Alexander Gerard Ralston was born in Sydney on 10 November 1860, the eldest son of Alexander J Ralston (1833-89) and his wife Edith Windeyer Thompson. In 1882 at Raymond Terrace, NSW, he married Mary Emily (1861-1950), the second daughter of Sir William Windeyer, former Supreme Court Judge. His eldest son Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Windeyer Ralston (b.1885) served with distinction in World War 1. Alexander Gerard Ralston died at Woollahra on 11 July 1932 and was buried at St Thomas’ Cemetery, Enfield.
Occupation & interests
Alexander Gerard Ralston was educated at Sydney Grammar School and the University of Sydney where he gained his MA in 1883. He was admitted to the Bar in 1884 and made King’s Counsel in 1906. He was Acting District Court Judge in 1894, 1905, and 1908, Acting Judge of the Supreme Court in 1919 and Acting Judge in Divorce & Common Law in 1924. He was on the Royal Commission to consolidate Statute Law. Two of his sons served in the First World War. In 1919 Ralston had chambers in Phillip Street and was living at Wentworth Road, Burwood.
Ralston was identified with many charitable institutions. He was also a patron of the Sydney School of Arts and a member of the council of the Zoological Society of NSW.
Local government service
Alexander Gerard Ralston was an Alderman of Ashfield Council from 1887 to 1891. In 1895 he moved to Burwood, where he resided for 28 years, and was elected to Burwood Council from 1896 to 1901. He was Mayor of Burwood from 1900 to 1901. Ralston was Alderman of Sydney City Council for Bourke Ward, 7 December 1900 to 2 February 1906 when he resigned to take up the position of Acting District Court Judge. He was a member of the Parliamentary and By-Laws Committee, 1901-02 and its Vice-Chairman in 1901. He was a member of the Works Committee in 1901 and 1903, the Health Committee in 1901 and 1904, the Labour Advisory Committee in 1901, the Finance Committee, 1902-03, the Staff and Labour Committee, 1902-03, the Health and Recreations Committee and the Electric Lighting Committee in 1903.
Burwood Council 1924, Burwood municipal jubilee: official souvenir: containing history of the Municipality of Burwood, 1874-1924 together with a record of the early history of the district, Madden & Grano for The Council of the Municipality of Burwood, Sydney
City of Sydney Archives: Aldermen’s Files Photos: CRS 54/6; and 54/356; Archives Investigator
Cyclopedia of NSW 1907, McCarron Stewart & Co, Sydney
Society 1 April 1922, p 16
Society of Australian Genealogists: AGCI index; Rookwood index
Watsford, R. S & Watsford, R. S. (Robert S.) 1924, Sydney Grammar School : from its earliest days, 1st. ed, R.S. Watsford, Sydney
Who’s Who in Australia 1927-1928