Monday, July 4, 2016

John Douglas obituary in Queensland Country Life

Queensland Country Life, Monday 1 August 1904, p. 1


The death of the Hon. John Douglas, C.M.G., severs another of the links that connect the present with the dim past. Mr. Douglas was closely connected with the establishment of Queensland as a colony, he having represented Darling Downs more than forty-five years ago in the New South Wales Parliament. He afterwards sat for nearly twenty years as a member of one or other House of the Queensland Legislature. He also occupied the position of Agent-General for about two years. It is just a quarter of a century since he disappeared from our Legislature, and entered the civil service as Government Resident at New Guinea. With a short exception, during which he was engaged in pastoral pursuits," Mr. Douglas spent the whole of his fifty-three years of Australian life in the public service. As a politician he was perhaps least successful, for, although the most scholarly member who ever sat in our Legislature, he was not a good party man, his mind being of too judicial a cast to enable him to win the reputation of a fighting politician. Mr. Douglas was always connected with the Liberal party in politics, and drew down upon himself violent animadversion from members of the old squatting party. In his earlier days he was a charming speaker, and was always a perfect gentleman in public life. After taking up his residence at- Thursday Island Mr. Douglas took a great interest in New Guinea, and was strongly in favour of the provisional annexation resolved upon by Sir Thomas Mcllwraith, which was unfortunately not approved of by the Colonial Office, the result being the subsequent annexation by Germany of a great part of an island the whole of which should have been an Australian dependency. Mr. Douglas was a scholarly writer, and for many years was a regular contributor of leading articles to the Brisbane Courier. Altogether he was a fine specimen of a man and his death will be much regretted by a great number or friends who, while not always agreeing with his political opinions, all recognised his sterling integrity and public spirit.