RESTORED TO GLORY
THE first mayor of the Municipality of Victoria Park - Captain Robert Thompson McMaster - gave his all for king and country when he died at the charge at The Nek at Gallipoli on August 7, 1915.
In just one of the Town’s many proud WWI stories, Capt McMaster was a member of the 10th Light Horse at the time of his death, after becoming Mayor in 1897.
Local historian Peter Gifford said Capt McMaster was 49 when he died fighting for the Allies in WWI, and one of seven officers and 73 men from the 10th Light Horse killed at The Nek.
“Having already seen active service in South Africa for which he was decorated, Capt McMaster – an architect and family man with three sons and two daughters – could have avoided further service, particularly since he had been placed on the retired list,” Dr Gifford said.
“It is to his eternal credit and that of WA that he did not.”
Capt McMaster left his imprint on Perth and Victoria Park, where his architecture can be seen at the Broken Hill Hotel on Albany Highway and his own handsome weatherboard home, built in 1896 on an elevated block on the corner of Berwick and Courthope streets.
Capt McMaster is also credited with the Central Arcade from Murray Street to Wellington Street, United Service Hotel in St George’s Terrace, Ozone Hotel in Adelaide Terrace, and Smith's Chambers in Barrack Street.
his East Victoria Park home, he was responsible for other prominent residential structures.
After several owners over the decades, the McMaster family home eventually fell into disrepair, until another young family took on the challenge of its mammoth refurbishment in 1981.
Peter Robertson (66) and his wife Trish (65) inspected the rambling rundown house when it was for sale in 1981, initially swearing off it due to the sheer hard work required to make it liveable.
In the years hence the pair has restored the stunning four-bedroom home in a way that would make Capt McMaster and his wife Emily very proud.
Trish and Peter Robertson with their son Michael in the restored home.
Captain Robert Thompson McMaster.