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PASSING OF A PIONEER. ;|
THE HON JOHN MURRAY. '*
One by onr thc pi< neera, tho* -who brazed tho trail and helped to make Aus-
tralia «nat ¡t is to-day, are passing away. Thc last addition to an already lengthy list is thc Hon. John Murray, whose death occurred at the private hospital of Br. I'. A. H. Michod, Longreach, on Sunday lasl, at thc ripe agc of seventy-six yearn. Few have hulked so large in the history of Central Queensland ns Mr. Murray, and his death i-einowes one who fought mo9t atrnmtoualy for its recognition. Mr. Mur- ray was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, on thc luth of July, 1841, and came to Aus- tralia eleven years later. After spend- ing a few years at school, Mr. Mnrray etarted to carve out his own destiny. He saw life on Palbxrat, Hendigo. and Forest Creek in the liverish days of the gold rushes and 'oofc pi rt in founding the ruin- ing industry of Victoria, His inclina- tions were, however, more for a pastoral life, and he entered upon farming and grazing. Soon after attaining his majo- rity he Bold out his interests in Vic- toria and visited New South Wales, lie entered into buidness «it.li his brother in shipping cali h from that stn'o to New Zealand. The tattle were shipped from Twofold Bay. Everything went along nicely for two years until nn outbreak if pleuro-pncnmonia occurred and thc im- portation of catt'e into Xow Zealand wa« prohibited. 'Vit h many cal tb on hacil and ships chartered it can be imagined that Mr. Mrrray sud hi« brother wera dealt, a stunning bo". Mr. Murray, however, loo'; it philnso,phi"iilly and rte cfded to vi^it Queensland. He arrived ia
Iirisba.no in 1864, and a Queenslander bc j remained to the end. |
Mr. Murray stayed but a compsrativelv| short time in thc mctropilis. for he was j in llockhnmpton before thc end of 1S04,: having ridden overland. The district';
seemed fair in his eves, aud ho decided to settle down in it, his first home bein-; ntzroy Park. He itu practically one of the. pioneers ir, farming in this district. He also launched ont in nastoral pursuits. He soon became a man of note in the com- munity, for he was always to thc for» in anything which had for it« object the advancement of thc district. Thus when i3i2 Divisione.1 lion rds Act was passed and the iTopnnso Divisional Board was const'. tu'el he was elected ono of the mi'mbcr» and wa» chairman on ihree ticinsions. His first entry into political life was ns rp [»resentittii'e of Nnnnanhy in the Queens hind Legislative Assemhlv. Ile defeated Mr. ficorge. Fox for thaï, scat tn ISSS and represented it until 11101. hoing returned unopposed in IS!):! ami ISOli and defeating Mr. W. K. Vcbrrdy in ÍB'.'Ü. Mr. Murray made bi* mark in the \ory first session, being a keen debater and showing an analyt.ie.il mind. in 1SÍI3, when tho lire! Coalition Ministry wits formed, bo wm- otrored a portfolio, but. declined it. His rearons were that he was an ardent,
advocate for separation for Central; Queensland, and be felt that, if be entered the Cabinet, the ciuise woubl bc injured. Tn 1SP0. however. Mr. Murray accepted a nent in the riiliincl of l.he Hon. T. d j ItiTiies. being the fir»d. t'entrai Queensland i member I'nr many vrais to bold t'nbinet
rank. He wa? warmly congratulated in I
all quarters. A* Minister for Uadways and Public Work* .Mr. Murra» did i""el lentl.v. H,. it wa.« who brought »limit the connection of I In- I'cntvnl ind Southern railway <y»t ms. Il<* also pcvtnnued thc
i-ercjnotiy nf nih, ¡alli n; e i g ihe Alexiiu-i
elm Bridge. Hp was Minister for Rai wavR and Pubu'c Work» until 191)1. Th terribie- drought which ravaged Centra Queensland Avas in fuU swing during th last eighteen months that be held thc* nfh'cos, ami Mr. Murray had to face a mos critical period in the state'« history. H did wlmt. he conceived to he his duty, an. it must l>e jw'mitted that he grappled wit! the sitnation welL In I'.HJl there wa* i reconstruction of thc Cabinet, and Mi Murray Warne Minister for Public In struetion. b'ing elevated to the Legislativ Council. He «-ns vice-President of tin Executive Cci-nei!. This ncces'itated hi resignation ÎM représentative of Xonn&nb; in the Assembly and M r. Fox became mern ber for that constituency. With thi advent of thc Morgan Ministry to powc! in 1933. Mr. Murray lort office. Soon aft« he resigne 1 his seat ir tne Council in ord« to comest thc Senate election, but wai unsuccessful, l<S-om that time he droppec right out of politics, or at leatt an octivi participation therein. lt may be men ! tioncd that during the federation caro ' paign in 1S*1 Mr Murray waa on« of tin most earnest advocates for lhe union. H< '? wa« one of the delegates chosen to visii Svdnpy piior !<. thc taking of the referen dum on thc Commonwealth Rill in Kew ' South Wales, and his earncstnesa con
vinoed many oj the Fceptteai in that stati of the sincertv of the Queensland Govern ment in pren-ang tjie Federal Enabling Bil through Parliament.
Aflcr his defeat in the 5enalc ounpaigt Mr. Murra.- devoted himself to his pas (oral properties. He ncqnirod Gowar Hills, in th." P.areoo, and also purchaser Delta, near Barcaldine, and Beaconsfield near Ilfracombe, from thc Fairbairn liitalOF. ll-* -t.mrtions hnvc taken a good deal of couti ry from bit li Delta and Beaconsfield and thc rush for Beaconsfield selections was extraordinary. Still they arc very iii"" properties. If We mistake not. Mr. Murrav also owned a property called Moselle, in thc Richmond district. Of late vearx his sons iiave been looking after his properties nl'honf»h "Mr. Murray retained a very la*cu interest in them.
Mr. Murray ivas twice married-on the first oi-cawoii to Miss Hartley, daughter of the lute Rev. Robert Hartley, and su- ter of MT. fi. W. Hartley ; on the second occasion to Miss WOavin. a sister of Messrs. M'Gavin Brothers. He has left a widow and -grown-up family.
Queensland is all the poorer hy Mr. Murray's death. Though a keen Conserva- tive, lie wns res-peelo.l by all his political opponents. There was no heating about thc bush with Mr. Murray. What he said ho meant. |