Lakemba - Name Origin

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Historian.png This article is written by Brian Madden, Canterbury local historian and author. To make any suggestions for additions, please visit the Discussion Page for this article.

Portrait of Benjamin Taylor, 1901.
On 8 August 1881, Benjamin Taylor leased John Wall’s 50 acres grant (then called “Ashford”), with right of purchase, which he exercised in 1890. The area was actually 55 acres (22 hectares) and extended from present-day Lakemba Street to north of Myee Street, and from a line between Haldon and Quigg Streets to a line between Croydon and Sproule Streets.

On 1 March 1883, he married his second wife Lucy Annie Johnston, who was the granddaughter of the Reverend and Mrs Cross who were missionaries on an island in Fiji spelled Lakeba but pronounced Lakemba.

Anzac Day March along Haldon Street, Lakemba, featuring Benjamin Taylor's house, "Lakemba", on the left,1921.
Mr Taylor named his property “Lakemba”, probably soon after his marriage in 1883, because their son, William Jason Taylor was born, according to his birth certificate, at “Lakemba”, Belmore, on 13 February 1884.

Later, his house was on what is now the south west corner of Haldon Street and The Boulevarde, but just where the house was or how substantial it was in 1884 is not known.

When the railway from Sydenham to Belmore was extended to Bankstown in 1909, the railway station on Mr Taylor’s property was named Lakemba. The suburb which developed around the station was, of course, called Lakemba.

Taylor’s house was demolished for shops about 1920 or 1921.

Brian Madden, 2014