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Johnston, John (1797–1879)

At the ripe old age of 82, in the possession of all his faculties, and in the most painless manner possible, one of the first pioneers of this district, and perhaps the oldest of many old residents, has peacefully passed through the portals that lead to the unseen world. Lasting "by reason of strength" to four score years, and even beyond that extended time of man's allotted Span for the space of two years, in fact to an almost patriarchal age, Mr. John Johnston, of Clydesdale, has left, as a legacy, to the public the lesson of a well spent, well-lived life. His character, as given by one who has known him for upwards of a quarter of a century, is one to be coveted by all young men, ay, and the old ones too. For who would not wish it to be said of him at his death as it is said of Mr. Johnston, that "during the whole course of his life, he was a man of the strictest moral habits, and unbending integrity." Here is a splendid testimony to departed worth—to the memory of one who having lived for 64 or 65 years in this district, has preserved during that time such a character. The young man who asked a Venerable owner of snow-white locks, bleached by the stormy winds of time, how he had preserved his halo and hearty frame through such a wilderness of years, beautifully replied:

"In the days of my youth I remembered my God,
And he has not forgotten my age."

And the same words, were he here to utter them, could, no doubt, be spoken with equal truth by Mr. Johnston.

On the Ist instant, the deceased gentleman attended a meeting of the committee of St. Andrew's Church, and was then in his ordinary health, having driven in from Clydesdale himself. On the following day he went over a large portion of his property, and the over exertion gave his system a shock, which was followed by an attack of inflammation of the bowels. The medical advice of Dr. Glennie and Dr. Read was sought, and Mr. Johnston took to his bed. From time to time he seemed to be rallying, and his recovery was hoped for. On the morning of Monday, he rose from his bed at 4 o'clock, and warmed for himself some beef tea, having a good appetite for his breakfast. Feeling much better he allowed some members of his family to return to their homes, as it was thought there was no longer any danger. But at 2 o'clock in the afternoon as the deceased was sitting up in bed and receiving a dose of medicine from one of his relatives he quietly breathed his last, and was at first supposed to have fainted. There was no struggle, no appearance of pain—the released spirit winged its flight unseen to shadow land, and a long and honourable pilgrimage ended in the silence and tranquility of a peaceful death. Mr. Johnston leaves a widow, four sons, and three daughters. Mr. A. W. Johnston, M.A., principal of the Singleton Grammar School is a son of the deceased. The funeral is to take place this morning, as elsewhere announced.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • profile, Singleton Argus (NSW), 18 July 1934, p 3

Citation details

'Johnston, John (1797–1879)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/johnston-john-15272/text26487, accessed 22 April 2019.

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