Brisbane Valley: Printed by “Truth” and “Sportsman” Ltd, 1947. Recased first edition, octavo, green linen boards with gilt title on spine, pp. iv + 90, 23 black and white plates (photogrpahs and illustrations).
Fine. Corners crisp. Head and tail of spine ever so slightly rubbed. Clean throughout.
Thomas Charles Beirne (1860 – 1949) was an Irish emigrant to Australia who became one of Australia’s first millionaires. He settled in Brisbane where he went into partnership with M.D. Piggott, opening a drapery store on the south side of the river. After their parternship dissolved in 1891, Beirne opened a store in the then unfashionable Fortitude Valley. In 1894 James McWhirter became his manager and then partner and finally moved across the street to open his own store. Beirne put the success of the Valley down to the rivalry between the two retailers. As his success grew, Beirne served on various boards and became a philanthropist, notably donating $20,000 dollars to the University of Queensland to establish the T.C. Beirne School of Law. His memoir, arranged by his daughter and published two years before his death in 1949, was published for private circulation. It was favourably reviewed by Labour affiliated newspaper The Worker: “Peeping between the lines of his autobiography, which was recently published for private circulation, a copy of which has been presented to ‘The Worker’ by request, one can see Irish sentiment, mysticism, courage, and wit aplenty, as well as a glimpse of the rebel.” The Worker, Mon 1 September 1947.
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