William Robert GiblinPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The Plaque, erected by teachers and scholars, commemorates William Robert Giblin, a teacher of the young men`s Bible Class at the Congregational Sunday School for 16 years. He was also Attorney-General and Premier of Tasmania, as well as a judge.  

William Robert Giblin (4 November 1840 – 17 January 1887) was Premier of Tasmania (Australia) from 5 March 1878 until 20 December 1878 and from 1879 until 1884.

Dedicated to the moral and social elevation of the underprivileged, Giblin founded in 1864 the Hobart Working Men's Club, the first of its kind in Australia, and was its president until 1887. He was also a founder and teacher of the Congregational Sunday school and helped in forming football teams to discourage larrikinism. He rowed in early club races and encouraged walking in the mountains. He publicly advocated the building of a railway from Hobart to Launceston for lowering the transport costs of primary producers. All these activities made him popular and in 1869 he was petitioned by hundreds of voters to stand for election to the House of Assembly. As premier, treasurer and sometimes attorney-general he reorganized the colony's finances, secured the adoption of an equitable taxation policy and initiated an active programme of public works.

Davey-Street Congregational Sunday School.
It will lie within the memory of many of our readers that the late Mr. Justice Giblin was for many years the teacher of the young men's Bible class in connection with the above school, and that on the occasion of the memorial service held last January it was stated that the teachers and children of the school purposed erecting a commemorative tablet. This tablet has now been fixed on the walls of the large central room immediately under the life-like portrait presented by Mr. A. Sargeant, and the occasion of its unveiling took place yesterday afternoon in the presence of a crowded assemblage of teachers, scholars, and others interested in the school. After a hymn had been sung the superintendent spoke a few words in affectionate remembrance of Mr. Giblin, and stated that the tablet he was about to unveil was the only recognition that had been taken of one who had rendered many and great services to the State and to the community, and who deserved well of his country. The superintendent then called Mr. G. W. Waterhouse, who spoke as to one aspect of Mr. Giblin's character which had struck him most forcibly-the simplicity of the man in his intercourse with others. How with all his great gifts there was an utter absence of showing off his superiority or parading his knowledge. That even when occupying the highest position in the State he was always the same kind hearted and affable man. The superintendent then unveiled the tablet, which was of brass, boldly lettered in red and black, and which bore the following inscription :-" Erected by the teachers and scholars of this school in loving memory of William Robert Giblin, who while serving his country in the successive offices of Attorney-General, Premier, and Judge, continued for 16 years the faithful teacher of the young men's Bible class. Born 4th November, 1840. Died 17th January, 1887.
Mercury (Hobart), 28 November 1887.



Address:73 Brisbane Street (cnr Elizabeth Street), Korean Full Gospel Church, Hobart, 7000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.879482
Long: 147.323289
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 27th November, 1887
Front Inscription

Erected By The Teachers & Scholars
Of This School In Loving Memory Of 
William Robert Giblin Who While Serving
His Country In The Successive Offices Of 
Attorney-General • Premier And Judge
Continued For 16 Years The Faithful Teacher
Of The Young Men`s Bible Class.
Born 4th Nov 1840  Died 17th Jany. 1887

Source: MA, ADB
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