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Cumming, John (1830–1883)

The death of Mr John Cumming, formerly a member of the Legislative Council, was announced in our obituary notices, yesterday. About eleven weeks ago Mr Cumming had an apoplectic stroke from which he never thoroughly recovered. He died at his residence, Toorak, on Thursday, the immediate cause of death being softening of the brain. The deceased gentleman was a native of Aberdeen, and came to Victoria with his parents at a very early age. He was educated at Geelong, and afterwards joined his father in a brewing business in that town. About the year 1857, on the Clyde Company disposing of their pastoral properties in the western district of Victoria, Mr John Cumming purchased Terinallum, then held under a squatting lease. He devoted his time to the improvement of the sheep on the estate, which was gradually converted into a freehold. Mr Cumming paid great attention to tree planting, and had the pleasure of seeing fine young forests grow up and spread over his broad lands, giving welcome shelter to the stock from the bleak winds that sweep across the plains in winter. He was one of the earliest of the sheep farmers in the Western district to form a stud flock of merinoes, which is now one of the most highly esteemed by Australian graziers. Mr Cumming was a trustee of Ormond College, to which he gave a very liberal donation, besides subscribing to scholarships He was also a trustee and chairman of the council of the Scotch College, and trustee of the Presbyterian Ladies' College. He not only subscribed liberally to the funds of these institutions, but showed his warm interest in them by devoting much of his time to the business of management. Mr Cumming was a man of a singularly quiet and retiring disposition, but the few who knew him intimately appreciated the sterling worth and kindliness of his nature. He sat in the Legislative Council from March, 1870, until August, 1880, succeeding the late Mr McCrae as representative of the South-Western province. Mr Cumming attended the sittings of the House very regularly, and discharged his Parliamentary duties with the utmost conscientiousness. For speaking, or otherwise making himself conspicuous, he had no strong proclivity. His amiable demeanour and high character necessarily obtained for him the liking and respect of the whole House. In 1880, at the expiration of the 10 years for which he was last elected Mr. Cumming withdrew into private life, dropping the prefix of "honorable," although entitled by virtue of the position he had occupied in the Legislature to retain it for life. He was in his 54th year when he died.

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'Cumming, John (1830–1883)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/cumming-john-1638/text1742, accessed 24 January 2018.

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