GEORGE TEMPLE POOLE

1856 - 1934

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Temple Poole
George Temple Poole

 

 

George Temple was born on May 29th 1856 in Rome. His parents, Lt. Col. John George Temple and Dame Louisa Poole just happened to be visiting Italy from England when George was born.

 

The family were well off but George's father died not long after George was born after being invalided home from the Crimean War. His mother re-married and her second husband was a cousin who had the surname Poole so George became Temple-Poole.

 

George inherited properties in England from his father and was educated at Winchester College.

 

After leaving school he was commissioned in the Hampshire militia regiment and began studying architecture and civil engineering.

 

After working in England for some time he went to Ceylon before returning to London and being appointed Superintendent of Public Works in Western Australia in June 1885.

 

Little is known of his first wife except that her name was Beatrice Banger and she accompanied him on the trip out to Western Australia where she died some time before the First World War.

 

George was just 29 and was taking over from Richard Roach Jewell who had been supervising public building in W.A. since 1853.

 

From his appointment in 1885 to his retirement from public service in 1896, Poole was to oversee a period of building in W.A.'s history that is often referred to now as 'the Golden Age'. During his time in W.A. he dropped his hyphenated name and was known just as George Poole.

 

George oversaw the design and construction of many major and minor buildings in W.A. including some that are listed below. His influence extended from making alterations to existing buildings, to altering draftsmens work to designing and implementing major public works projects. The designs he created were styled to meet their needs and their particular environment and there are few if any areas of the state that his work did not reach.

 

After a controversy during which he was accused of corruption he resigned from the public service even though and enquiry completely exonerated him.

 

In 1896 he was appointed to the Board of Kings Park and was heavily involved in the development of facilities and attractions. He had actually already done some design work for areas in the park in 1890.

 

In 1897 he took his wife back to England and Europe for a holiday (that was probably also mixed with some business) and he was back in W.A. by 1898. Soon afterwards he became a Freemason and remained involved in masonry for the rest of his life.

 

At the age of just 40 he embarked on a new private career in which he concentrated more on engineering than on design.

 

In 1900 he re-joined the public service for a short time (15 months) but left again just after the tragic death of Charles O'Coonnor. Around this time he also stood for election to state parliament but failed to get the necessary votes.

 

After his first wife died he married Daisy Rossi in 1918, she was 23 years his junior and lived until 1974. The same year George designed the sarcophagus over John Forrest's grave at the request of Lady Forrest.

 

At the age of 70 George was selected to take part in the design of the city of New Delhi in India but a routine health check up found that he had acute emphysema and had to withdraw from the project. The last major project he was to work on was Temple Court, the name of which honoured his father.

 

George Temple Poole died aged 77 on February 27th 1934. Many of the buildings he designed are now classified by the National Trust but sadly not all of them survived to the present day.

 

Some of the important buildings that George Temple Poole was involved in designing are listed below:

 

Roebourne - Old Gaol 1886 (now the visitor's centre, Court house 1886, Boys school 1892, Hospital 1887, Police station 1893, The residency 1885, Post and telegraph office 1887.
Cossack - Court House 1890, Customs House 1896, Jarman Island lighthouse and keeper's quarters 1888.
Marble Bar - Government Offices 1895.
Albany - Cottage hospital 1887, Primary school 1894, Quarantine hospital 1892, Old post office 1896.
Esperance - School.
Israelite Bay - Telegraph station 1896. (also 4 other telegraph stations including Eucla and Eyre's Sand Patch).
Northam - Court House 1896, Old post office 1892.
York - Post office, Court house complex 1896, Police station 1890 (circa), Old Hospital 1896, School 1896.
Toodyay - Old government school 1886, Old court house 1896, Hospital 1892, Post and telegraph office 1895 (circa).
Bunbury - Primary school 1894, Post and telegraph office 1894.
Augusta - Cape Leeuwin lighthouse 1895.
Pinjarra - Post and telegraph office, School house 1895, Weir 1895.
Narrogin - Old court house.
Williams - School.
Southern Cross - Mining warden's court 1892, School 1895.
Coolgardie - Government offices 1894, Railway station 1896, Mining warden's court 1898, Primary school 1896.
Cue - Government offices 1894, Gaol 1897.
Geraldton - Post and telegraph office 1893, Old hospital (now visitor centre) 1887.
Walkaway - Railway station.
Rottnest - Lighthouse 1895.
Perth area - Fremantle lunatic asylum (now arts centre), Claremont police station 1896, Claremont railway station 1886, Museum 1897, Government printing office 1892, James Street boys school 1896, James Street girls school 1892, Colonial hospital admin wing, Observatory 1896, Royal Mint 1896, Treasury buildings 1874 (Initial design by Jewell additions by Poole.), General Post Office 1890, Lands Department 1896.
There were 200 buildings across the state that George Temple Poole had some influence in the design of, far too many to list here. 34 of these buildings were listed by the National Trust of Australia and described as 'essential to the heritage of Australia and must be preserved.'

 

Chronology

 

1856 - Born May 29th in Rome.

1876 - Commissioned in the militia with the Hampshire Regiment.

1885 - Married Beatrice Hamilton Banger.

1885 - Appointed Superintendent of Public Works in Western Australia.

1889 - Became director of his department.

1896 - Retired from the Public Service and embarked on a private career.

1896 - Appointed to the Board of Kings Park.

1897 - Took his wife back to England and Europe for a holiday.

1898 - Became a Freemason.

1899 - Returned to Perth after 2 years in England.

1900 - Re-joined the public service for 15 months.

1913 - First honorary life fellow Western Australian Institute of Architects.

1914 - Poole's wife Beatrice died.

1918 - Married his second wife, Daisy Rossi on December 23rd.

1934 - Died February 27th.

 

Links to more information:

 

Poole, George Thomas Temple (1856-1934)

George Temple-Poole

George Thomas Temple-Poole b. 1856

 

 

 

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