Burial register ID: 16477
First name: COLL
Middle names:
Gender: Male
Age: 80 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 28-Apr-1944
Date of burial: 05-May-1944

Block: 139
Plot: 20

Bio contributor: Kathy W.

Captain Coll McDonald (1863-1944)

Coll McDonald was born September 9th 1863 at Torrans, Argylshire, Scotland. His father was a ‘small’ farmer and as a consequence was poor. He was the fourth of five children, and his mother died when he was 4 years of age.

As there was no free education at the time, the only schooling he had was that taught to him by his father, generally from a Gaelic bible.

Coll left home at the age of nine and worked for a few years on farms as a ‘herd’ boy. Before beginning his life as a seaman at the age of 16, he had also worked as an apprentice blacksmith and apprentice engineer.

His first position at sea was as an ordinary seaman on a coastal ship called the “Princess Alexander”, which traded around all the ports of Europe. Positions aboard the “Burnley”, the “Olympia” and the “Alexandria” followed, before joining the “Jessie Readman” an immigrant ship leaving from Glasgow in August 1882, with 386 passengers all destined for Port Chalmers, Dunedin.
Electing to stay in New Zealand, Coll got a position as second mate on a sailing brig called the “Wave” under Captain Christian. Reaching Kaipara in the North Island, and fully laden with Kauri logs, the “Wave” beginning it’s return journey foundered on the Kaipara bar, splitting fore and aft along the keel. Rolling about in the breakers for some time, they drifted back into the harbour and on to a safe beach where the vessel was condemned.

Six months later Coll began working for the Northern Steamship Company and would serve on the “MacGregor” and the “Garloch” as second mate. Following a return trip to England, Coll would travel from there to Adelaide and finally back to Dunedin aboard the “Tarawera”.

In 1885 he was fortunate enough to join the Union Company, where he began as quartermaster, working up to Fourth Officer and eventually going on to command a number of the Union Company’s steamers, the “Poheura”, “Corinna” and the “Aparima” being just a few of them. In 1907 he was given a shore position within the Union Company, that of Assistant Marine Superintendant at the company’s head office in Dunedin. In 1914 he was made Chief Marine Superintendant, a position he held until he retired in 1924 through ill health, brought on by his increased workload during the war years.

Following retirement and with improving health, Coll took a seat on the Portobello Road Board for one year, and served on the Otago Harbour Board for eight years. Coll McDonald died on April 28th 1944.

Captain Coll McDonald
Source: Kathy W.

There are 3 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
MCDONALD COLL 80 Years 28-Apr-1944 05-May-1944
MCDONALD FLORA 70 Years 08-Feb-1967 10-Feb-1967
MCDONALD JANET 39 Years 26-Sep-1907 28-Sep-1907