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George MacGillivray (1827–1896)

George MacGillivray, n.d.

George MacGillivray, n.d.

from Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), 18 December 1929, p 1s

A few weeks ago there died at Eddington, Cloncurry, a man who is notable as being one of the pioneers of North-west Queensland—Mr. George McGillivray [sic]. The Cloncurry Advocate gives the following interesting account of his career:—He was a native of Edinburgh, and made his first start in colonial life at Portland Bay, Victoria, early in 1853, when he went on to a sheep station. But the gold fever which broke out about that time soon attracted his attention. Not being among the lucky ones he abandoned mining and went in for sheep dealing. From this he graduated into the building line in Melbourne. After several years of successful trade Mr. McGillivray in 1859 took the management of Kamarooka sheep station in Victoria, and remained in that capacity till the station changed hands in 1868. He then obtained the management of Kallara station, on the Darling River, and Nocoleche on the Paroo, and put in another five years. In 1869 he came out here to look after Eddington, which had been previously taken up and stocked for him. At the end of 1870 he started out with a black boy and five horses to go to the Paroo, via Mount Cornish, then the farthest-out station, but, through a mistake at starting, he took the wrong course, got too far west, and followed the Diamantina down to Cooper's Creek, which he followed out into that terrible sandhill country, and eventually found himself at one of the farthest-out stations in the then called North Adelaide country. This took them six weeks, and after the first week they were without rations, and had to subsist on what they could catch. They were several times for over sixty hours without water, and suffered terrible privations. In 1871 he, with Mr. A. Mossman, of Tarbrax, took a mob of 700 young store bullocks down the Diamantina, then all unsettled country, on to Cooper's Creek, in on the Paroo, and thence to the Lachlan, where they were sold, this being the first lot of cattle ever taken through that country. In 1880 he took a mob of cattle half-way to Port Darwin, and delivered them to a drover named McPhee, and then turned back, making towards Normanton with a small black boy as his only companion. Some of the rivers were very high, and in crossing one they lost their pack horse and all provisions. They continued on with saddle horses until they reached the Flinders. Here they lost the remainder of their horses, but Mr. McGillivray landed on the opposite bank, bootless and exhausted. He made his way in this condition to the road, and was so exhausted from want of food and injury to his feet that he had to drag himself along for some distance. After lying on the road for a day and a night he was fortunately picked up by Mr. Major Colless and taken on to Normanton. He was some weeks there before he recovered sufficiently to go South, and he never recovered the robust health which enabled him to endure so many hardships. The boy who accompanied him struck the road to Port Darwin, and followed it till he overtook some teams. Mr. McGillivray leaves a grown-up family of three sons and one daughter, all married and settled—the eldest, Mr. A. S. McGillivray, of Cloncurry; Mr. G. W. McGillivray, who is settled as a chemist at Goulburn, N.S.W.; Dr. McGillivray, late resident surgeon at the Children's Hospital, Melbourne, and now practising at Coleraine, Victoria; and his only daughter, Mrs. Major, settled in Victoria.

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Citation details

'MacGillivray, George (1827–1896)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

George MacGillivray, n.d.

George MacGillivray, n.d.

from Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), 18 December 1929, p 1s

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • McGillivray, George

Glenbervie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland


18 September, 1896 (aged ~ 69)
Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia

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