Alexander Mitchell McKinlay 1885-1973

My paternal grandfather, Alexander Mitchell McKinlay was born on 10 Aug 1885 at Caversham District, Dunedin, New Zealand and was brought to Australia with his parents when aged about two years.

Alec loved woodwork, cabinet making, and football. He began his working life as an engineering blacksmith in about 1906. He played Australian Football with Kyneton Tigers, was a champion rover and He was twice awarded the Gold Medal for best and fairest player in the Goulburn Valley Football League. In 1915, Alexander moved to the city and on 22 December 1915, at the Presbyterian Manse in Footscray, he married Christina Elizabeth Anderson, daughter of John Slater Anderson and Elizabeth Emma Glover. In March 1916, Alec and Chris set up house in Belgrave Road, Murrumbeena, moving to Bentleigh in 1926, McKinnon in 1934 and El Nido Grove, Glen Huntly in 1948, just before I was born.

They stayed there for many years. My father John McKinlay writes "The big plus for the family was more room. But this was an old house and a bit down at heel. A huge cyprus hedge across the front took some cleaning up at first but it was home for many years. The big kitchen table often sat a dozen around it and we were a happy family. Nigger the dog, a fig tree and over the fence a yard of racehorses. Chip bath heater & copper were fueled by wood, and there were cement troughs. Grandpa Anderson, affectionately known as ‘Parp’, lived with us and he was much loved."

Later my grandparents moved to a retirement village in Ringwood. My grandfather died on 20 Aug 1973 and was buried on 23 Aug 1973 at Springvale Cemetery, Victoria (Grave No. R.21.c.Allen Lawn).