Amelia Kate Allchin
Amelia Kate was born in Belfast (Port Fairy), Victoria in 1864 to James Hooper and Maria Cunningham Smith. After marrying Edmund Allchin in 1885 the newlyweds moved to Preston where around 1890, Edmund opened a general store. The couple started a family with the birth of their first child Stanley John in 1889, followed by Leslie Edmund in 1891. Sadly the boys died infants but Edith Pearl was born in 1893, Lily May in 1895, Ruby Muriel in 1896 and Harold Walton in 1897. The three girls and Harold all survived to old age.
The family settled into the shop keeping life at Plenty Road, South Preston. Amelia was a capable partner in her husband's business and community affairs. Edmund was three times elected Shire President of Preston in 1908-09, 1917-18 and consecutively in 1918-19. He died in 1921 at the age of 69.
Amelia's greatest civic works came after she was widowed. She was prominent in the Preston Ladies' Benevolent Society which was founded in 1888 to provide relief for the poor and needy of Preston. Amelia served as Honorary Secretary for 10 years and was elected President in 1921, the same year of her husband's death. She was also the original treasurer of the Preston Red Cross Auxiliary which formed in 1921. Amelia spent forty years assisting the underprivileged of Preston. Her leadership in the Benevolent Society and the Red Cross was invaluable during the years of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Amelia died peacefully at her home in 22 Collins Street, West Preston on 17 December 1946. She was 82. Her children Ruby (Mrs Sinclair), Pearl (Mrs Selleck), Lily (Mrs Irwin) and Harold W. Allchin of Hotham Street mourned their mother's passing.
Victorian Pioneers Index: 1837 – 1888 [CD-ROM]. 1991 Melbourne, Australia: R.M.I.T.
OBITUARIES. (1946, December 18). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 2.
Preston Historical Society. (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic.: Author.