George Thomas Chirnside was one of Australia’s premier jersey breeders, and a member of a family who maintained a long history and association in Australia with pastoral prosperity in the early days of settlement.
Mr G.T. Chirnside’s legacy were the ‘Werribee Jerseys;’ a line of pure-bred jersey cows that until 1916, attained a large proportion of the most highly sought-after Jersey prizes at the Melbourne Royal Show.
Already a keen exhibitor, Mr Chirnside joined the Council in 1898, serving three terms as Vice President and becoming a Trustee in 1918 until his death in 1940. Mr Chirnside was the son of Andrew Chirnside, who, along with his brother Thomas built a pastoral empire in the early days of settlement. Their wealth is still on display today at the Werribee Park Mansion which was built by Andrew and Thomas in 1877, boasting supreme expense and grandeur.
The family’s ties to the Melbourne Royal are well established, as the Werribee Park land was used in 1882 by the National Agricultural Society of Victoria to host the first Intercolonial Champion Ploughing Match, and a grandstand named after the Chirnside family remains as attestation to their prominence and contribution.