Men of Renown


In 1927 the HMS Renown conveyed Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) and Elizabeth, Duchess of York (later best known as The Queen Mother) to Australia for the official opening of the new Parliament House in Canberra. From 1901 until 1927 the Australian parliament had met in Melbourne where it had used the Victorian Parliament House building before the move to Canberra.

While the HMS Renown was in Sydney the Concord Ex Service Men’s Social Club (RSL) hosted a ‘Smoke Social and Dinner’ for officers and ratings of HMS Renown on the 11 April 1927. It was an opportunity for the local RSL to return the hospitality shown to many Australian servicemen on leave in London during the First World War. The dinner included songs and recitations. Among the performers was George McGregor Shaw, Town Clerk of Concord, a man of many talents (see comments below) including a gift for singing.

Eadith Walker of Yaralla also hosted a rifle team from the HMS Renown who competed against the Miniature Rifle Union team at the estate’s miniature rifle range.

Posted on March 31, 2017, in Concord and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A man of many talents

    George McGregor Shaw

    A news item in Land, 4 September 1914 page 7 commented:

    ‘The Municipal Council of Mascot has appointed Mr George McGregor Shaw sanitary inspector, inspector of nuisances, inspector of dairies, inspector of hoardings, inspector for the destruction of noxious weeds, inspector under the Noxious Trades Act, inspector under the Diseased Animals and Meat Act, impounding officer, collector of sanitary fees, rate collector, inspector under the Public Health Act, inspector under the Local Government Act, and all other Acts administered by the council.

    A municipal Poo-bah truly! In his spare time doubtless he has to assist the Town Clerk in the work of the office. It is a wonder he was not appointed building inspector and overseer of works!’

    Originally from Liverpool in Britain, George McGregor Shaw (1886-1968) served in the First World War from July 1918 to January 1919, despite having participated in the ‘No Conscription’ campaign of 1917. At the time of his enlistment, he was living at Mascot where he was working for The Municipal Council of Mascot. George was 31 years old at the time of enlisting and he and his wife Priscilla May Shaw had three young children. Following his return from the First World War he worked as Shire Clerk and valuator with Harwood Shire and later worked for Bellingen Shire before becoming Town Clerk of Concord Council. George also enjoyed singing and was a member of his local church choir.

  2. Renown Street in Canada Bay is most likely named after the HMS Renown as the land in that area was subdivided about the same time as the visit.

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