Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

John MacVean (1826–1887)

It is our sad duty to chronicle the sudden death of the above gentleman. From particulars received as to the death of Mr. MacVean, we learn that the deceased gentleman has been far from well during the last few weeks. On Friday evening, as was usual with Mr. MacVean, he went into the garden after tea. Not returning he was searched for by his two sons, and when found the deceased was lying on his face on one of the paths and then dead. All efforts to restore animation were unavailing. We believe that, for some time back, the deceased gentleman was suffering from an affection of the heart, and it is more than probable that disease of that organ was the cause of death.

Owing to stoppage of telegraphic communication with Balranald, it was impossible to wire Dr. Lawson for his attendance at Mooloomoon. The sudden termination of so useful a life has cast quite a gloom over the Moulamein district. Mr. MacVean has been well known throughout Riverina as a successful pastoralist and sheepbreeder, his name and active presence being well recognised in leading pastoral shows in Central Riverina, where he was always highly respected. The last solemn obsequies were to have been carried out on Monday, when the mortal remains of the deceased gentleman were to be conveyed to Melbourne, for interment in the family burying ground at St. Kilda Cemetery.

At the close of the communion Service in the Presbyterian Church here last Sabbath, the Rev. Alex. Hardie concluded his sermon by these appropriate remarks on the death of Mr. MacVean: Dear Friends, I cannot close this solemn and interesting service without referring to the great loss we, as a church have received in the death of Mr. John MacVean of Mooloomoon. He was suddenly carried away on Friday evening last, while taking a walk in the garden, to the high garden above where the sun never sets. He was a man of rare worth and character. He was from the good old school of Highlanders, and never forgot the teaching of his early days. Whilst there was rugged ness about him, yet there was gentleness and large-heartedness for every good cause; it was your own fault if you felt a stranger in his home. The loss will be much felt by his family, to whom I am sure your sympathies are with in the loneliness of their orphanhood. May the Father of the Fatherless be their stay is our prayer. His sudden call leads us to think of an old servant of God, who 'walked with God, and he was not: for God took him.' We can scarcely realize that he has gone from our midst. We draw consolation from his remarkable death. Walking at sunset in the garden His sun has set: as the great orb is lost to our part of the world as he sinks below the horizon, so our friend is lost to our view as he descends to the grave. The places that knew him know him no more. Many a man has died; under a halo of moral splendour; like a Stephen, they have seen the heavens open, and reflected the celestial rays as they came down. So our friend; he seemed to take a deeper interest in our church and the great cause of God as his days wore on. He has been caught up in the midst of his labours, and no doubt he has heard the words: 'Come, ye Blessed, and enter into the joys prepared for you.' One lesson of comfort for us all: When the sun passes from our sight, it is not only still in existence and shines as bright as ever, but in a few hours appears again in our horizon. So with the Christian in his death; he only sinks from view, and sinks to rise again in new splendour. Moses, on Nebo, went down in deep shadow and profound lonelihood. After fifteen centuries he appears again on Mount Tabor, in moral splendour and the glory of all worlds. Dear Friends, this is a warning to young and old. 'Be ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man comath.' Let us be up and doing, fulfil our mission as the sun does his, move in our little circle in harmony with devine law, enlightening, vivifying, and beautifying all, and then death need have no terror for us. Our path will be as a 'shining light, shining brighter and brighter unto perfect day.' The good will shine as the sun in the Kingdom of Heaven for ever. I need not dwell further, as it will be my privilege and duty next Sabbath, in the church where he worshipped, to endeavor to preach an appropriate sermon, but may the God of all grace abundantly bless the mourners in their sudden sorrow is our prayer.

Original publication

Citation details

'MacVean, John (1826–1887)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


7 August, 1826
Ardgour, Argyll, Scotland


2 September, 1887 (aged 61)
Moulamein, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.