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Dashing Mr. Sidney Ayers

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

Sidney Hurtle Ayers

Birthdate: June 25, 1880 Birthplace: Glenelg, City of Holdfast Bay, South Australia, Australia

Mr. Sidney Hurtle Ayers was a hard working, courteous, and efficient official of many Clare sporting clubs, and was identified with many sports.

  • He was a member of the Amateur Turf Club committee, and

  • Secretary of the Clare Racing Club.

  • He acted as honorary totalisator steward at the Cheltenham Races.

  • He was secretary of the Clare Polo Club since it was formed in 1921

  • He held a similar position in respect to the Back to Clare movement.

He is a son-in-law of the "Cattle King" Sir Sidney Kidman (1857–1935), who was a life member of the Port Adelaide and Amateur Turf Clubs, and grandson of the wealthy politician Henry Ayers.

Mother, Ada Fisher Ayers (1843–1939)

Third daughter of Sir John Morphett, of "Cummins", the estate in Morphettville, she married Mr. Harry Lockett Ayers, son of Sir Henry Ayers, a former Premier of South Australia.

  • Always interested in philanthropic work, Mrs. Ayers was at one time president of the South Adelaide Creche, for which she did much during 20 years, and

  • for 18 years she was a member of the South Adelaide Creche committee.

Surviving members of the family were Lady Lloyd (wife of Sir Howard Lloyd, St. Peters), Mrs. Gerald A. Cowle (England), Miss Lucy Ayers, Mr. Sidney H. Ayers, and Cattleman Mr. John Ayers (former chairman of the company of the cattle king, Sir Sidney Kidman).

Above: Harry, Ada and six of their children c1870s before the diphtheria epidemic reduced the family dramatically.

Father, Harry Lockett Ayers (1844–1905)

Sidney's Father Harry Lockett Ayers and his brothers enjoyed the reflected glory of their father, Sir Henry Ayers, and were part of Adelaide’s social and financial elite.

  • Harry Lockett Ayers was a foundation member of the Adelaide Club, was born in South Australia and educated at St Peter’s College.

  • He and his brother Arthur Ernest carried on their father’s business as H.L. & A.E. Ayers, a trustee and financial agency in Adelaide.

  • H.L. Ayers was also a founding member of the Adelaide Hunt Club.

H.L. Ayers commissioned the design of a suitably grand residence 'Dimora' with a large ballroom facing East Terrace which was built in 1882.

(Below: Dimora, the H.L. Ayers family home, 120 East Tce. Adelaide)

Harry Ayers married Ada Fisher Morphett, a daughter of Sir John Morphett, typically consolidating through marriage the Adelaide establishment’s influence.

  • Six of Harry and Ada’s eight children died during childhood, many from the diphtheria epidemic that swept through South Australia in the 1880s.

When Harry died in 1905 his wife commissioned the world-renowned Tiffany Company to design windows (formerly at St Paul’s) as her memorial to him. They are now preserved at the SA Art Gallery.


For 36 years Henry Ayers was a prominent figure in South Australian politics:

  • being seven times Premier of S.A.,

  • eleven times a cabinet minister and

  • for twelve years was President of the S.A. Legislative Council.

Henry Ayers saw life as a battle; he had fought well and 'the world gave him much that his heart desired'.

  • In his struggle for wealth and political leadership he had been cautious, hard and deliberate.

  • In private letters Henry Ayers professed no desire for prominence, yet he enjoyed immense influence in his prime;

  • even the squatters who opposed his land policy conceded that he had 'a master mind' and 'great talent'.

  • Shrewd and forceful, he also had the gift of convincing others of his unbounded faith in the colony's future, and he had no fear of opponents whom he described as 'city capitalists'.

  • Despite his personal power and successes his greatest pride was in the development of South Australia.

Death of Grandfather Ayers

THE LATE SIR HENRY AYERS was President of the SA Legislative Council. businessman, and founder and Chairman of the Boards of the Savings Bank of South Australia, the Australian Mutual Provident Society, the S.A. Gas Company and the Bank of Australasia in its South Australian operations.

The funeral of Sir Henry Ayers, G.C.M.G., who died at his residence, North Terrace on Friday morning June 11, 1897, took place on Saturday afternoon. He was pre-deceased by his wife in 1881, and by Frederick Ayers, his third son, on 18 February 1897.

Sir. Henry Ayers was the original secretary of the company that opened and worked the Burra copper mine, which during its palmy days was one of the richest in the world.

"Though his obituaries fulsomely praised his career, Henry Ayers was a hard-headed, determined and aggressive businessman, often self-serving and opportunistic. Politically he was clever and adroit, if unimaginative."

In 1877 the editor of the Register wrote, ‘Sir Henry Ayers will require only a very small piece of paper upon which to inscribe all the work originated and carried out by himself for the good of the country."

"On Friday the will and codicil of the late Sir Henry Ayers, G.C.M.G., was lodged for probate by Messrs. Ayers & Gall, solicitors to the executors, the gross value of the estate being sworn at under £226,000."

  • Ayers House, North Terrace, was inherited by the quiet, unmarried son Frank. R. Ayers, who moved into the Adelaide Club while building a home in McKinnon Parade, North Adelaide. Eventually Ayers House was sold in 1914.


Sidney Ayers stood to inherit one half of his father's half-share of the estate, which was divided evenly between the two surviving sons (who, as lawyers, were the trustees), uncle F.R. and father H.L. Ayers, so his share is estimated at more than 50,000 pounds.

  • He probably also inherited part of the estate of uncle F.R. Ayers, who was single, and sold Ayers House, so increasing this legacy substantially.

Read the family history (extract below)


This wedding was apparently a "carbon copy of (older sister) Elma's (to Sidney Reid),"

  • everybody (came) down from Kapunda for the ceremony, at the same church, with the same minister from Kapunda officiating, and

  • the same reception at Holmwood, 20 Devonshire Street, Walkerville (Sid Reid's home with sister Elma); Sidney Reid went on to manage the vast Kidman enterprise until 1935 as Kidman’s right-hand man.

Edna's father Sidney Kidman (illustrated above left) was very pleased with this match; not only was Sidney Ayers from a well-placed family, but Edna was a spirited woman, an out-going, strong woman, belying her stature, and she would be happy with lively Sidney Ayers, both outdoors people, fond of horse riding, and of polo.

Kapunda Herald (SA)

Society Wedding: AYERS—KIDMAN

On the 10th July, at the North Adelaide Congregational Church, Sidney Hurtle, eldest son of Mrs. H. L. Ayers, East Terrace, Adelaide, to Edna Gwendoline, youngest daughter of Mr. Sidney Kidman (pictured above left), of Kapunda. There was a large gathering of guests at the Congregational Church North Adelaide, on Wednesday, July 10, on the occasion of the marriage of Sidney Hurtle Ayers, son of the late Harry Ayers and Mrs. H. Ayers, of "Dimora," East Terrace, Adelaide, and Edna Gwendoline, youngest daughter of Sidney Kidman, of "Eringa," Kapunda (pictured below).

The interior of the Church was decorated with handsome palms grouped together and connected by strands of white satin ribbon tied in artistic bows. A wedding bell was suspended in the centre, and archways of fern spanned the aisles. The Rev. A. G. Fry, of Kapunda, conducted the service, and Mr F. Bevan, of the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music, played ''The Voice that Breathed O'er Eden" as the bride reached the chancel.

While waiting for the bridal party to return from the vestry, Miss Daisy Gove, of Melbourne, sang with great taste D'Hardelot's "Because," with organ accompaniment. The bride was given away by her father ('Cattle King', Sir Sidney Kidman), and looked particularly graceful in her bridal gown of ivory satin trimmed with beautiful Honiton lace, the gift of Lady Thornycroft (pictured right. "the most beautiful woman in England,").

  • The court train of satin was attached to the shoulders by a string of pearls and was lined with chiffon.

  • Her tulle veil was arranged to form a cap encircled by a wreath of orange blossom, and she carried a bouquet of hot-house flowers.

  • The bridegroom's gift was a diamond pendant.

Miss Gertrude Kidman, sister of the bride, was the only bridesmaid.

  • She wore a smart frock of periwinkle-blue taffetas covered with ninon of the same shade, and a smart taffetas coat of the same shade.

  • The short skirt was trimmed at the hem with a ruche of silk, and a peter-pan collar of dainty lace, was worn on the bodice which was made with rounded basques edged with a gathered ruche.

  • As a head-dress she wore Grecian bands of blue velvet, and at one side an ostrich feather of the same hue.

  • The bridegroom presented her with sapphire and diamond earrings.

After the ceremony the guests drove to 'Holmfield' (the home of George Dutton Green, South Terrace, Adelaide) where a large reception was held by Mr and Mrs Sidney Kidman (Australia's wealthiest man).

  • Later in the afternoon the bride and bridegroom left for Clare, the bride travelling in a costume of cream cloth, black, velvet hat trimmed with oriental flowers and muff to match.

  • Mrs Sidney Kidman received guests in a handsome dress of saxe blue charmeuse with gold embroideries veiled in black ninon. A cluster of white willow plumes trimmed her white toque hat which was lined up with black velvet, and she wore a large white feather boa. Among those present were:—

  • Mrs. Will (grandmother of the bride), in black silk, with white ospreys in her bonnet;

  • Mrs. Harry Ayers, black crepe de chine and a bonnet with amethyst plumes:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Reid, the latter in cinnamon brown ninon, beaver hat, and sable furs;

  • Miss Ayers, in wine red cloth and black hat, with black and white silk;

  • Mrs. Doughy Crozier, in salmon pink faced cloth, smart silk toque and muff to match;

  • Mr and Mrs. Howard Lloyd and their little children; Mr. and Mrs. John Morphett;

  • the Rev. and Mrs. A. G. Fry; Mr and Mrs. Malcolm Reid; Mrs. May;

  • Mr. and Mrs. Julian Ayers, the latter becomingly gowned in black velvet and picture hat of black velvet, with rosette of cream lace; (Read much more...)

On Monday next, July 20 1912, Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Ayers will leave Sydney for a trip through America and Europe.

New Home - Warenda, Donnybrook, Clare

Upon their return, Sidney Ayers commissioned his friend and prominent architect Kenneth Milne to build their matrimonial home in Donnybrook, Clare, "Warenda"

  • (Residence for S.H. Ayers Esq. Clare, constructed in 1912, 1919, 1921, 1934).

Warenda was a grand home which entertained many visitors to Clare.

  • The house, Warenda, was burnt out in the 1963 Clare Bushfire.

  • This site is now the Clare Valley Hotel, Donnybrook, to the south of the town of Clare, and is next to the Knappstein residence of the same era.

The Ayer's Warenda estate originally extended south from Donnybrook, Clare down the Clare

valley containing both the Horrocks Hiqhway, and bisected by Warenda Road, south to pass by the present Clare Valley Wine, Food and Tourism Information Centre, finishing further south at Quarry Road (see all of the valley in the map below left.).

  • A fine Clare Valley wine estate.

  • Since Sidney stated that his occupation was 'Vigneron' we assume this Clare valley was populated with his grape vines. Sherry and Port were the popular drinks of that time.

  • Warenda was named for (and so probably financed by) a very profitable cattle station in Queensland which Sir Sidney bought for £75,000, and immediately sold for £20,000 - without the cattle, which were sold in 20 months: 38,000 cattle in 34 mobs, and two mobs of 800 and 900 horses.

  • This is a world's record for stock movement off one (pastoral) station. Read Jack Edge's Reminiscences...

  • Mr. Edge said that he has taken delivery of more places for Sir Sidney Kiidman than anybody else. "If I told him to buy, he told me to go ahead."

Family: they had two sons, the first was Henry who died early on Christmas Eve 1925, and John, who later ran the Kidman empire, and whose son (also John Ayers) inherited that leadership role.

Income: In 1917 Sidney Kidman wrote to Sidney Ayers, after receiving a letter from son-in-law Sidney, imploring him not to enlist in the Army.

  • "You are not strong, you have a young wife and dear little boys, and you get such bad turns, it would be madness if you enlisted.

  • Your wife and children will always be well cared for if anything happened, Edna and the boys will get £150,000 and from 1917 will get £1,500 or more per year." ("Kidman" p. 313)

  • So Sidney Ayers did not enlist.

Clare Polo Week, 1923

Sidney Ayers was Polo Club Secretary and the organiser of Clare's Polo Week, lasting from January 22 to 27, 1923, which had its every minute taken up with festivities of some kind.

  • As the genial and enthusiastic secretary (Mr. Sidney Ayers) said,

  • 'It was a wonderful week, and everything went off with a bang. The weather was ideal.'

Polo matches, dances, joyous house parties, and the culminating event, the great polo ball on the Thursday evening, were part of the daily and nightly programme.

  • The stage management, so to speak, was excellent, and everyone did the right thing, even to Miss Gypsy Good, winning a race on Sir, Pat Colley's pony!

  • All the leading hosts and hostesses filled their homes with cheery parties, the hotels accommodated many more, and still more squeezed in wherever there was a corner big enough to sleep in.

Staying with Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Ayers at Warenda were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Porter, Miss Phyllis Bray, Miss Hopewell (England), Miss Toohey (Sydney), and Mr. Andrew Tennant.

  • True to form, Sidney was the organiser of Clare's successful dances as well.

  • The Polo Club Ball was held on Thursday, January 25, 1923, and it was the most successful and cheery dance ever given in Clare.

  • The hall and marquee were decorated in black-and-white — the Clare Polo Club colours— and polo sticks were arranged round the room. Read more at Clare History Group - Top Ten Events

The Back to Clare Carnival Week

Was held in 1928, commencing on November 17; Mr. Sidney H. Ayers was the general secretary.

Most of the visitors left for their homes on Saturday, happy and rejuvenated in the renewing of acquaintance with old friends and old associations.

  • Many expressed surprise and pleasure at the progress the town of Clare had made during their absence, and expressed their hopes for its continued progress.

  • So far as the financial results are concerned, they far exceed expectations, and the surplus after all accounts are met should approach something near £1,700. Read more: Clare History Group - Top Ten Events

POPULAR SPORTSMAN Mr. S. H. Ayers, of Clare

News (Adelaide, SA) Wed 26 Sep 1928 Page 3

"Mr. S. H. Ayers. who was recently elected secretary of the Clare Racing Club. has for many years been a member of the northern body. and has done excellent work as a committeeman.

  • Mr. Ayers is also a member of the Amateur Turf Club committee.

  • He acted as honorary totalisator steward at Cheltenham Racecourse on Saturday.

  • He is a son-in-law of Sir Sidney Kidman, and a life member of the Port Adelaide and Amateur Turf Clubs."

"The recently elected Clare secretary has been identified with many sports.

  • Since the Clare Polo Club was formed in 1921 he has been secretary.

  • He holds a similar position in respect to the Back to Clare movement.

With Mr. Ayers as secretary, the Clare club is sure to go ahead, as he is a hard-working, courteous, and efficient official."


Mrs. Ayres, the intrepid Traveller

AMAZING AMERICA As Mrs. Sydney Ayers Saw It.

Her home town of Clare could be lost in New York's pocket, but Mrs. Sydney Ayers is genuinely glad to get back to 'Warenda' and her friends.

  • "Not that I did not love every minute of the trip," she remarked last week, "but one's own home is a hard place to beat."

  • Mrs. Ayers went off to America last year with her parents (Sir Sidney and Lady Kidman) and brother, Walter.

  • The principal cities were visited in the United States, and the travellers repeated an enjoyable experience of 10 years before.

  • She said that she did not notice a great deal of difference, save that, perhaps, places were a shade bigger and traffic was still more bustling.

  • From Vancouver, the glorious trip through the Canadian Rockies was dwelt upon. The journey could not be tedious with the outlook and the 'inlook,' too, for the drawing-room compartment we had was luxurious, the food wonderful, and nothing omitted that would make us comfortable.

  • We got off at Montreal and went to Boston, where three delightful weeks were spent. Boston, like Adelaide, is a city of culture, and this New England spot contains many big colleges. (Read much more...)


Mrs. Sidney Ayers, of Warenda, Clare, who inherits from her father, Sir Sidney Kidman, a love of travel, recently returned from an interesting tour through the Federated Malay States. She was accompanied by Miss Estelle Edwards, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Edwards,

of Adelaide.

Marvellous Cattle "From Kuala-Lipis we did-our jungle trip. We had two outboard motor boats, seven Malay boys, and a fine camping outfit, very different from the arrangements on the trip I once made across the interior of Australia when I had really to rough it. (see below) "We went about 150 miles up the Tembeling River." "Finally we reached Kuala-Tehan, where is the game ranger's hut on the edge of a huge reserve. We camped there, and the following morning at day light we poled up the Tehang River about four miles to a clearing in the jungle called a padang,.and that was the spot where we saw the never-to-be-forgotten seladang all quietly feeding. "We were almost afraid to breathe because as soon as they get wind of human beings they are off.

Rare Animals "Seladang are huge cattle, standing 14 hands high, with beautiful heads, magnificent pairs of horns, and glossy brown coats. They are extremely rare and hunt in small herds, and we were most fortunate to see them." (Read more...)


Mrs. Sidney Ayers returned to Warenda, Clare, today from a visit to her parents, Sir Sidney and Lady Kidman, who live at "Eringa", 76 Northgate Street, Millswood (now Unley Park).

Titan Among Pastoralists

Kidman Daughters' Horseback Marathon Journey

Adelaide to Queensland mentioned in:


Sir Sidney Kidman's Death

Sir Sidney Kidman
Sir Sidney Kidman

Sidney's wealthy and famous father-in-law Sir Sidney Kidman passed away on 1 September 1935, at his home Eringa, 76 Northgate Street, Unley Park SA.

On his death, aged 78, Kidman was remembered in obituaries in newspapers across the world, from The Advertiser to The Times, London, The New York Times and The Manchester Guardian.

  • Sidney Ayers' wife, Edna (third daughter of Sir Sidney Kidman, Australia's richest man) had a strong influence in the Kidman company, and after his death had very firm "aims and ambitions of her own, and for her son" (John Ayers). ("Kidman" p. 413)

  • "After the split (Kidman vs. Reid) in the S. Kidman company, (which was) the talk of the Australian Pastoral Industry, Edna and her sisters (Gertie and Elma) never talked again."

  • Edna was held responsible for the Reids pulling out of the Kidman Company ("Kidman", p.409). The Reids took half the company to be run by Sidney Reid. Edna's son John Ayers took over the S. Kidman company,

  • After her father died, the Ayers apparently split, Edna living with her mother at Eringa 76 Northgate St Unley Park (illustrated below)...

(Edna's mother commented "I've ruined Edna. I spoilt her, and she is looking after my house." p.411) and Sidney moved to be living at Glenelg, probably at 'Seafield Towers', the Ayers family summer residence.

  • Edna inherited £1,000 cash, and one fifth of her father's estate of £301,689, and had pre-existing shareholdings in various stations, valued at well over £150,000.

  • Sidney inherited £500 in cash, sold his Clare estate 'Warenda', and as a retired vigneron, died within six years, in 1941.

Farewell To Mr. and Mrs. Ayers

Mrs. Sidney Ayers, who will leave Warenda, Clare, this week to spend Christmas with her mother, Lady Kidman. at Eringa, Northgate street, Millswood, is busy dismantling her home, which has been bought by Mr. Rollo Hawkes (pastoralist of Burra),

  • On January 14, accompanied by her niece, Miss Joan Reid. Mrs. Ayers will sail by the Dutch liner Opternnoort for Japan by way of Java and Singapore. They expect to be away until April.

  • A public farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Ayers will take place in the assembly room of Clare Town Hall on Tuesday evening.

  • They have lived in Clare for 23 years, and have taken great interest in the affairs of the district.

  • Mr. Ayers has been secretary of the polo club, Stanley dances, racing club, "Back to Clare" celebrations, a member of the hospital and the show committee, and of several other organisations.

Mrs. Ayers is divisional commissioner of Clare girl guides, and has given ready assistance to public events of all kinds. Their departure from Clare is greatly regretted.

Farewell Event for Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Ayers

  • A large number of friends of Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Ayers, who will leave Clare this week, attended the public farewell given to them at the Assembly Hall on Tuesday evening.

  • Councillor E. C. Deland presided, and apologised for the absence of the Mayor and Mayoress (Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Davies) who were in Adelaide, and who sent their good wishes for a happy future to the guests of the evening.

  • In his opening remarks Mr. Deland said they had met to express their regret that Mr. and Mrs. Ayers were leaving Clare.

  • Mr. Ayers had taken a keen interest in the public affairs of the town and district, and

  • had done splendid work in connection with 'Back to Clare,' the hospital, and

  • various sporting bodies of the town and district.

  • Mrs. Ayers had also been prominent in social matters, and

  • had done good work in connection with the Girl Guide movement, and both held the respect and esteem of all the residents.

  • He was voicing the opinion of the people in saying they would be very much be missed, and wished them all happiness in the future.

Mr. G. Neate (chairman of Clare District Council) referred to the good work Mr. Ayers had done in connection with various societies and clubs, which he had been associated with for a number of years. Mr. L S. Scott, vice-chairman of the Clare and District Hospital, referred to the building of the hospital, and the splendid work Mr. Ayers had done as secretary to the building committee, and it was a standing monument to his ability. Lieutenant E. S. Dolan, of the Light Horse, thanked Mr. Ayers for the assistance he had given the Light Horse, which they appreciated very much.

Mr. and Mrs. Ayers were pre-eminent and had set up a fine standard of citizenship.

  • He regretted their departure, and wished them all happiness.

Dr. G. Wien-Smith, speaking for the Lawn Tennis Club, and its president (Dr. A. A. Smith) said they were all sorry to lose Mr. and Mrs. Ayers.

  • Mr. Ayers was a foundation member of the club and a member of the committee, and as joint secretary of their tournaments had shown tact and ability.

  • He also thanked him on behalf of the Boy Scouts for allowing them to camp on his property. He also spoke of the good work he had done in connection with the old Stanley dances, and hoped they would visit Clare frequently.

Mr. F. L. Sanders, secretary of Lawn Tennis Club, said they would miss Mr. Ayers very much. He was always willing to help, and he appreciated the assistance he had given, and wished Mr. and Mrs. Ayers all happiness in the future. Mr. J. C. Dux (president of the Clare A. &, H. Society) said on behalf of the Show committee that much had been said of organisation, and that was what had placed the Clare show on the map, as the best show in South Australia.

  • Mr. Ayers was associated with the Royal Agricultural Society, and also a steward in the ring events of the Clare Show, in which capacity he had done splendid work, and was able to assist them with new ideas from the R.A.S.

  • Mr. J. Bails, who was Mayor of Clare at 'Back to Clare,' expressed his thanks for the wonderful way in which Mr. Ayers, as secretary, had assisted him in that movement.

  • He was always a gentleman, and while he stood up for his case in argument was always willing to listen to others views.

  • The good work he had done was inestimable, and it was by his work that the movement had proved so successful. He wished Mr. and Mrs. Ayers long life and happiness.

Mr. D. McRae Wood (president of Race Club), said that he realised that Mr. Ayers had well earned a holiday, as shown by the numerous associations in which he had a part.

  • Mr. Ayers had done splendid work for the race club as secretary, and they were indebted to him for his generosity during the years of depression.

Mr. J. Victorsen (Chairman of the Stanley Dried Fruit Board) said he did not know any man in Clare who had done so much for nothing as Mr. Ayers.

  • His jobs were quite honorary, and he carried them out well.

Mr. A. L. Stacy (president of the Flower Society) thanked Mr. Ayers for the assistance he had rendered the society, and said that Mr. Ayers was a worker and not a talker.

Mr. Ayers, who was greeted with applause, said he was pleased to see so many friends present, and was sorry that Mr. Davies could not be present, as he was one of the first men he met when he first came to Clare, 26 years ago.

  • Clare was now a garden suburb of Adelaide, and they would often return.

  • He thanked Mr. I. S. Scott for his remarks about the hospital, as the hospital had been a sort of baby to him, and he had spent much time there when it was being built by Mr Bowley, and it was now well known as one of the best hospitals in the state.

  • He thanked Mr. Gillen for his remarks, he being one of his oldest friends in Clare. He also thanked Mr. Bails, remembering well the strenuous times they had in preparation for 'Back to Clare,' but it had been well worth while, and they had had a wonderful week.

Mrs. Ayers also thanked them all for their nice presentations and expressions. They naturally had regrets at leaving Clare, after 23 years — all happy years.

  • They were not leaving for good, however, and would return occasionally.

  • As Divisional Commissioner for Girl Guides she would still continue in that position, and would come back frequently to see the girls.

  • She had spent many happy days in Clare, and the few things she had done for Clare had given her the greatest pleasure. (Applause.) 'Auld Lang Syne' concluded the meeting.


Lure of China And Japan

Chinese women are immaculately dressed and beautifully soignees, according to Mrs. Sidney Ayers, who, with her niece, Miss Joan Reid, returned yesterday from her first visit to their country.

  • Very few wear European clothes, and their national costume consists of gorgeous fabrics of exquisite cut. They trip along on very high-heeled shoes, have earrings of jade or other precious stones; and nearly all wear little straight fringes.

  • Hongkong was the first glimpse of China by the travellers, and it fascinated them. especially the view from the Peak, reached by a funicular railway, whence there was a vista of hundreds of islands among which sailed Chinese junks.

  • Canton was a seething mass of humanity---'"just like an ant-bed,' said Mrs. Ayers. "On the river 500.000 people live, move; and have their being in sampans"

  • It was too cold to venture to Peiping. So they sailed in the Corfu to Shanghai, where, woman-like they revelled in the shops in Yates road, devoted to the sale of nothing except the most alluring lingerie with handwork unsurpassable

  • An exciting experience was shooting the rapids at Hozu. Seated on kitchen chairs in long, flat-bottomed boats, with their feet on charcoal burners because of the intense cold, they enjoyed every minute of the two hours' journey, but were glad they had not to undertake the return trip of six hours to haul the boats back.

Altogether a month was spent in Japan; and the homeward journey included Manila, where- they saw a cock fight and a polo match. (Read more...)

Guiding, Polo, And Racing in India MRS. AYERS RETURNS

"India's polo grounds and racecourses must be among the best in the world," said Mrs. Sidney Ayers, commenting on her recent holiday in India, where she visited Calcutta, Bombay, and, later, Colombo. She arrived at Calcutta in December and stayed there for the festive Christmas week, and then went on to Bombay for the polo and racing season in the new year.

  • "The racecourses are so beautifully appointed," she said, "and so well laid out. Opportunity is given for members to have every luxury.

  • A popular idea is to entertain your friends before the meeting begins at a luncheon party at the course, since there you can have the most elaborate luncheon possible in perfect comfort." (Read much more...)



Lloyd family at Dimora, East Terrace, Adelaide Christmas day ca. 1938
Henry Lloyd holding baby John, John Ayers, Dymphna Lloyd, Lucy Ayers, Mary Lloyd, Lance Lloyd. Ursula, Marianne and L.M.S. Hargrave. In front-left:, Sidney Ayers, Gerald Hargrave. Christmas day at Dimora ca. 1938

MANY of his friends will be sorry to learn that Mr. Sidney Ayers died on Christmas Day 1941. His health had been indifferent for a long time, but he went out to occasional functions.

  • As a committeeman of the SA jockey club, he attended a race meeting at Morphettville on December 6 for the first time for five months.

  • It is a pathetic coincidence that his oldest son Henry died 15 years ago on Christmas Day.

  • Those of us who had pleasant association with Sidney Ayers will recall his infectious enthusiasm for the Clare polo and racing clubs, and the local Show society, and later,

  • when he came to live in Adelaide, his keen interest in the Royal Agricultural Society, particularly its horses-in-action committee.

(Pictured right)

MRS. KENNETH MILNE and Mrs. Sidney Ayers at the party given for Mrs. Ayers.

Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Clarke gave a small late afternoon party at their Unley Park home for a few friends to say goodbye to Mrs. Sidney Ayers.

  • Mrs. Ayers will leave on Friday in the 'Stratheden' with her niece, Miss Isobel Kidman, for Colombo.

Edna Ayers later lived at Brougham Place, North Adelaide, and died on April 30, 1975, aged 84

Read more:


The Kidman Empire


Cattleman (and Sid. and Edna's grandson) John Ayers retired from the family business S Kidman and Co yesterday after nearly half a century's involvement, reporting a net profit of $2.55 million at its annual general meeting. ... Mr Ayers said the majority of the family would love to see the company still around in another 100 years. Advertiser 20 Nov 2010

  • The Kidman-Ayers-Reid empire (Ayers and Reid were added by marriage) owed its wealth primarily to cattle king Sir Sidney Kidman.

  • Kidman, who died in 1935, ran a pastoral empire that covered 3.5% of the Australian continent.

  • The family's holdings are only half that size today, covering about 11 million hectares. The largest property is Anna Creek, west of Lake Eyre in South Australia. Its area is about one-fifth the area of Britain.

  • The family company, Kidman Holdings, is (now) run by Sidney Kidman's great-grandson, John Ayers

Gina Rinehart buys S Kidman & Co.

Illustrated: In Adelaide on December 21, 2016, the day after Rinehart finalised the deal for her $386.5 million purchase of S. Kidman & Co through a joint venture she'd formed with China's Shanghai CRED.

Rinehart owns two-thirds of the joint venture company, Australian Outback Beef, with Shanghai CRED owning the balance.

Ugly split

"One of Australia's most enduring family-owned pastoral companies, S. Kidman & Co had survived five generations before the "For Sale" sign went up in 2014, even after the Kidman name had been bred out of the family tree.

For 117 years it had survived drought, disease, rising and falling cattle prices, and an ugly split within the family following Kidman's death in 1935.

At the time of its sale, S. Kidman & Co had 64 family and employee shareholders. Many of those family members had only a tenuous link to the colossal pastoral group.

"The family had become investors in the company," confirms Don Manifold, managing partner of Ernst & Young in Adelaide, which sold the business. "They were fourth or fifth generation and there were very few family members working in the company."

Rinehart paid handsomely for the chain of nine cattle stations...


Mother - Father - Grandfather Sir Henry Ayers - Death of Grandfather - Inheritance - Society Wedding - Warenda, Clare - Clare Polo Week - Back to Clare 1928 - Popular Sportsman - Mrs. Ayers, Traveller - Amazing America - in Malayan Jungles - Horseback Marathon - Lure of China and Japan - India - Sir Sidney Kidman's Death - Farewell - Passing - The Kidman Empire

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