Collingwood Notables Database
Contractor at Clifton Hill Quarries, early settler, Councillor, land owner.
George Nelson Raymond
Shoemaker, last maker, knife maker
Canadian-born U.S. citizen George Raymond set up in business as a bespoke boot and shoemaker in Smith Street. In the 1870s he advertised himself in the local paper as a ‘Fashionable Boot and Shoe Maker’:
Plain and fancy goods made to order on shortest notice. Fit guaranteed. Lasts
draughted with care and skill to meet the requirements of all feet. Repairs done.
Percy Rendle was the founder of Rendle and Sons, a furniture warehouse in Smith Street Collingwood which continued operating for about 70 years. It was advertised as ‘Complete House Furnishers’ and stocked ‘furniture, oilcloths, linoleums, carpets, crockery, ironmongery &c.’ In the late 19th and early 20th century Smith Street was an important shopping centre for drapers and furniture stores and Rendle rightly judged that the market was ready for another retail emporium, especially one that offered the popular option of time payment.
Lewis Thomas Charles (Lou) Richards, MBE
Footballer, publican, newspaper commentator, radio and television personality
Collingwood born and bred Lou Richards was an Australian icon - often described as a multi-media megastar - loved and respected for his football prowess but even more widely for his football commentary and good-natured antics in print, radio and television. On his death in 2017 he was honoured with a State Funeral at a packed St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate his life. In its tribute the Victorian Government stated ‘his reach transcended his time as a player … and he went on to represent the sport through his enduring and distinguished career within the media'.
Ulysses Rizzi was an acclaimed flower painter and decorator whose work may still be seen at Villa Alba in Kew and the Lady Chapel at St Francis Catholic Church in Lonsdale Street Melbourne. A resident of Victoria Parade, he also taught drawing at the Collingwood School of Design and Fitzroy School of Art.
Thomas William (Tom) Roberts
Tom Roberts came to live in Collingwood in 1869 as a boy aged 14 when his widowed mother emigrated to Australia with her three children. He first studied art and design in Collingwood, where he also developed an appreciation of the Australian landscape. Over the years he became one on Australia’s best known painters.
Coach builder, blacksmith, wheelwright
George Roberts was a partner with John Ferguson in the firm of Roberts and Ferguson, coachbuilders, wheelwrights and blacksmiths. These were occupations which underpinned much of nineteenth century transport and trade; Roberts and Ferguson was one of Collingwood’s earliest manufacturers and may have existed as early as 1851, when industry was the exception in the otherwise semi-rural district. Roberts lived and died in Hoddle Street Collingwood, in a bluestone house neighbouring the company’s workplace near the corner of Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street.
Helen Lothan Robertson
1848 - 1937
Trade unionist, tailoress
Scottish-born Helen Bigg landed in Australia in December 1852 as an assisted immigrant with her parents and would live in Collingwood for over 80 years. At the age of 14 she began working as a seamstress and came to be regarded as a heroine of female trade unionism, honoured in the Trades Hall. She was a prominent member of the Tailoresses’ Association and a member of the foundation committee of the Female Operatives’ Hall constructed at the Trades Hall. From 1894 she became a long-standing member of the Eight Hours’ Committee, and following the formation of the Federated Clothing Trades Union in 1907 she was a member of the Victorian branch executive.
Otto Asmus Rohlk
Pianist, cellist, music teacher, orchestra conductor
Born in country Victoria to German parents, Otto Rohlk became a household name as a music teacher, performer, and conductor in the Clifton Hill district for over twenty years. At the Clifton Hill School of Music he taught piano, viola, violin, and violoncello and his students formed orchestras which performed regularly under his baton.
Soldier, VC recipient, councillor, Mayor, Member of Parliament
William Ruthven was a Collingwood boy who became known nationally when awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest honour for bravery during wartime, for his action in France in 1918 during World War I. In later years he spent time as a local leader as Mayor and Councillor of the City of Collingwood and then as a state Labor parliamentarian. A park, a secondary college and a railway station are named in his honour in the northern suburb of Reservoir.