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Bushby, Charles Harold (1887–1975)

by Ric Finlay

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, (MUP), 1993

Charles Harold Bushby (1887-1975), cricket administrator and lawyer, was born on 3 December 1887 at Carrick, Tasmania, son of George Frederick Burton Bushby, stock-dealer, and his wife Victoria Ann Elizabeth, née Robertson. Educated at Longford Grammar School and at Scotch College, Launceston, in 1911 Harold passed his final examinations at the University of Tasmania (LL.B., 1913), winning the James Backhouse Walker prize. Articled to M. J. Clarke, he was admitted to the Bar on 21 August 1912 and practised at Launceston and Scottsdale. At Devonport on 6 October 1915 he married with Methodist forms Edith Mary Orme, an English-born nurse; their two sons were to enter the law and join the family firm. Bushby was president (1952-54) of the Northern Law Society and a vice-president (1954-55) of the Law Council of Australia.

Although he was not a particularly skilful player—four games for the North of Tasmania against the South represented the pinnacle of his playing career—Bushby had a strong attachment to cricket. In 1911 he had been appointed to the management-committee of the Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association; he served as secretary and treasurer before becoming chairman in 1924, a position he was to hold for almost fifty years. Elected to the Executive Cricket Council of Tasmania in 1915, he represented the State on the Australian Board of Control for International Cricket from 1919 to 1969. He chaired the board (1919 and 1925-26) and visited England in 1926.

Having been the second choice of both the Victorian and New South Wales delegates to the board, Bushby was somewhat fortuitously selected as manager of the Australian cricket team to tour England in 1934. An imposing figure, over six feet (183 cm) tall, he could act with firmness when the occasion demanded it. While not always popular with team members—his ban on the consumption of alcohol in the dressing-room was immediately and deliberately defied—he was a resourceful and dedicated administrator who was respected rather than revered. After the controversial 'bodyline' series in 1932-33, his diplomacy did much to ensure the success of what was in part an ameliorative mission; regaining the Ashes was a bonus. Contacts made and friendships established during the tour encouraged Bushby to return to England to watch Test matches and attend law conferences. He represented Australia at four Imperial Cricket Conferences, and was appointed O.B.E. in 1958 and made an honorary life member of the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1971.

Involving himself in community affairs at Launceston, Bushby was a long-serving administrator of the Presbyterian Church, president of its home for the aged and a director of Scotch College. He was a foundation member of the Liberal Party in Tasmania and served on its federal executive in 1945-50. Survived by his sons and two daughters, he died on 3 October 1975 at Launceston and was buried in Carr Villa cemetery. A stand at the Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association Ground, Launceston, commemorates him.

Select Bibliography

  • R. Williams, A Century of Northern Tasmanian Cricket (Launc, 1986)
  • Scotch College, Launceston, Caledonian, 1975
  • W. J. O'Reilly, Bill O'Reilly—A Cricketing Life (Syd, 1990)
  • Examiner (Launceston), 9 Mar 1934
  • Mercury (Hobart), 12 June 1958, 11 Oct 1975
  • family papers (privately held).

Citation details

Ric Finlay, 'Bushby, Charles Harold (1887–1975)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bushby-charles-harold-9643/text16973, published first in hardcopy 1993, accessed online 16 November 2018.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, (MUP), 1993

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