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William FarrerPrint Page Print this page

27-November-2014
27-November-2014

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders / Roger Johnson

The monument commemorates William Farrer (1845-1906) who pioneered the scientific breeding of wheat strains which were productive and resistant to diseases such as rust which devastated wheat harvests late in the 19th century. 

Originally erected at the town's intersection, the memorial was moved to the sports ground in 1963 before it was relocated near the Senior Citizens Centre. 

As early as February 1927, the Minyip Progress Association obtained a sanction from the Dunmunkle Shire Council to erect a memorial in the main street to Farrer.  The monument was erected by the Minyip Progress Association in 1935 and at the time of the the unveiling it was claimed to be the first memorial to Farrer in Australia. This caused some consternation with the town of Queanbeyan, who regarded themeselves as the first place to honour Farrer in Australia. 

William James Farrer was involved in developing breeds of wheat to withstand disease (especially rust) and harsh Australian conditions as well as to produce high yields. His most notable achievement was the breeding and establishment of "Federation" wheat.

Farrer developed 33 strains including "Federation" which was widely cultivated in this area and in all of Western Victoria early in the 20th Century.

MINYIP, Friday. — The memorial to the late William James Farrer was unveiled at Minyip before a large gathering of townspeople and visitors. The ceremony was performed by Senator J. F. Guthrie, who referred to the late Mr. Farrer as one of the greatest cerealists Australia had ever known. He congratulated the Minyip Progress Association and its president (Mr. J. Barnes J.P. on its progressive move in perpetuating the memory of so great a benefactor to the community. Later at luncheon Senator Guthrie said he did not think the outlook for wheat was particularly bright, and advised wheat growers to concentrate on growing better quality wheat rather than a large acreage. The future for wool and lambs was considerably brighter.  Senator Guthrie was supported by Mr. McClelland. M.P., Mr. Cameron. M.L.A., Cr. J. Barnes (Horsham), Mr. S. R Wardell (Wheat Growers' Corporation) and Mr. L. Bowden (Horsham). At the conclusion of the unveiling Lady Peacock declared open the fete held in the Soldiers Memorial Hall where a considerable amount was raised for the benefit of the agricultural society and Mechanic`s Institute. 
Age (Melbourne), 31 August 1935.


The claims of Minyip (Victoria) that it was the first town in Australia to recognise William James Farrer's work with a memorial is being challenged by the citizens of Queanbeyan. According to a metropolitan Press report, it was in August, 1935, that Minyip Progress Association provided this tribute to a national figure. It was stated-that the gesture came fittingly from Minyip, which is situated in the Wimmera wheatgrowing districts, and cropped about a quarter of a million bags of wheat this season. 

When shown the report yesterday, the hon. secretary of the Farrer Memorial Council at Queanbeyan (Mr. F. J. Gallagher) said that "it left him short of breath. "  Minyip, he said,  was possibly the first place in Victoria to erect a memorial to Farrer, but Queanbeyan certainly claimed the right to be regarded as the first place in Australia to so honour him.  Farrer Place, in Queanbeyan, was dedicated to the memory of W. J. Farrer in 1934; and the fine bust of the famous experimenter was unveiled by the present Governor-General (Lord Gowrie) in June, 1935. Therefore, Queanbeyan feels that in view of the fact that the district where Farrer carried out his work has profited comparatively little as a direct result of his researches,  the town of Minyip which was developed mainly as a result of his labours should not deprive Queanbeyan of the honour to which it is due.
The Canberra Times (ACT), 31 March 1937. 

 
Minyip has corrected a misapprehension, and Queanbeyan now holds the stage as the first town in Australia to honour the late William Farrer by the erection of a monument to his memory. Some weeks ago the Farrer Memorial Committee at Queanbeyan was greatly concerned at the report appearing in the Melbourne Press to the effect that the town of Minyip had erected the first memorial to Farrer. The claim was vigorously disputed by Mr. F. J. Gallagher, secretary of the Queanbeyan committee, who stated that the report "left him short of breath." The secretary of the Minyip Progress Association (Mr. James Barnes) has written stating that "Queanbeyan was certainly the first town in Australia to erect a memorial to Farrer, and the error was committed by the metropolitan Press, which had put "Australia" in its report of a meeting instead of "Victoria."
The Canberra Times (ACT), 4th May 1937. 

 

Location

Address:Main Street (Donald-Murtoa Road), Senior Citizens Club, Minyip, 3392
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.459059
Long: 142.587741
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Science
Link:http://adb.anu.edu.au/

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 30th August, 1935
Front Inscription

              1935
          Erected By
The Minyip Progress Association
       To The Memory Of
WILLIAM JAMES FARRER
Born April 3.1845 Died April 15.1906
PROPAGATOR OF FEDERATION WHEAT
James Barnes, J.P. President,
E.R.B. Westrid Secretary

Source: MA,RUMV,VMR, ABD
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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