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Henry Howey
Henry Howey

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The cairn and tablet were originally erected by the Gisborne Old Boys Association to commemorate Henry Howey, the first European man to settle in Gisborne. The cairn was unveiled in 1915 and a bust of Howey (a gift of the family), was unveiled on the 31st January 1927. 

Henry Howey selected land from near the present town of Riddells Creek through Gisborne to Mount Macedon and he also bought land at the first land sales in Melbourne where his name remains on the property, on the corner of Collins and Swanston Streets.

Howey then returned to Parramatta to bring his wife, six children and some staff members to settle in this district. However, their small vessel the “Sarah” was wrecked on the ninety-mile beach en route to Gisborne. His name is perpetuated in Howey Street and in the Howey Monument where his bust overlooks Howey Reserve. 

At Gisborne on Monday the unveiling took place of a stone cairn and tablet (by Dr. O'Donnell, of Melbourne) to the memory of Henry Howey, the pioneer squatter of Victoria and the first white male to settle in Gisborne. Howey was of English descent, but from what part of England he came is not known, neither is the date of his arrival in Australia. By the files of the Sydney "Gazette," dated December 1, 1826, the first account of his existence is traced, that issue containing the notice of his marriage to Miss Minchin, daughter of Captain Minchin, of the 102nd Regiment. In February 1837 Howey despatched his stock from New South Wales, consisting of 4,000 sheep andd 800 head of cattle, in charge of a young stockman named Hamilton.

Howey's run extended along the creek beyond what is now Riddell, towards Lancefield Junction.  The station was divided into three runs, namely the "Head,''."Red," and "Junction." The first was the one on the Gisborne Creek, for it was there that the great clearing sale was held in July, 1839, after Howey's death. Howey was also a buyer of land in other parts, as is shown by records at a sale held by Mr. Hoddle. In 1838, in company with his wife and family, he set sail from Sydney in his schooner, The Sarah, for Melbourne, for the purpose of spending a holiday at the residence of John Batman, but the schooner disappeared, and no trace of it was ever found.  The cairn is of rough stonework, about 10ft. high, and tapering from 6ft. to 2ft. It was erected by the Gisborne Old Boys' Association.
Australasian (Melbourne), 6 February 1915.

GISBORNE, Monday.—The weather was ideal for today's Old Boys' celebration. At 9.30 a.m fully 30 laden motor cars assembled at the mechanics' and drove to Watson's Hill, three miles on the Melbourne side of the town, and awaited the Melbourne branch of the old boys' association, which arrived in eight motor ears. The whole then formed into procession, and passed through the town from three different viewpoints. Calling at the local cemetery, a minute's silence was observed by about 300 people in honor of the pioneers interred there.

Later in the afternoon about 500 people gathered at the Howey monument. Cr. F.Oakley, (president of the Gisborne branch) was in the chair. The shire presdent, Cr Paul Brady, welcomed the visitors. Mr Raynes Dickson, solicitor to the Howey family in England presented the bust of Henry Howey to the Gisborne association, and Mr. Jas Hall president of the Melbourne branch G.O.B.A., accepted the gift, and returned thanks for it. Mr W. G. Gibson, Postmaster-General (himself an old boy), was asked by the Gisborne president to unveil it. Mr. Gibson spoke at considerable length on the Howey family and the grand old pioneers, and gave much credit to the members of the association for their grit and patriotism. Messrs. Angliss and Russell Clarke, M`s.L.C., also spoke of the generosity of the Howey family in giving such a magnificent bust of the pioneer to Gisborne. 
Excerpt from the Age (Melbourne), 1 February 1927.


Address:Hamilton Street, Gisborne, 3437
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.487843
Long: 144.591835
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:May-1837
Approx. Event End Date:May-1837
Designer:Dr O`Donnell (Melbourne, VIC) - cairn


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 1st February, 1915
Front Inscription

The Pioneer


Henry Howey

Grazier  Pioneer of this District settled on this Flat

May 1837

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au