Colonel John Longville Price VD
John Longville Price was born in Worcester on 24th October 1838 to parents, Simeon Longville Price and Ann Price (nee Suckling of Kent).
In 1844, Simeon and Ann came to Melbourne with two sons and one daughter, landing on the 28th of February of that year. They immediately proceeded to Geelong as at the time Geelong was regarded as the future Capital of the new Colony. John was six years old when the family arrived in Australia. He had a private Tutor and was articled with Mr. Harwood of the legal firm Harwood and Pincott, of Geelong.
John became a successful solicitor, and was probably the most illustrious of Torquay’s pioneers in that he had three pages de-voted to him in the Victorian Centenary book published in 1935. He lived in Geelong and his practice was located on the corner of Yarra and Lt. Malop Streets. He lived in Longville House on the Eastern Beach and had a keen interest in military affairs.
“Having obtained his commission for the military forces, he continued with his activities in this direction until he had reached the rank of Colonel – which commission was of an Imperial nature, inasmuch as it was applicable to the British Regular Army at Home. Having obtained his Colonelcy, he was appointed as Commanding Officer for the entire Western District Forces, including those in Portland, Warrnambool, Drysdale, Queenscliffe and Geelong” (Victorian Centenary Book).
Col. Price was a City Councillor and Alderman in Geelong and was Mayor in 1883. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Torquay District and had a hand in the first subdivisions that preserved Torquay’s beaches. Price Street, Torquay and Chil-well, Geelong are named after him. He built a holiday residence in Price Street, Torquay in the 1880’s This house stands still to-day and survived the 1940’s bush fires. He called it “Bromsgrove”. Although still facing Price Street, the surrounding land was subdivided and sold in 1956 The house was purchased in 1956 and renamed “Whispering Trees”. It is now owned by Spencer and Louise Leighton who have lived in the house since 1980.
Col Price was the first President of the Torquay Improvement Association which was set up in 1889 to push for improvements in the Torquay area, particularly the road from Mt. Duneed where wagons often were bogged in the sand. He was also responsible with the TIA for changing the name from Spring Creek to Torquay. The price family owned Bathing Box No. 1 on the Torquay Beach.
Colonel Price and his wife Elizabeth had five children, four daughters (Daisy Ida Longville Price, Lonzie Longville Price, Elsie Myra Longville Price and Ethelwynne (Winnie), and a son John Longville Price Jnr. His only grandson was born to Daisy Ida Longville Price (born 1880 ) and Campbell Campbell-Smith. Colonel John Longville Price died on 12th March 1908
Researched by SPENCER LEIGHTON