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McDONALD, Edward Colin (1906-1935)

McDONALD, Edward Colin (1906-1935)

‘Colin’ McDonald was born at Geelong to parents, Edward Allan McDonald and Alberta Bessie nee Elliott, on 22 February 1906. He was enrolled as a day student at Geelong College from 11 February 1920 to December 1923. His address at the time of his enrolment was ‘Moonya’, Ryrie St, Geelong and he had previously been a student at Geelong High School.

Pegasus in August 1925 commented about Colin's activity: 'We offer our congratulations to Colin McDonald on his success in gaining a commission in the 23rd Battalion, Citizen Forces; further upon his success in having gained a Cadetship in the Public Service in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. Colin is leaving by the ‘SS Melusia’, from Sydney, on the 19th September. We feel sure that our Old Collegian, Mr. A. N. McLennan, will give him a warm welcome on his arrival in the East, where he carries with him our best wishes.’

Tragedy however struck in 1935 when as an Assistant Patrol Officer he was killed while on patrol in the Australian mandated Territory of New Guinea in February, 1935. The following obituary appeared in Pegasus Magazine in May, 1935: ‘Colin C (sic) McDonald met a tragic death on the 28 February, when he was murdered by a native whilst acting as Assistant District Officer in New Guinea.

Colin had many exciting experiences since leaving for the Mandated Territory. On one occasion, when investigating the murder of Recruiting Officer T F Exton, who was beaten to death with clubs while seeking native labour, Colin was also ambushed with his nine native police, and had to fire on his attackers to disperse them.

Since leaving the College in 1923, he had attended the Sydney University, and had also qualified as an air-pilot. It was during his long leave spent on a world tour, in company with his sister, that he received notification of his promotion to the rank of Assistant District Officer, which position he had so ably filled up to the day of his untimely and tragic death.’

Colin died in New Guinea on 28 February 1935.

His brothers, Allan Elliott McDonald (1903-1957), solicitor and parliamentarian; Major Stuart Mitchell McDonald (1912-1987); and Dr Gordon Donald McDonald (1914-1973) all attended the College.

Sources: Pegasus Aug 1923; Pegasus Dec 1922 p4; Pegasus Dec 1923; Pegasus March 1933 p57; Pegasus Sept 1933 p53; Pegasus Dec 1935 p26; Pegasus Sept 1935 p(i); Pegasus May 1935 p80.
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