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PASCO, Montagu Gordon Charles (1860-1952)

'Monty' Pasco, 1951.

'Monty' Pasco, 1951.

PASCO, Montagu Gordon Charles (1860-1952)

Montagu Pasco died at Toowoomba, Queensland, on June 30, at the age of 92 years. The son of Crawford Aitchison Denman Pasco and Mary Eliza nee Emmett of Port Albert, he first attended the Geelong Grammar Preparatory School from 1870 to 1873 before entering Geelong College in 1874. He passed the matriculation examination in 1875.

On leaving the College he joined the Bank of Australasia, serving in South Australia, New Zealand, New South Wales and Queensland. He enlisted at Toowoomba for service in the Queensland Mounted Infantry, Second Contingent, in the Anglo-South African War, and returned to Toowoomba after the war where he was appointed manager of the bank. He was also a long-serving President of the Queensland Branch of the Old Geelong Collegians. He was renowned among members of the Old Collegians' Association for his feat in 1926 of walking from Toowoomba to Geelong to attend an Old Collegians' Reunion. He also visited the College in 1931 to give students a talk on his recent tour of England and Europe in which he extolled the virtues of walking to fully appreciate rustic England.

‘His was an essentially romantic personality, in which loyalty was the leading characteristic, almost equalled, however, by his love of walking. He made extensive walking tours in Australia and overseas, once walked from Toowoomba to Geelong, on another occasion covered 70 miles on foot in a single day, and was walking from his home into the city of Toowoomba daily till about a week before his death. ‘Monty’ last visited his beloved school on Speech Day, 1949, aged 89, when he took a seat on the official platform’.

He was justly proud of his family's connections with British naval history and Pegasus published this version of it: 'His father was a senior officer in the Royal Navy; his grandfather, John Crawford Pasco, played an important part in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, indicated in a published letter:- ‘His Lordship came to me on the poop. ‘Mr. Pasco, I wish to say to the fleet 'England confides that every man will do his duty'; and he added, 'You must be quick, for I have one more to make, which is for close action.' I replied, 'If your Lordship will permit me to substitute expects for confides the signal will soon be completed, because expects is in the (flag) vocabulary, and confides must be spelt.' His Lordship concurred in haste. ... accordingly, I hoisted the signal at the topgallant masthead, and there it remained until shot away. His Lordship was, of course, Horatio Nelson; the masthead belonged to 'HMS Victory'; John Pasco was the Flag-Lieutenant, and later became Admiral aboard the Victory.' John Pascoe later commanded HMS Hindostan which escorted Governor Macquarie to Australia, then brought Bligh back to England. Montagu's father, Crawford, entered the navy in 1830 and sailed for Australia, where he helped in the founding of Port Essington (near Darwin), and later assisted in the surveying of the north-western coast and Bass Strait.

His brother, Frederick Claude Coote Pasco (1863-1955) was also educated at the College.

Sources: Pegasus May 1924 p42; Pegasus May 1931 p10; Pegasus December, 1952 p42; James Affleck Geelong Collegians’ at the Great War p281; Justin Corfield and Michael Collins Persse, Geelong Grammarians: A Biographical Register Volume One 1855-1913.
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