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John George Shield (1853–1926)

We regret to announce that Mr. John George Shield passed peacefully away at his residence at 8 o'clock last evening. He was in his 73rd year. Mr. Shield had not been well for some considerable time, and lately his health had been the cause of great anxiety to his many friends. The end however, came sooner than expected.

He was one of the best known and most highly esteemed men in the city of Hobart. In the course of his long career he had held the two highest positions in the public life of this city, as Mayor and Master Warden of the Marino Board, of which he was for long a prominent member. For many years he occupied the position of Inspector of Public Buildings in the Public Works Department, relinquishing this position only a few years ago. Born at sea on the voyage from England to Australia in 1853, he was the son of Mr. Rippin Shield, who was one of the principal builders in Tasmania. The first eighteen mouths of his life were spent in Sydney, but after that he lived in Tasmania. He was educated at the old Trinity-hall School, and later entered the building trade with his father, with whom he remained some 13 or 14 years. During this period he erected the Memorial Church, St. Mary's Cathedral, the Ebenezer Church, the Derwent and Tamar Assurance Co.'s offices, and many other public and private buildings.

It was while he was engaged in building St. Mary's Cathedral in 1879 that the Government offered him the position of Inspector of Public Buildings, which he accepted and held for over 30 years. He was in charge of the building of the General Post Office, Hobart, the Mental Diseases Hospital, New Norfolk, and schools and post offices too numerous to mention. At one time he had no fewer than 300 buildings under his supervision.

He took particular pride in his work as an orchardist, being one of the pioneers of the fruit industry of the Huon district, where he still owned two large orchards at the time of his death. Thirty years ago he exported apples from the Huon to England, and had done so regularly ever since.

During the war Mr. Shield was one of the moat strenuous workers on behalf of all those at the front and their dependents. He took particular trouble, no matter what private business he might have to forego, to welcome the men who returned from the front, and was no less assiduous in his cares tor their dependents and the dependents of those who did not return. That this work was well appreciated is evident from the fact that he was the first in Tasmania lo be presented with the special certificate granted by the Federal executive of the Returned Soldiers' League for services rendered to soldiers and their dependents during the war period. Only 31 of these certificates were issued in all Australia. Mr. Shield, who will be mourned by a wide circle of friends, is survived by Mrs. Shield, two sons, and five daughters. His sons are Messrs. A. G. Shield (Huonville) and R. J. Shield (secretary of the Tasmanian Cricket Association and the Auto Car Club, Hobart), and the daughters are Mesdames Archibald and Symington (Sydney), Whitham (Geeveston), and Marsh (The Grove), and Miss W. Shield, of Hobart.

The funeral is to take place to-morrow afternoon, and a service is to be held at the Swan-street Methodist Church at 3 o'clock. The cortege will arrive at Cornelian Bay Cemetery at 3.45 p.m.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Mercury (Hobart), 22 January 1926, p 6
  • probate, Mercury (Hobart), 13 February 1926, p 8

Citation details

'Shield, John George (1853–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


at sea


19 January, 1926 (aged ~ 73)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

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