George Hardie [1845-1916]
Alderman and Mayor of Strathfield 1885-1886
George Hardie served on Strathfield Council from 1885 to 1886. He was elected in 1885 as the first Mayor of Strathfield. George Hardie is described as ‘mining agent, Torrington Rd’ in Government Gazette of 1885, however he was a partner in Hardie & Gorman, a prominent Sydney real estate agency. George Hardie lived at ‘Torrington’ in Torrington Rd [formerly Woodgreen Rd], Strathfield.
George Hardie, one of six children, was born on 17th. September 1845 to the Rev. Charles Hardie and his wife Jane nee Hitchcock, His father was at the time serving as a missionary for the London Missionary Society at Upolu, on Samoa, one of the islands then known as the Navigators. George was sent to England to be educated, at a very early age. He attended a school for the sons of missionaries, called ‘Silcoates’ at Wakeford in Yorkshire. After completing twenty years as missionaries in Samoa from 1835 to 1855, his parents returned to England. George migrated to Australia in 1866 and was later joined by his brother Robert and other members of the family.
George and his wife Amy were married on 5th. July 1873, starting married life in Rose Bay. Here Ida, the first of seven children, was born in 1874, Later they moved to Strathfield where they built ‘Torrington’. George’s parents were married in the Parish Church in the district of Greater Torrington, Devon. Six years after arriving in Australia, George together with his brother Robert and Henry Gorman, founded the firm Hardie & Gorman, Real Estate Agents and Auctioneers. They also acted as mining brokers. The firm Hardie & Gorman was largely responsible for opening the Strathfield area as a residential neighbourhood.
George and his family resided for approximately ten years in Strathfield. He took an active part in local government, being first Mayor of Strathfield in 1885. He was also a co-founder of the Mercantile Mutual Insurance Go,, founded in 1877 and a keen follower of cricket, being a founder member of the Sydney Cricket Ground. Being a successful business man, he retired at the age of 41 years and returned to England with his family, where he took up residence in Barnet and died there aged 71 years on May 4 1916. [Nancy Hardie, Strathfield’s First Mayor – George Hardie, SDHS Newsletter, Vol.21 No.5 May 1998]
Hardie’s term on Council was terminated in his first year of service as the relevant Act required two alderman to retire at the end of the first year and he was one of the two after lots were drawn [SDHS vol. 4 no. 7 June 1982]. Hardie was the returning officer for the 1886 Council election. About this time, Hardie decided to return to England and his property ‘Torrington’ was transferred to his brother Robert W. Hardie and Henry Gorman of the firm Hardie & Gorman, Estate Agents & Auctioneers.
Robert William Hardie was Mayor of Burwood  and lived at ‘Ilfracombe’ in Park Rd Burwood. Henry Gorman was also a resident of Strathfield and lived at ‘Merley’ in Albert Rd Strathfield.
SDHS vol.4 no. 7 June 1982.
Hardie, N., ‘Strathfield’s First Mayor – George Hardie’, SDHS Newsletter, vol. 21 no. 5 May 1998