Malcolm Benitz & Gertie Traill Page last modified:

Malcolm Benitz & Gertie Traill
(1917-1986) —  (1916-2001)

Missing imgage

Malcolm, ca.1965
Duck hunt, Paraná river
near Coronda, SFé.
(Photo by Peter Simpson
of Venado Tuerto, SFé.
Source: P. Benitz

Event Timeline

Year Age Event
1916-12-17 0 Audrey Gertrude Muriel Traill, Gertie, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the first child of Joe Traill and Audrey Lawson, of estancia “Chirú”, east of San Jorge, Santa Fé.
1917-4-26 0 Frank Malcolm Benitz, Malcolm, was born in Argentina, the third child of William Agar Benitz and Flora King.  Flora died of influenza five months later (November 13, 1917).  His childhood homes were Ea. “La California” (Las Rosas, Santa Fé, Arg.) & the family summer home “Greystone” in the Córdoba hills (Los Cocos, Córdoba, Arg.)
1923 6 Malcolm was taken to England on a family trip.
1925-1933 9-17 Gertie, and her brother Tony, were put in school in England, where she attended Sherbourne School.  When not in school they lived with their uncle Dr. Ralph (& Gladys) Traill in Ottery St. Mary, Devon.
1925-1926 8-9 Malcolm was put in school during a family trip to England: Misses Bradnacks, Canford Cliffs, near Poole, Dorset.
1927-1928 10-11 Malcolm attended Oats College (Morón, Buenos Aires) prep school.  When that school closed he was sent to school in England, not a happy experience.
1929-1934 11-16 Malcolm attended 2 boarding schools in England: Amesbury Prep., Surrey (January '29 - June '31), then Stowe, Buchinghamshire (August '31 - April? '34) .  He returned to Argentina in April, 1934, without finishing secondary school.
1934-1940 18-23 Gertie took a secretarial course in Buenos Aires then returned to "Chirú" where she assisted her father in its management & with book-keeping.  She also trained polo ponies and played polo.
1934-1935 16-17 Malcolm's father put him to work in the fields at “La California”.  In September, 1934, Uncle Alfred took him on a month long trip to Campo Winter, in the Chaco.
1935-1938 18-21 Malcolm completed his secondary education in the U.S. at the University of Illinois high-school before attending the university's College of Agriculture.  Like his father, he joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.  In the U.S. he was known by his first name, Frank.  His frat brothers nick-named him “Scrappy”, for his determination.
1936 19 Malcolm joined the Allyn family (cousins) for Christmas in Corsicana, Texas, where he met his great-aunt Mrs. C.H. Allyn, & cousin Buena Allyn.
1938 21 Malcolm & a fraternity brother drove across the U.S. during the summer (June-August). They camped in rural school yards, visited Yellowstone, and Fort Ross (staying with the Call family).  He ran out of funds and had to wire home for more.
1939 21 Malcolm did his military service in Buenos Aires (January-March).
1940-1944 23- Gertie returned to England where she joined the WAAF, becomming a Section Officer in Intelligence Operations, on an RAF base in East Anglia.
1940-10-17 23 Malcolm volunteered, enlisting in the RCAF, for the duration. He became a bomber pilot (104 Squadron, flew Wellingtons Mk-II), was decorated (DFC), wounded, recovered, ditched in the Mediterranean, taken prisoner, escaped – for more, click the “WW-II” button above.
1941-10 24 Gertie married George Barton Hall, lieutenant in the RNVR.  They had met on the ship on their way to England to join up.  George's father was a civil engineer with the Argentine railroads (Rocca line).
1942-11 25 George was killed when his ship, HMS “Avenger”, was torpedoed and blew up off the SE coast of Portugal.
1942-12 25 Gertie's first child is born, in Otterry St. Mary, Devon, England.
1944 - Gertie & son returned to live at “Chirú”, Santa Fé, Arg.
1945-10-02 28 Malcolm was demobilized and he returned to Argentina.
1946-05-25 29 / 29 Malcolm and Gertie were married in Rosario, Santa Fé.  Honeymoon trip by car to La Quiaca, Jujuy. They had two sons.  (No names, living in 2017.)
1947-1986 30 Malcolm took possession of that part of “La California” he had inherited from his mother, naming it “El Piquete”; he farmed it until he died, almost 40 years later.
1948-1978 31-61 Malcolm played polo with the “Los Laureles” polo club in El Trebol & Las Rosas; Gertie became an officially recognised umpire of the Argentine polo association.  Malcolm also bred & trained polo-ponies.
1952-1970 36-53 They put 3 sons through boarding school (St. George’s College, Arg.) and university in the U.S.; all three went on to earn post-graduate degrees.
1955?-1986 38-69 Founded a forage seed company, “Pasturacentro” (Fahrion, Benitz, y Cia.); it did very well while managed by Ricardo Fahrion.  However, after he retired the new management overextended & the company failed.
1958-1985 41-68 Annual month long summer camping & trout fishing trips down south – the Andes foothills of northern Patagonia.
ca.1960 43 Malcolm took possession of the land inherited from his father.
1967 50 Sold part of “El Piquete” to buy “La Isleta” (1,300 has.) in south-east Corrientes.  A breeding camp, it provided the Piquete with stock for fattening.  Uncultivated, relatively wild, & sparsely forested, it also provided Malcolm an escape to enjoy nature.
- - POLO
1986-12-13 69 Malcolm died in Rosario, Santa Fé; of a ruptured aorta.  He was buried at Ea. “La California”, Las Rosas, Santa Fé, Arg.
1988-03-03 71 Gertie suffered a stroke.  After which, she was partially paralyzed requiring the use a wheelchair to get about.  Her eldest son assumed management of "El Piquete" & "La Isleta".
- - -
2001-02-13- 84 Gertie died at “El Piquete”, of lung cancer (she had been a heavy smoker).  She was buried at Ea. “La California”, Las Rosas, Santa Fé, Arg.

© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)