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Lang, John Andrew (Jan) (1909–1985)

Jan Lang, c.1945

Jan Lang, c.1945

John Andrew Lang passed away on 7 July 1985 after a long illness, the result of a motor vehicle accident. Jan, as he was popularly called, was survived by his spouse, Betty (Hungerford) Lang, three sons (Peter, David and Simon), and daughter (Lucinda). Born in Sydney on 21 September 1909, he was the eldest of two sons and a daughter (Patrick and Mary) of William Andrew Lang and Alice Scarvell (Cape) Lang. Both parents predeceased Jan in 1940 and 1951. Jan was extremely close to his brother and sister and it was noted never had any major disagreements. Jan was educated at King’s School, Parramatta, NSW. He went on to study at Oriel College, Oxford, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with second class Honours in Law. He was called to the London Bar, where he practised briefly, but soon returned to Australia, where he continued to practice Law in Sydney. He was an Associate to the Honourable Judges of the High Court of New South Wales from 1935 to 1939. Jan moved from the busy Sydney legal offices and the NSW Law Courts to the rural property of his youth, “Carlaminda” near Cooma, NSW, on the ill health of his father. With the death of his father in 1940, Jan’s brother Patrick took over the management of the grazing property and care of his aging mother while Jan was on active duty in the Army. Jan had joined the Civilian Military Forces (CMF) as a gunner in 1939 and was soon commissioned as an artillery officer. With the outbreak of war with Germany, he volunteered to join the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF), where he rose to the rank of Captain. He saw active service in Darwin after Japanese raids there, and was posted to Lae in PNG towards the end of the war. On the 30th April 1945 Jan married Betty Irene Hungerford and together they had four children. After nearly eight years of war service, Jan was discharged from the AIF in late 1946, and he continued with his legal work in Sydney before returning to “Carlaminda” NSW, where he ran the property with his brother Pat until they split the property between them in 1956. Jan’s brother Pat had strongly urged him to come back to “Carlaminda” and run the property jointly. When Jan returned, Pat looked after the stock (with one or two station hands) and Jan looked after the pasture improvement, fencing, and capital projects (including farm buildings, tractors, farm equipment, stock watering systems), with one station hand. Jan managed to property accounts and registers. He attended seminars and lectures provided by CSIRO and NSW Department of Agriculture, and had their experts come to “Carlaminda” to provide advice. There had been a “soldier settlement” requirement on “Carlaminda” until about 1956 and when it was lifted, Pat and Jan divided the property into approximately equal shares by value, named “Yarrabin” and “Carlaminda”. All the cattle, sheep, machinery and vehicles were divided between the two properties. Jan continued to run “Carlaminda” until 1969 when he was injured in a motor vehicle accident from which he never fully recovered.

Jan served as a councillor on the Monaro Shire Council for many years. There he devoted himself to assisting with the management of many complex and diverse aspects of the Shire; maintaining roads, noxious weed eradication, bush fire control, planning work for inspectors and local engineers, and approving and setting the Shire’s rates and levies. During Jan’s time on the council the Council won a prestigious award for showing great progress. Jan was very much valued by the council’s executive for his attention to detail, his keen barrister skills, experience and legal advice. He also represented issues raised by property owners to the council meetings and was highly regarded. Jan also served as a volunteer bushfire captain for a while and attended community bushfire meetings in Numeralla. Jan did much to improve “Carlaminda”, establishing fencing, pasture improvement, and constructing workmen cottages, the machinery shed, hay shed, and new shearing shed. He also built the system for watering the house and paddocks, as well as constructing many dams, bores and windmills for watering stock.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Lang, John Andrew (Jan) (1909–1985)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/lang-john-andrew-jan-19634/text35865, accessed 21 November 2019.

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