William Duffy was a publican at Leigh Creek and a councillor with the Shire of Bungaree.
William James Duffy was born c. 1853, the son of James Duffy and Frances Cullen. Duffy was the publican at the Leigh Creek Hotel. He was also a member of the Bungaree Shire Council and had served as its treasurer.
He retired from the hotel in May 1914. There was a grand farewell event:
...A. Popular Licensee...Mr DUFFY FAREWELLED. Farmers from all parts of the Shire of Bungaree, and also from a neighboring shire, assembled at the Leigh Creek hotel "to do honor,' as the chairman (Cr Lee) said, 'to one of their best citizens and treasurer, Mr W. J. Duffy, who is leaving the district." Mr Duffy has been licensee of the Leigh Creek hotel for a quarter of a century, and there are few better known men in the district. Had the weather been more favorable, there would have been a much larger gathering, as several apologies were received. After the toast of "The King;" had been honored, Cr W. B. Clark proposed the toast of the "Shire of Bungaree." He was sorry Mr Duffy was leaving them. Bungaree and Buninyong Shire had always been on amicable terms, and all would be sorry to lose Mr Duffy as a municipal officer. Bungaree had followed in the footsteps of Buninyoug lately in the making of roads. Bungaree had a higher rate than Buninyong.
Cr Bibby responded, and said that during the six years he had been in the council he had had a good time. Bungaree certainly paid a higher rate than Buuinyong, but their roads were a credit to them. They were better than Buninyong, where the cross roads were neglected. Mr Duffy had been with the council about 25 years, and that fact alone spoke well of him. All would re gret his departure, and they wished him success in the future. (Hear, hear).
Cr Davies said he had been with the council for 25 years. When he joined the council they had no roads, and he had been instrumental in getting them made. If their engineer and secretary remained with them for any length of time, Bungaree would have roads equal to those in any shire or borough in the Ballarat district. (Applause). Mr B. Clark (Springbank) proposed the toast of "The Agricultural Industry." The district in which they resided was a favored one. Bungaree had good potato land, but he believed Buninyong would come into prominence in a short time in agriculture and in other ways. It had deposits of coal and iron, and he hoped that its hopes in that direction would be realised. It was said the people following agriculture were somewhat behind the times. There was something, in that; but they were living in an enlightened age, and he hoped that people who depended on agriculture would endeavor to realise the possibilities of agriculture.
Mr B. M'Gowan responded, and said that agriculture was going ahead in Bungaree and Buninyong. Bun garee had good roads that could not be equalled. Farmers ought to be well pleased at things generally. As for Mr Duffy he had known him for the past 25 years, and no better licensee had stood in the hotel. (Hear, Hear.) He hoped he would come back to them. Years ago they had a bad road from Claretown to Bullarook, and the ratepayers decided to make it. Although it diverted traffic from Mr Duffy, he contributed his donation towards entertaining the men. (Hear, hear).
The chairman proposed the toast of "The Guest" (Mr Duffy). He felt honored at having that privilege, because he believed they had in Mr Duffy a citizen to be proud of. Mr Duffy had always treated the council with kindness, and was a good licensee. He had always been charitable and generous, and as treasurer of the shire he had been conscientious and business-like. That such a number had assembled to bid good bye to him proved that he was appreciated. In handing Mr Duffy a purse of sovereigns, Cr Lee ex pressed the hope that it would help to speed him on his way, and to remind him of his friends in the district. (Hear, hear.)
Mr J. S. Lazarus presented a gold cable bangle to Miss Duffy. Mr P. Fogarty, as a neighbor for 11 years, said he could not wish for a straighter man as a licensee. He hoped the incoming tenants would conduct the house on the same lines. He wished Mr Duffy long life and happiness wherever he went. Mr A. Turner was sorry Mr Duffy was leaving the district. He had had business relations with him and his father before him for the past 60 years, and he was held in great esteem. He hoped that wherever Mr and Miss Duffy went they would have all the joy and happiness they deserved. Const. Jones said that no father or mother in the Bungaree district could say that Mr Duffy had helped to lead their boys astray. There could not have been a better licensee. He would never encourage lads to smoke, and he would always insist on good behaviour in his hotel. He was generous to a fault. Crs Davies, Clark, and Bibby, and Messrs T. Walsh, J. M'Grath, T. Reidy, M'Gilligan and B. Clark sup ported the toast.
Mr Duffy said he never thought that he was such a jolly good fellow. He believed all that was said was meant—(hear hear)-and he thanked them for their good wishes and presents. He felt sure he was leaving friends that he might never see. the like of again. Possibly he would be back in Ballarat again. He had to thank the councillors for many kindnesses, and he wished them all health, wealth and prosperity. He never expected such a gathering to do him honor, and he hoped he would always deserve their good opinions. Songs and recitations were given by Messrs J. M'Grath, Kennedy, Wescott, Crs Lee, Bibby and Davies, ad Major J. S. Lazarus.
Duffy died at Brown Hill in 1916:
The body of William Duffy was found in the scrub near Brown Hill on Tuesday. Deceased, who was about 65 years of age, was at one time licensee of the Leigh Creek Hotel. He was seen going to his home between 11 and 12 o'clock on Monday night. Death was apparently due to natural causes. An inquest will be held.
- ↑ Great War Index Victoria 1914-1920, Index to Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Victoria, 1916 Deaths, Ref. No. 248, Macbeth Genealogical Services, 1998
- ↑ 1914 '...A Popular Licensee...', Gordon, Egerton and Ballan Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 22 May, p. 4, viewed 27 May, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129414397
- ↑ 1916 'BODY FOUND IN SCRUB.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 8 March, p. 10, viewed 27 May, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2094350