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Rediscovering Ginninderra: A database:
Lyall Gillespie

Born: 1919; Married: Norma Joan Bogg

Lyall  Gillespie

Remarkable Canberran, Lyall Leslie Gillespie (OAM), needs little introduction. He had a distinguished career in public service, rising to the position of City Manager from 1978 to 1982.

But Gillespie is primarily remembered as one of the most prolific and well-respected historians of the ACT, with a particular interest in Ginninderra, where his own family had its pioneering roots. His legacy includes a historical database of 40,000 reference cards (now digitized), 1,600 historical photographs, a large collection of local Indigenous artifacts, and eight volumes on various topics from local history (including his seminal study on Ginninderra itself: Ginninderra: Forerunner to Canberra).

Lyall Gillespie was born in Queanbeyan in 1919, the son of William Gillespie and Lilian (nee Reid). He married Norma Joan Bogg in September 1941 and they rented a house together in Reid. He served in the armed forces in the Second World War. He and Norma had four children and remained living in Canberra’s inner north for the rest of their lives.

Gillespie’s son, Neil, donated the ‘Gillespie Collection’ to the Hall School Museum and Heritage Centre in 2015.

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