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McFarland, Robert (Bob) (1876–1957)

Robert McFarland, n.d.

Robert McFarland, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 18 January 1957

Mr. Robert Percival McFarland, of Oxley Station, Hay, N.S.W., one of the best known pastoralists of Western Riverina and a life-long resident of the Hay district, died in Melbourne on the 11th December at the age of 81.

He was one of the four sons born to Mr. and Mrs. Andrew McFarland, of Thelangerin, Hay, his mother being Jane Dowling, of Jellalabad, Darlington, Vic., and as a baby in arms was brought home to Thelangerin from Geelong by river steamer to Maude, near Hay. After completing his education at Geelong College, where he was an outstanding athlete and above average scholar, he took charge of Culpataro, Booligal, N.S.W., under his father, and was still in his 'teens at the time of his father's premature death. While at Culpataro he met with an accident, when his foot became caught in the rope of a horse works drum, and afterwards he always walked with a limp.

Immediately on the death of his father, Mr. McFarland became stock manager for the family on both Thelangerin and Culpataro, while his mother managed the finances. Later, when the McFarland Pastoral Company was formed, he was made managing director, a post he held until his death except for a short time in 1912 when he went on his own account to Oxley and handed over the family management to his brother Harold. Subsequently, however, Robert returned to his old position and Oxley was then incorporated in the company.

Bob McFarland was a most generous neighbour and always a very good friend to new settlers in his district. Also, apart from the great work he did as a pastoralist, he devoted much time to the affairs of the district, serving for some years on the Balranald P.P. Board and being a councillor of the Waradgery Shire continuously for 30 years from 1920 to 1950. During this period he was president in 1926 and 1927, deputy president for several years, and was awarded the long service certificate of the Shire Association.

As a great lover of horses and keen racing man, Bob McFarland was a member of all the Victorian metropolitan race clubs. He was also on the committee of the Hay Jockey Club for very many years and was official time-keeper at the time of his death. Similarly, he supported the Riverina Picnic Race Club, of which he was a past president, and bred and raced many horses, both in the country and on metropolitan tracks, with much success. As a keen show horse judge, he was always a firm supporter of the Hay show, and was at times called upon to judge.

Another sport which interested him greatly was shooting, both over the traps and in the field. A keen gun shot himself, he was president of the Hay Gun Club for many years and its patron at the time of his death. He also served as a committeeman, and was the oldest member, of the Waradgery Club, Hay, of which his father had been a foundation member and president.

In 1912 Mr. McFarland married Miss Ruth Calvert, of Melbourne, who survives him, together with their two children, Andrew Calvert McFarland, of Geramy, Hay, and Nancy Florance (Mrs. M. R. L. Brown), of Cross Hills, Stockinbingal, N.S.W. He is also survived by one of his three brothers, Mr. Eric McFarland, of the old family home, Thelangerin, Hay.

Original publication

Citation details

'McFarland, Robert (Bob) (1876–1957)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mcfarland-robert-bob-1353/text1351, accessed 14 November 2019.

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Robert McFarland, n.d.

Robert McFarland, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 18 January 1957