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Beattie, John Aitken (1871–1955)

John Beattie, n.d.

John Beattie, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 September 1955

Mr. John Aitken Beattie, of Billenbah, Narrandera, N.S.W., one of the best known stud Hereford breeders in Australia, died suddenly at Leeton (N.S.W.) on 25th August at the age of 84.

Mr. Beattie was a son of the late Mr. Henry Beattie, who arrived in Australia from Scotland in the early '50's and subsequently settled on the land at Sunbury, Victoria. Mr. J. A. Beattie was born at Buttle Jock, Vic., and lived in that State for 53 years before going to Billenbah. He was educated privately and at an early age took over the management of his father's Hereford stud at Mount Aitken (Vic.). The stud was moved to Gisborne Park, Vic., in 1893, and afterwards to Billenbah in 1924. The Gisborne Hereford stud was established in 1868 and is recognised as one of the oldest registered Hereford studs in Australia. In 1950 it was divided between Mr. W. R. Beattie, of Glen Innes, N.S.W., who retained the Gisborne prefix, and Messrs. Beattie Bros., of Billenbah.

While he lived at Gisborne Park Mr. Beattie also formed Corriedale and English Leicester sheep studs by direct importations from New Zealand, and when he purchased Billenbah, a property of 7200 acres about 20 miles from Narrandera, with a frontage of nine miles to the Murrumbidgee River, the three studs were transferred there.

Mr. Beattie was a noted judge of Hereford cattle and British breeds of sheep and had officiated at many provincial and Royal Shows in the eastern States of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. He was proud of the fact that he had attended 64 successive Royal Melbourne Shows. He was also an active member of the Australian Corriedale Association, being inspector for Riverina for many years, and was a keen member of the Riverina branch of the Graziers' Association of New South Wales. In his younger days he was a noted gun and rifle shot and, besides winning against some of the best shots of his day, also took part in many shoots for the King's Prize.

The late Mr. Beattie was a member of the first council of the Australian Hereford Society. He was vice-president from 1917 to 1923, president from March 1923 to April 1938, and was a trustee of the society at the time of his death. He was also a councillor of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria for more than 40 years.

Mr. Beattie was a close personal friend of the late Captain Albert Pearse, founder of the Pastoral Review, and under the nom-de-plume of "Admirer" made many useful and interesting contributions to this paper.

He married Miss Elizabeth Macintyre, of Coralynn, Yering, Vic., who predeceased him in 1927, but he is survived by four sons—Oswald H., Valentine, and John Steven, all of Billenbah, and Water Russell, of Glen Innes.

Original publication

  • Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 September 1955, p 1171 (view original)

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Citation details

'Beattie, John Aitken (1871–1955)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 11 August 2020.

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