Thomas Welsby and Portrait Records

Thomas Welsby

Thomas (Tom) Welsby (29 November 1858—3 February 1941) was a businessman, author, politician, and sportsman in Queensland, Australia. He was a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly.

Contents 1 Early life 2 Business career 3 Political career 4 Historian 4.1 Literary style 5 Sportsman 6 Later life 7 Legacy 8 Published works 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Early life

Born in Ipswich, Queensland in 1858, Welsby was the fourth of ten children of William Welsby and Hannah Welsby (née Billsbrough.) His parents migrated from Cornwall, England to Moreton Bay three years earlier in 1855. He was educated at Mr John Scott's school and Ipswich Boys' Grammar School. In his senior year he won prizes in history, arithmetic and Latin. As a child, Welsby aspired to study medicine at Sydney University; however this became impossible following the death of his father in 1874. The loss of his father caused the Welsby family to sell their substantial house in Ipswich and move to Brisbane. He started his working life in June 1874 at age 15 with the Bank of New South Wales in Brisbane and remained there for five years until a conflict with a manager (whom he described as "imported" from Sydney) caused him to resign. In May 1879, he took up a post with the Australian Joint Stock Bank. In July 1885 at age 25, he left his employment at the Bank to commence practice as a public accountant in Brisbane.

Welsby married Margaret Gilchrist, née Kingston on 21 February 1893 at East Brisbane. Margaret died ten years later and Welsby never remarried. They had three children; a son who died in childhood and two daughters. Business career

Welsby's business success was helped immeasurably by his affable nature and his personal popularity. He fully exploited the personal associations that he had formed during his time as a banker. His banking experience also gave him a detailed understanding of the Queensland economy and the affairs of many of the major business concerns in the Colony. After leaving the Bank, he briefly became a member of the Brisbane Stock Exchange but within a few months he opened an office as an accountant, trustee and auditor. He subsequently was engaged to audit the financial statements of the Brisbane Town Council. At that time the position of auditor was an elective one with a £60 fee and he remained in the position for ten years.

Also in 1885, Welsby formed a partnership with Captain George Wallace to operate maritime ventures. The business undertook to do survey work and make coal sales. A substantial part of the business was the recovery of cargo from wrecked vessels. Welsby became a leading figure in the Brisbane establishment of the day. This was reflected in his appointment to the boards of a variety of leading Brisbane companies including the Engineering Supply Company of Australia and the Royal Bank of Queensland. His board career culminated with his appointment as the Chairman of Directors of Queensland Brewery Ltd in 1907. This last appointment established him as one of Brisbane's elite. Political career

Welsby was a candidate for the Queensland Legislative Assembly in the electoral district of Fortitude Valley in 1899, 1902 and 1909 elections but was unsuccessful.

On 30 August 1911, Richard John Cottell, the Ministerial member for Toowong, died. The Secretary for Public Lands and member for Brisbane North, Edward Macartney, resigned on 5 September. By-elections for both seats were held on 16 September 1911, with Macartney switching to Toowong, allowing Thomas Welsby to win Brisbane North as a Ministerialist.

In the 1912 Queensland state election, Welsby was a candidate for the newly created seat of Merthyr and was elected on 27 April 1912. However, he subsequently lost his seat on 22 May 1915 when the Ryan Labor Government won the 1915 Queensland state election.

Welsby was by no means a natural politician. Although his magnetic personality and sharp intellect drew people to him, the daily intrigue and backstabbing of politics was anathema to him. Nevertheless, he was able to make his mark on the parliament by advancing the causes of the Ipswich railway workshops, the transformation of St Helena Island in Moreton Bay into a recreational park, and by advocating that the Brisbane Tramways Company be acquired and operated by the government. Historian Thomas Welsby

It is for his literary works, particularly his histories of Moreton Bay, that Welsby is perhaps best known. Welsby was an intellectual, a polymath and a voracious reader and collector of books. Born only 35 years after the Brisbane River was first seen by Europeans, he was acutely aware of the dramatic growth and development of Queensland that was occurring around him and the need to record these events in writing. He helped to found the Historical Society of Queensland in 1913 and later became its president. Upon his death, he bequeathed to the Society a vast library of books that he had accumulated throughout his life.

Welsby was a rarity among historians. Not only was he in a position to record contemporary history, he was also an avid consumer of everything else written on the subject by others. Moreover, he was also born early enough to talk to a few eyewitnesses to the earliest days of Moreton Bay and to a great many others who were only one generation removed.

One of the great achievements of his historical writings was to flesh out much of the detail that was omitted by other historians. Welsby had a truly intimate knowledge of Moreton Bay and its environs. He had travelled personally to almost every part of the region snd was particularly knowledgeable of the Bay Islands which he spent a lifetime exploring in a succession of yachts. Literary style

Welsby writes in a relaxed, easy-to-read conversational style. His style can seem almost journalistic at times, though this is understandable as much of his published material originally appeared in newspapers. Sportsman

Welsby was a prolific sportsman, particularly in the field of Yachting, Fishing and Rugby Union.

As a footballer, Welsby was the manager and half-back for Queensland in the first inter-colonial match between Queensland and New South Wales. He was appointed a life member of the Queensland Rugby Union in 1928 and was its president from 1929 to 1939.

He was foundation secretary of the Brisbane Gymnasium in 1882 and in 1904 he became a foundation member of the Amateur Fishing Association. He sponsored boxing matches and formed the Queensland Amateur Boxing and Wrestling Union in 1909. Welsby's motor launch Sunbeam

Perhaps his most important contribution to Queensland sport was the part that he played in the formation of the Brisbane Sailing Club which was later to become the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. Welsby was a passionate yachtsman and owned a number of boats over the years including Rip, Charm, Vagabond, Bohemian, Amity and the motor launch Sunbeam. He was Commodore of the Squadron between 1903 to 1909 and donated the Amity Cup. In 1918 he published "The History of the Royal Queensland Yacht Club." Later life

Welsby died in 1941 and was cremated. His ashes were later interred with his wife and son at Toowong Cemetery. Legacy

The locality of Welsby on Bribie Island was named after him.

The library of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland is named after him. Published works Schnappering, 1905, (Outeridge Printing Company, Brisbane) is a rambling, humorous book that deals with fishing in Moreton Bay. Early Moreton Bay, 1907, (Outeridge Printing Company, Brisbane) deals mainly with yachting and shipwrecks in the Bay. The Discoverers of the Brisbane River, 1913, (H.J. Diddams & Co, Brisbane) deals with the discovery of the River by Matthew Flinders, the Glasshouse Mountains and the HMS Bounty mutiny. Memories of Amity, 1922, (Watson Ferguson, Brisbane) is a historical book focusing on Stradbroke Island. The book comprises twelve articles previously published in the Moreton Bay Courier newspaper. Sport and Pastime in Moreton Bay, 1931 (Simpson, Halligan and co., Brisbane) deals further with fishing and sport in the Bay. Bribie the Basket Maker, 1937, (Barker's Bookstores, Brisbane) deals with the convict "Bribie" and Bribie Island

Portrait Records and Thomas Welsby

Portrait Records was a sister label of Epic Records and later of Columbia Records. Cyndi Lauper and Sade signed with Portrait, but their contracts were absorbed by Epic after that incarnation of the label was shuttered.

Portrait began in 1976 as a sister label of Epic; its initial signings were Joan Baez, Burton Cummings, and the McCrarys. Cummings' "Stand Tall" was the lead-off single. Baez's Blowin' Away album and the McCrarys' self-titled debut bowed in early 1977. The label design was similar to that of Columbia's singles; design on it was in grey tones, while the logo was handwritten orange with a red outline. This was also the launch of Epic/Portrait/Associated (EPA) under the CBS moniker.

One of the signings the label had was the band Heart. The band had been signed with Mushroom Records, but left after a dispute in advertising their Dreamboat Annie album. The print ads led some fans to think that the sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson were lesbians. Portrait snatched the group up quickly, releasing the single "Barracuda" before Little Queen was to hit the shelves. The McCrarys also scored big with "You".

By 1979, however, Epic was looking to consolidate some of its low-end producing labels and, for a short time, Portrait and Epic had both names on the same label. In 1980, only Heart was picked up from Portrait, which then took a three-year hiatus.

Baez left the label after the release of her 1979 Honest Lullaby album; she later admitted in her 1987 memoir, And a Voice to Sing With, that she regretted signing with the label, describing her having left her previous label (A&M) for Portrait as "the stupidest career move I ever made".

In 1982, the label was relaunched again tapping into the new wave scene and other music not gaining any airplay. It signed artists such as Altered Images, Aldo Nova, Accept, Arc Angel, Hawaiian Pups, The Elvis Brothers, Eddy Grant, Orion the Hunter, The Producers, Saga, and Peter Baumann (formerly of Tangerine Dream). The label was completely black but the red logo stayed intact. Portrait struck gold again with the signings of Cyndi Lauper and Sade, both in 1983. Americans wouldn't get Sade until a year later. Aldo Nova did make some headway with the songs "Fantasy" and "Monkey on Your Back" from his Subject...Aldo Nova album. Saga also found success with the songs "On the Loose" and "Wind Him Up", which would gain the band gold and platinum albums worldwide. In 1985, British singer Toyah released her album Minx on the Portrait label.

By the end of 1986, the only act making money on this label was Lauper. Her album True Colors went platinum, but it wasn't enough to keep the label afloat. At the end of 1986, Portrait was shuttered again.

In 1988, the label re-emerged once more but as a contemporary jazz outfit, with signings as diverse as Stanley Clarke, Ornette Coleman, Prime Time and Japanese import T-Square. The logo changed dramatically. This time the label had two: the primary one was a painted P with the word "portrait" in a red block, while the secondary one was an outline drawing of a woman. This one was gone by 1990.

Epic did try to make the label work two more times: in 1992, it was trying to do jazz collections, and in 1999, it was relaunched through Columbia Records as a hard-rock/metal label, signing Ratt, Cinderella, Great White, the Union Underground, and Mars Electric. In 2000, Iron Maiden signed with Portrait in conjunction with Columbia Records in the US. Finally, after trying so hard to keep it afloat, Portrait dissolved in 2002 after the US release of Iron Maiden's Rock in Rio album.

In late 2012, Sony Masterworks reactivated the label as a classical music imprint with its first artist, The Piano Guys on the newly relaunched imprint.

Contents 1 Artists 1.1 Under Epic 1.2 Under Columbia 1.3 Under Sony Masterworks 2 References 3 See also

Artists Under Epic Burton Cummings Heart Cyndi Lauper Eddy Grant Sade Joan Baez Toyah Under Columbia Cinderella Great White Ratt Under Sony Masterworks Jackie Evancho The Piano Guys
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