J. M. MulherrinPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

The memorial commemorates J. M. Mulherrin who was a member of the Mackay Harbour Board from 1927 to 1957.

A prime instigator for the construction of Mackay harbour and one of the district's best known public men, Mr. John Martin Mulherin, died on Saturday at the age of 66. His death came as a surprise a week after he was admitted to hospital. His funeral yesterday afternoon from St. Patrick's Catholic Church to the Mt. Bassett cemetery was one of the largest seen in the city.

Mr. Mulherin was particularly well known for his work in advocating a deep-water port for Mackay and the development of hinterland coal and agricultural resources.

He was born in the Farleigh district of Irish parents who were well known sugar pioneers.  He carried on cane farming for many years before moving to Mackay to conduct a carrying business.

He was elected chairman of the harbour board in 1927 and when his term as chairman finished in 1930 he retained his seat at the board's table until his death. During his chairmanship and the immediate following years, he laboured strenuously to obtain recognition of the fact that the Mackay district could finance a £1 million harbour scheme. As a member of the board, Mr. Mulherin saw the harbour constructed and gradually develop.  But, he was admitted to hospital in the early hours of July 27, and was unable to attend the official opening of the bulk sugar terminal.

Mr. Mulherin had also to forfeit an invitation to give an address on the development of Mackay at the opening of the Captain John Mackay memorial clock.

Mr. Mulherin was elected mayor of Mackay on a Labour ticket about 1933 but later when the council was dissolved, he contested the mayoralty as an independent and was defeated.

He also served as chairman of the Mackay Rugby League and president of the Catholic Club.  He was a crack rifle shot and was regarded as an outstanding orator. For a period he was secretary of the Mackay Blair Athol Railway League, a forerunner of the Hinterland Development League.  When the Hinterland Development League was formed about 1947, he became secretary and remained in that position until his death.

He several times accompanied cabinet ministers on tours of the district and hinterland where he was able to assist them in gauging agricultural and coal producing possibilities.

At the time of his death he was a member of the North Mackay Bowling Club and an honorary member of the Catholic Legion of Mary.

He is survived by his widow, five sons, Jack, Henry, James, Desmond, and Kevin, three daughters, Mrs. H. Edmonds, Mrs. A. West and Effie, brothers Tom, Henry, and Joe and sisters Mesdames H. Gillman, of Melbourne, and C. Goodhew of Brisbane.

A large congregation attended the funeral service at St. Patrick's Church at which Rev. Fathers W. McAlister and R. Benjamin officiated.  Prayers were recited by members of the Legion of Mary.  Four priests, Rev. Fathers McAlister, Benjamin, M.F. Quinn and A.P. Healion officiated at the graveside.

Pall bearers were Dr. H.J. Taylor (Hinterland League), Dr. E.L. Leggett (Harbour Board), three sons Jack, Kevin and Henry Mulherin and son-in-law Mr. H. Edmonds.
The Daily Mercury (Mackay, QLD) August 5, 1957.




Address:Mulherin Drive, J. M. Mulherin Memorial Park, Mackay Harbour, 4740
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -21.110645
Long: 149.223227
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1927
Approx. Event End Date:1957


Front Inscription

To honour the memory of J. M. Mulherrin Board member from 1927 to 1957, an untiring advocate for the outer harbour scheme

This memorial was unveiled by the Governor of Queensland, His Excellency Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith K.C.M.G.  K.C.V.D.  D.S.O. on Monday January 27th 1964 at a ceremony arranged to celebrate Australia Day by the Mackay branch of the Australian Natives Association 


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