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Ernest Mackenzie (1858–1913)

Ernest Mackenzie, n.d.

Ernest Mackenzie, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 15 February 1913

Mr. Ernest James Edward Mackenzie, the well-known Sydney manager of Goldsbrough, Mort and Co. Limited, died in Melbourne on the 29th of last month, and by his death has been lost a man of the highest character, and one universally loved and respected. Mr. Mackenzie had been living in Melbourne for some months prior to his death, having been appointed acting general manager of the company during Mr. J. M. Niall's recent absence abroad. He was a native of Melbourne, having been born at St. Kilda on the 24th September, 1858, and was educated at the Church of England Grammar School and at Storrington, England. He passed his preliminary for the army, but left England in 1877, and bush life appealing to him, went to Benerembah Station, N.S.W., for colonial experience. After the death of his father, the late John Mackenzie, in 1877, Mr. Mackenzie joined in a syndicate for the purchase of Kilfera Station, N.S.W., in 1880, with disastrous results. However, much of his early life was spent on Kilfera, and in 1887 he became manager of Malvern Hills Station, Queensland, remaining there for eight years, and taking a prominent part in the shearing strike of 1891. In 1896 he was appointed manager of Boorooma Station, Brewarrina, N.S.W., and acted in that capacity till 1904, when he took over the position of manager of Goldsbrough, Mort and Co. Limited in Sydney, in succession to the late Mr. George Maiden. It is needless to say that after twenty-five years of stock and station life in all its phases—breeding, shearing, camping out, in droughty and good seasons, in taking up country and improving it, studying pastoral life commercially as well as from a squatter's point of view—Mr. Mackenzie had a record of experience and qualification for the position that would have been very difficult to find in any other man. He was for some years a member of the Council of the Pastoralists' Union of New South Wales, and was also on the Executive Committee of the New South Wales Sheepbreeders' Association. Mr. Mackenzie was chairman of the Rabbit Destruction Fund Committee, formed to defray the expense of the visit of Dr. Danysz to New South Wales some years ago to carry out experiments on Broughton Island for the destruction of rabbits. He leaves a widow and one young daughter, to whom the deepest sympathy is extended in their loss.

An Appreciation
by Testis

The death of Ernest Mackenzie at the early age of fifty-four removes from our midst one of the best-known and best-loved men of the pastoral world in Australia. I knew him first as a contemporary gaining experience in Riverina, and from that time to the present I never heard an unkind word connected with his name. Ernest Mackenzie was a man of high character, and genial in his manner to all, but of unbending resolution in dealing with difficult problems such as he faced together with his chief, Mr. J. M. Niall, of Goldsbrough, Mort and Co. Limited, during the great shearing strike in Queensland of over twenty years ago. Mackenzie had a host of friends in the big cities and amongst the bushmen of every State, and many a station man, recalling his gentle, kindly ways, will regret the passing of him, who left the bush to work out his days—all too short as they proved—in the busy haunts of men. Mackenzie was never known to be harsh or cruel in dealing with anyone, and the expressions of regret received from far and wide show clearly the manner of man he was. The remarkable combination of strength and kindliness and humility that met in the person of Ernest Mackenzie made him respected and loved by all who knew him, while his honour and probity and straight dealing secured to him an almost unique position amongst the business men of Australia.

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'Mackenzie, Ernest (1858–1913)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

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