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CALVERT, John (1850-1907)

CALVERT, John (1850-1907)

John Calvert (Hendersons).

John Calvert (Hendersons).

John Calvert, with his two brothers, was among the first students to enter Geelong College in 1861. Born on 1 April 1850, son of pioneering settler, John Calvert, who helped establish Geelong College.

John Calvert was listed in the 1865 Annual Report as being awarded equal second in Drawing in the 2nd Class.

Alexander Henderson in 'Hendersons Australian Families' described him: 'John Calvert, was born at Geelong, 1st April, 1850, and commenced his education at Scotch College, Melbourne, but was one of the first to enter Geelong College when it was established. He later proceeded to Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, England. On his return to Australia he took up pastoral pursuits on 'Irrewarra', where in addition to wool growing, he was interested in the breeding of Shorthorn cattle and Shetland ponies. He also for some time leased Barwonleigh Estare at Inverleigh.

John Calvert rook a leading part in local affair being a member of the Colac Shire Council for many years, and one of the first members of the Colac Disrrict Hospital Com­mittee. When the Colac Hunt Club was formed in 1873, he became first President. His other activities were con­nected with the Colac Gun Club and the Colac Turf Club, with which he was associated for many years. In 1889 he was appointed steward of the Geelong Race Club.

He married Margaret Fair Chirnside, daughter of Andrew Chirn­side, of Werribee Park Estate, Victoria · she died ar 'Irre­wirra House', 31st August, 1927, ae. 75.'

His death was reported by the Colac Herald newspaper in July 1907: 'DEATH OF MR JOHN CALVERT - Widespread regret has been expressed at the death of Mr John Calvert, which occurred at Irrewarra on Monday afternoon. His death was not unexpected as he had been ailing for some time. His kindly disposition had won for him very many friends. and he was deeply respected by persons in all walks of life. In his younger days he was a keen sportsman, and was for a considerable time chairman of the Colac Turf Club, and acted as judge for many years, until failing health prevented him from taking an active interest in this sport. As far back as 1873 when hunting was introduced into this district, he was one of the leading spirits of the club, being the first president. He took a keen interest in this favorite sport of the mother land, and by his energy made the meets most enjoyable to the followers of the hounds.

He was also one of the first members of the committee of the Colac Hospital. In the late seventies the Colac Shire Council, which constituted the original committee of the institution, decided that two members of the council from each riding and three ratepayers from each riding should constitute the committee of management. In the election which took place Mr Calvert was one of the representatives appointed for Beeac.

He leaves surviving a widow (who was a Miss Chirnside), five sons - John, Osborne, Allan, Andrew and Percy - and a daughter, Mrs Gordon Lyon. His other son, Captain Noel Calvert, was killed in action during the South African war. The deceased, who was 57 years of age, was born in Geelong, and baptised in Colac by the Rev Mr Gow, the first Presbyterian minister in Colac. He was educated at Oxford(England).

The funeral took place yesterday at the Colac cemetery, when a large number of people were present to pay their last tribute ot respect to the deceased. The coffin was of English oak, with lead shell and solid brass mountings. The pall bearers were Messrs C. L. Forrest, H. M. Hearn, Donald Dunoon, senr., G. Armstrong. D. Prosser, D. C. Dunoon, P. C. Wilson and Dr Brown, the coffin bearers being employee of the deceased. The service was conducted by the Rev J. McKenzie, and the burial arrangements were carried out by Mr G. James.'

John Calvert married Margaret Fair Chirnside in 1872. He died at 'Irrewarra', Colac on 15 July 1907.

Sources: Colac Herald 17 July 1907 (NLA); 'Hendersons Australian Families' Vol 1. p223-224.
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