Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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SHERLOCK, Henry (1889 – 1978)

SHERLOCK, Henry (1889 – 1978)

Builder of Mackie House in 1938, Henry was born at Lilydale on 23 May 1889, the grandson of pioneering families Ahearn and Brice of Mooroolbark. The second son of twelve children, his early years were spent in Mooroolbark where his father William Sherlock was a ganger on the railway line to Lilydale and his mother Mary Ellen was the gatekeeper on the rail crossing at Manchester Road, Mooroolbark Station. His early schooling was at Brushy Creek Primary School, then later at Ringwood.

Henry learnt his trade as a builder in the Croydon area and went on to become a renowned builder, and member of the Master Builders Association, during almost 50 years in the trade. One of his earliest works was the original Catholic Church in Croydon built in 1913, a modest timber building accommodating 150 people. This was the first church in Australia consecrated by Archbishop Daniel Mannix, recently arrived from Ireland. During 1958 and 1959 he was again the builder for the replacement church of St Edmund, Croydon, dedicated to the fallen in the Korean and 2nd World Wars. This church was of brick construction incorporating a spire and side verandah. The original church survived until 1974. Henry was responsible for many notable homes particularly in the Croydon area. Among them were ‘Wyreena’ and ‘Silver Birches’ in Hull Road which were built for Dr Catamore and his daughter. These buildings are currently used as the Croydon Community Centre following a period as a girl’s Business College. The original Croydon Golf Clubhouse, first opened in 1926 was also built by Henry Sherlock as were numerous extensions, and two Manager’s houses on site.

Harry (Henry), in the early 1920’s took his elder brother to live at Balranald, where it was hoped the warmer weather would help him recover from chronic asthma. During this time he met Anna Maher from Swan Hill whom he married in 1926. They were to raise two daughters in Ringwood, Box Hill and later Surrey Hills.

Royal Melbourne Golf Clubhouse, designed by the same architect as for the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, was another of Harry’s works (in 1930) as were three large homes built in Werribee for Carter brothers, renowned poultry farmers. These homes were highly regarded at the time and are still standing today. Other homes he built were in ‘The Golden Mile’, Mont Albert Road, Canterbury and Toorak. Sacred Heart Monastery, Croydon, St Paschal’s Franciscan Monastery, Box Hill, Catholic Church, Brighton and Holy Redeemer Church, Surrey Hills (1950 re-modelling) were also built by Harry and his loyal team of men, many of whom spent all their working life with him.

Near the end of his working life he built his own home in Burke Road, Kew, where he spent his retirement with his wife Anna, and frequently, one or other of his four grandchildren, until Anna's death in 1965. Henry died on 24 January 1978.

Sources: Mary Sang Family History.
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