It seems extreme to modern thinking, but the concept of a backlash is hardly a foreign one. In 1861, Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha – better known in the British Empire as Prince Consort Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, died of typhoid fever. The widow Queen spent the rest of her life mourning him, and in the colony that bore her name, many tributes to the both of them were created. (Which is why there are so many Albert streets and Victoria streets in the inner suburbs.) Indeed, one wit quipped that you could talk the Queen into virtually anything if only you named it after her dearly departed Albert.
But not everyone liked this. Perhaps the most effective of the resisters was George Stimson. For him, the final straw came decades later, when his deeply patriotic wife insisted on naming their only son Albert, in tribute to the fallen royal. Stimson, who owned a good-sized piece of land near Deer Park, determined that he would defy convention, and create a housing development that featured neither an Albert Street nor a Victoria Street. (He also tried his level best to prevent anyone named Albert from buying property there, and never addressed his son as anything other than ‘Al’.)
A lover of puns, he even named the new area for his ban, albeit hiding the name in a way he knew would be misinterpreted as something more patriotic. And so was born Albanvale, a home to upwardly mobile royalists who never realised that so much of the money they spent on their land went to fund Stimson’s republican causes.
Suburbs near Albanvale: