D H Robertson MC
Scone Race Club President 1944 – 1955
Acknowledgement: Harley Walden and “The Spirit Within. Scone’s Racing History”.
“Australia’s cattle industry lost a pioneer breeder, a leader at the highest level in country thoroughbred racing, courageous soldier and a true gentleman”.
These were the words echoed by many who knew and admired Mr Douglas Robertson following his death in 1967.
The late Doug Robertson had a distinguished record in World War I when he was a commissioned officer and was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in action.
He founded the “Albinia” Shorthorn Stud in 1934 on the property “Blackdown” in the Bathurst area and in 1939 moved it to “Turanville” just south of Scone in the Hunter valley NSW. ‘Turanville’ had previously been the home base of the legendary horse breeder Thomas Cook.
Mr Robertson took an active interest in the Scone district promoting and organising fundraising to help the local hospital and ambulance service.
Being chairman of the Hospital Board for a number of years, he was also involved in the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW becoming its Vice-President in 1962.
His wise counsel was greatly valued on all of these bodies as well as on the Executive of the Scone Race Club where he held the position of President from 1944 until 1955. He headed the steering committee which built the racecourse at White Park.
A keen racing man, his horses won races at Randwick and other courses around the State. One was ‘Truffle’ who from 1958 – 1960 won 14 times. Another ‘Imogen’, who was purchased as a yearling produced top line galloper ‘Without Reproach’ twice successful in the Newcastle Cameron Handicap.
One can only imagine the hard work and frustration that would have come with the President’s position, followed by the pride and satisfaction which Doug Robertson and his crew finally witnessed at the opening of the White park Track in the month of May 1947.
Criticism had turned to congratulations, hard work to satisfaction, and the leisure outlet that had been labelled by many as a ‘pipedream’ had been put in place for the people of Scone and district.
It has been said that history has a habit of repeating itself. If this is so, then one could quote the comment made by the President of the Scone Jockey Club, Mr Thomas Cook, following a meeting held at Satur in 1894. “They had men on the committee who were the right sort, and they needed only to put their shoulder to the wheel and keep going to make the club the best north of Newcastle”.