James Vincent Kenneth (Ken) WHITE

Born:      11 December 1904 (Mackay, Queensland, Australia) 
Died:        20 December 1964 (Mackay, Queensland, Australia) aged 60 years.
Buried:    22 December 1964 (Mount Bassett Cemetery, Mackay)
 Thomas John White and Mary Josephine KOCH

District Leader Mr. K.J. White dies.

One of the leading figures in the Mackay district, Mr. Kenneth James White of Wandaru, died last night, aged 60.

The late Mr. White who began his working career as an engine driver in a district sugar mill, became a personality known throughout  many parts of Queensland, particularly in the sugar industry and the field of local government.

At the time of his death he held the following positions: Chairman of the Pioneer Shire Council, chairman of directors of Farleigh Sugar Mill, chairman of  the Mackay Sugar Manufacturers Association, member of the Mackay Regional Electricity Board, of which he was a foundation member, member of the Mackay Harbour Board, member of the Pioneer River Improvement Trust and an executive member of the Queensland Local Government Association.


He had also served on the Mackay District Abattoir Board and the Mackay Advisory Committee.

The late Mr. White was born in Mackay and spent most of his life in the district, except for a short period in Sydney.

He farmed for years on the family property at Wandaru and about seven years ago became chairman of directors of the mill where he originally worked.

A close associate of Mr. White during his public life said last night, "Ken is going to be hard to replace on the organisations on which he served. He was noted for his wise judgement and sound advice," he said.

The late Mr. White was known as a sound administrator in sugar industry and local government affairs.

He succeeded the present Minister for Mines and Main Roads (Mr. Evans) as chairman of the Pioneer Shire and chairman of the Mackay Sugar Manufacturers Association.

Despite the success he reached in life he always retained a humble attitude.

He was highly regarded by his fellow councillors on the Pioneer Shire.

He took great pride in the fact that he was unopposed as chairman at the last election.

In debates in the public and semi-governmental bodies on which he served he was a keen debater and never lost his sense of values.

He was considered by his associates an extremely fair man.  He was widely regarded as one of the highly valued men for the district.

In his young days he was a keen footballer and he maintained this interest until the time of his death.

He is survived by his widow, two sons, Gordon and Ken, and a daughter, Mrs. J. Potts.


The Daily Mercury, Monday, December 21, 1964.


People from all walks of life yesterday paid their final tribute to the late Mr. Kenneth James White, who died on Sunday.

St. Patrick's Catholic Church in River Street was packed to capacity for the funeral service.

Those who could not get in the church listened from the front.

Wide interests

The attendance was indicative of the wide interests held by Mr. White, who was known throughout Queensland particularly in sugar industry and local government affairs.

Those who attended the service included politicians, senior officers of the various sugar organisations, district shire chairmen, canegrowers, business and civic leaders in the community, mill workers and personal friends.

The late Mr. White, at the time of his death was chairman of the Pioneer Shire Council, chairman of the Mackay Sugar Manufacturers' Association, chairman of directors of Farleigh mill and a vice-president of the Australian Sugar Producer's Association.

He also served on a number of public and semi-governmental organisations.

The church service was conducted by St. Patrick's parish priest Rt. Rev. Mons. D.G. Tiernan, assisted by Rev. Fr. K. Bagley, parish priest at Farleigh and Rev. Fr. R. Jones parish priest at Calen.

Guard of honour

As the casket was being carried from the church, Pioneer Shire councillors formed a guard of honour at the church entrance, as a mark of respect to the late chairman.

The cortege moved from the church along Gregory and Victoria Streets into Wood Street.

The cortege paused momentarily outside the Pioneer Shire offices in Wood Street, where staff members were lined up in a guard of honour.

More than 100 vehicles formed the cortege which moved to Mount Bassett Cemetery, where the burial service was conducted by Fr. Bagley, assisted by Fr. Jones.

Pallbearers were the late Mr. White's brother, Mr. G. White, his son-in-law, Mr. J. Potts, deputy chairman of Pioneer Shire (Cr. G.E. Muller), Pioneer Shire Clerk (Mr. E.E. Evans), Mr. A. C. Denman a director of Farleigh mill and Mr. R. G. Williams, a long standing family friend.


The Daily Mercury, Monday, December 21, 1964.


Kerr, John. (1980).  Pioneer Pageant. Mackay, QLD: Pioneer Shire Council.

Mackay Cemetery Burial Register, Mackay Family History Society.

Queensland Federation Index 1890-1914.

Williams, Raye (1983). An Electric Beginning A History of Electricity Supply in the Mackay Region 1924-1983, Mackay, QLD: Mackay Electricity Board

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Glen Hall



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