'...An exceptional record of public usefulness in religious, social, and political spheres extending over a very long period of years...' so ran Stafford Bolton Birds obituary, Mercury (Hobart) 16 December 1924
Bolton Stafford Bird was born in England. After emigrating to Victoria with his family he trained with the Wesleyan Church, becoming a minister in 1865.
Arriving in Hobart in 1874 as minister of the Davey St Congregational Church where he remained until 1879, retiring due to ill health. Turning to apple farming, he purchased 700 acres in the Huon. Losing everything with the collapse of the Van Diemen’s Land Bank he moved to Lunawanna.
Mr. Bird first entered political life in 1882 as member for Franklin in the House of Assembly. Re-elected five times in succession he held office as; Treasurer, Postmaster-General, and Minister of Education in the Fysh /Bird Government, leader of the Opposition and speaker of the House of Assembly. He remained in that position until the dissolution of the Assembly on 29th December 1896.
He was a magistrate for the territory; and one of the Tasmanian representatives in the Federal Council of Australasia held in Hobart, in the sessions of 1889 and 1891; was one of the representatives of Tasmania in the Federal Conference held in Melbourne in February 1890, and at the Federal Convention held in Sydney in March 1891. He maintained an active role in politics until 1923.
I do feel, that I am not here so much as a Tasmanian…but rather I desire to feel that I am here as one of the people who are about, I believe, to be united in a great Empire which will sway the destinies of countless millions for generations yet to come… I hope the day is not far distant when every citizen of these colonies…will soon be joined together in the bonds of a union never to be dissolved…
Proceedings No. 7, 14 February 1890, Parliament of Australia.
Bolton Stafford Bird is buried in the Lunawanna Cemetery