William Gunning Baird was born on 30 Jan 1863 in Launceston to James Baird (1827-1882) and Jane Amelia McLean (c. 1829-1909) who were married in Hobart on 20 Feb 1857. On finishing his education William entered a merchant business and then in 1879 joined the staff of the Commercial Bank of Tasmania, following in his father's banking footsteps. Eight years later he was manager of the Westbury branch. In 1891 he was promoted to the position of accountant at the Launceston office and in the following year was appointed as manager, a position he retained until his retirement in 1925.
On 12 Oct 1896 at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Launceston, William married Florence Margaret Ritchie, the second daughter of William Ritchie, barrister. They had five children: Joyce, born 28 Jul 1897; Harley, 14 Jan 1899; Winston Gunning, 1900; Noel and Beverley, born 7 May 1908. Their only son Winston died aged 11 in May 1912 and the three youngest daughters later moved to the mainland.
William was active in the Launceston Stock Exchange, mining, orcharding in the Tamar Valley (Deviot Orcharding Company) and in yachting circles. From 1908 the family's holiday home was at 'Deviot House'. W G Baird died aged 73 at his residence 161 Elphin Road, Launceston, on 29 Aug 1937, survived by his widow and four daughters. He was buried next to his son at the Carr Villa Cemetery in Section F1. Florence died aged 85 on 17 Feb 1952 and was buried with her husband. See The Examiner 4 Nov 2006, page 32.