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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Ernest MBE Cavanagh

Born: 1904; Died: 1993; Married: Beatrice Smith

Ernest Cavanagh MBE's birth was recorded as 11 November 1904 in North Queensland to Patrick Allen and Charlotte Mary (nee Jones) Cavanagh, who had three children - Allen (1903), ERNEST (1904 Qld-1993) and Olive (1906 Qld).

Charlotte died in 1908 and after her death, Ernest moved down to live with Cavanagh family at 'Eastview', Mulligans Flat, Ginninderra, whilst the other two children went to Charlottes mother, the Jones/Gabbett family, at Jeir.

Ernest was bought up on 'Eastview' and in 1937 married Beatrice Veronica Smith, the daughter of Foster and Margaret (nee O'Connor of Naas Tharwa) Smith of Williamsdale. Foster and Margaret had six children - Les, Alf, Kevin, Beatrice, Margaret, Linda.

Michael Cavanagh died in 1937 and his wife Ethel was left money and bought a property in Bemboka with her brother, whilst 'Eastview' was taken over by their nephew Ernest Cavanagh.

Ernest and Beatrice had one child - John Joseph in 1938.

Ernest and Beatrice, and then their son John and his wife Joyce (nee Brown) took over the Cavanagh properties and leased additional land at 'The Valley' and 'Oak Hill', before moving to Young from 1987. The properties were managed by John's children until they were fully resumed in the 1990s.

Beatrice died on 10 April 1976, at only 70, whilst Ernest died in Young on 6 July 1993. Both are buried in the Woden cemetery.

Well known as chairman of the ACT Bush Fire Council, Ernest Cavanagh was awarded a national medal for his 55 years of service.

He was also active in the Queanbeyan Pastoral and Agricultural Association, and involved with the
ACT Pastoral and Agricultural Association, the National Sheep Dog Trial Association, the ACT Technical College, the ACT Rural Lessees' Association and the Queanbeyan branch of the Graziers' Association.

Ernest Cavanagh was also a familiar face among the Catholic congregation of St Francis Xavier's Church in Hall, where he was a lifelong member.

In 1968 Ernest Cavanagh was awarded an MBE for service to his community.

Ernest Cavanagh Street in the Gungahlin Town Centre is named after him.

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