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Francis Ormond: A Ruling Passion

208 pp, 225 x 150 mm, 40 photos, Aug 2014

ISBN 9781925078534, $29.95, Paperback

Max Griffiths

Available: Now

Francis Ormond was a Scottish born pastoralist, member of Parliament of Victoria, and great philanthropist in the areas of education and religion.

He used his wealth to benefit others. As a young man he managed his fatherís sheep station near Piggoreet, south west of Ballarat. Upon discovering that the majority station hands he employed were uneducated, he started a class for his employees, devoting nearly every evening to their tutorage.

This was the pattern of his life. Where he saw a need, he took practical steps to help. A devout Presbyterian and elder of the church, when the question of establishing a Presbyterian college at the University of Melbourne was raised in 1877, he pledged £10,000 to the appeal. When a Working Menís College was proposed he offered £5000 towards its establishment. It opened in 1887 with 320 students. By 1938 the number of students was 10,000. Later known as the Royal Melbourne Technical College it is now RMIT University. His attempts to found a college of music in Melbourne were unsuccessful so he gave £20,000 to found the Ormond Chair of Music at the University.

This is the story of his life and times. His legacy includes the Ormond Chair of Music at the University of Melbourne, Ormond Hall at the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind, RMITís Francis Ormond Building, Ormond College at the University of Melbourne, Ormond Road in Geelong, the Francis Ormond Mason Lodge and the Melbourne suburb of Ormond.

Max examines his life and times and rounds out the man whose generosity benefitted the lives of so many. The author Max Griffiths has been a shop steward in the Iron Workers Union, Council Member of the Royal flying Doctor Service, Superintendent Australian Inland Mission, a Parish Minister, A Council Member of Scotch College, an Executive Member of the Presbyterian Church, Chairman and Board Member of the Uniting Church, a Foundation Member of Ronald Macdonald House, Member Royal Melbourne Hospital Animal Ethics Committee, Board Member of the Austin Hospital and Chairman (at Austin) of the Research and Patient Care Ethics Committees.