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LEON, Samuel, KC (1848-1933)

LEON, Samuel, KC (1848-1933)

Samuel Leon, 1911 (Old Collegian)

Samuel Leon, 1911 (Old Collegian)

Pegasus in August 1923 reported: ' We extend hearty congratulations from School and Old Collegians to Mr. Justice Leon upon his appointment as Deputy County Court Judge of Victoria.

One of the first boys to enter Geelong College under the late Dr. George Morrison in 1861, our learned friend, so greatly beloved by his contemporaries for his genial and warm-hearted disposition, was known to all as 'Sam'. He matriculated at the College in 1863, Exhibitioner in Classics, Exhibitioner in Mathematics, Dux of the School in 1864; after­wards taking the University Degree of LL.M.

No Old Boy of the School has shown greater loyalty, having rarely ever missed any Reunion or important gathering held since the foun­dation of the Association, of which he was elected second President in 1906, following the long term of office held by Professor Kernot.

That His Honour may enjoy very many years of health and happi­ness to carry through his new duties is the earnest wish of every Coll­egian, past and present.'

Samuel Leon was born in London to parents Szymanski and Selina nee Ascher. His matriculation application indicates that he was a student at the School in 1863. He appears in the 1863 Annual Report as a second prizewinner in Greek in the Second Class. In 1864, he was dux of the School and featured strongly in the Annual Speech Day Program including as the twentieth speaker in the Mimic Parliamentary Debate.

George Morrison noted in his 1865 Annual Report that Samuel Leon had been awarded two out of the three Exhibitions annually awarded by the University of Melbourne in Mathematics and Classics.

Samuel Leon, judge and King’s Counsel, ‘passed away on the 26th February, at his home in Irving Avenue, Prahran. One of the few surviving first pupils, of the late George Morrison at the original College in Skene Street, he was looked upon as the first scholar in Victoria to gain a classical and mathematical exhibition at matriculation at the age of 14 years. When 19 years, old, at the Melbourne University, he took the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and that of Master of Arts when aged 20 years. At the age of 22 years he was appointed headmaster of Nelson College, in Auckland, N.Z., where he remained for four years before returning to Melbourne to take his degree as Master of Laws.

Admitted to the Bar in 1874, he then practiced as a barrister and solicitor for 23 years. (In 1918), at the age of 70 years he was appointed acting judge of the County Court of Victoria, a position which he held for several years (until 1926).

As a youth he was a very fast swimmer and keen on both rowing and boxing. He was elected as the second president of the Old Collegians' Association (1906), following Professor Kernot, and for many years was an active member of the Committee’

Sources: Pegasus August 1923 p31; Obituary-Pegasus March 1933 p61.
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