7. George Bland Humble (1839-1930), school master and town clerk
George Bland Humble was the son of a Yorkshire farmer. He was a young headmaster at a London school when the Government of Western Australia offered him a position to teach at Greenough Flats south of Geraldton. He arrived in 1862 after a perilous ten-month voyage and took up his position at the hamlet’s tiny schoolhouse. Bland remained at Greenough for one year, narrowly escaping drowning when the Flats were flooded.
He moved to Fremantle to take up the position of headmaster of Fremantle Boys’ School, where he stayed until 1889. For some of these years he combined his teaching duties with the position of part-time clerk of works with Fremantle Council. In 1892 he became a full-time council officer.
Humble was shocked when in 1904 the new mayor, Frank Cadd, demanded and eventually received Humble’s resignation, claiming Humble’s work had not been satisfactory. Humble – always a conscientious man – was understandably hurt. He ran against Cadd for election for the office of mayor the following year and lost only narrowly.
Humble had a steadfast interest in the Wesleyan Church; in Freemasonry; and in sport, particularly Australian football. He was a founding member of the Fremantle Cemetery Board and, in his meticulous fashion, devoted six weeks to planning his own funeral.