New book honour's Scottish pioneers

SCOTTISH pioneers were a key influence in the development of the Camperdown district, a fact that has not gone unrecognised.

Jancourt House was bought in 1854 by Hugh Scott — one of the area’s Scottish pioneers featured in the new Camperdown and District Historical Society book.

Jancourt House was bought in 1854 by Hugh Scott — one of the area’s Scottish pioneers featured in the new Camperdown and District Historical Society book.

The Camperdown and District Historical Society has recorded the lives and achievements of 21 of the settlers in two small books during the past two years. It will launch a third next week as a prelude to the town’s annual Robert Burns Festival.

Scottish pioneers in the town included shire councillors and presidents, businessmen, magistrates and Justices of the Peace, doctors, inventors, architects and breeders of sheep, cattle and horses.

The elm trees for the historic Finlay Avenue were donated by a Scotsman and another was appointed by the government as the guardian of Aborigines.

Spokeswoman Gillian Senior said the new edition, Notable Scots 3, featured contributions from members who had been researching their own histories.

Guest speaker at the launch is Rob Wuchatsch, who has written three of the included biographies.

Mr Wuchatsch lives in the Stony Rises which was first settled by one of his subjects, John Hugh MacVean. He has also researched the lives of Ewan Hugh MacVean and Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott.

Other stories have been provided by Laurie Boyd on the farming dynasty of the Boyds of Pomborneit, Cindy Sharp, writing about farmer and landowner James McDonald, and Margaret Skene Nixon, detailing the history of the Skene family who were known as farm workers, landholders, businessmen and church men.

The book will be launched at the heritage centre in the town’s former IOOF Hall on Friday, June 20 at 4.30pm. 

Ms Senior said photographs of the pioneers would be exhibited along with a large map of Scotland with all the towns or districts from which the migrating Scots originated.

“Also on display will be a collection of Scottish memorabilia loaned to us by Camperdown residents, some items brought out from Scotland in the early 1800s,” Ms Senior said.

The heritage centre will be open during the festival weekend on Friday, June 27 from 1pm to 4pm, Saturday, June 28 from 9am to 5pm and Sunday, June 29 from 9am to 4pm. Other festival activities include a heritage walk and talk on the Sunday from 10am until noon.

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