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Brown, John Ednie (1848–1899)

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of Mr. J. [John] Ednie Brown, who for some years past had occupied the position of Conservator of Forests in this colony. It appears that the cause of death was failure of the heart's action following on an attack of the prevailing complaint, influenza. Mr. Brown was some ten days ago laid up in consequence of having contracted influenza, and five days later he appeared to have recovered from the disease. The seizure, however, left him with a very weak heart, and notwithstanding all that could be done for him by his medical attendant, he succumbed at 4 o'clock yesterday morning at his residence, "Homebush," Forest-road, Cottesloe. The deceased gentleman had been for four years and a half a valued officer of the Lands Department, having joined the West Australian public service as Conservator of Forests on the 16th March, 1895, a position which he retained with great credit to himself and satisfaction to the department up to the time of his decease. Many of the members of Mr. Brown's family have had an intimate association with forestry. His father for years had occupied the position of a doctor of forestry in the old world, and his elder brother, Professor William Brown now residing in England, was formerly, in turn, principal of the Longernong and Dookie Agricultural Colleges in Victoria. It will also be remembered that subsequently to his severence from the Victorian service Mr. Wm. Brown paid a visit to this colony, and became Lord Brassey's agent in connection with his lordship's Broomehill estate on the Great Southern railway. Mr. Ednie Brown's experience in forestry was of the widest character, and he has been recognised for a long time past as being one of the best experts south of the line. For several years the late Mr. Brown occupied the position of Conservator of Forests in Canada, and on relinquishing that important position he was selected by the South Australian Government to act in a similar capacity in that colony. During Sir Henry Parkes's administration, however, Mr. Brown was induced to identify himself with the colony of New South Wales by accepting the position of Director-General of Forests in that country. This position he occupied for many years, but on the advent of the Reid Ministry Mr. Brown found himself among the officers of the New South Wales public service who had been retrenched in accordance with the policy initiated of economy in the departments of state. Mr. Brown then threw in his lot with this colony, becoming its Conservator of Forests and one of the most capable officials in the employ of the Government. The late Conservator was the author of many works and reports on matters associated with forestry, and his first important work, in this part of the world, Forest Flora of South Australia, which was published by the Government of South Australia during Mr. Brown's period of service under that Ministry, is recognised as a standard work. He was also the holder of numerous medals and diplomas from various parts of the world for his works on forestry, and his efforts towards the development of the timber resources of this colony during the last four and a half years have been not only unceasing but eminently successful. Mr. Brown at the time of his death was but 49 years of age. He leaves a wife–formerly Miss Willshire, daughter of Mr. J. D. Willshire, of Blackwook, South Australia, and sister of Mr. Raymond J. Willshire, importer, of Fremantle–and a family of three children. The funeral will leave "Homebush," Cottesloe, at 9.30 this morning, for the Church of England portion of the old Fremantle cemetery, where the burial will take place.

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'Brown, John Ednie (1848–1899)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/brown-john-ednie-3079/text29751, accessed 21 September 2017.

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