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Alexander Giffin (-1948)

By May 1, 2012No Comments


One of the links with the early days of Manildra was broken with the death on Monday at 10am of one of its oldest and most highly respected residents, in the person of Mr Alexander Giffin.

The deceased was the son of the late Mr and Mrs Alexander Giffin, pioneer settlers of this district, and one of a large family. He was born in the Bathurst district, 84 years ago, coming to these parts with his parents, when aged 11 years. His father selected land in this district, the property Ainsdale, on the boundary of the east side of Manildra, being the original holding, where the deceased resided all his life with his family, except for a few months prior to his demise.

The late Mr Giffin was a man of many parts. Like many of his fellows of the early days he travelled far and wide throughout the west, being for a long time attached to a party of surveyors, and no man was more entertaining and interesting to talk to in his reminiscences, of the early life in Manildra and the west.

Mr Giffin was married in Sydney 55 years ago, and he and his wife settled down at Ainsdale and reared a large family.

For years the name Giffin was synonymous with the town of Manildra.

Mr Giffin was dealt a severe blow in the death of his life’s partner, Mrs S. S. Giffin, several years ago; she was in her 70s. With courage and fortitude, that is a trait in the pioneer generation, he went about his daily tasks in his accustomed way up till several months ago, when it became apparent that his health would no longer permit of any arduous work.

Mr Giffin was a familiar figure in Manildra. Until a few months back he was accustomed to ride his horse into town daily, where he spent many a long moment in genial conversation with his many companions. One morning he sadly realised that he was no longer able to mount into the saddle, and he then remarked to his intimates that he realised that his life’s journey was nearing conclusion.

He passed away on Monday morning, as stated above, after a severe seizure the day before.

Mr Giffin only recently left his old home with his daughter, Miss Enid Giffin, to reside at a residence nearer to the town, but from the date of his departure from his old surroundings, unfortunately the best days of his life had gradually faded.

One and all in Manildra and many surrounding centres will regret the passing of such a fine personality as Alex Giffin, who was always looking on the bright side, ready for a yarn, and a humorous reminiscence of the old days, and a friend in need to many.

Left to mourn the death of a fond father are two daughters, Miss Enid Giffin (Manildra) and Miss Eileen Giffin (Sydney – a sister with the District Nursing Association for many years) and a son, Mr Geoff Giffin (Manildra). Three sons predeceased him by many years; Keith, Wilfred (Bill) and Hilton (Johnny). The deceased was the last of a family of 12, except for Mrs Emma Robins (Cronulla). Deceased brothers on the family were Richard, John, William, Allan and James, and sisters, Ellen (Mrs Fleeting), Margaret (Mrs C. Stacey), Caroline (Mrs Pearce), Sarah (Mrs C. Miller) and Miss Maria Giffin.
For further information see Manildra Memories folder at Manildra Library