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MacDonald, Archibald (1880–1910)

from Catholic Press (Sydney)

Archibald MacDonald, n.d.

Archibald MacDonald, n.d.

from Catholic Press (NSW), 7 July 1910

The Rev. Father Archibald MacDonald, of Cooma, who died in a private hospital in that town at mid-day on Wednesday week, only survived his mother, who passed away in Wellington, N.Z., by 11 days. Six days before his death he suffered much internal pain, and the following day he entered the hospital, where his medical advisors diagnosed his malady as appendicitis. A third medical practitioner was summoned from Candelo, which is 77 miles distant, and, on his arrival, shortly after midnight, he decided that an operation was the only chance — faint, though it was — of the patient's recovery. He operated, but the attack was so severe that Father MacDonald never rallied, and died, as stated, fortified, of course, by the last Rites of the Church.

Father MacDonald had only been in Cooma ten months, having succeeded Rev. Father D. F. Conaghan (now in charge of Michelago, and a fellow-student) as assistant to Rev. Father J. J. Norris, P.P. In that short space of time he had endeared himself to all, but especially to those of his own flock. Not only from distant parts of the Cooma parish, but from many districts beyond, came expressions of deepest regret at his death.

Father MacDonald was the oldest survivor of the famous Highland clan, the Kippock MacDonald, and he was born in Kyneton, Victoria, about 30 years ago. He was the son of Mr. Aloysius MacDonald. His father was connected with the Bank of New South Wales, being at one time manager of the southern branch in this city. He was also manager of the same bank in Adelaide and in Wellington, N.Z., where he died two years ago. Father MacDonald's mother was a sister-in-law of Archbishop Vaughan, and a sister of the late Lady Jennings. The MacDonald family were well known in Catholic circles in this State, Victoria, South Australia, and New Zealand. Father MacDonald was educated at the Christian Brothers' College, Adelaide, and afterwards by the Jesuit Fathers at Kew, Victoria, also at St. Ignatius', Riverview, where he remained about two years. Thence he went to St. Patrick's Ecclesiastical College, Manly, where he was ordained priest in 1905 by his Eminence the Cardinal, and appointed assistant to Father O'Brien at Mosman. In 1908 he was transferred to Moss Vale, and in October last he went to Cooma. Father MacDonald was a lovable character, and a consistent and generous friend of the poor. His earnestness and sincerity appealed to all kinds of men, no matter what religion they professed.

The remains were taken to St. Patrick's Church, where, on Thursday, a Requiem Mass for the repose of Father MacDonald’s soul was celebrated by Father Norris, there being also present the Rev. Fathers J. O'Brien, S.J., Alphonsus Coen, C.P., D. F. Conaghan, and T. Carrick (Bega). There was a very large congregation, and from the time the last Absoutions were pronounced until the funeral left the church at 3 o'clock in the afternoon there was a continuous stream of parishioners, who came to pay their tribute of respect to the young priest who had officiated amongst them so zealously. The coffin rested on the catafalque in front of the High Altar, which, with the other altars, was heavily draped in mourning.

When the hour appointed for the funeral drew nigh a great gathering of people of all denominations in buggies, on horseback and on foot, assembled at St. Patrick's to accompany the remains to the burial ground. While the muffled bell tolled solemnly the coffin was carried from the church to the hearse on the shoulders of the members of the parochial committee. Headed by the crossbearer and nine acolytes, the cortege wended its way through the town, the streets being thronged with sympathetic onlookers. The acolytes were followed by the pupils of the Holy Cross Convent School, and the Children of Mary in blue cloaks and white veils. The priests, in a carriage, preceded the hearse, behind which streamed a long line of vehicles, a number of horsemen, and people afoot. The interment was made at Mittagang Cemetery. Father Norris officiated at the graveside, being assisted by the priests already mentioned. Father Conaghan preached the panegyric. The chief mourner was Mr. J. R. McKillop (a cousin of the dead priest), who, with Messrs. J. H. Montague, J. Reidy, J. H. Rogan, P. Walz, A. Cosgrove and J. A. Roddan were pall-bearers. The funeral procession was marshalled by Mr. Hubert Faulkner. Father MacDonald was attended during his short illness by Drs. Harvison and Cowlishaw, of Cooma, and Dr. Sharpe, of Candolo, who performed the operation. — R.I.P.

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'MacDonald, Archibald (1880–1910)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/macdonald-archibald-16659/text28559, accessed 25 November 2017.

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