Lord Baillieu, William Lawrence Baillieu (1859-1936)
Lord Baillieu, William Lawrence Baillieu (1859-1936), is an Australian renowned financier and politician of all time born in April, 29th 1859. He is credited to be a very successful businessman because he had huge business investments in many sectors and this is what makes him be remembered in history as a very successful businessman of all time. He was the son of James George Baillieu together with his wife Emma Lawrence. They were a total of thirteen siblings in his family. Lord Baillieu got married to Bertha Martha, the daughter of Edward Latham who was a close friend of his and together they had four children, three sons and four daughters.
Lord Baillieu was known to be a jack of all trades as depicted by Yule (2012) because his career was notably business but a bit diverse. He started off as a mere office boy who grew greatly in business circles to become an auctioneer. He then became a coal mine owner, company director, a real estate agent, a mining investor, a legislator in the Upper House and zinc, silver and lead mine owner.
Lord Baillieu has gone down history books in business circles but as a notable legislator as stated by Cannon (1995). He has many achievements to go by as significant works in history. As a member of the Victorian Legislative council representing the Northern Province, he supported several liberal policies that foresaw economic development and social reform among them old age pensions, factory legislation as well as increase in teacher salaries which changed the lives of many people at the time.
Among other notable helpful works done by the Baillieu family was the putting up of the Baillieu Library at the University of Melbourne. Sadly, this was after the death of W. L. in the year 1936. His brother Prince gave the contribution towards the building of the library in the year 1936 but it is not until the mid 1950s when construction began and was officially opened in 1959. Lord Baillieu himself is also credited for the establishment and development of Herald & Weekly Times to a leading newspaper company in Australia.
The Baillieu brothers together with Lord Baillieu helped set up and sponsor the Baillieu Educational Trust in the year 1935. It was formed in Melbourne and was meant to serve the children of all dead or wounded soldiers of the war and even post war dead sailors and solders who did not die in the war. This is seen to be one of his major charitable acts that were meant to serve humanity in the least. His legacy went beyond his life even after his death in 1936.
Cannon, M 1995. The Land Boomers: The Complete Illustrated History. Melbourne: MUP
Yule, P 2012. William Lawrence baillieu: Founder of Australia’s Greatest Business Empire.
Richmond: Hardie Grant.