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Dangar, Albert Augustus (1840–1913)

from Sydney Morning Herald

Albert Dangar, n.d.

Albert Dangar, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 15 April 1913

Mr Albert Augustus Dangar, the well known pastoralist and patriot, died at Baroona, Whittingham, near Singleton, on Saturday aged 73. He was reading in bed when he suddenly expired.

Few men were better known in Australian life, mainly because of his success as a breeder of stock, and owing to the many public-spirited and philanthropic acts for which he was responsible. He was one of the first practical supporters of the campaign which saw many contingents despatched to South Africa, including the Bushmen, to the funds of which he was a most liberal contributor. He also gave largely to the patriotic fund organised at the time for the purpose of providing assistance to those who suffered by the loss of breadwinners at the war. These acts were capped however by the splendid gift of £10,000 to the Dreadnought fund, similar amounts having been given by the late Mr S. Hordern, Mr W. F. Buchanan and Mr Walter Hall. Those four men who were moved to make their donations at a time of imperial stress have now all passed away.

Mr Dangar’s liberality went in many other directions. Singleton profited by this for there were few lists he did not head, while he defrayed the whole cost of the Dangar Cottage Hospital and was at the time of his death engaged in building a Church of England in a style equalled in few country towns. In addition to these gifts he practically defrayed the cost of a cricket ground, with a turf wicket-one of the few to be found in the provinces.

The deceased was a native of Neotsfield where he was born in 1840. His father, the later Henry Dangar, who arrived in Australia 1822, was one of the State’s pioneer pastoralists and a member of the old Legislative Council. There were five sons, Messrs W., H. C, F. H, Frank and A. A. Dangar. Mr H. C. Dangar, who is a respected member of the Legislative Council, and Mr F. H. Dangar survive. Mr A. A. Dangar gave way to a taste for sea life when a lad, but after spending three years in this way he decided to return to country pursuits. At that time Mr. A. H. Palmer (afterwards Sir Arthur Palmer, Premier of Queensland) was in charge of Gostwyck station, near Armidale, and the seafaring youth decided to study stock breeding under him. After a few years spent this way the five brothers formed themselves into a pastoralist company and in time Dangar Brothers acquired six fine properties including Gostwyck with Mr A. A. Dangar as manager. The stock list included 100,000 sheep and 25,000 head of cattle They made such progress at length that they decided to dissolve the partnership and divided up the stations amongst them. Mr. A. A. Dangar took Gostwyck and he afterwards acquired Mooki Springs and Noorindoo, a splendid property in S.W. Queensland. These three holdings gave him full scope for his ambitions. Gostwyck was celebrated even in those early days for its fine wool and it is many a day since it became world-wide in that respect, the clip often topping the market. Mooki Springs was principally used for horse breeding, and included that celebrated stud of Suffolk Punch horses which, with drafts from Neotsfield, the stud owned by Mr R. H. Dangar, have long been a feature of the Sydney horse sales. The Queensland property was devoted to the production of cattle and sheep, thus offering to the spirited owner the variety that he aimed at and which he succeeded in producing. His merinos at the Sydney sheep shows and the country exhibitions have frequently carried off the blue ribbons and his other stock have graced many a show ring wearing blue and tri-coloured ribbons. At Mooki Springs he also bred beef shorthorns and long-woolled Devon flock, the only one of the kind in the State, which he used for a merino cross. Many years ago he built a residence at Baroona, overlooking the town of Singleton. It is one of the finest country seats in the State.

Though the late Mr Dangar did not enter active politics, he was a keen observer of current events. His opinions on all questions were sound. For some years he presided over the Pastoralists’ Union and was at its head during the memorable maritime strike when the teamsters refused to handle the wool between the railway station and the steamer. He was a fluent public speaker and whenever he did address an audience he attracted keen interest. As a Church man he was enthusiastic, being a prominent member of the Anglican body. His life was moulded on methods. There was nothing slipshod which received his approval. His well-ordered home, with the picturesque grounds at Baroona, is a testimony to his love for system.

Mr Dangar was exceedingly successful in his own business. Few have been more so in the pastoral world. But he extended his interests in other ways. He was a member of the Great Cobar Syndicate which greatly enriched themselves by their acumen in acquiring that property. The syndicate owned a small coal mine at Rix’s Creek, near Singleton, where they lost a contract to supply the northern trains. They were at their wits end to know how they should keep this mine afloat, mostly in the interests of their men. So it was decided to get the Great Cobar, then closed down, on tribute, and use the Rix’s Creek coal or coke for smelting the Cobar ore. The scheme succeeded eminently, and the syndicate, eventually buying out the whole property, sold to the English company now controlling it.

Throughout the district where he lived all his life Mr Dangar was never known to have an enemy. He never cherished a grudge against any man, and he fought his battles openly, even with his best friends when they agreed to differ. In his employ are men who served him since boyhood, and his liberality was never stinted when merit demanded, as many know. How many of the poorer residents of the North benefited by his charity no-one will ever adequately know. Mrs Dangar, four daughters and three sons survive. Two of the daughters are married in England. The sons are Mr Rodney Dangar, Mr Norman Dangar and Captain Clive Dangar. They each acquired a station property some time since from their father and are now engaged in his footsteps.

Yesterday the British Immigration League telegraphed a message of sympathy to Mrs Dangar and family.

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'Dangar, Albert Augustus (1840–1913)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/dangar-albert-augustus-286/text24231, accessed 25 November 2017.

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