Walter Padbury: First Mayor of Guildford 1887

Walter Padbury, First Mayor of Guildford 1887 ….from Rags to Riches

Walter Padbury arrived in the Swan Colony, Western Australia with his father Thomas on the barque Protector in February 1830.

In July 1830, Thomas Padbury suddenly died.   Walter was now alone, and had to fend for himself.

Alfred Waylen offered Walter a job, helping him to build a wooden house at Point Walter which subsequently became Waylen’s Inn. When the house was completed Walter moved to the Bush Inn, then to Perth working in gardens, on construction sites and farms.

In 1835 he took a permanent job as a shepherd on a property at Upper Swan run by the Burges Brothers. Walter won the Agricultural Society award for the best shepherd in the colony. This led to a long association with the Agricultural Society.

In 1844 Walter married Charlotte Nairn.  As a wedding present, Charlotte’s parents gave them a block of land on St Georges Terrace, where Walter built a 7 roomed brick cottage. This remained his residence for the rest of his life.

The Padbury Building in 2016

In 1845 Padbury opened a butchery in Perth and by 1857 was able to buy Yathroo, a property which he gradually developed. By 1869 he had built his general store in Guildford.

In 1884 Walter became chairman of the Guildford Municipal Council, and in 1887 became the first mayor of Guildford.

Through hard work and dedication, Walter became the first millionaire in the colony and the biggest philanthropist in Australia.