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Sands, John Birrell (1839–1891)

It is with much regret we chronicle the death of Mr. John Birrell Sands, which took place at his residence, Trinity Terrace, 165 Sydney Road, on the 5th inst, after an illness, through a complication of ailments, of ten weeks' duration. His funeral, which was largely attended, took place on the following day, the remains being interred in the Church of England portion of the Melbourne General Cemetery, the Rev. Mr. Poynting, of St. John's, Latrobe street, officiating at the grave. The deceased gentleman was fifty-two years of age, having been born in 1839, in Fifeshire, Scotland, where his relatives were engaged in the flax industry, employing a large number of hands. On the death of his mother, to whom he was greatly attached, he sailed for Australia in 1856, and commenced banking pursuits in the E.S. and A.C. Bank, where he was one of its branch managers. After some years he started in business in connection with his uncle, Mr. James Birrell, of London, being large importers of machinery to those colonies during the gold-fields. At this stage he married the widow of the late Dr. Egerton Filmore, and they sailed for New Zealand, where he started as stock and station agent, but was unsuccessful through the mismanagement of his partner. On his return to Melbourne he received a position in the Bank of Victoria. At the time of his death he was accountant and confidential clerk to Mr. Edward Duckett, of Lonsdale street; was a member of the Old Colonists' Association and chairman of the Accountant and Clerks' Association, of which he was an enthusiastic supporter. Such was his interest in it that he taught gratuitously during the winter months, a book-keeping class for the benefit of junior members, and no effort was spared by him to advance a young man's interests. His disposition was as unselfish and generous as his character was honest and of strict integrity. A warm-hearty Scotchman, a faithful husband, a good and kind father, and fast friend. His place will be missed, not only by his own fireside, where he leaves a widow and children to mourn their loss, but by the many friends whom his sterling worth secured.

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Citation details

'Sands, John Birrell (1839–1891)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/sands-john-birrell-14510/text25612, accessed 4 April 2020.

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