William (Bill) de Burgh

OAM, FRWAHS, Gem of Time

Born 2 September 1912, died 27 August 2012


Bill was born in Guildford and farmed in the Shire of Gingin, becoming Chairman of the Gingin Road Board. He was always interested in poetry and history and wrote Neergabby (where the brook and river meet) : a history of the Moore River and Lower Gingin Brook, 1830 to 1960. which was published by the Shire of Gingin in 1976.


After he and his wife retired to Perth in 1977, Bill pursued his interest in history having joined the
Royal Western Australian Historical Society (RWAHS) in 1964. He was later elected to the National Trust of Western Australia. He was made a Fellow of the RWAHS in 1985 and became
a member of the Friends of Battye Library. He was honoured by the Friends with our ‘Gem of Time’ award for 2006. In 2007, he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his contribution to the preservation of WA history and services to Local Government.


Bill researched and wrote more than a dozen works on WA history and was highly respected, not
only for his scholarship, but also for his gentle sense of humour, his courtesy, kindness and his
capacity for hard work.


He died just under a week short of his 100th birthday, thereby missing all the family celebrations planned for the day. At his funeral it was remarked that he never liked fuss!


He is survived by his two children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.