Robert Henry Price, my great-grandfather, was born on February 16, 1836 at Launceston, the second son of Robert and Hannah Price.
Educated privately and at the Launceston Church Grammar School, in 1850 he started his 25-year career as a grocer.
In June 1859, Robert entered into partnership with JW Brand and WA Parker in the Gold Mine Grocery and Tea Warehouse on the corner of St John and Paterson streets.
By 1871 Robert was the sole proprietor, and later worked for George Hubbard and WW White.
From 1875 until his death, Robert operated a mining agents' business in the Mining Chambers, 25 Paterson Street, being the legal manager of the best mines at Lefroy and Beaconsfield.
At the height of the boom he managed about 40 gold mining companies.
Robert was appointed as a JP in 1888, the same year he was elected to the Launceston Council as an alderman.
His street-corner election speeches finished with the words: "I stand for the Electric Light."
An alderman of the city for two successive terms of three years each, in December 1893 he became Mayor for one year.
On December 23, 1893 The Launceston Examiner announced: "GOLD ESCORT FROM LEFROY. GOLD CHRISTMAS CAKES. The gold from the New and West Pinafore mines, Lefroy, was brought into the city yesterday and lodged in the National Bank of Tasmania. It will be on view in the windows of Mr James Barclay's establishment, at the corner of Brisbane and St. John streets, today.
"A rather unusual circumstance connected with the bringing in of the gold was the fact that the Mayor of the city (Alderman R. H. Price) was in charge of it, he being manager of the two companies. The gold consisted of 20101/2oz, in two cakes of 15301/2oz from the New and 480oz from the West Pinafore."
As chairman of the Electric Light Committee he signed the contract for the supply and erection of the electrical plant for the Duck Reach Power Station.
In 1898 he was returned as an alderman again.
On Friday, December 28, 1900 Robert left Launceston on the steamer Wakatipu to attend the Commonwealth Celebrations in Sydney as the representative of the City Council.
But there was 'quite a sensation' in Launceston on the evening of January 4, 1901 when the news of his sudden death in Sydney reached the city.
William Hart, MLC, broke the news to his grieving widow Mary and their eight remaining children.
The Stock Exchange closed and flags throughout the city were flown at half-mast.