For someone who was
created a Privy Chamberlain by the Roman Catholic Church, it is surprising
little information is available on Thomas James O’Loughlin. The Argus
obituary reveals some details. It notes that he “took a leading part in
the reception of Cardinal Cerretti who visited Australia as Papal Leyate to
the Eucharistic Congress in Sydney. In recognition of this role and his
generous benefactions to the Roman Catholic Church, he was created a
domestic Privy Chamberlain to Pope Pius XI”. On his wedding day in 1911 in
Kilkenny, Ireland, he was created a Count of Rome by Pope Pius X; his
benefactions to Catholic undertakings and charities was said to have
succeeded £100,000. It is believed O’Loughlin donated a considerable amount
towards the purchase of the Kew mansion Raheen in September 1917
along with other noted Catholic benefactors such as John Wren
(Boroondara Cemetery). On his death on 21 June 1929, Monsignor Lonergan
said “there was scarcely a Catholic Institution in Australia that was not in
some way or other indebted to him”. O’Loughlin resided at Tara Hall
- 38 Hawthorn Grove, Hawthorn; his funeral service was held at St. Patrick’s
"Count Thomas James O'Loughlin and his wife Kathleen
travelled to Ireland on the 'Orsavo' orient line travelling from Melbourne
Australia to London England arriving on 21 June 1913 before sailing on to
Ireland. They travelled with a daughter also Kathleen and a nanny called
Delian Mescall. They travelled first class as you would expect.
The family also travelled from Melbourne to Ireland
again in May 1920 via London England on red funnel line. This time the
family was complete and they had five daughters - Kathleen aged seven,
Margaret aged six, Helen aged four, Agatha aged two and Dorothy aged one.
They travelled 1st Class yet again and Thomas was now 54 and his wife 39.
His occupation was noted as a Grazier.
After Kathleen died they went on holiday to Hawaii
from Sydney to Honolulu arriving on 30 December 1927. By this time
Thomas was retired and widowed age 62. His daughters were Kathleen
aged 15, Margaret aged 13, Helen aged 12, Agatha aged 10 and Dorothy aged
nine. They were living in Melbourne, Australia.
Unfortunately they were all orphaned two years later
when their father died .
Kathleen and Margaret travelled to England aged 18 and
17 arriving in London on 6 May 1931.
As you know, Thomas founded the O’Loughlin Memorial
Church in Kilkenny, Ireland, in memory of his Kinsman, Mr J O’Loughlin of
Ballarat, and he was married in that church in 1911 to a daughter of Mr J
Murphy, of Ballybur Castle, County Kilkenny. Mrs. O'Loughlin died several
months before Thomas." [From information kindly supplied by Claire
O'Loughlin, Feb 2010]
(above) Thomas O'Loughlin
(Courtesy of Claire O'Loughlin - copyright