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4 April 1922 Peter Waite

 4 April 1922   Peter Waite

Peter Waite, a great benefactor of the University of Adelaide, died at Victor Harbor on 4 April 1922.

Born in Scotland in 1834, he arrived in Melbourne in 1859 and then went to his brother James' station at Pandappa near Terowie. He later bought the adjoining Paratoo run and took over his brother's lease in 1863. In 1883 he was chairman of Elders Wool and Produce Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Elder Smith. When the companies amalgamated in 1888 he became chairman of directors. Waite was also involved in other pastoral companies and had directorships of various others.

In 1874 he purchased the 'Urrbrae' property at Glen Osmond and in the 1880s he rebuilt the old house, erecting a 35 room, two storey mansion. He also added the 165 acre Claremont and Netherby properties and a further 114 acres of adjoining land to the 135 acre Urrbrae estate.

In 1913 he decided to leave the estate, after his death, to the University of Adelaide for use as an institution for agricultural research. The Waite Agricultural Research Institute came into being in 1924, following the handover of the estate by Waite's children on 3 February 1923. Waite also left 5880 shares in Elder Smith to provide funds to enable the University to utilise the land for the purpose intended. His other wish, for a school to be established, was realised in 1932 with the opening of the Urrbrae Agricultural High School. The total value of his gift to the University was estimated at £100,000.

Bede Nairn (ed), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, pp. 336-337.

Tags: agricultural research, Urrbrae, Waite Peter