Collingwood Notables Database
Violet St Clare Langley
Always formally referred to as Miss Langley throughout her employment, Violet St Clare Langley was matron of the Collingwood Crèche for nine years, from 1889 until 1898. The Crèche was established by the Reverend Dr Charles Strong and his wife Janet to provide a safe affordable place for poor working women of Collingwood to leave their children to be cared for. Matron Langley, known in family circles as Clare or Clara, lived in and had a long working day.
Laura Lydia (Dorothy) Langley
Teacher, nurse, welfare worker
Laura Langley resided only briefly in Collingwood at the time of the 1890s recession, but she played an active role there as an agent of the Australian Church. Working with the Church’s Social Improvement Society, which had been established by the Reverend Charles Strong, her role included managing a receiving house for neglected children. The principal object of the society was ‘by lectures, visiting among the poor and sick, care for neglected children, social meetings and every other means in its power — to improve the social condition of the poor’.
George David Langridge
Carpenter, contractor, estate agent, councillor, mayor, Member of Parliament, Protectionist
Langridge will be a name familiar to Collingwood residents, if for no other reason than the existence of the street named after him. Many others will have admired his mansion in North Terrace, Clifton Hill, probably without knowing for whom it was built. They may also have noticed the large building at 64 Smith Street known as Foresters Hall and wondered what the words on the pediment – Court Perseverance - signify. To nineteenth century Collingwoodians, on the other hand, he would have been a household name in his role as councillor, politician, auctioneer, proprietor of the Langridge Mutual Permanent Building Society, and Freemason, not to mention his involvement with local cricketing and football teams. And as he entered the Victorian Government Ministry, eventually acting briefly as Premier, he was known far more widely.
Ralph Herbert Laver
Fruit and vegetable preserver
Ralph Laver was the youngest of a family of seven talented brothers who made their mark on the world in medicine, music, sport and manufacturing. He established himself in Collingwood in 1893, first as a greengrocer and then as a fruit and vegetable canner with his brother, developing a large trade throughout Australia as well as England and China. Laver Brothers also supplied tinned vegetables and fruit for Mawson’s Antarctic Expedition.
Draper, photographer, magistrate
Levens ran a drapery in Wellington Street for many years and was active in the Collingwood community, being appointed an honorary magistrate in 1877 and acting as a member of the Collingwood School Board of Advice in the 1870s and 1880s. At the time of his death he was the oldest justice of the peace in Collingwood.
Andrew Cairncross Livingston
Doctor of Medicine
Dr A C Livingston was a medical practitioner who also served as the Honorary Officer of Health for the Collingwood municipality from October 1856 until his death in 1884. He was a member of a family whose destiny has been shaped by medicine until the present day. The many generations of doctors and nurses range from his grandfather Dr Alexander Livingston, regimental surgeon in the 73rd Regiment of Foot, to the distinguished Brenan descendants of his brother James Cooper Livingston.
Harriet Elizabeth Longdill
Teacher, child welfare worker, suffragist
Harriet Longdill spent less than a decade in Collingwood, but held a significant post as a deaconess of the Australian Church. She worked with the Church’s Social Improvement, Friendly Help and Children’s Aid Society, which had been established by the Reverend Charles Strong. A major component of her role was managing a receiving house for neglected children, so she became a well-known face in local courthouses in the 1890s before returning to New Zealand in 1896.
The Lynch family lived in Abbotsford for around seventy years. George arrived in Victoria in the 1850s and was an accountant in the Sheriff's department before being appointed deputy sheriff of Victoria, a position he kept until his retirement at the age of 60. Anne Morton came to Australia in 1855, following her brother George Morton whose letters home about life in the colony must have proved enticing. Some of Anne’s letters to England have also been preserved. She was living in Richmond when she met and married George Lynch and bore their first child. The young couple soon moved into a wooden cottage in Victoria Street, Abbotsford and later added a brick villa on their large block.