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Cunningham, Andrew Jackson (1839–1913)

from Queanbeyan Age (NSW)

Andrew Cunningham, n.d.

Andrew Cunningham, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 June 1913

News reached Queanbeyan on Wednesday morning of the death during the previous night at his residence, Lanyon, Tharwa, of Mr. Andrew Jackson Cunningham, J.P., elder brother of Mr. James Cunnningham, J.P., of Tuggranong. For many years past the deceased gentleman had not been in robust health, and in the hope of recuperation had been more than once on a European trip, and not so very long since had returned from a voyage to the Old Country back to his home at Lanyon. Last Tuesday the family physician (Dr. Richardson) was summoned to Lanyon to the deceased gentleman's aid, but on arrival found his patient unconscious. The doctor recognised at a glance the symptoms of apoplexy, and did what he could in the circumstances, but without avail, for the sufferer succumbed sometime during the night, without regaining consciousness. We understand that the deceased had for a long time past been subject to apoplectic attacks, so that his condition was no matter of surprise to his medical attendant when he last saw him.

The receipt of the sad news in town—unexpected as it was, notwithstanding Mr. Cunningham's known delicate state of health—came as a complete surprise and evoked general expressions of sorrow, for no resident of town or district was more popular; and we are sure the regrettable event will, as it spreads, be received with similar demonstrations.

The deceased, who was the oldest magistrate in the district, was the third son of the late Mr. Andrew Cunningham, J.P., who, from the early days of the settlement of this district owned and occupied the beautiful and fertile estate of Lanyon, on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, and near the township of Tharwa laid out and become a town in embryo at a more recent date. On the death of their father, now many years ago, his youngest sons (the deceased and James) succeeded to his extensive pastoral properties, the former occupying Lanyon, the younger brother making his home at Tuggranong, some four miles nearer to Queanbeyan, which valuable properties have since become vastly more improved and beautified. In his early days the late Mr. Andrew J. Cunningham had some thought of adopting a commercial career, and was for a time accountant in the local branch of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, his father having been engaged in banking pursuits in the Old Country; but he ultimately adopted pastoral pursuits as more to his liking, and in which he became eminently successful; so much so, that the names of Andrew J. and James Cunningham stand high in the ranks of N.S.W. pastoralists. The deceased was born on the neighbouring estate of Congwarra on the opposite banks of the Murrumbidgee; his brother James was born at Lanyon, and consequently they spent their lifetime in the district. They have always been most popular, and beloved, and esteemed for their many excellent qualities.

Speaking of the deceased in particular, while his business tact and shrewdness were conspicuous, his sympathetic and benevolent dispositions were his chief ornament. No case of genuine distress or even temporary embarrassment appealed to him in vain; while his liberal and spontaneous contributions to every worthy object reached high-water mark in the virtue of benevolence. Many a struggling man will reverently remember the name of Andrew J. Cunningham with sincere gratitude.

The deceased gentleman married late in life, and leaves a young widow, but no children.

The interment took place yesterday in the family burial place at Lanyon, where rest the remains of his father and mother, and other members of the family. Notwithstanding the brief time which elapsed between the death and interment, a comparatively large concourse assembled to pay their last tribute of respect to the memory of this most estimable of men. Six or seven large motors and a number of other vehicles conveyed to Lanyon at least from 40 to 50 of the leading residents of Queanbeyan, while from the immediate neighbourhood and other parts of the district no less than an additional 150 persons were present. The hour appointed for the obsequies was 11 a.m. Almost punctually at that hour bearers brought from the chamber of death the coffin. It was of massive English oak, with elaborately carved panels of the same costly wood, so also were the six solid handles which were gripped by the bearers. The mountings, as was also the breastplate, were of solid silver. The record on the breastplate simply gave the name and age (65) of the deceased. The cortege was formed as soon as the bearers had brought the coffin out on to the carriage-way fronting the Lanyon residence. It was ordered thus: Preceding the coffin, the Rev. A. H. Champion, (who had come from his new parish of Bungendore to officiate, the deceased having been one of his leading parishioners when the rev. gentleman was Rector of Canberra); the coffin, borne by six of the retainers on the estate; the chief mourners, Mr. James Cunningham, younger brother, and Mr. Andrew Cunningham, Mr. T. McCarty, Mr. Norman McCarthy, Mr. D. Campbell, nephews; Mr. Edwards (Goulburn), brother in-law; a number of retainers carrying wreaths which had been sent as expressions of sorrow and respect; then followed the others who had, notwithstanding the brief notice, been able to testify their sympathy and respect by their presence. Amongst these were the following: Mr. M. Byrne, Queanbeyan; Mr. C. T. Campbell, J.P., Queanbeyan ; Mr. E. G. Crace, Gininderra; Alderman A. H. Collett, J.P., Queanbeyan; Mr. John Gale, J.P., Queanbeyan ; Mr. R. R. Hetherington, Commercial Bank, Queanbeyan; Mr. J. Russell, Queanbeyan; Mr. E. E. Hudson, J.P., Duntroon; Mr. C. H. McKeahnie, J.P., Booroomba, and Mr. E. McKeahnie, of the same place; Mr. A. G. McKeahnie, Cuppacumbalong: Mr. E. E. Morgan, Solicitor, Queanbeyan: Mr. R. Mooore, Mayor of Queanbeyan, Dr. S. L. Richardson, J.P., Queanbeyan, Mr. T. Rutledge, Gidleigh, Bungendore, Mr. Roxburgh, Sydney, Rev. F. G. Ward, Canberra. Several ladies were also present.

There is, as we have already said, a private cemetery on the estate. It is situated about half-a-mile from the homestead, and in view of it. An ideal spot for ''God's Acre," lying midway between the private road to Lanyon House and the main road from Queanbeyan to Tharwa. Its peacefulness is self-proclaimed. The graves already therein lie beneath many a stately pine and other arboreal growths, those of departed members of the family within a special enclosure; outside, but within the consecrated area, are the graves of the estate's retainers and of deceased members of their families. As a background, rise the multitudinous mountains eastwards, whilst towards the south rises to a still greater altitude the bold peak of Mount Tennant, and in the more remote distances in every direction, save to the north, mountains rear their heads as far as eye can reach. It is an ideal spot wherein to slumber till the archangel's trump shall wake the dead.

The solemn procession having reached the place of burial, and being gathered round the open grave, the clergyman read the sublime and impressive ritual of the Church of England for the burial of the dead; and at its conclusion delivered a short, but withal a most appropriate address to those assembled, in the course of which, referring to the distinguished characteristics of the deceased, urged them all, as far as in them lay, to emulate his splendid example.

Then, "earth to earth, dust to dust, and ashes to ashes," the mould was thrown in upon the coffin laid in the open grave, and presently all that was mortal of one by far and away higher in the practice of the moral virtues than most of us was hidden from mortal gaze. Upon the newly-raised mound which marks the resting-place of Andrew Jackson Cunningham they placed the floral tributes expressive of the esteem and love in which he was so widely held in his lifetime, and which will cling, as long as life shall last to the memory of all who had the honour and pleasure of his friendship or acquaintance.

Among the beautiful floral tributes were the following:—Harrison, Jones and Devlin, Ltd., Mr. T. F. L. Rutledge, Mrs. and Miss Bessie Rutledge, Mrs. F. F. Gibson, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Campbell, Miss Jean and Mr. Douglas Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. G. McKeahnie, Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Campbell and family, Mr. and Mrs. James Cunningham, Mr. A. J. Cunningham and Misses Cunningham, Tuggranong, Mrs. Dulhunty, Mr. and Mrs C. H. McKeahnie, the residents of Booroomba and H. A. Dulhunty, Mr. and Mrs. Cregan and family, the employees of Cuppacumbalong, Messrs. David and Harry Roxborough and Miss Forest, Mrs. McCarthy and family, Union Club, Sydney.

It may well be recorded here that the deceased was the first to die of all his parents' children; and he was the youngest but one of eight. The first-born of these is Mr. John Cunningham, of Sydney; then in the order of birth come: Mr. Alex. Cunningham, who resides in Victoria; Mrs. McCarthy, of Sydney; Miss Cunningham, also of Sydney; Mrs. Gibson, Tirranna; Mr. James Cunningham, Tuggranong; and Mrs. Campbell, Bombala.

The mourners who had come from greater or lesser distances to show their respect on the occasion, were, after the obsequies were over, hospitably served with refreshments at the homestead, before departing to their several destinations. To Mr. Harry Lazarus was entrusted the direction of the funeral, and with his long experience it is almost needless to remark that in every detail the utmost satisfaction was given.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Cunningham, Andrew Jackson (1839–1913)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/cunningham-andrew-jackson-275/text1746, accessed 17 October 2019.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2019

Andrew Cunningham, n.d.

Andrew Cunningham, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 16 June 1913