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The Avondale Poets
John Angus McLachlan


Eighth born child & third son

John Angus McLachlan was born the eighth child & third son of Daniel McLachlan & Jane McPherson,  at the settlement of Mitchell's Creek on part of the Turon goldfields in the County of Roxburgh,  near Bathurst NSW, on the 4th October 1864.  The little one,  John Angus McLachlan, was the third male child in the male-starved household,  thus the arrival of baby John Angus McLachlan afforded great jubilation in the family.

John Angus McLachlan 1903  Cumnock Show Committee
John Angus McLachlan 1903 Cumnock Show Committee

John Angus was born when his father had become an innkeeper at the gold-mining  community of Mitchell's Creek of the inn called variously Miners'  hotel,  McLachlan's inn, &  Lachlan's inn.  On the twenty third day of November, 1864,  his birth was registered at the location of Mitchell's Creek;  thus it must have been a bustling settlement at that time.

The combination name of  "John Angus"  is in honour of the  "McPherson"  line & its relationship is with the  "Angus" family of the Scottish days of old.  The name of   "John",   however,  has great significance in the McLachlan ancestry, as well.

As in all well-organized families of the Day,  "big"  sisters had younger children to raise along the lines that the parents had already taught them.  Thus John Angus McLachlan had his  "special"   nursery governess  so-to-speak.  In his instance, he was in the capable hands of the second sister,  Martha McLachlan.

John Angus McLachlan was less than a month from his seventh birthday when his mother died at the inn, in tragic circumstances.  Following this event, Martha McLachlan left the family home & went to live with a family in Bathurst possibly as a governess or tutor. She took young John Angus with her.  In 1877, Martha McLachlan married Edmund Buckley in Bathurst.  In the following year, 1878,  she had her first child, a little son, whom she called  "John Angus",   as a special tribute to the young brother of whom she was the  "surrogate mother".  

In the later part of 1878, Martha & Edmund Buckley, baby John Angus Buckley & the fourteen year old John Angus McLachlan departed for Yullundry-Cumnock, to the "Avondale" property of Daniel McLachlan, the father of Martha & John Angus. It would appear that the patriarch, Daniel McLachlan considered it "high time" that he enforced the education & training for manhood that he deemed the correct format. He was to assert his dour severity of a version of "Scottish covenanting" edification upon the burgeoning manhood of John Angus McLachlan.

This training that Daniel McLachlan, the father, was endeavouring, was to be a short-lived venture,  due to the death of the patriarch on the first day of February 1882.  Martha & Edmund Buckley & their little family then numbering two healthy little boys,  departed for the silver mines at  Sunny Corner,  with John Angus McLachlan remaining at the property of  "Avondale".

Jock McLachlan Cumnock hotel proprietor - centre back
Jock McLachlan Cumnock hotel proprietor - centre back

With the "carving up"  of the Daniel McLachlan estate under the administration powers of Elizabeth nee McLachlan Gant,  John Angus McLachlan,  became a well-to-do young man, who by that date, was about twenty one years of age. John Angus McLachlan was of a different Scots' type of physical appearance to his two brothers, for example -  he was of a short & stocky build. He was probably working on the  "Avondale"  property for some years,  as on some official documents he has been described as "farmer".

Nevertheless,  from some short time before the year 1888 until 1904, Jack/Jock  (John Angus)  McLachlan was the very popular  "mine host"  of the Cumnock Hotel. Advertisements in the Trade Directories of the Day  proclaimed most positively the attributes of the Cumnock hotel as well as the proprietor thereof.  Historical report recounts this as follows:

"Cumnock had plenty of vitality as early as 1901. The Show Society staged a two day exhibition & advertisement listed in the schedule indicate that business was good.   -----

 'Jack McLachlan ... (Cumnock Hotel)'   at the turn of the century ... advertised ---  'good stables and paddocks, first class billiard table.' "  

The hotel, though not with the exact appearance remains to this date. It is in McLaughlan /McLachlan Street, in Cumnock.  The  "McLachlan"  may be varied in spelling but it refers to this   "McLachlan"  family.  This street runs through the heart of Cumnock, right by the hotel.  There is a creek running in front of the hotel. The small town of Cumnock is a very pretty place even today  (2003).  It was a recognition of Jack McLachlan's contribution of service to the community of Cumnock,   during the last years of the nineteenth century,  that this street bears that name,  albeit with the variant spelling of the McLachlan name.

Cumnock NSW is a pretty place - then & now
Cumnock NSW is a pretty place - then & now

In the well-known book of the town,  its environs,  pioneer families & historic identities,  which is entitled  "The Crossroads - The History of Cumnock",  by Joan Marriott,  who lives at  "Sorronto"  Cumnock,  it is recorded that -

" Horse racing was popular in town in the late 1800s. Finishing post was the  (Cumnock)  Hotel & the straight along McLachlan Street to the starting point in the vicinity of the present school building.  This was one of the highlights of life each Saturday."

Perhaps Jack McLachlan gambled on these horse races & backed some losers. If so, this could be another contributing factor to the eventual financial collapse of Jack McLachlan's hitherto financial worthiness.

Because of his inheritance, initially Jack McLachlan had been a most eligible bachelor in the Yullundry-Cumnock area.  It might legitimately be considered that many of the young ladies & more especially their parents would have been eager to  "win his hand in marriage".   On the fifteenth day of February 1888, John Angus married Emma Kearney, the daughter of Christopher Kearney & Mary McCann,  in the St John's Church of England in Molong.  Registration was done at Molong with the registration number being -  5845.

In the same year, their first born child was born. It was a little girl who was named Gertrude Irene McLachlan & always known as ... " 'Rene". 

It is highly likely that she was ..."the apple of her father's eye"  & very probably she had the pet name of ... "Bonnie".  The little girl was baptized in March 1889.

Strangely enough,  although the marriage was within the building of the Church of England & conducted according to the Anglican religious rites & forms,  this brand of religion was not to be the destiny of Jack McLachlan's children.  Daniel McLachlan from Scotland,  had followed the old style severe leanings of the Scots' Presbyterian Kirk faith in the religious upbringing of his progeny.  The McLachlan patriarch had  expected his offspring,  each in his/her turn,  to - "go thou & do likewise."   Living nearby,  was the family of his sister,  Elizabeth  nee McLachlan & her husband,  Charles George Gant  of   "Avondale",   which,  for better or worse,  was being trained in such a manner.

Cumnock - McLachlan St - where horse races were run
Cumnock - McLachlan St - where horse races were run

It was very soon,  if not immediately,  that the prevailing religion of the Kearney-McLachlan household was to become that of the Roman Catholic Faith.  All else was disgraceful.  It was very likely that John Angus McLachlan,  in a similar way to each of his brothers' characteristically unassuming & non-argumentative fashion,  had been trusting his wife, Emma nee Kearney,  to follow the path in respect of the faith of their marriage vows.

It seems that in the later years of her life especially,   Emma nee Kearney McLachlan,  impressed ardently upon her offspring the fact that indeed Jack McLachlan was a non-believer,  & worse - as well as other such like description.  She encouraged their children & grandchildren to think & to say likewise.  As well as that,  she ensued that this image & spirit would continue onward into the pondering of posterity.

Indeed,  in the early marriage years, Jack, or Jock, as he was better known, was to become the father of a large family. After 'Rene, there was "Aggie" (Agnes Mary) in 1891, May in 1893 & his eldest son, named Daniel, but known as ..."Jack" born in February in the year 1895. Bertha in 1897, Barbara in 1899, Wallace Sylvester known as ... "Wal" in 1901 & Ida Lavinia in 1904, were all born at the Cumnock hotel while their father, Jack McLachlan was the proprietor there. All the children were directed firmly by their mother, Emma nee Kearney McLachlan, to follow securely along the pathway of the Roman Catholic Faith.

Emma  nee Kearney  McLachlan needed only the best for her children & herself.  It is reported anecdotally that there was an extensive household & innkeeping staff for the care of respectively the domestic household & for the running of the inn;  ....  maids for all manner of role & task, such as - laundry, kitchen & housemaid.  For the upbringing of the children there were apparently at any given time,  several nursery maids & governesses. 

It has been mentioned that Emma ordered the very best in everything (all clothing & accoutrement via mail- order) for her children & herself. Anecdotally it has been gleaned that Emma nee Kearney McLachlan had excellent taste in dress. In her mature years it was observed that Jack McLachlan's eldest daughter, 'Rene, dressed with similar excellent choice.

With regard to education there were the customary tutors, like those that Jack McLachlan, himself,  had experienced in his childhood,  but also there were tutors in the most specialised aspects of education such as music-- piano tuition, singing, dancing, as well as ... drama.  During her lifetime in the township of Orange NSW,  the eldest offspring,  'Rene was recognized as an accomplished pianist. Because of this expertise, she was much in demand for functions in the town & environs.

Wright Sherringham - friend of John Angus McLachlan
Wright Sherringham - friend of John Angus McLachlan

During that period of time in Cumnock,  music demonstrations & concerts were held.  It is recorded that ---

"The town had its own brass band in 1895. This group competed in a band recital at Parkes NSW & was narrowly beaten  for first place by a Sydney group."

Music was a great interest of the Jack McLachlan offspring so possibly the eldest children would have been regular viewers of this entertainment at Cumnock.  As mentioned  'Rene  nee McLachlan became  an outstanding pianist.  Also it is said that the two youngest daughters,  Ida & Elsie,  loved to dance, act & sing as an amusement for themselves as much as anything.  In particular,  the second youngest daughter of the family, Ida,  loved & was a great learner & very capable household performer in the arts of dancing, singing & drama. 

Ida nee McLachlan passed on such knowledge, skill & expertise to those following her.  As well as in her younger sister, Elsie,  Ida enjoyed fostering this love, interest & expertise in members of the extended family.  Included among these relations were Gwen  nee Henkes & Jennifer nee Midgley.   (At least, one of the descendants of John Angus McLachlan,  became an admirable exponent of those art forms & had a period of her younger life ... "on the stage").  

Later in her life,  Jennifer  nee Midgley  Dabbs,   was to become a successful author.  Her first novel was entitled  "Beyond Redemption"; & appeared in the bookshops of Sydney in 1987.  The main characters of this script are members of the the  "Clancy"   family.  It could be supposed that the  "Clancy"  family & its environment is modelled almost exclusively upon the kith & kin of the Kearney-McLachlan marriage union of 1888.   (If this supposition is correct then the substance of this minibiography is certainly  supported.)

Another type of social activity going on in the town of Cumnock,  at the time,  was skating.  For example - during the 1890s,  there was a skating rink in the town.  In reports of activity on the rink it is recorded that Jack McLachlan had a serious accident to his shoulder. 

"Roller skating too, was here (Cumnock)  in the early part of the century. Held in Leary's Hall & later in the picture theatre as well, it attracted up to seventy people every Saturday afternoon.  Worst casualty it's said, was Jack McLachlan who broke his shoulder skating at Leary's Hall."

It is to be estimated that not only would Jack McLachlan have suffered much pain on the occasion of the incident; but even more so possibly as he grew older, when such afflictions as - arthritis - in all probability, would have set in.

During his time at the Cumnock Hotel,  Jack McLachlan was one of  several humanitarian & conscientious persons who was community-minded in the town.  Others who were involved likewise,  included members of the Sherringham family,  such as - Joe  (Joseph Sherringham) & Wright Sherringham,  with whom the McLachlan family had developed strong ties that had originated in the Bathurst area.

Joe Sherringham  - friend of Jock McLachlan @ Cumnock NSW
Joe Sherringham - friend of Jock McLachlan @ Cumnock NSW

The Cumnock Show was one venture in which Jack McLachlan played a responsible role. There are records about the Show that tell that ---

"The Cumnock Show was an important part of life in the early part of the century.  ----   The date of the annual show was decided by the full moon in March & during the early 1900s a night watchman was employed to patrol the grounds on Show Eve."

There is in existence,  a photograph of the town's  "worthies",  who were stalwarts of the Cumnock Show Society at the end of the nineteenth century & into the beginning of the twentieth century. Standing right in the centre of the back row,  was Jock McLachlan,  (he has been noted as   "Jock"  in preference to  "Jack" in the naming of this photograph).

The photograph was of the Cumnock Show Committee of the year 1903.  Two Sherringham family representatives are in the photograph as well,  Joe  (Joseph) Sherringham & Wright Sherringham.  (These two gentlemen were the brothers of  Robert Sherringham who had married Mary McLachlan in 1879.)  Other gentlemen of this Cumnock Show Committee of 1903, included -  W. Hillam,  Sam Reilly,  C. Miller, W. Black,  John Leary,  Jim McDonald,  Tom Howard,  Mr Finch,  John Eggleston &  H. Young.

On the twenty first day of December in the year, 1891, round about the time of the birth of his second child,  Agnes Mary McLachlan,  the mother of Gwen Henkes, born 1918,  Jack McLachlan had begun to purchase land around & about the Cumnock district.   His brother, Duncan McPherson McLachlan,  had the premises near by where he conducted the business of  "auctioneer".   The brothers being next door to one another like this,  should have been much moral support,  one for the other,  for some time at least.

The land bought in 1891 when life was going well,  was transferred to Francis Henry Kearney,  kin of Jack McLachlan's wife,  of Cumnock, on the fifteenth day of May, 1901.  Probably the finance resources of the Cumnock hotel proprietor were beginning to show signs of being the  ... "worse for wear".

Because of natural disasters like drought & flood,  also because of the  economic depression of the colony then state & nation "the pub was lost".  Possibly too,  another factor appertaining to the business collapse of the "pub",  could have been the forgetting of the Scottish money-making characteristic behaviour that of - frugality,  for which Jack's father, Daniel McLachlan from SCT,  was indeed renowned. 

Whatever the cause,  disaster at the  "pub" eventually loomed large;  &  the  "pub"  was  "lost".   (These  words,   "pub"  &  "lost",   are as they were anecdotally spoken by some of Jack McLachlan's descendants).  It is known that when Jack McLachlan had the money or his credit was respectable,  he was extremely generous to his own kith & kin as well as to needy persons of the neighbourhood.

In other words,  ...  Jack McLachlan sold out in 1904 to Alec Anderson.   Jack McLachlan had been a partaker-lover of alcohol;  but then he took to it ... extravagantly.   (Once again, this is as family anecdote informs). 

Alec Anderson,  the new owner, changed the hotel's name to the  "Royal"  Hotel.

Amelia Davis  born 1903 -model name for Elsie McLachlan   -with her gr father Charles Geo Gant
Amelia Davis born 1903 -model name for Elsie McLachlan -with her gr father Charles Geo Gant

The McLachlan family moved into the town of Orange NSW,  to Peisley Street, Orange,  where the last child,  another lassie, Elsie Maria Amelia McLachlan in 1905, was born.   The little lass was given the name of  "Maria"  for the wife of John Angus' eldest brother, Daniel.  The name of   "Amelia"  was copied from the name of the baby granddaughter of Elizabeth nee McLachlan,  Amelia Agnes Davis, born 1902.   (Then again,  "Amelia" was a name that  featured prominently in "The Sherringham Connection.")

By this time,  Jack McLachlan was overcome with depression & remorse.  It is mentioned by some of his descendants,  that Jack McLachlan did not ...  & would not ... "work".  Accordingly, it seems that  it was Emma  nee Kearney  McLachlan who was the family's great support & the family's principal provider.

Nevertheless, there was a fine wedding in the grand Cathedral of Sts Michael & John in Bathurst for the couple, 'Rene McLachlan & Patrick Joseph Shannon. Although the coffers of John Angus McLachlan were sinking low, nevertheless, he provided his eldest daughter, with a magnificent celebration. The pair was married on the 6th day of March 1912. The marriage was registered at Bathurst NSW & the registration number was - 5045. They welcomed the eldest child of this union in the same year & named him, Carl Percival Shannon.

In the same year, on the 10th day of August 1912, in the District Hospital of Orange,  'Rene's sister,  Bertha McLachlan, died of   "Tubular Meningitis"  after a coma lasting two to three weeks.  Bertha McLachlan was buried in the Roman Catholic portion of the cemetery at Orange.

With the marriage of the eldest daughter, each member of the family began to part company & go on his/her own life's journey.  May McLachlan, the third daughter,  departed for Sydney where she married Robert H. Rea,  in 1914. The marriage was registered at Petersham, a suburb of Sydney.  The registration number was -  10661.   In 1915,  their first child,  Maxwell, known as  "Max",  was born.   Several years later, the second child,  a daughter,  was born & they named her,  Enid Agnes.

Jack McLachlan facilitated the acquisition of  "butcher apprenticeship" for his eldest son,  named at birth, Daniel,  but always known as .... "Jack" .   "Jack" McLachlan began this apprenticeship,  some time during the year 1912,  in the butchery owned by T. Hamar, located in Orange.

Jock McLachlan -  dau  Ida  - wife  Emma  nee Kearney  - gr dau  Gwen Henkes
Jock McLachlan - dau Ida - wife Emma nee Kearney - gr dau Gwen Henkes

"Jack" like many Australian young men & boys was captivated by the  "Call to War" of  World War One.  On his enlistment papers made out in the name of  "Jack McLachlan"  (not his baptismal name of Daniel McLachlan),  there is a description of his physical details ....   “height: five feet six inches;  weight: ten stone & six pounds;  chest measurement thirty two inches, thirty six & a half inches expanded; complexion: fair, & eyes: blue; with hair: dark brown; no vaccination marks".  Jack McLachlan joined the Australian Imperial Force as an infantryman, being no. 1583,  on the 12th December 1914; & was in Egypt doing training in April 1915, whence he went to "Anzac" on Gallipoli.

The father, Jack McLachlan, also facilitated the attainment of the excellent employment-position for his second-born daughter,   "Aggie" (Agnes Mary)  McLachlan.  By 1912,  Aggie was working in a flourishing bakery in Orange, owned by the family of Carl Henkes.  In 1915,  the same year that Jack went to Anzac,  Aggie married Conrad Henkes, the son of the bakery owner. 

In 1918, Aggie was delivered of a baby daughter, who was given the beautiful names of Gwendoline Rose, but always called "Gwen" or "Gwennie". Sadly, in 1919, Aggie (Agnes Mary) nee McLachlan Henkes died of "stomach complications". She was buried in the Anglican portion of the cemetery at Orange.

In the year 1915,   'Rene  nee McLachlan  Shannon, had her first born daughter,  baptized Ilma B.,  but  called  "Bonnie" born the twenty first day of May in the year 1915;  followed by Jack  (John Kevin),   on the fourteenth day of January in 1918 (called  "Jack"  more in memory of his Uncle Jack, deceased in WWOne in 1917,  at  Hermies in France,  than for his "McLachlan"  grandfather,  "Jack"). 

Then there was Doreen Patricia,  born on fifth day of April in the year 1921; &  finally,  Sheila was born on the first day of January in 1924. All children were born in the township of Orange, of the state of New South Wales. 

In 1917,  the sad news came that Private Jack McLachlan, no. 1583, had been killed in action at Hermies in France on the ninth day of April, 1917.  This news absolutely devastated all the members of the McLachlan family, especially his father,  John Angus McLachlan, to such an extent that he went  "berserk"  with the use of even more alcohol than before in an effort to  "dull"  the appalling frustrations of his life. Jack McLachlan, the father,  left the family home,  &  the members of the family who were still living under its roof,  & went  "wandering".

About 1923,  Emma  nee Kearney  McLachlan & the remaining family members left the house in Peisley Street Orange,  & went to Sydney,  where they settled in the suburb of Newtown.  During the decade of the 1920s, two more marriages were celebrated. 

Jock McLachlan - dau Barbara  nee McLachlan & gr son Bob Long
Jock McLachlan - dau Barbara nee McLachlan & gr son Bob Long

In 1925,  Barbara McLachlan married Frank Longobardi. The marriage was registered at Annandale,  a suburb of Sydney.  The registration number was 10191.  (This couple shortened the name to ....."Long").  They were blessed soon after with a bonny always happy son,  whom they named  Robert.   He was known as ... "Bobby"; then shortened further to  "Bob".

It has been reported that Bob was always happy,  & exceedingly generous to his younger relatives especially at Christmas Time.  It appears that his parents,  Barbara & Frank,  had longed greatly for more children.  Sadly this was not to be.

In 1928,  Ida Lavinia McLachlan,  married John Midgley in Sydney.  This couple began bringing up a baby daughter,  Jennifer,  in 1938.  This little lass had been born in 1938,  in Orange NSW.  

Aggie's daughter,  Gwen  (Gwendoline Rose)  McLachlan-Henkes had married John Bourke,  in 1938 with the marriage being registered at Newtown with the registration number of  4374.  Very soon after the couple had a little daughter,  Beverley Bourke.  (There is a photo in the family archives of these two little girls seated together with Gwen  nee McLachlan-Henkes  Bourke.)

The last daughter,  Elsie Amelia Maria  McLachlan,  married Jack Lawson Atkin,  in 1938 also.  This marriage is registered at Newtown also.  The registration number is -  24297.  The couple had a little daughter, Patricia.  The little girl was known as  .... "Patty".   (Still surviving,  is a photograph of  "Patty" as a baby.) 

John Angus McLachlan who had been  ..."wandering" .... finally arrived back in Orange to the house of his eldest daughter,   'Rene  nee McLachlan  Shannon, some time in late 1939 ... just as World War Two was being declared.  At that time,  'Rene's second son, John Shannon was his mother's secure & favoured helper.  He worked in town with warehouse responsibilities. 

Anecdotal research has indicated that even after his marriage,  Jack  (McLachlan) Shannon & his wife,  Beryl,  took his mother,  'Rene  nee McLachlan  Shannon,  for nostalgic drives to Cumnock,  to gaze at the  "hotel" & the places that represented childhood happiness to her.  'Rene is reputed to have gazed sadly all around & not said one word.  It seems by that & the behaviour of other kin as well as  'Rene, herself,   that the father, Jack McLachlan was never forgiven for  (in words expressed by several of this kin), --- "losing the country pub".

On his return to Orange,  John Angus McLachlan was not well-received by his eldest daughter,  'Rene.  In fact it was known that she did not want him there.  Nevertheless,  it is known that her husband,  Paddy (Patrick Joseph)  Shannon,  endeavoured to show some kindness to Jack McLachlan,  during Jack's last days.

'Rene's son, Carl  (McLachlan)  Shannon, born in 1912, had attended St Stanislaus' Roman Catholic College in Bathurst.  He had then gone on to study at the University of Sydney during the 1930s,  where he studied & obtained the Degree in Law. 

'Rene Shannon is reputed to have worked  jobs for extra finance including being on call for her piano-playing,  in order to make sure that Carl was able to obtain this excellent educational foundation firstly at he Secondary College & then at the prestigious university. Carl's father supported  'Rene in this ambitious endeavour.  It seems also, however, that Carl did not show much interest in or appreciation of his parents' efforts on his behalf.   Carl's neglect seemed to continue throughout their lives.

Jock McLachlan - gr dau Gwen  & gr gr daus - Beverley  Bourke & Jennifer Midgley
Jock McLachlan - gr dau Gwen & gr gr daus - Beverley Bourke & Jennifer Midgley

Carl  (McLachlan)  Shannon married Eileen Mary Therese McGrath in 1938 in Sydney NSW registered 6953 @ Ashfield suburb of Sydney.  The couple had five children,  four of whom have survived to adulthood.  Those four children have gone on to marry & produce descendants. Carl did not come to Orange; but preferred Sydney where his work as a solicitor was keeping him busy. 

Even by the time of the death of his grandfather, John Angus McLachlan in 1940,  Carl  (McLachlan) Shannon was beginning to make his mark in the legal world of  Sydney,  New South Wales,  & therefore,  of Australia itself.  He died in Sydney NSW,  on the tenth day of January, 1994.

It is incredible yet true that Carl's only surviving son,  & therefore a great grandson of John Angus McLachlan himself,  is now resident in the Orange area with his wife & young son.  Carl's son is part of the medical fraternity of the part of the Dubbo Base Hospital which is to be located at Orange NSW.

Following her secondary school years,  'Rene's eldest daughter,  Ilma,  known as - "Bonnie",  had entered a Roman Catholic Order.  She then left the Order, however,  &  took up a  business career.  She never married.  "Bonnie",  'Rene's eldest daughter, died the eleventh day of May 1984.

The two younger daughters were busy working at secretarial type of work.  Doreen Patricia,  the middle daughter,  was eventually to marry Frank  (Arthur Francis Nolan)  Neil. This marriage happened in 1942,  with the registration being at Orange,  & the registration number being 5637.  Their eldest child arrived on the third day of August of the year 1942.

This couple produced a large brood of children,  five of whom have survived to adulthood. This progeny has produced many children.  Nearly all of this issue of Doreen  nee McLachlan-Shannon  Neil,  although both parents are dead,  continue as residents in or around the Orange area at this time 2003.   Doreen  nee McLachlan-Shannon   Neil died during 1997 in Orange,  NSW.

'Rene's youngest child,  Sheila,  is reputed to have been a secretary of excellence with an immense amount of expertise in the managerial secretarial field. She held responsible positions during her working life. Sheila did not marry.   Sheila McLachlan-Shannon died in Orange on the sixteenth day of April 1987.

'Rene  nee McLachlan  Shannon had passed away in Orange NSW,  on the thirteenth day of August 1967.  Her husband,  the loyal, loving & faithful marriage partner through the long saddened years,  had died just eight months earlier on the fourteenth day of December 1966 also in Orange NSW.  They were both buried in the Roman Catholic portion of the cemetery at Orange NSW.

It was just over six years later, on the twenty third day of April 1973,  that  'Rene's sincere & trusted son, Jack  (McLachlan)  Shannon,  passed away.  Sadly his life was much shortened by chronic illness through the years.

Possibly it had been Jack, who,  along with his own father,  "Paddy" Shannon,  had understood best the immense emotional & spiritual pain that 'Rene  nee McLachlan  Shannon seems to have carried with her through her adult life & even to her grave.

On the 13th July, 1940,  John Angus McLachlan died at Kearney's Lane in Orange.  The cause of death was recorded as .... "natural causes"  .... "Haematemesis".  He was buried in the Church of England portion of the cemetery at Orange on the 14th July.  The funeral service was conducted by the Church of England minister,  E. Lampard,  according to the rites of the Church of England.  The undertaker was ... P.G. McGowan. 

It was a very sad & lonely affair  when John Angus McLachlan was  "laid to rest".  The only family connection present,  was the generous & ever-faithful son-in-law,  Paddy Shannon.   'Rene,  Jack McLachlan's eldest daughter,  who had been the ... "apple of his eye" ... always & most especially when life was good & full of promise ... was ... nowhere to be seen.

It is noteworthy that on the death certificate of John Angus McLachlan,  it is written that his mother is  "unknown".   Jack McLachlan must never have spoken about her.   It probably was too painful a memory for him to voice ever.

In speaking with his descendants who were available  (other than one tiny part of the issue of 'Rene nee McLachlan Shannon)  it is regrettable & significant that there was no knowledge that Jack McLachlan had returned to be with his family in Orange,  in the days that led up to his death in 1940.   It is to be noted that only an even lesser portion of the family is aware that the grave of  Jack/Jock  (John Angus) McLachlan is able to be found in the cemetery at Orange NSW. 

Patty Atkin - dau of Elsie  nee McLachlan & gr dau of Jock McLachlan
Patty Atkin - dau of Elsie nee McLachlan & gr dau of Jock McLachlan

In short there was & apparently still is no one  "of his bloodline"  who seemed to care then or seems to care now.  Certainly & tragically it appears that this frame of mind still exists.   It is very likely that this attitude will persist at least into the foreseeable future.  Indeed,  Jack/Jock  (John Angus)  McLachlan 1864-1940,  whatever his foibles, deserved & deserves far better than that.

researched compiled & written by -
Alison Elizabeth McLachlan-Crowe
for the   "McLachlan of Avondale"   Descendants' Reunion
held @ Bathurst New South Wales AUSTRALIA
on Saturday 17 May 2003;  & revised in June/July 2004

*Acknowledgement of the work of Joan Marriott of Sorronto in Cumnock, the writer of -  "The Cross Roads - History of Cumnock"

*Acknowledgement of the input of the Molong Historical Society & the Orange Historical Society

*NSW Births Deaths & Marriages records

*NSW Lands Titles Office

* National  (Australia)  War Archives

*Acknowledgement of input from John Angus McLachlan kith & kin -

 # Anne (nee McLachlanShannon-Neil)  Brennan - spoken, written & collected data, also letter

 ## Gwen (nee McLachlan-Henkes & formerly Bourke)  Clifton - spoken & written data, also letters 

### Enid (nee McLachlan-Rea) Lebris  & dau in law, Marianne Le Bris - spoken & written data

*Acknowledgement of input from (John Angus McLachlan descendant)

#Jennifer  (nee McLachlanShannon- Midgley)  Dabbs -  spoken & written & collected data including her novel  "Beyond Redemption" & its Critic Review in Sydney Morning Herald 1987; & Interview (re- Germaine Greer) documentary done for  - National Television (Australia) abt 1996

*Acknowledgement of input re - "The Sherringham Connection"

 #David Willis - researched, collected, written & forwarded data - in notes & text & pictorial forms


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