manager, councillor and writer, was born at Hill Cove, West Falkland, on March 1905. His father, also named Sydney, had emigrated to the Islands from Sussex in 1886 at the age of 19 and his mother was the daughter of the mariner Charles HANSEN. He had three sisters, Frederica Daisey, Ruth and Constance. Miller's father had joined Hill Cove in 1889 as manager and Sydney was educated in England. He returned to Hill Cove in 1922 to become a cadet and in 1925 went to San Julian in Patagonia, the Blake family farm, to further his sheep farming experience for two years. He succeeded his father as manager of Hill Cove in 1929 but resigned in 1932 because his views on sheep farming from those of Robert Blake (whose own experience related to Patagonia and differed from that of his father - Robert BLAKE senior - who with HOLMESTED, had developed the farm at Hill Cove.)
Miller contemplated farming in South Africa or Australia but his heart was set in the Falklands and he was delighted to accept the offer to manage Roy Cove, another West Falkland farm, when it was offered in 1932, although it was a smaller farm carrying about half the sheep of Hill Cove. Roy Cove had previously been managed by Howard CLEMENT of another well-respected sheepfarming family who were always close to the Millers. Miller, whose declared ambition was to be a good stockman, set about his task with youthful vigour, introducing new stock from New Zealand and Patagonia and well achieving his ambition. He was, however, more renowned for his work on grassland, as he recognised at an early stage that improvement to stock needed to be matched by better feed and controlled grazing. Despite scepticism from some quarters, his costings and estimates of return on investment proved accurate.
Not an easy man to debate with, Miller was well-respected as a pioneer sheep farmer particularly in the post-war period. His advice was sought at all levels and he was an elected member of LegCo for West Falkland from 1956-1960 and from 1964-1971. Following his retirement in 1970, he represented Stanley from 1971 to 1976. He also served on Executive Council and during the political crisis in 1968, with three other members of Council, broke his Oath of Secrecy in a direct appeal to the House of Commons over the British government's secret talks with Argentina which had culminated in a memorandum of understanding. Miller backed that up on a visit to the UK during which he castigated a Member of Parliament, who was openly dismissive of the Colony's future, at the House of Commons. He married Betty, the great, great granddaughter of Sergeant-Major Henry FELTON of the PENSIONERS on 20 February 1933. Their marriage was a long and happy one with Betty, an accomplished rider and keen on fishing, renowned for her hospitality. Betty was equally outspoken in support of the Islanders, and the author recalls a leading Argentine politician saying in the 1970s that if they failed to negotiate transfer of sovereignty soon they would have to take the Islands by force and in style, 'not by overcoming Betty Miller on the jetty brandishing her handbag'.
The Millers had four boys: Alan, who managed Port San Carlos after the 1982 conflict, Nigel, who commanded RMS Darwin for a while, Simon, who manages a market garden and Tim, who was injured in the conflict and established the hydroponic garden. Syd Miller was awarded the CBE in 1979. He edited the Falkland Islands Journal from 1975-1990, writing a series of articles on the history of the FIC. His book A Life of our Choice epitomized his life and contribution to the Islands.
Sydney Miller died in Stanley on 4 July 1992, and his wife Betty died in 2004.
Sydney Miller; A life of our choice; Privately published; 1988
Sydney Miller; The Very Reverend L. E. Brandon and the Birth of the Falkland Islands Magazine - 1889; Falkland islands Journal; 1974
Sydney Miller; Bense Island; Falkland islands Journal; 1974
Sydney Miller; Patagonian Missionary Society - Keppel Island 1855 - 1911; Falkland Islands Journal; 1975
Sydney Miller; Captain Charles Hansen - Letter to the Admiralty 1882; Falkland Islands Journal; 1977
Sydney Miller; Voyage of H. M. Ketch "Sparrow" 1837; Falkland Islands Journal; 1977
Sydney Miller; Camp Transport Before the Machine Age; Falkland Islands Journal; 1978
Sydney Miller; Nineteenth Century Notes on Shipping; Falkland Islands Journal; 1978
Sydney Miller; The Beginnings of The Falkland Islands Company, 1850-51; Falkland Islands Journal; 1979
Sydney Miller; The Story of the Thetis; Falkland Islands Journal; 1979
Sydney Miller; The American Sealers in the Mid-Nineteenth Century; Falkland Islands Journal; 1980
Sydney Miller; Visit of Passengers of Great Britain, 1854; Falkland Islands Journal; 1980
Sydney Miller; Anson. The Government Experimental Farm; 1926-9; Falkland Islands Journal; 1981
Sydney Miller; The History of The Falkland Islands Company; Falkland Islands Journal; 198; 1982' 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
Sydney Miller; Sir James Clark Ross's Tidal Tablets, Port Louis 1842; Falkland Islands Journal; 1984
Sydney Miller; The Wreck of the Isabella in 1813 on Speedwell Island; Falkland Islands Journal; 1989
Sydney Miller; The Auxiliary Ketch Penelope of the Falkland Islands; Falkland Islands Journal; 1989
Sydney Miller; Sheep Husbandry: Part 2, Droving; Falkland Islands Journal; 1998
Sydney Miller; Sheep Husbandry: Part 4; Falkland Islands Journal; 2000
December 2019 Text corrected; additional photograph added; one reference added; thirteen references added