Almanac Boxing (and Gangster Life): The story of Ted Whiting



As you may know I have been working on a history of the law firm Lander & Rogers, which has been an extremely interesting exercise. I know that might be hard to believe for some of you, but the founder Hartwell G. Lander (known as Chick) was a great Melbourne character and he set the tone of the place. For a start he wrote the Hawthorn footy club song, along with Jack O’Hagan of ‘The Road to Gundagai’ fame, when they were on the squirt one lunch time at Geoff Brooke’s Steak Cave in Queen Street – but that’s another story.


There are many stories in and around the firm. A couple of days ago I caught up with David Whiting (not 774’s David Whiting) who told me his father has been an accountant and a bookie, his grandfather Young Ted was a bookie, and his great grandfather Old Ted was a bookie of sorts. But really Old Ted was the most colorful of racing identities who knew his way around the mean streets of Fitzroy well enough to be a rival of Squizzy Taylor. Ted was also a boxing champion – and a very tough man. During the infamous Fitzroy vendetta, or thereabouts, Squizzy and friends put half a dozen bullets in Ted’s skull. They were safely removed as this story (first published in the Guardian) from Michael Shelford, historian and writer, explains.


What a cracking story from Michael who also does Fitzroy tours.


If anyone would like to join an Almanac group on one of Michael’s tours let me know.


Send me an email in the first instance registering your interest and I’ll make arrangements with Michael. We’ll probably end up at the North Fitzroy Arms (where, I’m told, no copper entered without back up in the street). But that’s yet another story.


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About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.

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