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Mair, George (1840–1908)

George Mair, n.d.

George Mair, n.d.

from Pastoralists' Review, 15 May 1908

Very deep regret has been evoked amongst New South Wales and Queensland pastoralists by the death of Mr. George Mair, which occurred at Sydney on 16th April. Mr. Mair was a son of Mr. John Mair, of Mill of Birness, Elloa, Aberdeenshire, where he was born in 1840. After passing through the Arts course at King's College, Aberdeen, he came to Australia in 1857, and for some time was employed by his cousin, the late Sir John Hay, in connection with squatting properties on the Upper Murray and in the Murrumbidgee districts. He then passed into the service of Messrs. T. and S. Learmonth, of Ercildoune, Victoria, who about that time purchased the Groongal and Bringagee Stations on the Murrumbidgee River, comprising then something over 300,000 acres, carrying 160,000 sheep, besides cattle, since divided into three properties—Groongal, Wyvern, and Bringagee, each under separate ownership. One of his first duties was to bring a large number of stock from Adelaide to the newly-acquired stations, which he accomplished with great satisfaction to the Messrs. Learmonth, and from that time the management was in his hands, subject to the occasional supervision of Mr. Somerville, or his brother, Mr. Andrew Learmonth. From 1877 onwards Mr. Mair bore the entire responsibility of the management, which, with some delegation of local duties when he came to live in Sydney in 1893, he retained until the day of his death.

In 1897 Mr. Mair joined the advisory board of Dalgety and Co. Limited, Sydney. He was also for the last six years on the Sydney board of the Liverpool London and Globe Insurance Company. From its inception he was a member of the council of the Pastoralists' Union of New South Wales, where his judgment was highly valued, and he represented the union in several pastoralists' federal councils and conferences with shearers' unions.

In the year 1881 Mr. Mair, in conjunction with his brother, Mr. James Mair, a Stipendiary Magistrate of New South Wales, purchased Corona Station, in the Mitchell District Queensland, and subsequently, in 1882, Mr. Somerville Learmonth was admitted a partner with the Messrs. Mair, and a partnership was formed under the style of Mair and Learmonth. In 1896 the partners acquired the neighbouring run, Silsoe. A few years later Mr. George Mair and Mr. Learmonth bought Burra Station, in the Upper Murray Valley, near Tumberumba. These properties, with Groongal, which was then owned by the family of the late Mr. Somerville Learmonth, were brought into one ownership, and a limited liability company was formed by the several proprietors, who then constituted themselves the Groongal Pastoral Company Limited, of which Mr. George Mair became chairman and managing director. In September of last year the company also bought Keeroongooloo Station, on Cooper's Creek, Queensland.

Combined with great tender-heartedness, Mr. Mair possessed much shrewdness; those who knew him well were glad to have his advice in their troubles and difficulties, always sure of his sympathy and confident in the wisdom of his counsel. He had a remarkable power of attracting the friendly regard of everyone with whom he came in contact; a natural kindliness of manner endeared him to children.

Mr. Mair married in 1873 a daughter of the late Lieut. Bott, R.N., who survives him. Of the issue of the marriage four are living—two sons, George H. and Noel F. Mair, and two daughters, Mrs Wilfrid Metcalfe and Mrs. D'Arcy Osborne,

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • probate, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 May 1908, p 8

Citation details

'Mair, George (1840–1908)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mair-george-660/text661, accessed 19 June 2018.

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