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Moore, Sir Richard Greenslade (Dick) (1878–1966)

by Tess Thomson

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, (MUP), 2000

Richard Greenslade Moore (1878-1966), by unknown photographer

Richard Greenslade Moore (1878-1966), by unknown photographer

Herald & Weekly Times Portrait Collection, State Library of Victoria

Sir Richard Greenslade (Dick) Moore (1878-1966), blacksmith and mayor, was born on 21 June 1878 at Neereman, near Eddington, Victoria, seventh of fifteen children of English-born parents John Moore, blacksmith, and his wife Anne, née Greenslade. Educated at Eddington State School, Dick learned his father's trade, then travelled to Western Australia in 1900. He reached Kalgoorlie on 18 March and worked on the goldfields.

At the Methodist Church, Menzies, on 22 April 1902 Moore married Margaret McIntyre (d.1952), a 25-year-old, New Zealand-born Salvation Army officer. They settled at Broad Arrow, where he had established his own smithy. Following the death of her infant son in 1903, Margaret visited her family in New Zealand. Dick worked as a coach-builder at Subiaco and as a miner on the goldfields. After his wife returned, he set up as a blacksmith at Kalgoorlie. In 1906 he contracted typhoid fever which confined him to bed for three months. One year later he again fell ill with typhoid and went home to convalesce in Victoria. By 1908 he had returned to Kalgoorlie. That year a cyclone flattened his premises; with the help of local blacksmiths, the shed was rebuilt and named the 'Cyclone Coach Factory'.

In 1925 Moore was elected to the Kalgoorlie Municipal Council. A member of the Nationalist Party, he represented (1932-36) North-East Province in the Legislative Council. In 1937 he was elected mayor of Kalgoorlie, a position he held until his death at the age of 88. Described as a hard-working, non-smoking, teetotal but tolerant man, he was highly respected and affectionately regarded in a town renowned for its drinking and gambling, as well as its gold. As mayor, he opened the Olympic pool (1938), guided the council's electricity undertaking to a profit, jointly chaired the district patriotic fund which raised £70,000 during World War II, and welcomed members of the royal family to Kalgoorlie in 1954 and 1958. He was a long-time adherent of the Methodist Church, and served as a lay preacher and Sunday School superintendent.

Known to all goldfielders as Dickie Moore, he was a wiry man, with a thin face, biggish ears, straight grey hair and a moustache. He held office in the local Mechanics' Institute, and in branches of the Travellers' Aid Society, Fresh Air League, Silver Chain District (and Bush) Nursing Association, Liberal Party, Australian Red Cross Society, Young Men's Christian Association, Royal Flying Doctor Service of Western Australia and St John Ambulance Association (life member). A widower, on 31 January 1953 at Wesley Church, Kalgoorlie, he had married Rose Sarah, née Howlett, widow of Rev. Herbert Fennell. He was appointed O.B.E. in 1951 and knighted in 1960. Two years later the Kalgoorlie council named the sports centre after him. Sir Richard Moore died on 15 September 1966 at his Kalgoorlie home and was buried in the local cemetery; his wife survived him, as did two of the four sons and the two daughters of his first marriage.

Select Bibliography

  • J. Ellen, The Hammer and the Anvil (Melb, 1992)
  • People (Sydney), 4 Nov 1953
  • Kalgoorlie Miner, 1 Jan 1951, 4 Jan 1952, 2 Feb 1953, 1 Jan 1960, 16 Sept 1966, 19 Mar 1971
  • West Australian, 1 Jan 1960, 16 Sept 1966.

Citation details

Tess Thomson, 'Moore, Sir Richard Greenslade (Dick) (1878–1966)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/moore-sir-richard-greenslade-dick-11156/text19873, published first in hardcopy 2000, accessed online 21 May 2019.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, (MUP), 2000

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