|Burial register ID:||16477|
|Cause of death:||Unknown|
|Date of death:||28-Apr-1944|
|Date of burial:||05-May-1944|
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.
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 McDonaldSource: Kathy W.
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