Rink closes doors to honour skater
WHEN George Robinson died in 1911, the local skating rink closed its doors on the day of his funeral in memory of the keen skater.
The 19-year-old Lismore man had succumbed to typhoid fever, which had broken out in the area.
It was only two days after Christmas that he took his last breath.
Despite the best efforts of staff at Lismore Hospital, George succumbed to the disease nine days after being admitted.
George was considered a "steady and industrious young fellow” in The Northern Star of the day.
"He was greatly esteemed by his large circle of friends because of his unassuming character and kindly and generous nature,” the newspaper wrote.
Aside from skating, another sport George was committed to was rowing, and he was the assistant secretary of the Lismore Rowing Club.
He was considered one of the most prolific visitors to the Lismore Skating Rink, so much so that out of respect for George and his family, the manager of the rink closed it for the evening.
The Lismore Skating Rink was officially opened at Federal Hall on June 17, 1908, in the presence of the mayor and several aldermen.
Regular weekly sessions and carnivals were held, although it was noted in one advertisement that women and beginners should attend 3pm sessions, rather than 7.30pm sessions.
Carnivals were a big affair and skaters were encouraged to wear fancy dress.
A band would be engaged to play and there were plenty of prizes for patrons, which added to the joyous atmosphere.
Keen skaters came from all parts of the district on carnival nights. George would have been one of the most dedicated skaters, attending such carnivals before his early death.
He is buried in East Lismore cemetery.
REFERENCES: Death of Mr George Robinson, The Northern Star, December 28, 1911; Lismore Skating Rink: Official Opening, The Northern Star, June 18, 1908; Lismore Skating Rink, The Northern Star, June 14, 1910.