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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Everard Gregory Crace

Born: 1874; Died: 1928; Married: Helen Blanche Lingen

Everard Gregory Crace

Grazier, Everard Gregory Crace was born into the wealthy home of Edward Kendall Crace and Kate Marion Crace. He was born at his mother’s family’s property in Queensland in 1874. She was from the Mort family, who were prosperous wool brokers and pastoralists.

Young Crace was a much more popular figure than his litigious father who had drowned under tragic circumstances with his groom in Ginninderra Creek in 1892. When his father died, Everard was commencing work with a wool-broker in England. He returned to assist his mother.

Everard Crace married Helen Blanche Lingen in 1903 at Darling Point in Sydney. They had five children together.

It seems that Everard lived at one of the old cottages at Palmerville estate, while his mother occupied Gungahleen (later known as Gungahlin homestead).

Crace was a sports lover and patron of local groups. He was elected president of the Ginninderra Cricket Club (1894), Ginninderra Football Club (1896), School Board (1908) and vice-president of the One Tree Hill Race Club and School of Arts (both in 1901). He served as an alderman on Yarrowlumla Shire Council and helped found the Ginninderra Farmers Union in 1905, serving as its inaugural president.

In July 1902, he was one of the police party involved in the tragic accidental shooting death of Joseph Heaps.

By all accounts, Crace was a good grazier and managed to keep his mother’s properties profitable, despite the heavy debt encumbering the estate and the economic downturn of the early 1890s. In the 1900s he was running a flock of about 6,000 merinos.

In 1911, with the announcement of Canberra as the site of the new Federal Capital Territory, Crace, along with two other men from Ginninderra, joined the Vigilance Committee to represent the interests of affected landowners. Like many other Ginninderrans, he was to become a tenant on his own land.

At the outbreak of the Great War he organised patriotic sports carnivals and was president of the Federal Capital Referendum Committee in support of conscription in 1916. The following year, even though he was in his forties, Crace enlisted himself. Due to his age, he served as a battalion cook until the end of the war. Upon his return, Crace became the inaugural president of the Canberra Empire Service League and in 1919 chaired a meeting to form the local branch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia. He was among the ex-servicemen who successfully applied for blocks in the first soldier settlement subdivision at Ainslie-Majura in 1919, even though he continued to own the lease of his family’s extensive properties at Gungahlin and Ginninderra.

Everard Crace died in 1928 at Gungahlin. Helen had predeceased him by two years. They are buried at St Johns, Reid.

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