobie VD MID; and Jane Taylor. Photo: Rod Thompson

Maitland City Hall of Fame inductees

Jane Taylor (2021)

Jane Taylor, born in Maitland in 1972, had a distinguished 20-year tennis career.

She became the youngest Maitland Sportsperson of the Year at age 11 in 1984 and was the top ranked NSW female tennis player for her age group. She won her first international title at 13 and accumulated 10 ITF Singles Titles and four ITF Doubles Titles.

Notably, she was the Australian Singles Champion for under 16 and 18 in 1988.

Jane competed in the Australian Open, reaching the third round in 1994 and the second round in doubles in 1995.

She was named Maitland Citizen of the Year in 2000 and later founded a life coaching business.

Maitland City mayor Philip Penfold with Carolyn Murray, who accepted the honour on behalf of Lance Murray.

Lance Murray (2021)

Lance Murray, a long-time resident of the Maitland area, was dedicated to preserving Aboriginal heritage and serving the community.

A respected advocate for protecting local Aboriginal sites and artefacts, he shared his extensive collection and knowledge through inclusive historical presentations.

As a curator, Lance visited schools to teach about Aboriginal culture, including music and storytelling.

He made history as the first Aboriginal person elected to Maitland Council in 1988 and was named Maitland Citizen of the Year in 2014.

Colonel Alexander Wilkinson VD (2023)

Colonel Alexander Wilkinson VD arrived in Maitland in 1832 at age six and spent most of his life there.

He joined the Northumberland Volunteer Rifle Company as a Private in 1860 and rose to lieutenant colonel of the Fourth Infantry Regiment.

In 1885, he commanded the northern district reserves and retired as a colonel in 1893.

Wilkinson served as an Alderman of West Maitland for 21 years and was mayor multiple times between 1883 and 1904, passing away while in office.

He married in 1852 and had six children.

Henry Chamberlain Russell (2023)

Henry Chamberlain Russell, born in West Maitland in 1836, attended West Maitland Grammar School before studying at Sydney University.

He became a prominent 19th century Australian scientist, serving as Government Astronomer at the Sydney Observatory from 1870 to 1905.

Russell made significant contributions to astronomy, meteorology and earth sciences, earning national and international recognition.

He established a network of weather stations in NSW, set data collection standards and was involved in major scientific ventures.

He also promoted technical education, presided over major scientific societies in Australia and was a fellow of the Royal Society in Britain.

Russell advocated for a national approach to meteorology and pioneered the idea of climate cycles and integrated hemispheric observations.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Scobie VD MID (2023)

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Scobie VD (MID) was born on 31 March 1871, at ‘The Gardens’ Oakhampton.

He attended local schools and was among the first students at Maitland Boys High School in 1884, where he joined the School Cadet Corps and the local militia unit.

Scobie married Flora Crichton in 1906, and they had three children.

He lived in ‘Stirling’ West Maitland until his death at Lone Pine in 1915.

Scobie served in the military for 31 years, including the militia, Boer War and WWI.

Respected by his men and community, his legacy is commemorated by the naming of the Rutherford Army Depot ‘Scobie Depot’ and a ‘Last Post Ceremony’ at the Australian War Memorial.

Robert Fletcher Watson (2023)

Robert Fletcher Watson, originally from Donegal, Ireland, immigrated to Australia in 1855.

He settled in Maitland with his wife Margaret Cuthbertson, raising nine children.

Watson gained fame as a remarkable athlete, winning numerous foot races, including the Sydney Cup in 1873.

His race times along Belmore Road and Belmore Track in 1874 and 1878 still stand as world records today.

Known as the world’s greatest short run athlete, Watson drew crowds of thousands when he competed.

Even after his running career, he remained active in Maitland sports, sharing his passion with the community.

For more community stories:

Get all the latest Newcastle news, sport, real estate, entertainment, lifestyle and more delivered straight to your inbox with the Newcastle Weekly Daily Newsletter. Sign up here.

More Stories

Newcastle Weekly

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Newcastle Weekly. News, Community, Lifestyle, Property delivered direct to your inbox! 100% Local, 100% Free.

You have Successfully Subscribed!