G H Ransom Reserve

G.H. Ransom Reserve is a popular local reserve that supports a variety of passive recreation activities. The reserve is located near the intersection of Grieve Parade and Queen Street (opposite the Esplanade), along the western end of the Altona foreshore and was upgraded over the past two years. Initially the property was set aside during Victoria’s centenary celebrations in 1934 as a caravan park for visitors but about 25 years later it was named to recognise the contribution of George Henry Ransom.

George Henry Ransom was born in in Jarrahdale Western Australia to parent Robert Thomas Ransom and Maude Mary Ransom nee Nichols. George was the youngest of two brothers.

Private George Henry Ransom served with the 57th Battalion, enlisting in Melbourne on 16 November 1917 and returning to Australia 19 April 1919. The 57th saw action, during this time, on the Western Front involved in the battles along the Hindenburg Line, Bullecourt, Polygon Wood, Ypres, Viller-Bretonneux and St Quentin Canal. Following the war, George returned to Mildura to live and work with his family. By the 1930s he had moved to Melbourne and was living in Northcote and working as a horticulturist.

In 1938 George Henry Ransom married Ada Jane Beckwith. They both were working at the munitions works within Maribyrnong. The couple moved to Altona in the mid-1940s and George quickly engrossed himself into local affairs and issues. His first attempt to enter local politics occurred in 1951 at the to fill John Grant’s vacancy for the Altona Riding , the independent E.W. Ward, who was a line foreman with the State Electricity Commission, easily out-polled the endorsed Labor candidate George Henry Ransom. Few voters had a personal bias against Ransom, but many had been repelled by the unwanted pressure tactics of his group, the Altona Ratepayers’ Association. This association had been formed early in 1951 by Labor activists.

George Henry Ransom elected 1957 to Altona Shire

At the Werribee council elections in in 1954 George was this time successful and served for the final three years of the Altona Riding with Cr Harry Kim and Reg Logan. In 1957 when Altona seceded from Werribee George Ransom was elected to the new Shire council. Give the inexperience of the new council and that further elections were to be held in August of 1957 George was elected president for this ten-week period. George served until the election in 1959 when he retired, he was 60 years of age, he had also lost his wife in 1955.

George remained living in Maidstone Street until his passing in November 1969 at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and he is buried within the Fawkner Memorial Park.

Bibliography

  • Altona A Long View by Susan Priestley, published 1988, pages 122, 123
  • HBCC website, hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au, G H Ransom reserve, viewed 17 Aug 2020
  • Altona Star, 19 November 1969, page 2

Research: Graeme Reilly (ALHS) 2020