George TreloarPrint Page Print this page

14-September-2019 (Kent Watson)
14-September-2019 (Kent Watson)

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Ballarat City Council

The sculpture commemorates humanitarian George Devine Treloar (1884 - 1980). Seated next to Treloar in the sculpture is a young girl nicknamed Lemona, holding a jug.  She represents the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Pontus region in Asia Minor who were displaced after World War One and the catastrophic events that followed, and found themselves in northern Greece in desperate conditions.

The son of the owners of the first pharmacy in Ballarat, George Treloar was born in 1884 and educated at St Patrick’s College. He worked initially as a bank clerk in town, then after a stint as a jackaroo in the Outback he eventually segued into London’s acting world. Having served as a lieutenant in the 3rd Victorian Rifles, he signed up to fight in the First World War almost immediately after it was declared, and served in the British Coldstream Guards. During his time there he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross.

After that conflict, he fought with the pro-Tsar White Russians, and was then appointed as a Commissioner for Refugees of the League of Nations in north-eastern Hellas in 1922. As a humanitarian disaster unfolded, displacing huge numbers of people, Treloar began the work that would win him the undying gratitude of a people in need. He organised food, shelter, medical care and resettlement for the refugees – often in the face of bureaucratic opposition or indifference. The Australian Institute of International Affairs estimates the number of refugees he helped at 108,000. Treloar was appointed to the Order of the Saviour (gold cross) and a refugee village (Thrilorion) near Komotini was named after him.

In 1935 he moved his family to Western Australia where George prospected and managed several mining enterprises. As 'The Archer', he became known for his trenchant radio commentaries on foreign affairs and for his programme, 'Perth Speaks'. A handsome man of commanding presence, forthright speech and strongly-held conservative views, 'the Major' stood unsuccessfully for the Legislative Council seat of West Province in 1950 and worked for the Liberal and Country League until 1956. Treloar died on 29 November 1980 at Dalkeith. 





Address:Sturt & Errard Streets, Median Strip, Ballarat, 3350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.560892
Long: 143.848651
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event End Date:08-September-2019
Artist:Lis Johnson (Melbourne, VIC)


Front Inscription

Major George Devine Treloar
(Born Ballarat 1884 - Died Dalkieth 1980)
Artist : Lis Johnson

Commissioned by the George Devine Treloar Memorial Committee. An initiative of Merimna Pontion Kyrion of Oceania, Cental Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria `Pontiaki Esita` and the City of Ballarat.

Unveiled by Mayor Councillor Samantha McIntosh on 8 September 2019

His glory lies not in the earth but in the hearts of men
(After Thucydides, 460 - 395 BCE)

Left Side Inscription

Supporting Organisations
Panthracian Association of Melbourne
Pancretan Association of Melbourne
Central Union of Elassona and Districts `O Nikotsaras`
The Greek Orthodox community of Moreland

Individual Sponsors
Rev. Fr. Antonios Amanatidis and Presvitera Despina
Sakis and Litsa Athanasiadis
Family of Elizabeth Treloar ( M Jones )
Sotirios and Anastasia Kaladopoulos
Emmenuel and Marina Pattakos
David and Helen Treloar
Kosta and Vicky Tseprailidis
Tsalikidis family

Back Inscription

Ballarat`s George Devine Treloar - Soldier and humanitarian

Born in 1884, George Devine Treloar was the son of Jane and Thomas Treloar.  He grew up in Ballarat and attended St. Patrick`s College.

Treloar began his military career when he joined the British Army during WWI.  He later transferred to the elite Coldstream Guards where his bravery earned him the Distinguished Service Medal and Military Cross.

In 1922, Treloar was appointed League of Nations Commissioner for Refugees in Greece, where he worked tirelessly - with his wife and family - to provide food, aid and comfort to what would eventually total more than 100,000 refugees from the collapsing Ottoman Empire.  He was praised by those he helped, including the many refugees he created housing for in the towns of Komotini and Thessalonika.  A third town he helped build was named in his honour - Thrylorion.  In 1923, he was awarded the Order of the Redeemer for his humanitarian efforts.

The memorial before you was requested by the descendants of the refugees who were assisted by Treloar.  Without his help their ancestors would not have survived the journey to Australia from the Ottoman Empire, Pontus and Asia Minor.

Created by the people of Ballarat and the descendents of the refugees he saved, this memorial is dedicated to his memory.

Right Side Inscription

The George Devine Treloar Memorial Committee acknowledges the vital support of : Ms Litsa Athanasiadis, Ms Penny Tsombanopoulus, Mr Nicholas Krikelis, Ms Cjristina Despoteris, Mr John Salpingtidis and Mr Jim Claven for the dedication and work in meaking this memorial a reality

Foundations Sponsorships
City of Ballarat|
Cental Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria Pontiaki Esita

Business Supporters
GVP Fabricators
Lithostone Quartz Surfaces
Marble Centre Exclusive

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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