Biographies of the Early Aldermen

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Peter Francis Hart.

Alderman September 1886 – June 1887.

Peter Hart was born to John and Margaret Hart in Belfast in 1840. It is thought he married Elizabeth Murray in Berrima in 1865 and had a son named after himself in 1867. He was a builder/contractor owning ‘Hart’s Buildings’ off Gloucester Street down near Circular Quay. He attempted unsuccessfully to join the City Council as an alderman for Gipps Ward in 1872.

He constructed ‘Ulster Terrace’ on the east side of Station Street, Newtown in 1870. It is a long row of sixteen in the same street as the station and near a very desirable set of residences. He and his family lived in the south end of the row. In 1878 he was writing to Council urging that kerbing and guttering be laid in Station Street because it seems nearly two thirds of Ulster Terrace was unleased.

There was a squabble in 1882 over the front boundary of land he owned in King Street. On his surveyor’s advice Peter Hart correctly placed his fence 11 feet from the kerb line. But it did not align with the fence of the Congregational Church next door which was 12 feet from the kerb. Hart would only agree to shift his fence to match if he was paid £7.

Alderman Neale mentioned in September 1883 that Hart’s Lane required kerbing and guttering but we do not know its location.

He succeeded as an alderman in City Council’s Gipps Ward in May 1883 and he continued unopposed in the subsequent five elections for that seat until 1899. Even though he started as an ‘ardent advocate of municipal reform’, he later considered himself as ‘part of the old Brigade’. He may have been on the Committee for the Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition in June 1887. Peter Hart attempted to get onto the Newtown Council for the newly created Camden Ward in September 1886. It cannot be said he contributed a great deal to Council and he retired in June 1887.

He married his second wife Ellen Gertrude (Nellie) in in 1899 in Melbourne. He retired from the building trade to his property, Ulster Park, at Moss Vale where he died on 28th. December 1917. His funeral and requiem mass was held at St. Joseph’s Newtown.

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