Lancashire, England in 1844, the eldest son of George Billson (1817-86),
brewer and politician and Isabella née Blades. Early in 1848 the
family migrated to Adelaide, South Australia and the following year joined
the gold rush in California, USA but returned to settle in Victoria from
1852; at Beechworth from 1867 he purchased a brewery and with George ran a
cordial and aerated waters manufactory from 1872. A prominent citizen,
Councillor and Mayor of Albury in New South Wales before moving to Dun
Lappie - Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick, in 1901, Billson was elected to
the St. Kilda City Council (1901-11) serving as Mayor in 1909. His aerated
water manufacturing business on Brighton Road, Elsternwick (between Albion
and Maryville Streets) was described as “one of the most compact and cleanly
establishments in Melbourne”. With
(q.v.), Billson was appointed an original member of the St. Kilda Foreshore
Committee on 19 June 1906 that was responsible for the development of the
St. Kilda Esplanade into what it is today. The Cyclopedia of Victoria
writing in 1903 notes that “Mr Billson supports local industry in every
possible branch…All bottles manufactured in the Melbourne Bottle Works,
likewise other supplies such as the boiler and bottling machines and the
engine which drives the plant”. He died suddenly at home on 9 September
1927 aged 83; his brother Alfred Arthur (1858-1930) followed his father and
became a well-known politician, brewer and citizen of Beechworth.
(above) George Billson
Phillip City Collection SK0511. Image not to be reproduced without
The Argus 12 September 1927.
The Age 12 September 1927.
The Prahran Telegraph 16 September 1927.
Smith, J. (ed), “Cyclopedia of Victoria”
Cooper, J., “The History of St. Kilda”
ADB Volume 7 1891-1939 (A-Ch).
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