MLS alumnus honoured in memorial unveiling

The new Victorian Jewish WWI and WWII Memorial was unveiled and consecrated at Ripponlea on Sunday, 15 November to commemorate those Jewish servicemen fallen in conflict.

memorial unveiling

The Hon Ted Baillieu, Robyn Baillieu, Rabbi Ralph Genende, Lady Cowen AM, MAJ GEN Jeffrey Rosenfeld AM OBE KStJ, Dr Judy Landau, Julie Leder, Jack Smorgon AO at the unveiling and consecration.

Representatives from Melbourne Law School attended the service to lay a wreath in honour of 674 Gunner Gordon Fink, a Law School alumnus (LLB 1907), who was killed in action on Gallipoli and has no known grave.

Mr Gordon Fink enrolled at Melbourne Law School in 1903 and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1907.

He was admitted to the bar in Victoria on 3 May, 1903 before serving as a gunner in Australian Field Artillery 1907–09, and was 2nd Lieutenant in July 1909, but resigned his commission on leaving for Malay States.

He returned to Australia and was admitted to the bar in Western Australia 29 July, 1913.

Mr Fink then enlisted on 3 September, 1914 and sailed to Egypt as Private 16th Battalion on 22 December, 1914.

He was killed in action on Gallipoli on 2 May 1915.

Mr Fink had strong familial connections to the Law School and the wider University of Melbourne community.

His parents were Theodore and Kate Fink.

Theodore Fink completed the Articled Clerks Course at Melbourne Law School circa 1872–1877 and was Chairman of the Royal Commission on Technical Education in Victoria between 1899-1901 and also of the Royal Commission on the University of Melbourne between 1902-1904.

In 1956, a "Theodore Fink Education Endowment" fund was established by two of his children, Hilda and Roland, Gordon's siblings, for the purpose of advancing education in Australia.

Mr Gordon Fink's brother, Capt. Thorold Fink, also completed the Articled Clerks Course at Melbourne Law School circa 1919.

Capt. Thorold Fink married Louisa Gilchrist who, when she died, left a bequest of $440,000 to Ophthalmology at the University.

The new memorial is based on the original memorial located in the Jewish section of the Melbourne General Cemetery.

The new memorial includes the names of 87 WWI and 71 WWII servicemen, and is financially supported by The Pratt Foundation, Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program Melbourne Ports Electorate, and Marc Besen AC and Eva Besen AO.

Melbourne Law School takes pride in all of our graduates, past and present. We have the utmost respect for our alumni who have served our nation and those that have fallen whilst doing so.