Andrew White (1829 – 1900), grazier and civic leader, was born in Stretton-on-Dunsmore,
Warrackshire. He emigrated to Australia on the James L. Bogert in 1853. By 1856 he had established a livery stable in Malop Street, Geelong.
The successful business provided the funds to purchase in 1863 1400 acres of land originally held by squatter Elias Harding. Two years later he added 2,000 acres bought from another squatter, Robert Zealley, and 1,000 acres bought from the Crown. He continued to expand and in 1880 held 11,095 acres in the Shires of South Barwon and Barrabool, therefore owning much of the land surrounding Torquay stretching from Mt Duneed down the Surfcoast highway and across to Barwon Heads. He also acquired several large allotments in the 1886 sale in the township of Puebla (Torquay). Eventually he built his home “Stretton Park” at Connewarre near Torquay but in 1878 moved to “Hillside”, Mount Duneed. His children attended the Connewarre and Mount Duneed schools.
In 1895 Andrew made land available at a peppercorn rental to the Torquay Race Club for a racetrack. The finish line located in front of the Palace Hotel.
White became involved in local government in 1863 when he was elected as an inaugural member of the Connewarre Road Board, later serving a term as President. When the Board amalgamated with South Barwon to form the Shire of South Barwon in 1874, he represented Connewarre on council until his death in 1900. He also served as a Barrabool Shire councillor from 1878 to 1886.
Upon his death in 1900 most of the land passed to his son Alfred George White like his father he too was a benefactor to the township of Torquay. He notably made a “peppercorn“ sale of the land the locals called “whites Paddock” on the far side of Spring Creek to the Torquay Golf Club so they could build a bigger and better golf course. Alfred who had been Shire Secretary since 1894, took his father’s seat on South Barwon Council when his father died, a position he held until his death 1946. He had served five terms as president. Alfred was also actively involved with the local church at Mt Duneed, St. Wilfred’s Church of England, a member of the Geelong Grammar School Council and was director (1932-1946) of Dennys Lascelles in Geelong.
Upon Alfred’s death in 1946 his son John took his father’s place on South Barwon Council, the first resident councillor from Torquay. He resigned in 1952. Another son Douglas bought “South Beach” at Torquay and turned it into a productive farm.