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White, R. Ian (1916–1958)

Mr. R. Ian White, of Timor, Murrurundi, New South Wales, who met his death on 6th August in a car and trailer collision near Warwick whilst on his way to the Brisbane Royal National Exhibition, was a prominent member of a famous pioneer pastoral family. He was the younger son of Mr. John Herbert White, who, in turn, was the youngest of three sons of the late Mr Frederick Robert White, of Booloomindah, Harben Vale, Timor, Glen Dhu, Rockwood, etc., and who was born in 1835 at Ravensworth, on the Hunter, where his father, James White, had settled. He had arrived in Australia in the early twenties to manage Warrah Station for the Australian Agricultural Company, and purchased Edinglassie and other country in the lower and upper Hunter district in the 1830's.

Ian thus was one of the fourth generation of Whites, and his young son Robert will assuredly carry on the line of this great pastoral family. Indeed, it will become his responsibility to uphold the traditions established in the pastoral world by his forebears, and especially by his father, whose tragic death at the age of 42 years left the Hereford world stunned. Within an hour or two he would have been amongst his many friends at Brisbane, and next morning would have proudly paraded his Timor cattle before the English judge. But fate decreed otherwise.

The sympathy of all members of the Australian Hereford Society was extended to his widow, his parents, and his brother by Mr. James R. Allen, who had just succeeded him as president of the society, and many kind references to his unceasing promotional work for the Hereford breed as well as to his lovable personal character, were expressed by prominent people throughout Australia as the news of his passing spread. His popularity developed more and more as each year passed by adding laurels to the achievements of the Timor stud and increasing the prestige of Hereford cattle, to which he seemed to have devoted his business life. He was a quiet, unassuming gentleman, ever-ready and willing to help the younger breeders, and never proffering any word of an unpleasant nature about anything. His character was purposeful and strong; his manner humble and dignified.

Timor was taken over by Mr. J. H. White in 1907, the commercial herd being founded in 1912 and the stud in 1922. He handed the management of these herds over to his two sons, Reg and Ian, in 1948. Their stud enterprise in particular —run under the name of Timor White Bros.—became an outstanding success and will be carried on by Mr. J. S. R. White, the surviving partner of this firm.

Ian White saw active service with the Second A.I.F. and was wounded in the New Guinea campaign. He was repatriated, but recovered and went back for more. At the Armidale School, where his scholastic ability was developed, he proved himself a grand sportsman, and when he entered on his work at Timor soon displayed his characteristic enthusiasm and ability in local affairs, becoming president of the Murrurundi Bushmen's Carnival Committee amongst many other activities. His knowledge of genetics and feeding and his eye for quality in a beast soon had Timor Hereford stud in the forefront of the stud breeding industry, and as a judge at stock shows his influence was far reaching.

He leaves a widow and two young children.

Original publication

  • Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 18 September 1958, pp 1033 & 1035 (view original)

Citation details

'White, R. Ian (1916–1958)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/white-r-ian-1037/text1038, accessed 21 August 2019.

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