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Sir David Storey MLA

From the 1880s David Storey and his family lived at Sherbrooke House, Randwick (now demolished) which was located next to Glen Mervyn in Coogee Bay Road.

David Storey of Aghagaw, County Monaghan, Ireland emigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1879 aged 23. A devoted family man, he was an elder of the Randwick Presbyterian Church and foundation president of the Bronte Surf Bathing Association (1907). He played bowls and regularly attended the annual Randwick Rifle Club dinner. As a director of the Society for the Relief of Destitute Children from 1903, he took a keen interest in the Randwick Asylum. His wife was a foundation and executive member of the State division British Red Cross Society in 1914 and foundation president of the Randwick branch for fifteen years; she started home nursing classes, was president of the Forum Club and worked for the Royal Empire Society and Victoria League.

After the First World War Storey believed in the importance of the Empire and refused to trade with Germany. He was chairman of the Insurance Office of Australia Ltd, and with his sons invested in pastoral properties near Yass and in Queensland. A Freemason, he was president of the Ulster Association of New South Wales and a council member of the Millions Club and the British Empire League. He belonged to the Athenaeum, New South Wales, Masonic and Australian Jockey Clubs.

David Storey & Co. was located in York Street, Sydney and boasted a hydraulic elevator. The store supplied the latest fashion hats, shirts, mercery, hosiery and other quality goods. The catalogue for 1895-1896 states:

"Our Hats possess all the advantages of Perfection in Manufacture and Superiority of Trimmings, combined with Sterling Qualities, in immense varieties, and at minimum prices"

David Storey challenged Sir Edmund Barton for the Legislative Assembly seat of Randwick in July 1894. Campaigning for free trade and against Federation, Storey won Randwick and held it until 1920. Late in January 1920 he resigned his portfolio and seat; he refused to accept any ministerial salary. Nominated to the Legislative Council in 1920, he was knighted in 1923. The Northern Standard Newspaper of County Monaghan, Ireland proudly announced his Knighthood in 1922.

Storey was asked once about the secret of his success in business and politics. His answer was 'frankness, directness, candour and truth, and a thorough knowledge of his business'. He was always on time and kept before him the motto 'what man has done, man can do'.

The Australian National News Review, January 18, 1923, page 18 described Sir David Story as:

an indefatigable worker for the National and Liberal Parties. His genial personality and notable service to public movements have earned him the affection and respect of innumerable members of the community, and almost every man and woman in Sydney who has taken a prominent part in commercial and public life.

Sir David was arranging to visit his birthplace in Ireland but sadly died of pneumonia at his Randwick home on 27 July 1924. He was buried in South Head cemetery; the cortege was followed by 111 cars. He left his thriving business David Storey & Sons of York Street, Sydney and his estate which was valued for probate at 59,106. His wife, daughter and four sons survived him. He is not forgotten. Storey Street, Maroubra is named after this man who gave so much to our community.

Sir David Storey

Sir David Storey

Illuminated Address for Sir David Storey
Illuminated address presented to Sir David Storey.
(Collection of Randwick and District Historical Society).

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