[Editor: This obituary, regarding James Kennedy (1834-1918), was published in The Sydney Mail (Sydney, NSW), 13 November 1918.]
Kennedy, of Comerong.
One of the best known and most highly esteemed pioneers of the South Coast was James Kennedy, of Comerong Island, Shoalhaven, who died recently at the age of 84.
Born in Ireland in 1834, he came to New South Wales three years later with his parents, who settled at Coolangatta, and subsequently acquired a property since known as Gates’ Farm, on the river, several miles west from Nowra.
The subject of this notice spent all his life in the district, with the progress of which he was prominently and largely identified. He was for some time in the service of Mr. Alexander Berry, the first settler in the district (98 years ago), and one of the original Crown grantees, but at an early age entered upon farming pursuits, in which he continued and prospered.
Many years ago, when the Berry Estate, finding the Crookhaven had a better entrance than that of the Shoalhaven, cut a canal connecting the two rivers by a line parallel with the ocean frontage, there was thus formed an island consisting of 700 acres of good land and since known as Comerong. A claim to this island was set up on behalf of the Crown, and, after much litigation — in the course of which a futile action was brought against Dr. Lang for alleged libellous statements — the land passed to the Government. The island was sub-divided into farms and sold to various settlers at advanced prices. Mr James Kennedy was the principal purchaser.
With a natural bent for mechanics, Mr. Kennedy turned his hand in various directions of industrial activity, with results that were of considerable advantage to the community, especially in his earlier days, when the bullock-dray was the only vehicular conveyance, and people rode on it to church.
In engineering and boat-building especially Mr. Kennedy was an adept. He was associated with Messrs. R. T. Thorburn and James Monaghan in mining work at Yalwal goldfields, the three owning the Pioneer mine, which was successfully managed by Mr. Kennedy for some years, and eventually sold to a Victorian mining company for many thousands of pounds.
Mr. Kennedy was one of the most earnest and successful workers in the movement which resulted years ago in the establishing of co-operative butter factories. He was one of the founders of the big Nowra company, gave good financial backing to it, and occupied a seat on the board of directors continuously from its inception.
The Sydney Mail (Sydney, NSW), 13 November 1918, p. 27
adept = an expert; someone who is very knowledgeable, proficient, or skilful in a particular area, field, or subject
Crown = the governing power of a land operating under a constitutional monarchy, which is said to govern on behalf of the Crown (i.e. on behalf of the ruling monarch); may refer to the government or elements acting on the behalf of government (e.g. a legal prosecuting service operating in the name of “the Crown”); monarchical, regal, or imperial power; a monarch (King or Queen), an emperor
Dr. Lang = the Rev. Dr. John Dunmore Lang (1799-1878), a Presbyterian clergyman, politician, author, historian, journalist, pamphleteer, poet, and an active advocate of immigration to Australia; he was born in Greenock (Scotland) in 1799, came to Australia in 1823, and died in Sydney
See: 1) “John Dunmore Lang”, The Institute of Australian Culture
2) D. W. A. Baker, “Lang, John Dunmore (1799–1878)”, Australian Dictionary of Biography
3) “The Reverend John Dunmore LANG, MA, DD (1799 – 1878)”, Parliament of New South Wales
4) “John Dunmore Lang”, Wikipedia
Messrs. = an abbreviation of “messieurs” (French), being the plural of “monsieur”; used in English as the plural of “Mister” (which is abbreviated as “Mr.”); the title is used in English prior to the names of two or more men (often used regarding a company, e.g. “the firm of Messrs. Bagot, Shakes, & Lewis”, “the firm of Messrs. Hogue, Davidson, & Co.”)
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]
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