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Mactier, Peter (1843–1887)

It is our painful duty to record the sudden demise of another of the pioneers of the Goulburn Valley. The deceased gentleman (Mr. Peter Mactier) came to this colony on the 3rd October, 1859, on the anniversary of which date he was buried. On his arrival in Melbourne he went into the employ of his brother, Mr. John Mactier, who was carrying an extensive ironmongery business in Elizabeth street. He (the deceased) remained in his brother's employ for about five years, and then went as town buyer for Messrs, Bristed and Co, and remained there for 2 years. Through the solicitation of his brother John, who wanted to take a trip to Scotland, he took the daily management of the business until his return. He then took the appointment of salesman for Messrs. McEwan and Co., which situation he retained for five years. During the time he was in McEwan and Co.'s employ, the land in the Goulburn Valley was thrown open for selection. He selected the block on which he died, but did not reside on the land for some time. His brother David, with the assistance of labour paid for by the deceased, fenced and put in, the first 40 acres of crop which was grown in this district, on Peter Mactier's selection. For fear of having his land forfeited through the non-residence clause of the act, he severed his connection with Mr. McEwan and Co. On his arrival in Tatura a petition had been got up, for the purpose of having the forfeited selection of Mr. White's, of Romery, being gazetted as a site for the township of Tatura. The 320 acres was increased to 640, through the liberality of the late Mr. James Winter, foregoing his claim to the land, and in company with Mr. James Grant, he took it round for signatures. So that it will be seen from the foregoing that Mr. P. Mactier fell into harness immediately on his arrival. He also took active measure in procuring the State School, No. 1411. Mr. P. Mactier has always been identified with the progress of the district. After a good deal of solicitation he was induced to nominate as candidate for the position of rate collector for the Eastern Riding of the Shire of Waranga, for which office he was duly elected, and served both ratepayers and councillors their entire satisfaction. After the severance took place between Waranga and Rodney Shires he, of course, thought he would have less distance to travel and be more identified with the district in which he was located resigned the position of rate collector; and was duly and honorably appointed to the same position in Rodney, which office he faithfully served until the time of his death. One thing is worthy of note in the obituary of the deceased is that less objections occurred in his impartial adjustment and valuation of rates, for at the last revision court, held in Tatura, not one ratepayer objected to his valuation. Mr Mactier was a prominent and leading member of the Goulburn Valley and Agricultural Society of Tatura, and as a committeeman he did yeoman service. He was one of the instigators and founders of the Presbyterian Church of Tatura, of which he was a most zealous and staunch supporter, and he was always to the fore when anything in the way of charitable performance was to be got up and, could always be relied on to assist in both pecuniary and personal help to further the object to be attained. To show the esteem the deceased gentleman was held in the district it is only needless to say that he was in Tatura and at the Shire office on Saturday afternoon, and at 7.30 he was a corpse, yet still the news flew so fast that at 2 p.m. on Monday no less than 46 vehicles and 48 horsmen were at his late residence to pay their last respects to the deceased. The Rev. A. Chambers, B.A., the minister of the Presbyterian Church, offered up a very impressive and feeling prayer at the deceased's late residence, and at the grave the rev. gentleman addressed the numerous assemblage on the uncertainty of life, and showed them that the deceased gentleman, who was a well and good living man, was taken off in the prime of life so suddenly. He exhorted those present, in a very eloquent manner, to be prepared. He read passages from the 39th Psalm, 4 and 8 verse, and 90th Psalm, I and 10 verse, also 11th John, 21 and 6 verse; which conjointly embraced the sudden end of the deceased The deceased gentleman has left a wife and five young children to mourn their loss, but we are, pleased to say not unprovided for. His life was assured in two offices; his will made some time since his extensive property well and scientifically cultivated, and, to show the thoughtful nature of the deceased, everything connected with him was in perfect order. The funeral was the largest that ever took place in Tatura. The cortege extending over three-quarters of a mile. The deceased was comparatively young only being 44 years old.

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'Mactier, Peter (1843–1887)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mactier-peter-16027/text27308, accessed 19 September 2019.

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