This article is written by Brian Madden, Canterbury local historian and author. To make any suggestions for additions, please visit the Discussion Page for this article.
On 8 August 1881, Benjamin Taylor had leased John Wall’s 50 acres grant (then called “Ashford”) with right of purchase, which he exercised in 1890. The area was actually 55 acres (22 hectares) and extended from present-day Lakemba Street to north of Myee Street, and from a line between Haldon and Quigg Streets to a line between Croydon and Sproule Streets.
On 1 March 1883, Benjamin Taylor married his second wife, Lucy Annie Johnston, who was the granddaughter of the Reverend and Mrs Cross who were missionaries on an island in Fiji spelled Lakeba but pronounced Lakemba.Belmore, on 13 February 1884. They had three more sons and a daughter.
When the railway from Sydenham to Belmore was extended to Bankstown in 1909, the railway station on Mr Taylor’s property was named Lakemba. The suburb which developed around the station was, of course, called Lakemba also.
After Lucy Annie died in 1904, Benjamin Taylor married her sister Augusta Kate, who died in 1931. They had no children.
Mr Taylor had a remarkable career in local government in Canterbury – he was an alderman from 1883 to 1888 (including Mayor in 1884-85), Town Clerk from 1888 to 1902, and alderman again from 1904 to 1911 (including Mayor in 1904-07).
Mr Taylor died on 26 February 1929.
Brian Madden, 2014