Mr. James Gormly

23 July 1887 The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser

Mr. James Gormly is an old colonist, having arrived with his parents in Sydney in January, 1840, being then only four years old.

He resided in the Illawarra district for a few years, and then went to Gundagai, on the Murrumbidgee.

On the discovery of gold in New South Wales, Mr. Gormly, although only 16 years of age, went to the Turon and other goldfields.

When travelling to Bendigo, he remained for a time with his parents, who resided at Gundagai, and was there when the great flood took place on the 25th of June, 1852, when about 100 persons were drowned.

Among those lost were his parents, two brothers, and a sister.

Mr. Gormly and one brother, after swimming more than half-a-mile, took refuge in an oak tree, and remained in the tree (almost naked) during the whole of a bitterly cold, frosty night, and the most part of next day. 

Mr. Gormly subsequently went to the Victorian goldfields, and remained there for about six months, when he returned to the Murrumbidgee, and has resided near Wagga Wagga since that time.

In the early days of Wagga Wagga, Mr. Gormly owned and bred 6ome good racehorses, and was known as a bold and skilful amateur rider, especially in steeplechases.

At the Murrumbidgee Turf Club meetings he several times rode in the Members' Cup, and likewise rode his own horse, Camel, for the Ten-mile Race. Mr. Gormly is still considered a good horseman, and last November rode for the Ladies' Bracelet at Yerong Creek.

Mr. Gormly has been a steward and member of the race committee of the Murrumbidgee Turf Club for about 20 years, and has acted as honorary handicapper to that club for a number of years.

Mr. Gormly's handicaps for the Wagga Gold Cup, when 1000 guineas were added, were considered some of the best made in the colonies. 

Mr. Gormly's assistance as handicapper has been eagerly sought for by amateur and other race clubs in the southern district, and has always been gratuitously given, and never refused when he could spare the necessary time.

Mr. Gormly still adjusts the weights for the Murrumbidgee Turf club when Mr. Scarr cannot undertake the duty. 

Mr. Gormly has acted as judge of horses at many of the principal pastoral shows in Riverina; and his stylish four-in-hand is often seen on the showgrounds and racecourses.

Mr. Gormly was a member of the Borough Council of Wagga Wagga for three years, and was elected Mayor twice without opposition during that time.

He was elected one of the three members for the Murrumbidgee in 1885, and at the last general election was returned at the head of the poll.