Fitzpatrick House was the family home of George H. Wise. It was built in Victorian style as the marital home of George & Mary Wise who married in 1880. They had four children Mary (May), Lilian, Elsie and George Jnr. They lived in the home on Guthridge Parade all their lives.

Wise Family

George H. Wise was born in 1853 in gold fever crazed Melbourne attending Scotch College studying the classics, matriculating in 1969 to study law & then being admitted as a solicitor & barrister in 1974. In 1875 George Wise went to Sale as a managing clerk in a local law firm before returning to Melbourne briefly for a year before returning to Sale permanently in 1877. George Wise then married Mary Thornton Smith the daughter of a local drapery store owner.

George Wise immersed himself in local public life building up a legal practice developing an interest in the Sale Mechanics Institute & later politics. His interest in politics burgeoned & he served as Mayor of the Sale Borough Council for six years spending a total of 24 years within the council. Wise relished public life & five times he tried to be elected to Victorian parliament but was frustrated in his attempts.

The Sale Mechanics Institute was an important facility in early Sale & it was through this important educational institute for blue-collar workers that George Wise developed valuable relationships within the community. A now almost forgotten  community facilty the Mechanics Hall was a place of learning & the Sale Mechanics Institute became a base for the Sale technical College & is the now the splendid burgundy & cream trimmed building on York St  known simply as Sale College. George Wise was the marathon man of the Sale Mechanics Institute firstly as a committee member & then president on three occasions. This institute was born as the Sale Literary Society containing a reading room & then lending library on Foster St then moving to the recognisable premises on York St at a later time. The facility apart from educational endeavours also functioned a place for town meeting, musical & dramatic performances & balls.

Of similar importance to George Wise was membership of the Australian Natives Association formed in Melbourne in 1871 originating as a patriotic society to Australian born males to provide benefits to meet the cost of sickness & death & provide dignified burial. George Wise eventually became president of this institution from 1891-2 & quickly grasped the nation building potential of the association. It was most influential patriotic political organisation of the period.

George Wise was an outstanding campaigner for nation building promoting a federation of states welding together the disparate colonies into the nation of Australia. No one individual made the federation of Australia. Wise did not rank in the first order of politicians such as Parkes, Deakin & Barton but is remembered as a major figure in the fatherhood of Australia.

George H. Wise lived a long & intensely productive tenacious life until the age of 98 years. He practised law until 95 years of age & can be remembered as solicitor, federationist & federal parliamentarian & somewhat neglected Australian political figure. Fitzpatrick House is the tangible link to Federation & the man who was a central figure in the creation of our nation.

Reference Source ‘Three Cheers for the Commonwealth of Australia, George Henry Wise- Federationist’ Peter Synan Kapana Press 2001