The Beaurepaire Family of Lorne

Lillian Beaurepaire

Albert Park State School Swimming Club, Girls’ Champion Team, 1905-6 (L-R) M. Richardson, S. Josephs, S Carter, Miss Cox, L. Beaurepaire

Lillian De Beaurepaire (15 September 1892 – 24 November 1979), also know by her married name Lilian Clarke, was an Australian swimmer and diver. She competed at the 1920 Summer Olympics in the 100 metre and 400 metre freestyle and high diving. Her brother Frank Beaurepaire was an Olympic swimmer. She was the daughter of Francis Edmund de Beaurepaire, a sailor, tram-conductor, trader, and later a hotel proprietor with wife Mary Edith, nee Inman.

In 1922, Lillian moved with her parents from Albert Park to Lorne. She assisted with managing the popular Carinya Guesthouse and later the Cumberland Guesthouse. However, she continued swimming and lifesaving pursuits. At Lorne’s surf beach Lillian was often the only lifesaver and was credited with 50 rescues. At age 41, she famously rescued three men in rough surf at Lorne, in 1933. Lillian was reported as wearing her bathers under her dress while working at the guesthous, and when the bell on the beach rang, she would go to the beach to be a life saver. In 1967, The Lillian Beaurepaire Memorial Swimming Pool, on Lorne foreshore was named in her honour.

(Source: Wikipedia, accessed April 2024, Doug Stirling 2024, The Australian Women’s Register, accessed 2024)

Frank Beaurepaire

Frank Beaurepaire was a teen Olympic swimmer before serving in World War I and then building a retail empire, Beaurepaire’s tyres and Olympic Tyres. Frank had a talent for swimming. He bravely help rescue a shark attack victim, and reaped an enormous cash prize, which he used to build the Beaurepaire tyre retail empire. He entered politics and became Lorne Mayor of Melbourne and one of the city’s most celebrated philanthropists.

At the age of 14 Frank was a Victorian champion. Two years later he won three major prizes at the national championships in Perth, then travelled to London to represent Australia in the Olympics. In 1910, he embarked on a European tour during which he set an astounding four world records. His name lives on in various material legacies, including the enduring tyre business he founded, and the Beaurepaire athletics centre at Melbourne University.

(Source; Herald Sun, article by Mitchell Toy, 19 May 2022)