John Gale / Annie Mercy Fallick

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John Gale, JP (1831-1929)

John was born in Bodmin, Cornwall in 1831 the third youngest of 18 children to Francis Gale and Mary Hamlin.  He was apprenticed to the printing trade in 1846 and while learning this trade also completed his training to be a missionary. John Gale arrived in Sydney in 1853 on the 'American Lass' with six other young probationary ministers. Gale was appointed to the Goulburn-Gunning Circuit, and did not finish his probationary period. He married Loanna Wheatley in Gunning NSW in 1857and became a tutor. Their eldest child Annie Mercy was born in 1857 and they had another 10 children in the following years. He successfully encouraged his elder brother Peter Francis (Frank), a photographer living in England, to emigrate and bring with him a printing press and assist in the starting of a newspaper business in Queanbeyan. The first edition of the Golden Age was published 15 September 1860 with a photographic studio attached to the premises.

From 1887 to 1889 Gale was the Member for Murrumbidgee in the New South Wales Assembly for the Protectionist Party. His hobby was fishing and he helped introduce trout to the local rivers. He remarried in 1921 to Elizabeth Ann Richmond and died at the age of 98.


Annie Mercy Fallick (nee Gale) 1857 – 1905)

 By the time Annie turned 14, she was already learning her father's trade. At 17, Annie and her two younger sisters, Eva 15 and Minnie 14, became compositors. Then, at only 18, Annie was appointed editor of her father's latest media acquisition – The Gunning Leader – which she ran virtually single-handedly.

In 1878 Annie Mercy Gale at 21 married Edward Henry Fallick, owner of a Drapers and Stationary business in Queanbeyan and had five children (one child died very young). Annie’s children were also trained in the newspaper business – and were the main stay of the newspaper business in Canberra-Queanbeyan into the 1960s. She produced the Queanbeyan Observer from in her prominent office on the corner of the main intersection of Monaro and Crawford St while also running her invalided husband’s Stationary business. She was involved in many community projects and St Stephens Presbyterian Church. She died at 45 years of age on a Saturday night working in the Stationary Shop.

Photo: Annie Mercy Fallick



Australian Dictionary of Biography:

John Gale monument, Queanbeyan:

Death of John Gale:

John Gale’s relatives meet statue:

NSW Parliament:

Gale hit by Canberra snobbery:

John Gale book on trout fishing:

Ian Warden article:

Statue technology:,_the_Father_of_Canberra,_in_Queanbeyan_(1).jpg

Awfully sudden death of Annie Mercy Fallick: (separate Word doc with corrected Trove text also available).

Edward Henry Fallick:

Annie Mercy Fallick, guardian of girls’ hockey team, Alchin Street:

Mabel Way –? daughter of Mercy Fallick:

Queanbeyan cemetery, Fallick and Gale:

Canberra camps, settlements and early housing:

Annie Mercy Fallick on Geni:


John Gale’s Brindabellas and Australian Alps, edited by Graeme Barrow: A4/GAL/02

Canberra History and Legends, by John Gale:  AA7//01/08SC .

Tales and Legends of Canberra Pioneers by Samuel Shumack: AA7/17/04

John Gale is referred to on pages 25, 71 and 136-8, where he is referred to as Queanbeyan District Coroner.  (There is also a copy of pages 136-8  in the Brian Maher Collection – Y4/2014/1:148 item 32.)

Queanbeyan Pioneers -first study   AN3/60/01

Page 25 has Fallick family story.  Page 31 has Annie’s wedding picture.

Canberra 1820-1913, Lyall Gillespie   AA7/01/05a

Page 170 has picture of Carrington Building where Fallicks lived above.

  • Rockley Women's Cricket
    Rockley Women's Cricket
  • Carrington Building, Queanbeyan
    Carrington Building, Queanbeyan
  • Queanbeyan Observer Offices
    Queanbeyan Observer Offices
  • John Gale fishing in the Murrumbidgee River
    John Gale fishing in the Murrumbidgee River
  • Double Abbott style buggy
    Double Abbott style buggy
  • Annie and Edward Fallick wedding
    Annie and Edward Fallick wedding