John Gollan: 1814 to 1907

John Gollan

Born: 5/11/1814

Died: 24/9/1907

He married: Margaret McCulloch in 1842 in Scotland


The Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of New South Wales

Sat 28 September 1907



Mr. John Gollan passed peacefully away at the residence of his son, Capt. Hector Gollan J.P., Tinonee (with whom he had been residing for the past 17 years), on Tuesday at 7 p.m. — the immediate cause of death being the prevailing epidemic of influenza, which complaint he contracted about a fortnight ago.

Although he had reached the ripe old age of 93 years, the deceased gentleman was active and able to go through his usual routine of work within ten days of his demise.

The late John Gollan was born in the parish of Urray, county of Ross Shire, Scotland, on November 5th, 1814— in the stirring time of Napoleon and his defeat at Waterloo — and came out to New South Wales in the year 1851, accompanied by four children — Hector, Roderick, Thomas, and a daughter who is now Mrs. McPhee.

On his arrival in this colony Mr. Gollan proceeded direct to Raymond Terrace from Sydney, and was for a time in the service of the late Mr. John Portus as a mason and bricklayer in that town, where Mr. Portus conducted a flour-milling business. Mr. Portus afterwards took up his residence in Maryborough, Queensland.

On July 30th, 1852— or over 55 years ago— Mr. Gollan and family left Raymond Terrace for the Manning, and arrived at the locality now known as Purfleet on August 20th, after a  tedious journey of 21 days.

It will of course be understood that roads did not exist in those far off days, and on arrival on the Manning it was found to be in its primeval state— the site on which Taree is now situated being standing brush.

Mr. Gollan was one of the early pioneers of this now prosperous district, and we who enjoy the benefits which these courageous first settlers assisted so materially to bring about, are sometimes apt to pass over their labours without giving them the full credit to which they are justly entitled.

None of the present generation have any idea of the hardships which the early pioneers had to contend with, and it required a brave heart — such as men like John Gollan possessed — to launch out and subdue what was practically unknown country. Truly it may be said that they

walked by faith.

The late Mr. Gollan served 21 years in Scotland as a mason and bricklayer, and amongst some of his work on this river may be mentioned the building of the first flour mill stack and bricking in the boiler at Tinonee in the fifties, and also the same class of work at the first sawmill on the Manning, viz., Scott’s Creek, whilst he built the first lime kiln, at Chatham. Mr. Gollan’s work was of a substantial nature, and the old mill at Tinonee remained standing until the hurricane of a few weeks ago.

Deceased was married in 1842 to Margaret McCulloch, second daughter of Hector McCulloch, of Ross Shire, Scotland.

There were born of the marriage 6 sons and 3 daughters, and with the exception of three sons (Roderick, Donald and John), all are still living — the surviving members of the family being Capt. H. Gollan, of Tinonee ; Mr. Thomas Gollan, of Sydney ; Mr. James Gollan, Mullumbimby, Brunswick River ; Mrs. D. McPhee, of Casino ; Mrs. John Allan, of Wingham ; and Mrs. W. J. Ellis, of Tinonee.

It is unnecessary to refer to the honoured names which the members of the family bear wherever they are known, and to the great services which they have rendered the districts in which they now reside.

It may be mentioned in passing, however, that the fine tugboat which has done such splendid service at the Manning Heads for so many years, and which was built at Tinonee by Capt. H. Gollan, was named after the subject of this sketch.

Deceased was a member of the Free Presbyterian Church, and his remains were interred in the Tinonee Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, alongside those of his late wife, who predeceased him by 17 years.

The Rev. S. P. Stewart officiated at the grave, and a large number of mourners were present.

The funeral arrangements were capably carried out by Mr. James Levick, of Cundletown.

We desire to extend our sympathy to the bereaved.