For those who do not know, Alexander Kennedy was vital in the establishment of Qantas by purchasing £250 of shares in the company in 1920, being a Provisional Director, a guarantor for the infant company’s first bank overdraft and being the passenger on the first scheduled QANTAS service from Longreach to Cloncurry on 3 November 1922.
Jim Kennedy is the great great nephew of Alexander Kennedy and is on a mission to find other descendants of Alexander Kennedy so as to organise a family reunion in Longreach in November 2020, the same month Qantas Airways will be celebrating their 100th anniversary.
If you are a descendant of Alexander Kennedy or his brothers James Duff Kennedy or Robert Kennedy, please contact Jim or Kathy Kennedy on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please find below, a little more information about Alexander Kennedy.
Alexander Kennedy left Plymouth England on 6th August 1861 arriving in Queensland on 12th Nov. 1861 on the sailing ship “Persia”. He married Marion Murray at Rockhampton in 1871. From 1876 – 1919 Alexander Kennedy held properties on the Barcoo, ”Buckingham Downs” on Sulieman Creek, “Noarnside” which he renamed “Noranside” on the Burke River, “Calton Hills” around the heads of the East & West Leichardt Rivers. Kennedy formed a partnership with Roger Sheaffe from “Devoncourt” south of Cloncurry. The partnership saw the amalgamation of “Devoncourt”, “Calton Hills”, “Parkside”” and “Bushy Park”. In 1885 Kennedy was elected to the first Cloncurry Divisional Board (forerunner to the Council) and continued to hold a local government position for 30 years. In 1907 the Kennedy family moved from “Devoncourt” into the township of Cloncurry.
In 1895 Alexander’s son, Jack, discovered the mineral deposit which became the Duchess copper mine, about 100 kms south west of Cloncurry. The discovery was sold to a mining company for Fifteen thousand pounds which seemed like a good deal to the Kennedys but over the next ten years, Hampden Cloncurry Copper Mines extracted copper worth more than Two million pounds from their investment of Fifteen thousand pounds. In 1919 Kennedy, who’d retired to Cloncurry, met Paul McGinness who was waiting for Fysh to rejoin him from Darwin & he talked to Kennedy about his vision for an air service in Western Qld. Hudson Fysh, Fergus McMaster and Paul McGinness over a period of two years worked on their dream of establishing an air service in western Queensland. Alexander Kennedy was approached to help finance the dream. He is reported to have said “I know you well and believe in your judgement. I will put in Two hundred pounds”. McMaster said “Make it Two hundred and fifty pounds. Kennedy agreed with one condition –“that I am the first passenger when a regular service starts”. At the time of this conversation, Kennedy was 83 years old.
In November 1922 Kennedy caught the train from Brisbane to Longreach and on 3rd November 1922 climbed into the back seat of the Armstrong Whitworth FK-8 with Fysh as pilot. Alexander held Ticket No. 1 on the first scheduled service from Longreach to Cloncurry. Alexander Kennedy was a few days short of his 85th birthday.
Alexander Kennedy’s brothers James and Robert Kennedy came out to Australia with Alexander and settled in North West Queensland.