A VENERABLE PIONEER.
Mr. James Wardlaw Disher, of Charles- ton, near Woodside, is one of the oldest of the surviving pioneers of the province. He is a native of Tiverton near Edinburgh.
and was born in 1819. His father's people were mostly farmers ol standing in Scot land, and by the mother's side he is con- nected with a scholarly and highly intel- lectual family. In his earlier years he had every attention paid to his education, and after being thoroughly grounded in the rudiments he attended an advanced school in Selkirk,. where he obtained the silver medal for proficiency in Latin in 1836. In the same school during the examinations of the following year he gained first honor, for Greek. Alter finishing his education he served about two years apprenticeship as assistant teacher in different academies, where his ability to impart knowledge was recognised. His connection with that occu- pation, for which he was certainly born with a bias, was disturbed when his father arranged for the migration of the family to Australia in 1839. With the representa tives of several well-known families the Dishers arrived at Port Adelaide in the Palmyra, towards the latter end of that year. They were amongst the first to select land and settle at Bythorne, near Nairne where Mr. Disher, sen., pur- sued his vocation as tiller of the soil, and where Mr. J. W. Disher and his brother-in-law, the late Sir William Milne, gained experience not acquired in the academies of Scot- land. After a few years Mr. Disher, jun., went to Adelaide, where for a time he gave instruction in an institution known as the Oddfellows' School, and in which some men, who are now-considered old colonists, received part of their education. A year or two afterwards Mr. Disher was induced to purchase the goodwill of a wine and spirit business, in Hindley and Grenfell streets from Mr. Patrick Auld, in which venture he was joined by his brother-in law (Sir William Milne), who at the time was in Tasmania. The firm traded for years as Disher & Milne- Subsequently, tmeeting with reverses, Mr. Disher with- drew from, the concern, and sought to es- tablish himself as a farmer on some land near Gawler, where he remained until 1861, when he relinquished the farm, and spent about a year in Adelaide. In 1862 he re- moved to Charleston, in the valley of the Onkaparinga, and for several years had charge of the village school. On the death of Mr. Howard, who had been head-teacher at Woodside, Mr. Disher succeeded to the vacancy, where be was known and respect- ed as a thorough teacher till his eyesight became impaired in 1885, and he had to sever his connection with educational work. Mr. Disher is a most proficient accoun- tant, and for many years did good service as auditor to the district council. He was an extensive reader, until old age began to close in on him. Indeed, the weakness in his eyesight was altogether due to his at- tachment to literature. He is a classical scholar in the truest sense, and a quotation from an old author of standing invariably suggests some reminiscences that shows how thoroughly his mind was imbued with the ways and words of the ancients. Mr. Disher is an elegant writer, and some clever verses from his pen have found their way into print. He has been married, and has a fairly large family, consisting of seven daughters and two sons, of whom all except the younger son still survive. Dur ing the last 10 or 12 years Mr. Disher has lived a quiet life, devoting the greater part of his time and attention to the cultivation of the garden around his Charleston home, where he is always pleased to welcome his friends. No scholar has ever gone empty away from 'the door of the dwelling of this venerable pioneer. One of his sisters, who died a few months ago, was Mrs. James Johnston, of Oakbank.
We arc requested to ca3l attention to the annual -sale in connection with Chalmers Church Ministering Children's League, wliich lakes-place in the schoolroom. Pul leney-street, this afternoon. A special en tertainment has been arranppd for the even ing, under the direction of Mrs. \V. G. Ham mond.