Obituary - Mr. Robert McAlister

10 August 1925 Adelong Argus, Tumut and Gundagai Advertiser

There passed away on Friday afternoon at 4.30 o'clock at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Roland Ibbotson, Newtown, Tumut, an old and highly respected resident of Tumut, in the person of Mr. Robert McAlister.

The deceased gentleman had lately been ailing and his demise was not unexpected.

Born at Tumut Plains in the year 1842, the late Mr. McAlister was an authority on matters concerning the progress and development of Tumut and district, and he was able to discourse very interestingly on the early days.

His sister Elizabeth was the first child born in the district, in 1830.

Mr. McAlister's memories revert even as far back as the times when the Tumut district was infested with blacks who were notorious cattle thieves.

The late Mr. McAlister could recollect Tumut township when it occupied the flat above the present racecourse, and then comprised but a few houses, an hotel, and one store.

After following farming pursuits with success at "Springfield", Blowering Road, and other parts of the Tumut district, the late Mr. McAlister retired just about 20 years ago and had since domiciled with his sons and daughters in the Tumut district.

It might be mentioned that during the whole of his lengthy career Mr. McAlister had never removed his interests from the Tumut district.

The late Mr. McAlister married Miss Sophie Clout, a sister of Mr. George Clout, of Brungle (recently deceased).

At the time of his marriage he was 24 years of age and his wife 18 years.

There was a family of fifteen of the union, of whom twelve are still living and three deceased. 

The living members of the family are Caroline Amelia (Mrs. Sol. Kitto), Henry William (Goulburn), Alfred Edward Ernest (Gilmore), Thomas David (Sydney), Ethel Sophia (Sirs. Tom Bridle), Charles Frederick (Gilmore), Elizabeth Ellen (Mrs. J, D. Emery), Robert Rowland (Brungle), Florence Sarah (Mrs. Rowley Ibbotson), Mary Anne (Mrs. W. Johnson), Herbert John (Tumut), Alice May (Mrs. Norman Beegling).

Mr. Alfred Edward Ernest McAllister, of Gilmore, is the only unmarried member of the family.

The deceased members are Emily Francis, who died, at the age of 19 years, and Hessie Jane and Edward, who died in their infancy. 

The late Mr. McAlister was predeceased by his wife on 23rd March, 1906. Her age, if now living, would be 76 years.

The mother and father of the deceased couple were Mr. Thomas McAlister (a native of the north of Ireland) and Mrs. Caroline McAlister (nee Clout), a native of Kent, England.

The Mr Thomas McAlister here referred to, it might be mentioned, was one of the first members of he having arrived in this country in the Water Police Force in Sydney, charge of a number of deportees many years ago. 

And so another link with the past is severed in the passing of this grand old pioneer.

The respect in which he was held was reflected in the very large concourse of mourners who, yesterday, paid their last respects.

Prior to the cortege leaving the residence of Mr. Ibbotson, the Rec- tor (Rev. T. A. Gair, Th.L.) conducted an impressive service. Prominent in the funeral cortege were members of the Tumut M.U.I.O.O.F. lodge, the late Mr. McAlister having been one of the founders of the order in this locality.

At the graveside Bro. Arthur Davis, of Gilmore, ministered the last sad rites of the order, and the Rev. F. Johnston conducted the burial service according to the Anglican faith.

The funeral cortege which followed the remains to their last resting place in the new cemetery at Tumut was one of the largest ever seen here.