25 things you probably didn't know about Edwin Flack
Here's some interesting facts about our local Olympic champion:
- He joined his family's accounting firm in Australia in 1898, disembarking in Western Australia to open offices in Perth and Kalgoorlie.
- He joined the Australian Olympic Committee and was part of the first Australian delegation to attend an IOC Congress.
- He held a senior position with Old Melburnians from 1899 to 1924.
- Flack was a member of the Committee of Management of the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne from 1918 to 1934.
- Flack was a keen photographer. Price, Waterhouse and Company held several photographic albums but not a word has been written to describe the photographs. By place names and scenery it can be seen that Flack travelled throughout Japan and New Zealand.
- It is believed Flack did not compete upon his return to Australia but became a keen golfer.
- His family business, Flack & Flack was a highly regarded accountancy firm, which was absorbed by Price, Waterhouse and Company.
- He purchased a farm at Berwick, "Burnbank", establishing a Friesian stud farm and showing his cattle at the Royal Melbourne Show. He travelled from Melbourne at the weekends to stay in Berwick.
- During the week he lived in an apartment at Cliveden Mansions, a large building in East Melbourne on the current site of the Hilton Hotel.
- He drove two kilometres to work in Melbourne and always double-parked outside his office. It was the duty of a staff member to find "proper parking".
- He was a director of several large Australian companies, including Australia Iron and Steel; Howard Smith Ltd; and Robert Harper and Company.
- A very suitable bronze statue of Edwin Flack, which cost $22,000 was placed on the median strip of High Street, Berwick by the Edwin Flack Memorial Committee on 26 October, 1998. Our first Gold Medallist is truly a great "Bronze Aussie".
- He died on January 10, 1935, in a private hospital after an operation. The funeral service was held at the Fawkner Crematorium on January 12, 1935. His ashes are now interred at the Berwick Cemetery and are marked by a headstone.
- His name is perpetuated by the E.H. Flack Scholarship at Melbourne Grammar. This scholarship is for an all-round student from rural Australia who would not otherwise be able to attend Melbourne Grammar. It is worth about $22,000 a year.
- An Australian 45¢ postage stamp was printed to honour Flack in 1996, the Centenary of the Olympic Games.
- His Will made provision for the establishment of a charitable fund that distributed large sums to charity.
- Berwick Recreational Reserve was renamed in his honour as the Edwin Flack Reserve on 16 June, 1996.
- Participants in The Olympic Dream Fun Run on November 18, 1990, received the Edwin Flack Medal for participating.
- Edwin Flack Avenue is the street adjacent to Sydney's Olympic Stadium in Homebush Bay.
- Edwin Flack has been inducted into the Australian Sports and Athletics Australia's Hall of Fame.
- His statue was unveiled by another Australian running legend John Landy. Landy was also a 1500m Olympic runner competing in Melbourne in 1956 and Rome in 1960.
- A poem, Two Sprigs of Olive from Mount Olympus, was written in his honour.
- Edwin Flack was the founder and inaugural treasurer of the Henley on the Yarra Regatta.
- He was a member of the Melbourne Club, the Australia Club and a life member of Old Melbournians.
- The name of his stud farm "Burnbank" was used by a Mr R.A. Strachan of Hamilton, Victoria, for another Friesian stud.
Gordon, H., (1994) Australia and the Olympic Games: An Official History, Queensland University Press, St Lucia.