Three Mayors named ‘Land’

Edwin, Henry and Frederick

The Christian names of the three different Mayor Land’s of Queanbeyan, along with the dates of their terms of office, may separate and also help identify the different generations of Mayors with the surname Land.1

1. Mayor Edwin Henry Land (1858-1897); Mayor in 1890, and 1892-1897.
2. Mayor Henry Thomas Land (1884-1929); Mayor during 1927-1928.
3. Mayor Frederick Edwin Land MBE ( – 1995); Mayor 1963-1979 a popular, long serving Mayor. 2

Edwin Land senior (1827-1884) was born in Devonshire, England and was 15 years of age when he arrived in Sydney Cove in 1842. 3

Over the following 80 years the name Edwin and Henry were popular family names but that is only part of the reason why this article about Edwin Henry Land, born 1858, will use his full name.

Royal patent

Edwin Land senior had travelled on the ship Palestine to Sydney Cove, then worked as an overseer at Booromba station near Tharwa.4 In 1855 Edwin came to Queanbeyan to marry Maria Jane Webber in the first small Christ Church at Queanbeyan. 5

First a daughter was born and then in 1858 Edwin’s second child and only son, Edwin Henry Land was born. 6

It is not clear when Edwin and his family moved to Queanbeyan to live but Land’s Victoria Hotel was licensed in 1867 and was a landmark in Queanbeyan for over a century, near the corner of Collett and Monaro Street and passed to Edwin Land’s first and only son, 26 year old Edwin Henry Land, after his father’s death in 1884. 7

Edwin Henry Land (1858-1884) was elected to Council in the first Municipal elections held in 1885 aged 27 years and four years.8

Newest babe

Five years later in 1890 Edwin Land was elected the fourth Mayor of Queanbeyan by the Borough Council – in the days when the elected aldermen elected the Mayor rather than letting the people elect the Mayor by popular vote as happens in most towns, including Queanbeyan, in NSW now. 9

Young Edwin Henry Land at age 32 is the youngest Mayor ever elected to Queanbeyan Council.10

To understand the reason why Edwin Henry Land’s name lives on and is better know than all other elected Mayors of our town, including the former Mayor, Councillor Frank Pangallo, who retired from Queanbeyan Council at the 2008 local Government elections or the present Mayor Tim Overall, who was elected at the 2008 elections, we need to go back exactly one hundred and eight years to August 7, 1890, when Queanbeyan Streets first saw the light of day (in the night) on a permanent basis. 11

On that night 7 August 1890, Mayor Edwin Henry Land lit the first Kerosene street lamp-post.

Ego on show

Today and every day when someone walks past the cream and green iron-lamp posts in our Town Park behind the Farrer Place Courthouse, they bend over to look closer at the distinctive lamp-posts.

It is not the design, which attracts attention, but the ego of a Mayor who would emblazon his name “EH Land Mayor 1890” down the lamp post sides in large letters. 12

It seems in the study of history, that the prominence of a person and the events of that era are like barnacles clinging to a rock, merging one with another until they are indistinguishable from each other.

Bailed out

During the 1890s, the shearer’s strikes and union strikes all over Australia gave the working class a voice and a means of communication that had never been seen before. Edwin Henry Land was a prominent advocate of the Labor movement in 189013 It is not known if this occurred before or after the emergence of the new political Theory of Labour, which was first heard in Queanbeyan when English solicitor EE Poley (sic) lectured on Capital and Labour at the Queanbeyan Temperance Hall, Crawford Street. 14

Edwin Henry Land was proud to be the youngest elected Mayor in 1890 but no one knows what Edwin Land thought when he landed another first – the first and youngest Mayor to die in office at the young age of 39 years in 1897. 15

With three Mayors in the family it is easy to understand why the ‘Land’ family are known locally as Queanbeyan’s Mayoral Family.


Footnotes / Resource

1. Connee-Colleen © “Queanbeyan Outlook (152), Good Vintage”, The Queanbeyan Age, 8th August, 2008. p 15.
2. PB Sheedy, (BEM) & EA Percy. Monaroo to Monaro – History of Monaro Street 1830s-1995, Queanbeyan, 1995, p. 213.
3. Cross. Rex L, & PB Sheedy, (BEM), Queanbeyan Pioneers – First Study, Queanbeyan, 1983, pp. 71-2.
4. Ibid, p. 71-72.
5. Ibid,
p. 71-72.
6. Ibid, p. 71-72.
7. Ibid, p. 71-72
8. Ibid, p. 71-72, p 213.
9. Ibid, p. 71-72. p 213.
10. Ibid, p. 72
11. Lea-Scarlett, 1968, p. 157-8.
12. Ibid. p. 157-8.
13. Ibid, p. 67.
14. Ibid, p.149.
15. Cross, 1983, p. 72

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