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McDONALD, Allan Elliott (1903-1957)

McDONALD, Allan Elliott (1903-1957)

Allan E McDonald (Prefect 1921).

Allan E McDonald (Prefect 1921).

Allan Elliott McDonald was born at Geelong on 10 December 1903 to parents Edward Allan Elliott and Alberta Bessie nee Elliott. He was enrolled at Geelong College as a day student from 12 February 1918 to December 1921. His address at enrolment was ‘Moonya’, Ryrie St, Geelong and he had previously attended Geelong High School.

At the College, he was for three years from 1919 to 1921 a member of the 1st Football XVIIIs, a member of the Athletics Teams of 1918, 1920 and 1921 and, in his final year, 1921, a School Prefect.

On 10 December 1927 he married Gertrude Mary Rowe Leggo, the daughter of William Leggo and Susan Carson nee Smyth of Geelong.

During World War II, he enlisted (No. VX77996) L/Sgt in 1942 and served with the 2/33rd Anti-Aircraft Battery in New Guinea. He served on the same gun throughout the war as Don and Rod Ingpen (both Old Collegians) and Bdr W G E 'Jimmy' Stewart. The four of them served at the Battle of Milne Bay which, following the Battle of the Coral Sea, was the Japanese Army's first reversal.

Allan was discharged on 13 December 1943, but re-enlisted and was accepted for service in Australia as a Lieutenant (later Captain), in the Australian Army Legal Corps.

The Parliament of Victoria Re-Member database gives a brief summary of his career:

'From 1927, barrister and solicitor in firm of Wighton & McDonald, senior partner from c1937; 2nd AIF 1942-1943, New Guinea, Lance-Sergeant; Conciliation Officer Farmers' Debt Adjustment Board; Vice-President Law Institute Council; Member Law Clerks Wages Board; President Geelong Law Association; Matthew Flinders Girls' School Council; Member Young Mens' Christian Association Advisory Committee; Chairman Geelong West Free Library; a founder and Vice-President Geelong Amateur Operatic Society; honorary solicitor to many Geelong bodies; founding member Geelong Amateur Football Club; Oddfellow.'

'Allan's son, Allan William McDonald, shared the same first name with his father, and many year later a contemporary asked if this was the case. When Allan McDonald Jnr replied in the affirmative, he was told that their fathers had both been on a vessel which was sunk with all their guns and equipmentin Milne Bay, during the Battle for Milne Bay in August-September 1942.'

Pegasus, in August 1927, noted his early career: 'Allan E. McDonald was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor at the sitting of the Full Court of the State Supreme Court, held in Melbourne on the 1st June last. Allan has successfully served his articles with his father at Geelong. He has retained his interest in sport, both as a player and official in junior football, and is also vice-president of the Geelong Junior Association. He plays with the Amateur Football Team, and still keeps up his interest in debating.'

Allan Elliott McDonald died on 16 October 1957 in Geelong.

In December 1957, Pegasus reported his death:
'Alan Elliott McDonald, who died on October 16, aged 53 years, was one of Geelong's most prominent citizens and a former Minister of the Crown in the State Legislature. As a partner in the firm of Wighton and McDonald he had a distinguished career in law, and he maintained at the same time a wide interest in public affairs, including educational, charitable and sporting activities. He represented the South Western Province in the Victorian Legislative Council for 12 years and was Minister of Labour and State Development in the Hollway government. Although members of Parliament were exempt from military service, he enlisted as a private in 1942 and served with the Second A.I.F. in New Guinea.

When a boy at the College from 1918 to 1921, he was in the athletics team, and for three years a member of the XVIII; in his final year he was a school prefect. His three brothers and his son, Allan ('54), were all Collegians.'

His brothers; Donald Gordon McDonald (1884-1945), Stuart Mitchell McDonald (1912-1987), Edward Colin McDonald (1906-1935), and son, Allan William McDonald AO (1937-2017) were all educated at Geelong College.

Sources: Pegasus August 1927 p42; Pegasus December 1957 p57; 'Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by J Affleck p359 (citing The Pegasus; AWM; National Archives; Parliament of Victoria - Re-Member: a database of all Victorian MPs since 1851.
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