MR. JOHN McMASTER.
"FATHER" OF THE CITY COUNCIL
Full of years, and holding the respect of the community generally and Forti- tude Valley in particular, Mr. John McMaster, for very many years a prominent figure in political and civic life, died yesterday morning at the residence of his granddaughter, Kent street, New Farm.
The late Mr McMaster had been ill since August last, and his condition be- came serious about a month ago. He is survived by two sons (Messrs. Colin and James McMaster, residents of the North) and three daughters (Mesdames J.K. Forsyth, wife of General Forsyth, Mel bourne, W. Hall, wife of the Rev W. Hall, of Sydney and Miss J. McMaster).
The funeral will take place this morning, the cortege leaving Kent-St New Farm, at 10.30 o'clock, for the Nundah Cemetery
THE LATE MR. JOHN M'MASTER.
The Deceased's Career.
It there was one man in Brisbane who, at any time during the past 50 or 60 years, was a picture of rugged physical strength and resoluteness of mind, it was John M McMaster. His broad, well set frame was familiar in Brisbane and few there were who did not know him. To get back to the day of his birth one has to travel right to the reign of William IV , for John McMaster saw the light first on June 26, 1830-the date of the accession of that monarch-in the Isle of Islay, Argyllshire, Scotland. The presumption is that the child was born well developed and sturdy, for he lived long and strongly.
The lad got his first smatterings of knowledge from the little local Gaelic school, and when he was eleven the sys tem of apprenticeship not then having fallen into desuetude, he was duly and formally apprenticed to his uncle to learn to be a stonemason. His six years service over, John free to choose for himself elected to become a farmer and going on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond he learned to sow, and plough and reap. He remained a tiller of the soil until he was 24 years of age, when news of the golden harvest of shining metal that was being reaped in Australia stirred the young mans fancy and it was "Hey, for the Southern Seas!" the good ship William Miles landed him safely at Moreton Bay in January 1855. but it was not to gold digging but agriculture he turned his strong thews md earnest mind and he cultivated the soil at Nundah until 1859 with so much zeal and success that he was enabled to blossom out as a storekeeper
in no less well-known a business artery than Ann-St, Fortitude Valley. There he carried on, prospered and extended his
ELECTED AS AN ALDERMAN.
His grasp of things and his active mind did not allow him to plod on in n narrow groove, mindless of the public affairs of the city of his, adoption and in 1871 at the age of 41 he decided to offer himself to the ratepayers as candidate for the Valley Ward. He was triumphantly returned, and, with the exception of the year 1875, continuously represented the ward until 1899, when with Aldermen Raymond and Fraser, he re signed owing to the disposition of some of the new aldermen to carry on the business of the council in a way, which Alderman McMaster deemed illegal. He did not return to the council again until 1905, when he was again elected for the Valley, and continued to sit until the new system of local government came into operation in July 1921. Several times he filled the mayoral chair - in 1884 and again in 1899 when he distinguished himself by his capable management of urgent municipal affairs during the severe floods which caused his colleagues to insist on his taking the reigns again in 1893, when another recurrence of floods took place. During the financial crisis of 1893 Mr McMaster was faced with serious difficulty owing to municipal bank closing, leaving the municipality without funds to continue urgent works. His sound ability enabled him to pilot the council through this dilemma and he evolved a scheme under which the coun cil was enabled to raise £225.000 by de
bentures, and thus get out of its financial straits. Again in 1897 Mr McMaster was honoured with the mayoralty when the diamond jubilee of the city was worthily
celebrated. In 1918 and 1919 he occupied the mayoral office again.
RETURNED TO PARLIAMENT
As with other men municipal life was the gate way to the wider sphere of politics and in 1885 Mr McMaster carrying the Liberal colours was returned as the second member for the Valley, that being the first occasion on which the population permitted of two members and he continuously and effi ciently represented that constituency for the next 14 years, being defeated in 1899. His chief motive in entering Parliament was to support the construction of the railway from Roma street through the city and Fortitude Valley instead of by way of Victoria Park, and he had the gratification of seeing this scheme succeed in the Parliamental session of 1886. He was also a prime mover in the agitation which in 1897 secured the Bulimba railway connection, afterwards extended along the river banks to the sugar refinery. When he lost his seat in the Legislative assembly his services the state were recognised by the appointment to the Legislative Council, but he only sat there till 1901, when he resigned contested the seat for the Valley again, and was returned to the Legislative Assembly for the Parliament of 1902-04. After this Mr
McMaster only served one year more in the Assembly when he was returned in 1907 and served in a Parliament that did not last beyond the year.
All through his lengthy Parliamentary and municipal career Mr McMaster's straight forward manner and honest dealings
commended the esteem of all classes of citizens while in the discharge of the important civic functions devolving upon him he held the highest reputation for in tegrity philanthropy and sympathy with everything calculated to conduce to the best interests of the general community.
As a citizen politician and patriot he leaves behind him a name which will long
he held in respect.
The Reverend Dr Rowe announced to the Methodist Conference yesterday the death of ex-alderman John McMaster and the Conference adopted a motion expressing deep sympathy with Miss McMaster and the relatives in the loss they had sustained. The conference also ex pressed its appreciation of the long and distinguished service which ex-alderman McMaster had rendered to the community.