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Raine, Tom Raine (1858–1929)

by A. O. Sullivan

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Supplementary Volume, (MUP), 2005

Tom Raine Raine (1858-1929), real-estate agent, was born on 20 June 1858 at Frederick Valley, near Orange, New South Wales, second of three sons of Edmund William Worsley Raine, a Sydney-born miller, and his wife Augusta Eliza, née Dunlop, who came from Ireland. The boy was named after his adventurous grandfather Thomas Raine, a friend and business partner of W. C. Wentworth. After the death of young Tom's brothers in infancy and that of their father in 1863, Augusta ran the mill and educated her son at home. They lived on a farm leased from the Wentworth family. Raine learned early the value of hard work.

In the early 1880s Fitzwilliam Wentworth recommended Raine to J. R. Hill, manager of the extensive Wentworth and (Daniel) Cooper estates, who offered him the position of agent for the Cooper estate. The young man's mentors were Hill and Joseph Mortimer Horne (1842-1927), who had been agent for the Wentworth estate for some years. Born on 22 June 1842 at Huntley, Aberdeen, Scotland, eighth of nine children of George Horn(e), merchant, and his wife Helen, née Milne, Joseph had met W. C. Wentworth's son D'Arcy in Britain, reached Sydney in 1871 and lived for some fourteen years in Vaucluse House. In 1883 Raine and Horne became partners, setting up as land agents—managing properties, collecting rents, making valuations, and buying and selling on commission. Horne married with Anglican rites Annie Marrietta Clutterbuck, a Nightingale nurse from England, on 5 August 1886 at Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney.

At St John's Church of England, Ashfield, on 4 February 1889 Raine married Jean Vardon Ralston. On 31 October 1894 he was badly burned when the train in which he was travelling was involved in a collision at Redfern station. He needed six months treatment in Sydney Hospital and daily attention to his burns for the rest of his life.

As the firm became better known, business grew. In 1898 Raine replaced Sir Daniel Cooper as trustee of the Hunter Baillie estate and also took the place of Hill as trustee of the Cooper estate. The Raine family moved in 1899 from Ashfield to Guyong, at Double Bay, which the architect Ernest Scott had designed. That year Horne retired from the business, but he continued to manage the Wentworth estate until 1920. He died on 28 November 1927 at Croydon and was buried with Brethren forms in Rookwood cemetery. His wife survived him.

Raine's business life had begun with his excellent connexions but was transformed into success by his ability, energy and personal charm. He sought to improve the standing of agents by insisting that no member of his firm should deal in real estate on his own behalf. In 1929 the Bulletin described him as 'a small, mercurial, smiling man who loved life and his fellow-men'. His hobbies were shooting, fishing and golf, and he belonged to the Australian Jockey and the Royal Sydney Golf clubs as well as to the Australian Club in Sydney and the Wellington in London. He was a life governor of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred, the Royal South Sydney and Royal North Shore hospitals and of the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children. During World War I Jean Raine was president of the Belgian Babies' Kit Society, which sent clothing to the needy wives of British and Allied soldiers and sailors.

His health failing, Raine decided to provide for the future of his family and the firm. Raine & Horne was incorporated as an unlisted public company on 1 February 1928. Raine died on 2 May 1929 in a private hospital and was buried in Waverley cemetery. His wife and their five daughters and three sons survived him. In 2004 his company, chaired by his grandson, had more than 450 franchise offices throughout Australia and Asia, affiliated offices in Europe and an annual turnover exceeding $9 billion.

Select Bibliography

  • E. Warburton, Private Property (Syd, 1998)
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 1 Nov 1894, pp 5 & 6, 29 Nov 1927, p 12, 3 May 1929, p 14, 1 Mar 1983, pp 11 & 12
  • Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 23 June 1915, p 6
  • Bulletin, 8 May 1929, p 14
  • Real Estate Auctioneers & Agents Association of New South Wales, minutes, 1910-29 (Real Estate Institute of New South Wales archives, Rushcutters Bay, Sydney)
  • Raine & Horne, Board minutes, 1928-29 (held by Raine & Horne, Sydney)
  • A. O. Sullivan, The Raine and Horne Story (manuscript, privately held)
  • private information.

Citation details

A. O. Sullivan, 'Raine, Tom Raine (1858–1929)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/raine-tom-raine-13165/text23827, published first in hardcopy 2005, accessed online 28 November 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Supplementary Volume, (MUP), 2005

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