John Harold YOUNG (M.B.E.)

Born:       abt. 1911  
Died:         bef. 28 June 1993
Buried:      28 June 1993 at Walkerston Cemetery, Queensland, Australia.
Marriage:  February 1935 to Muriel ?.

Young leaves enduring legacy

A FUNERAL will be held today for former Pioneer Shire Council chairman John Harold Young, 82, who contemporaries said left an indelible mark on the district in the buildings he constructed and the sterling public service he rendered.

Mr. Young lived in Walkerston for 75 years.  He received the MBE (Member of the British Empire) in 1977.

He learned the building trade from his father, and after returning from wartime service with the AIF in New Guinea, entered the trade on his own account.

One of the most distinctive of the buildings he constructed was the Catholic Church on Calvary Hill at Eton.

Mr. Young built the present Walkerston police station, designed and built O'Shea's Hotel-Motel at Walkerston and the Oddfellows Hall in Wood Street, Mackay.

He was a seven-year-old when the family moved to Walkerston after the 1918 cyclone, his father having gone there to manage the Young brothers' cane farm.

Mr Young attended the Walkerston State School, and later as an original pupil at the Walkerston Convent School.

Later Mr. Young became a foundation member of the Walkerston Progress Association and the Walkerston RSL sub-branch.  He gave 49 years service to the progress association, and was honoured with life membership in 1983.

Mr. Young was president of the Walkerston Tennis Club for more than 35 years, and was a life member of the Mackay Master Builders' Association with a membership of more than 25 years, having served a term as president.

He nominated for the Pioneer Shire Council for the 1964 election and topped the poll for his division, and for the next 18 years served the shire with colleagues said energy, foresight and consideration for the needs of the people.

Mr. Young was appointed deputy chairman in 1970 and was elected chairman of the shire in 1973, holding that position until retiring in 1982.

Pioneer Shire chairman Cr Gordon White said he knew Mr. Young for about 30 years and was his deputy for nine years.

"He was an excellent councillor and did a lot of good work for the whole region.  It was a pleasure to work with John and it was very beneficial for me to work closely with him."

Cr White said one of Mr. Young's most endearing qualities was this happy-go-lucky personality.

Mt. Young was appointed to the Mackay Regional Electricity Board in 1965 and was elected chairman in 1973.

Some of the other bodies on which he served during his term on council were the Northern Electricity Authority, the Queensland Electricity Generating Board, the Queensland Local Government Executive, the Queensland Building Advisory Committee and the Beach Protection Advisory board.

Always happy in the company of his fellow man, Mr. Young joined the Manchester Unity Oddfellows in September 1928.  He became secretary in 1934, and held the position until late last year - an amazing record of 58 years of loyal service.

Mr. Young was the Grand Master of Queensland in 1960, and was secretary of the Oddfellows Mackay District, which embraces six lodges, from 1970 to late last year.

The Walkerston district has a proud record of service in two World Wars, and Mr. Young served in the A.I.F. for just on 3 1/2 years in World War II.

He was marshall in numerous Walkerston Anzac Day ceremonies and was a member of Legacy, of which he was president in 1987.

Mr. Young was also chairman of the steering committee for the building of the Mackay War Veterans' Homes and was chairman of the management committee for the homes.

The father of four chaired more than 150 weddings in the district.  He was a noted public speaker and was master of ceremonies at many country dances and 21st birthday celebrations.

Mr. Young is survived by his wife Muriel, son Arthur and daughters Lois, Nola and Joan.  His wife now lives in the home into which they moved when they were married in February 1935.

The funeral service will start at 10.30 am in St. John's Catholic Church, Walkerston.  The cortege will then leave for Walkerston Cemetery.


The Daily Mercury, Monday, 28 June 1993.


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

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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