Malcolm Benitz & Gertie Traill Page last modified:
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Malcolm & Gertie
(Audrey watching)
Rosario, SFé – 25 May, 1946

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

Event Timeline

Year Age Event
1916-12-17 0 Audrey Gertrude Muriel Traill, Gertie, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the second child (first to survive childhood) of Joe Traill and Audrey Lawson, of estancia “Chirú”, east of San Jorge, Santa Fé.
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.
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 played polo & trained polo ponies.
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. (Where she was listed/known as Mrs. Hall after marriage.)
1941-10 24 Gertie married George Barton Hall, lieutenant in the RNVR.  They met on the ship taking them to England to join up.  George’s father was a civil engineer with the Argentine railroad Ferrocarril del Sud, based in Bahia Blanca, BA prov. (nationalised 1946-1948, became part of Ferrocarril General Roca (FCGR).).
1942-11-15 25 George was killed when his ship, HMS “Avenger”, a few hours after leaving Gibraltar, was torpedoed and blew up off the SW coast of Portugal.
1942-12-03 25 Gertie's first child is born, in Otterry St. Mary, Devon, England.
1944 - Gertie & son returned to live at “Chirú”, Santa Fé, Arg.

1917-4-26 0 Frank Malcolm Benitz, Malcolm, was born in Buenos Aires, 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.
1925-1926 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, suburb of Buenos Aires) prep school.  When that school closed he was sent to school in England - he would have prefered to go with his friends to St.George's (in Quilmes, Bs.As.).
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 was not happy there.  He returned to Argentina in April, 1934, without finishing secondary school.
1934-1935 16-17 Malcolm's father put him to work in the fields at “La California”.  In September, 1934, his great-uncle Alfred took him on a month long trip to Campo Winter, on the Bermejo River, Chaco province, Arg.
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, or as “Scrappy”.
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 northern 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).
1940-10-17 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.
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, we're still living, 2020.)
1947-1986 30 Malcolm took possession of that part of La California he had inherited from his mother, naming it “El Piquete”.
It was a joint effort for 40 years: he managed the farming/ranching activities & Gertie did the book-keeping.
1948-1978 31-61 Malcolm played polo with the “Los Laureles” polo club in El Trebol & Las Rosas; he also bred & trained polo-ponies.
Gertie became an officially recognised umpire of the Argentine polo association.
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 Fahrion retired the new manager overextended & the company failed.
1958-1984 41-68 Annual month long (15 Jan.–15 Feb.) summer camping & trout fishing trips down south – in the Andes foothills of northern Patagonia in the provinces of Neuquen, Rio Negro, & Chubut; often on estancias managed by close relatives (in later years only when not visiting sons in the US & Canada).
ca.1960 43 Malcolm took possession of the land inherited from his father, fields 15 & 16.  He also bought field 20 from his sister Moira, but later sold it to purchase sister Corina's field 6 (see map of “La California”).
1967 50 He sold the newest aditions to “El Piquete” (fields 15 & 16) to buy “La Isleta” (1,300 has.) in south-east Corrientes province.  A breeding camp, it provided stock for fattening at “El Piquete”.  Uncultivated, relatively wild, & sparsely forested, it was much to Malcolm's liking.
- -      POLO
1976 Jun/July 59 They travelled to the US, Canada, & UK and visited with: Chicago (son P.), Champaign, Ill. (Malcolm’s college fraternity brothers), Saskatoon (son T's DVM graduation), Winnipeg (T's first wedding), Toronto (cousins & former co-POWs); UK (friends, cousins, & close relatives: Malcolm's sister Moira Le Bas, Gertie's sister Joan Traill).
1977 Dec. 60 They visited son G. in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a family reunion over Christmas & New Year.
1978 Jan. 61 They with Poro & Joyce Middleton, son P. & g-f camped & fished "down south" (see 1958 above).
1980 Dec. 63 They visited son G. in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a family reunion over Christmas & New Year.
1985 68 They visited friends & relatives in the the US.
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.
1987-11 - Gertie, accompanied by her eldest son G., visited son P. in Simi Valley, California; toured the canyons of Arizona, then spent Thanksgiving in Tucson, Arizona, with P. & his in-laws.
1988-03-03 71 Gertie suffered a stroke.  After which, she was partially paralyzed requiring the use a wheelchair.  Her eldest son assumed management of "El Piquete" & "La Isleta".
1989 Dec. 72 Gertie travelled to the US.  Spent Christmas with son T. in New Jersey, then visited son P. in San Diego, California.
1991 Dec. 74 Gertie travelled to the US.  Spent Christmas & New Year with son P. in San Diego, California.
1995 Dec. 75 Gertie travelled to the US.  Visited son P. in Miami, and son T. in New Jersey.
2001-02-13- 84 Gertie died at “El Piquete”, of emphysema (she had been a heavy smoker).  She was buried at Ea. “La California”, Las Rosas, Santa Fé, Arg.

© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)