Spence, Robert John

Personal Details

First nameRobert
Middle nameJohn
Date of birth02/03/1871
Place of birthVictoria
Date of death07/07/1945
Age at death69 years


Husband of Elsa May Peterson m.15/04/1914

Cemetery Record

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Grave number186
AddressMaroomba Station
Date of funeral09/07/1945

Morning Bulletin Wednesday 18 July 1945
The sudden death of Mr Robert John Spence breaks another link with the early life of Longreach and the Central West. Mr Spence came to Central-Western Queensland in the early nineties with, his parents, the late Mr and Mrs Thomas Spence, of Rosedale Longreach, a resumption from Wellshot station which his late father selected in 1894.
Born in Bendigo, Victoria, in 1876, Mr Robert Spence was 69 years of age. His early manhood was spent with his parents on Rosedale and when his late father extended his pastoral interests young Robert was sent to take charge of the family’s property Dillalah, in the Charleville district, which was later sold to the Queensland Government. His next home was at Maroomba, in the Muttaburra district, where he had, with his family, since resided.
Mr Spence had not enjoyed the best of health during recent years and for the last four years had been practically blind. He was present with his family at the Tangorin races on Saturday last and collapsed about 3.30 p.m. He was taken immediately to Muttaburra for medical attention, but died en route.
Thirty-one years ago he married, in Brisbane, Miss Elsa May Peterson, a member of a well known Central-western family, by whom he is survived. There are also five children – two daughters and three sons; Mrs W. H. Hutchinson (Tarragona, Corfield) Mrs T T. Shadforth (Ravenswood Downs, Aramac), James (Rossievale, Muttaburra), Robert Roy (Maroomba) and Alfred John. The last named on Saturday last, received his discharge from the RAAF.
Mr Spence had been prominent in Queensland racing for many years, and owned some of the best performers on metropolitan tracks, including Trainer, winner of a Brisbane Cup but probably his best performer was Greyona, which was his favourite galloper and a good winner in Brisbane. Greyona did stud duty at Maroomba and died a few years ago. At the time of his death Mr Spence had in training in Brisbane Sir Emborough, a prominent three year-old, which won a race only a few weeks previously. The family had horses racing at the Tangorin meeting on Saturday last. Mr Spence’s colours had been carried on most tracks in Central-western Queensland. He was a member of the Longreach Club and of many racing clubs, including the QTC, and was a member of the Meteor Masonic Lodge, Longreach.
The funeral took place at Muttaburra on Monday, Rev. W. R. W. Roberts officiating at a service in the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall and at the graveside.
[Source: DEATH OF MR ROBERT J. SPENCE. (1945, July 18). Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 – 1954), p. 6. Retrieved September 20, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56425605]

Queensland Country Life Thursday 19 July 1945
The death of Mr. R.J. Spence, Maroomba, Muttaburra, has removed a grazier and sportsman who was popular wherever graziers and racing men met.
Member of a pioneer pastoral family which has been actively associated with the grazing industry in the central west from the very early days, the late Mr. Spence suffered from failing eye sight for some time before his death, but his interest in the grazing industry and racing never diminished.
All race clubs in the central west found him a very keen supporter, and he also raced some good horses in Brisbane, his best horse probably being Trainer, a Brisbane Cup winner. Sir Emborough, which he bred, won recently at Albion Park when Mr. Spence was present. At the time of his death he had horses in training at Muttaburra, Longreach, Brisbane, and Toowoomba, and he was a member of a number of race clubs, including the Tower Hill Picnic Race Club, which before the war ran some of the best amateur meetings in the State.
[Source: LATE R. J. SPENCE. (1945, July 19). Queensland Country Life (Qld. : 1900 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved September 20, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97092680]

Cairns Post Monday 9 July 1945
BRISBANE. July 8.-Mr. R. J: Spence, grazier, of Maroomba Station. Muttaburra, and a prominent race-horse owner and breeder, suffered a heart attack while attending the Tangorin races on Saturday and died while being taken to the Muttaburra Hospital.
Just before Mr. Spence’s seizure, his son, Jim, was riding in a race when his mount struck a post and the lad received a broken collarbone.
The late Mr: Spence had a win in Brisbane recently with Sir Emborough, but although on the course, he was unable to see his horse pass the winning post because of his failing eye-sight.
[Source: SUDDEN DEATH. (1945, July 9). Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved September 20, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article42475435]