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Sir John Macfarland : 13-September-2011
Sir John Macfarland : 13-September-2011
Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

A readers chair commemorates Sir John MacFarland (1851-1935), for his services to Scots Church.

In 1881, MacFarland became the first master of Ormond College in the University of Melbourne. In 1919, he became chancellor of the university and was knighted the same year.

MacFarland very likely considered his Church work to be of greatest importance. He was manager at Scots Church from 1892, elder from 1896 and 'ever the affectionate comrade of the ministers of this parish, and indeed of all his fellow-officers'. He was regularly elected to assemblies at which he rarely spoke and never on doctrinal matters; but according to well-founded legend he and his friend Dr W.S. Littlejohn, headmaster of Scotch College, used to settle much of the business beforehand. He became the Church's leading financial executive, probably the most important Presbyterian layman in Victoria. For some thirty years he sat on the councils of Scotch College and Presbyterian Ladies' College, as chairman from 1919 and 1920; he believed it the councils' duty to make financial policy and to trust their headmasters.

As a memorial to the late Sir John MacFarland, who was senior elder of Scots Church Collins street, the congregation is erecting a reader's chair, which will be incorporated in the existing woodwork of the apse.  The work will follow the design of the existing elder's chairs.  It will be true Gothic in design and will be placed on the left side of the apse, opposite the pulpit. The work has been designed by Messrs H H and J B Kemp, architects of Capel Court, Collins street.
Argus (Melbourne), 20 June 1936.

Two memorials to commemorate the service to the church by outstanding public men will be dedicated and unveiled in Scots' Church, Collins-street, on Sunday morning, 18th October. To match the furniture in the apse, a carved reader's chair, will be placed to the memory of the late Sir John MacFarland.  A stained glass window in the west vestibule of the church will be dedicated to the memory of the late Mr. Donald Mackinnon. The service will be conducted by the moderator-general of the Presbyterian Assembly (Right Rev. J. Mackenzie), who will be assisted by Rev. Dr. A. Boyd Scott. 
Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), Thursday 8 October 1936.


Address:Collins & Russell Streets, Scots Church, Melbourne, 3000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.814707
Long: 144.968623
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Seat
Monument Theme:People
Monument Designer:Messrs H H and J B Kemp (architects)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 18th October, 1936
Front Inscription


This Readers Chair
Is Dedicated To The Memory Of
Sir John MacFarland
Senior Elder Of Scots Church
A Wise Leader
Who Died On 22nd July 1935
Full Of Years And Honours.


Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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