Burial register ID: 10056
Surname: GOLLAR
First name: JOHN
Middle names: PETER
Gender: Male
Age: 82 Years
Cause of death: Pneumonia
Burial type:
Date of death: 02-Dec-1905
Date of burial: 04-Dec-1905

Block: 162
Plot: 8A

Of your charity pray for the

Repose of the soul of


Beloved husband of


Died 1st December 1905

Aged 83 years

Also ANN

Beloved wife of above

Died 24th Jan. 1929

Aged 90 Years.


A good life on Earth did he live;

A peaceful death was given;

God called him from his toil on Earth

To his reward in Heaven.

To us Death shall never be anything else

But the gateway to our Father’s house.

And on the side of the monument:

In memory of


Beloved husband of


And son-in-law of


Born Jan 14th 1862

Died June 25th 1917.

Bio contributor: Deniece Gresham, also C & D McAuliffe

John Peter Gollar (1817? – 1905)

John Peter Gollar was born in Soho, London, sometime around 1817. It was originally believed that he became “…fired with a desire to travel” and “set out for Tasmania and on arrival set up in business for himself in Hobart”. (Otago Daily Times, December 1905). He was in fact an English convict who was sent to Tasmania in 1838 and came to Dunedin in about 1859 with a shipment of Clydesdale horses, other animals, and provisions, on board the schooner Mary Ann.

Arriving there, he found that a shipment of other horses had just arrived in Dunedin, so he loaded up his goods and, with his brother-in-law (Mr Yates), managed to dispose of his own horses and stock at Tuapeka very much to his advantage.

John made his fortune in the Gold Rush by supplying the workers in the Otago goldfields with baked goods with a horse and cart. Subsequently, he set up a bakery and confectionery shop in the Octagon. After this shop burnt down in the Octagon fire of 1865, he moved the business to the corner of Albany and Leith Streets.

John also had an active interest in horses and horse racing and was a pioneer of the Horse Trotting Club at Forbury Park, Dunedin. His horse, a mare called Polly, won him the grand sum of £35 for winning the 3-mile trot, in 1876 (W.A. Saunders, Historical Racing Records, p.54).

Although he did not take any active interest in politics he joined the Royal Victoria Lodge of Independent Oddfellows in Hobart on July 29th 1857 and brought his clearance to Dunedin. About 1862, he inaugurated Lodge Pioneer 1.I.O.O.F. with six others in Dunedin. He continued to be an active member of this Lodge until his death.

The recipe books that still survive from the bakery business, probably written by his wife Anne Gollar (English court papers indicate John’s level of literacy as nil), indicate how hard a baker’s life must have been in the 1860s. The sheer volume of ingredients must have taken a strong arm to blend. There was no electricity, so ranges would have been fired by wood and coal.

John was also on the organising committee for the building of St Joseph’s Cathedral in Dunedin, which was completed in 1886. All his children were married within the Catholic Church. He died in 1905 of pneumonia and was aged about 83. His obituary in the Otago Daily Times states that he was “a staunch Catholic and passed away in spiritual tranquillity”.

Unfortunately, the Gollar name, in New Zealand, ended with the deaths of John, his son William, and his grandson William Ernest Gollar, who died, aged two years, from blood poisoning.

John Gollar died in 1905, and, according to the Otago Daily Times, he died of pneumonia at the age of 83. He had contracted Bright’s disease three years earlier. He was, however, probably 88, and Anne was widowed at the age of 66.

Others buried here: John’s wife Anne and his son-in-law Ebenezer Gibson.

See also:

1. John’s son William and his family (at Block 172 Plot 16).

2. John’s daughter Margaret and her husband John Smith (at Block 172 Plot 11A).

An Elderly John Gollar
Source: Deniece Gresham

Jack Gleeson, cart driver for John Gollar, MacLaggan Street, Dunedin.
Source: Deniece Gresham

There are 3 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
GIBSON EBENEZER 55 Years 18-Jun-1917 27-Jun-1917
GOLLAR ANNE 91 Years 24-Jan-1929 26-Jan-1929
GOLLAR JOHN PETER 82 Years 02-Dec-1905 04-Dec-1905