|The Yass Evening Tribune, Yass, NSW, AustraliaG||24 January 1927||George Worthy had an obituary appear in The Yass Evening Tribune, Yass, NSW, AustraliaG, on Monday, 24 January 1927 as follows: |
Late Mr G Worthy
Australian Native Reaches Ripe Age of Over 90
The death occurred at his home "Worthwell", Orion Street, North Yass, at 11 o'clock last Friday morning of Mr George Worthy, an old and highly respected resident of this district for over half a century, at the ripe age of ninety years and four months.
The old Pioneers are steadily passing away, and the links with the old days - when conditions were such as to be almost incomprehensible to the generation of to-day - rapidly disappearing.
The late Mr Worthy was a notable link with the past, for he was an Australian born, and there are very few Australian families who have a similar record. Mr Worthy was born in 1836 (the year of Queen Victoria's coronation), at George Town, Tasman Heads, now the city of Hobart, Tasmania. When a baby, of six weeks old, he was brought by his parents to Victoria, and there is reason to believe that he was the first Australian born who was registered in Melbourne. The register of Old St James Cathedral, Melbourne, which is the only authentic record now available, was John Melbourne Elliott, as its first entry. He was baptised on April 30, 1837 by Chaplain J B Naylor. But as the date of his birth is not given it is not known whether he was born before or after George Worthy, who was not christianed until October 31, 1838 but who was born on October 11 1836.
In other ways there is a rare historical flavour in connection with the early life of this old pioneer, in as much as his father and John Bateman, the explorer, raced each other to Melbourne, each eager to attain the distinction of being the first to touch the Victorian shore. The late Mr Worthy had the honour of being the first white child to land in Melbourne with his parents, over 90 years ago.
The deceased gentleman spent his boyhood days in Melbourne with his parents, where his father was a master tailor. As was mostly the case in those early days, he left both school and home at an early age to engage in the battle of life, and when onlya youth, spent some time on the goldfields of Ballarat and Bendigo, a period of which the old gentleman could recall many interesting stories and episodes. Later he settled down on "Wydendeau" station, the property of Mr Aubrey Murray, where he spent many years and finally rose to the position of manager.
Some 55 years ago, the late Mr Worthy purchased a sheep grazing property at Gundaroo, which he named "Worthwell", and after residing there for some 17 years he retired to live in Yass, where he spent the last 38 years, appropriately enough naming his town home "Worthwell".
Deceased was married to Miss Frances Thornebutt, the adopted daughter of the late Mr John Butt of Murrumbateman, and the daughter of the late Inspector Robert Thorne, who was head of the police at Wymouth, England, and who survives him.
In addition to the widow, the late Mr Worthy is survived by three sons, George, Phillip, William (all of Yass), and five daughters, Mrs Grosvenor (Randwick), Mrs Daniel (Dalton), Misses Annie (Gunning), Jean and Esther (Yass). Another daughter, Mrs Ashworth, wife of the Rev. Ashworth, Tasmania, predeceased her father seven years ago. The deceased is also survived by 29 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
The late Mr Worthy was of a retiring disposition and took no part in public affairs but he was a man of many interests and possessed a large number of friendswho held him in the highest respect. During his time he was champion roughrider of the State and keenly enjoyed running in brumbies from the hills, which was part of the work of the old days. He was a good cricketer and swimmer and, at the age of 74, defeated all comers at a swimming carnival at Yass, a unique achievement. His proficiency was the means of saving life. When a boy he was practically responsible for saving the crew of the Phoenix, off Hunter Heads. Young Worthy, as he was then, swam out with a rope to the rescueof those on the vessel which was in distress and, although washed back several times, finally succeeded.
In every way he was a keen athlete and sportsman. He had some stirring experiences in the bushranging days and was one of the prisoners locked in the hotel at collector by Ben Hall's gang, when the latter shot Constable Nelson.
The late Mr Worthy narrowly reaped a fine fortune. Years ago he was left a piece of land in Melbourne by an uncle, and some years ago he asked Mr W McIntosh, of Yass, to make inquiries as to its whereabouts and value as it was believed to be in the vicintity of the Melbourne Post Office. Mr McIntosh found that the Telegraph Office in Melbourne had been erected on unclaimed land, and that there was £60,000 laying in the Treasury for anyone who could produce a clear title to the property. Although there was good reason to believe this was the land bequeathed to the late Mr Worthy, it was not possible to prove a clear title.
This fine old bushman, one of the best types, was also a poet and many of his writings are treasured by his family. Up till four years ago, when he suffered from a stroke, he enjoyed excellent health. Afterwards he was not so strong physically but retained his full mental faculties, and was a keen reader up to a couple of days before his death. Comparatively recently, on his birthday, he composed the following verse:--
Tasmania is my birthplace,
The land of the free;
Australia's my country;
My name is Worthy.
I came out with John Bateman,
That old pioneer,
1836 was the date of the year.
In Sunny Australia I've had my day;
Old faces around me have all passed away.
My time will come as the years roll along,
But like Johnny Walker, I'm still going strong.
These lines reflect the sturdy optimistic spirit of the old gentleman. Among other compositions was one in celebration of the building of Canberra.
What finer note could we end on than in reference to an ode to Australia's youngest city by one of Australia's oldest sons?
The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon to the Church of England portion of the Yass cemetery, and was largely attended. The Rev. M Holliday read the last service, and arrangements were in the hands of Mr Walter McIntosh.2