George McInnes

George Lochart Nairn McInnes

Block 10B Lanyon District - Property Name: 'Riverview'

George Lockhart Nairn McInnes was born on 27th December 1876 at Kowen, NSW. He was named after the former Presbyterian Minister for the Queanbeyan district (1875-1880), the Rev. George Lockhart Nairn. McInnes was also prominent in the local Presbyterian community as an elder of St. Stephen's in Queanbeyan, NSW from 1926 to 1959. He was a well-known shearer in the Canberra district but had also served an apprenticeship with McPherson and Hannaford as a coachsmith.

McInnes enlisted in February 1916 in Sydney and served with the 18th Battalion in France from October 1916. In November 1916, he was hospitalised with trench foot before returning to his unit in May 1917. He was hospitalised in October 1917, once again with trench foot.

McInnes was awarded the Military Medal for his actions as a Company runner on the 9th August 1918 at Rainecourt. He was at Mont St. Quentin on the 31st August 1918 and in the assault on the Beaurevoir Line in October 1918. He returned to Australia in July 1919 and was discharged on the 19th August 1919.

Lanyon Block 10B was a Soldier Settlement block in the Tuggeranong Subdivision. It was 890 acres (360 hectares) in size and was leased to McInnes from 5th April 1920 for 5/6 per acre per annum or £278/2/6 per annum. He did not live on the lease and apparently did not work it because in December 1921, McInnes asked that the lease be determined. The Commonwealth was prepared to so but early in 1922, he wanted to assign the lease to a Samuel Daniel, a grazier of some note from the Captains Flat area of NSW. The Commonwealth did not agree to the transfer.

Plan of Lanyon Block 10B

Plan of Lanyon Block 10B.

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Government inspectors believed that McInnes:

"found the cost of the destruction of noxious weeds (particularly saffron thistle) so great as, with the rental fixed at that time, to be beyond the earning capacity of the land. As certain rocky knobs within the two areas were so heavily infested with thistles and so studded with rocky outcrops that in the opinion of the Inspector it made cutting by hand a practical impossibility."

The Federal Capital Commission (FCC) decided to fence off the area and let the weeds be choked off by grass. McInnes walked off the block and in 1924.

Lanyon Block 10B was then leased to Thomas Woods from Tidbinbilla. Woods referred to this block as Riverview.

Google Maps image of area c2013 with Lanyon Block 10B boundary in red

Google Maps image of area c2013 with Lanyon Block 10B boundary in red.

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George McInnes never married and was living on Surveyor Street, Queanbeyan when he died on the 23rd December 1959, four days short of his 83rd birthday.


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