Lists (None yet)

Login to create lists

Tagged (None yet)

Add Tags

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

5 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections



One of the oldest colonists has passed away in the person of Mr David Berry, who died at his residence,   Coolangatta, last night at half - past six o' clock. Mr. Berry was a native of Cupar, Fife, Scotland and arrived in the colony in the month of July, 1836, on board the Midlothian, hailing from the Port of Leith, and commanded by Captain Morrison. He was accompanied by his older brother John and his younger brother William, as well as by his two sisters Sarah and Agnes, all of whom he was privileged to survive. Shortly after their   arrival at Sydney they all proceeded to Coolangatta, the     estate of the late Dr Alexander Berry, the eldest of the family, and for the period of 11 years the manage- ment of that property devolved on the brothers John and David. On tho death of John, who was killed by a fall from his horse while mustering stock, the sole direction of operations was undertaken by David, and these, with the aid of trusted officials, he continued actively to supervise for upwards of 40 years. In September, 1873, Dr Alexander Berry died and the whole of the property belonging to him was bequeathed to his brother David, with power to dispose of it as he thought proper. During the latter's tenure the estate was considerably enlarged by the purchase of adjacent land as opportunity offered, with the view of rendering the property more compact   and manageable. The land, however, was not suffered to lie idle awaiting tho operations of neighbouring owners to give it an unearned value, as so fre- quently happens in every colony. A great portion thereof was fenced and cultivated under Mr Berry's own superintendence, while a much larger area, in farms of varying size, was oc- cupied by industrious settlers, either on the principle of granting long and favourable leases, or on the principle   of dividing the profits between owner and occupier, house, implements, stock, &c , being provided by the   former, and the labour by the latter. By these means the greater part of the property was gradually brought   under cultivation, and perhaps more beautiful home-   steads than those established under these arrangements are not to be found in the colony, as anyone travelling from Jeringong towards Shoalhaven may have witnessed. There is some doubt entertained as to the exact age which Mr Berry had attained but from a comparison of dates connected with the history of the family, it has been ascertained with the nearest possible approach   to certainty, that prior to his death he had seen his century. It is known that one intimately acquainted with that history was in the habit of stating that William was born in the last year of the eighteenth century and that David was born eleven years before him, that is in 1788, and that the remark was some- times jocularly made that he was the same age as the colony. It is not given to many to enjoy so prolonged a   life in possession of all his activities, both mental and physical, but he belonged to a robust, stalwart, and long- lived family, some of whom have left their impress on this new country, and he was destined to be the last, as also in some respects the greatest. He was blessed with an iron constitution, was remarkable   for his strength as well as his height, and had been seen, when he came to the colony, to lift with one of his hands a bag of wheat containing two bushels and   place it on a cart without the slightest effort. But withal he was gentle, simple, and unpretending in his     habits; of an equable mind, and was never known to get excited or to act in haste. And yet though enjoying a pre-eminently sound mind in a sound body, he was a great sufferer. On several occasions he was brought to the verge of death, but his wonder- ful recuperative power soon restored him to his former   vigour. This feature in his constitution, as also his power of mental control, was conspicuous even in his   last illness. Though enduring great pain from dropsy in the limbs he was never heard to complain, and would not allow his weakness to interfere with what he deemed his duty. He was essentially a silent man, but heartily appreciated conversation with any intelligent person who had gained his confidence. He was possessed of considerable literary taste, and while occupied with the responsibilities inseparable from the managing of a large estate, he found leisure   to study books of various kinds, and, being specially   interested in machinery with all the modern improve- ments, it was his custom to peruse with intense pleasure the Scientific American, and he continued this practice till within a few weeks of his decease. He was considerate of, and therefore was much loved by, all who were in his service. Unostentatiously kind, he may be said to have been the embodiment of the Christian rule of not allowing his Ieft hand to know what his right hand did. During his last sickness many a prayerful wish, as has been testified by those who are aware of the fact, arose from the lips and hearts of   those to whom he had rendered timely aid, that his long life might be yet further prolonged. But he had served his generation, and nothing more was left for him to do but to fall asleep. Yet he will live in the recollection of those who knew him, and be spoken of as a large-hearted and generous colonist, who sought not only to promote the welfare of the people in the district where he so long resided, but also to help in establishing the institutions of his adopted country.  

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by