Morris Morell MACDONALD

(1903 - 1980)
Father*Arnold Morell (Dick) MACDONALD b. 1873, d. 1937
Mother*Ella Mary MORRIS b. 1875, d. 1973
Morris Morell MACDONALD
(1903-1980)
Morris Morell MACDONALD was born in Invercargill, Southland, on 28 June 1903.1 He was also known in the family as Pooh, as all the family carried nicknames from the Winnie-the-Pooh books. The names were started by Morris's sister Berys, who, on seeing him well-dressed for a motor-bike ride, likened him to the rotund Pooh. As she was wearing a striped sweater at the time, she instantly became Tigger.2

He was educated at Southland Boys' High School, John McGlashan College and graduated LL.B. from Otago University. After graduation he joined his father in the family practice, the last Macdonald to serve in that capacity. His special interest was in estate administration and he was also president of the Southland District Law Society in 1938-9.

A keen motor-cyclist, and secretary of the Southland Motor Cycle Club in the mid-1920s, he was elected to represent motor-cycle interests within the AA (Southland) branch in 1928, and rose to be president of the association from 1939 to 1942, becoming a life member in 1974.

He continued a long family connection with the First Presbyterian Church, including being treasurer of the deacon's court for nearly 20 years.3

He married Ivall Moira (Mollie) HANSEN, daughter of David Ernest HANSEN CMG and Ethel May HAMPSON, at St Marks Church in Opawa, Christchurch, Canterbury, on 20 October 1934.4,5

There being no further family members to continue the firm under the Macdonald name, he practised in partnership with Mr B. R. Bayley under the name of Macdonald and Bayley until his death.3

Morris died on 19 November 1980 at Mater Hospital in Dunedin, Otago, at age 77.3,6,7 He was cremated on 20 November 1980 in Dunedin.8 His ashes were interred on 24 November 1980 at Invercargill, Southland, at Invercargill Eastern Cemetery.9

Family

Ivall Moira (Mollie) HANSEN (1912 - 1988)
ChartsAlexander Macdonald (1813-1888) descendancy
William Morries descendancy
Thomas Mudie (Moodie) (1776-?) descendancy
Samuel Forsaith (c1702-1751) descendancy
Stephen Blomfield (c1750?-1809) descendancy

Citations

  1. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Birth Reg. No. 1903/5938, and Death Reg. No. 1980/49983 gives this birthdate.
  2. [S369] Personal knowledge of D Ferguson.
  3. [S703] Newspaper - Southland Times, issue of 20 Nov 1980, Obituary.
  4. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 9437.
  5. [S911] Newspaper - Christchurch Press, issue of 22 Oct 1934, issue 21301, Vol LXX, p3, col2-4, image, News for Women, A Christchurch Wedding.
  6. [S420] Dunedin City Cemeteries database, at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/facilities/cemeteries/…
  7. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Death Reg. No. 1980/49983.
  8. [S420] Dunedin City Cemeteries database, at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/facilities/cemeteries/…, Original reference C19801152.
  9. [S586] Invercargill City Cemetery database, at http://www.icc.govt.nz/ServicesA-Z/Cemeteries/…, Block 9, plot 24.

Olive Heath MACDONALD1

(1897 - 1983)
Father*Thomas Edmund MACDONALD b. 1862, d. 1939
Mother*Harriet Jane CANNING b. 1871, d. 1942
Olive Heath MACDONALD was born at Walker St in Sydney, New South Wales, on 28 March 1897.1

She was the informant of Harriet Jane CANNING's death at 'Clovelly', Narooma in Wahroonga, New South Wales, on 17 November 1942.2

She married Arthur Russell BROWNE in Howick, Auckland, in 1951.3

She died on 31 July 1983 in Port Macquarie, New South Wales, at age 86.4,5

Family

Arthur Russell BROWNE (1903 - 1962)
ChartsAlexander Macdonald (1813-1888) descendancy
Stephen Blomfield (c1750?-1809) descendancy

Citations

  1. [S926] BDM NSW Registry, birth record, Reg. No. 16264/1897.
  2. [S927] BDM NSW Registry, death record, Reg. No. 28087/1942.
  3. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 12953.
  4. [S396] Ryerson Index to Australian Newspaper Death and Obituary Notices, at http://www.rootsweb.com/~nswsdps/dpsindex.htm, Sydney Morning Herald of 3 Aug 1983, aged 86, 'late of Blackheath, formerly of New Zealand.'
  5. [S284] Index - New South Wales BDMs online, at http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au, Death Reg. No. 16997/1983.

Percy Blomfield MACDONALD

(1875 - 1944)
Father*Thomas Morell MACDONALD b. 1840, d. 1909
Mother*Charlotte Clements FORSAITH b. 1843, d. 1894
Percy Blomfield MACDONALD (1875-1944)
Percy Blomfield MACDONALD was born in Invercargill, Southland, on 26 November 1875.1

He married Henrietta Eliza (Etta) TRAILL, daughter of Arthur William TRAILL and Gretchen (Kerekini) WOHLERS, at St Paul's parish in Invercargill, Southland, on 24 February 1904.2,3,4

He gave the bride away at the marriage of Berys Hunter MACDONALD and Alexander FERGUSON at Remuera, Auckland, on 13 October 1941.5,6,7

Percy died on 10 November 1944 in Invercargill, Southland, at age 68.8 He was buried on 11 November 1944 at the Invercargill Eastern Cemetery in Invercargill.9

Family

Henrietta Eliza (Etta) TRAILL (1879 - 1963)
Children
ChartsAlexander Macdonald (1813-1888) descendancy
Samuel Forsaith (c1702-1751) descendancy
Stephen Blomfield (c1750?-1809) descendancy

Citations

  1. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Birth Reg. No. 1876/9449.
  2. [S421] Presbyterian Church Archives of NZ, at http://www.archives.presbyterian.org.nz/, St Paul's Parish, parish code 22/20.
  3. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 1542; bride's name given as Harrietta Eliza, but this look like a mis-transcription.
  4. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Marriage Reg. No. 1904/645.
  5. [S924] BDM Registrar of New Zealand, marriage record, District of Auckland, 1941, entry #76.
  6. [S703] Newspaper - Southland Times, issue of 27 Nov 1941, Marriages.
  7. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 10357.
  8. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Death Reg. No. 1944/30987, aged 69.
  9. [S586] Invercargill City Cemetery database, at http://www.icc.govt.nz/ServicesA-Z/Cemeteries/…, Block 9, plot 23.

Robert Conder MACDONALD

(1836 - 1902)
Father*Alexander MACDONALD b. 1813, d. 1888
Mother*Selina Dorcas BLOMFIELD b. 1815, d. 1880
Robert Conder MACDONALD was born in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, on 19 July 1836.1,2,3

Education of the three MACDONALD children was a continuing source of concern and subject of much correspondence with the London Missionary Society, due to the lack of facilities in Samoa. Although first raised in May 1842, agreement was not reached on sending them to England until November 1846, but it is unclear when they actually left. However, Alexander did thank the LMS for settling his two sons into Stockwell Green school by early 1849. The image shows a painting of the children, supposedly done by a friend as a keepsake while the children were away.4

He signed the register at Frederick NUTTER and Eliza Heath MACDONALD's wedding at the bride's residence, Abercromby St in Auckland, Auckland, on 17 March 1857.5,6,7,8

Robert was present at the wedding of Samuel Ludbrook CLARKE and Mary Lee (Hannah) CHRISTOPHER at 'Brick House', Queen St (home of the bride's mother) in Auckland on 30 June 1857.9,10,11,12,13

He married Emma MATTHEWS at the bride's residence, Wellesley St in Auckland, Auckland, on 9 December 1859.14,15,16,17

In 1900 he was described as an Accountant on his daughter Emma's marriage register entry.18

Robert died on 28 January 1902 at Melbourne Homeopathic Hospital, St Kilda Rd in Sth Melbourne, Victoria, at age 65 of perforation following peritonitis - he had been in Victoria only five days, of which four were spent in hospital.3 He was buried on 30 January 1902 at the Melbourne Cemetery.3
ChartsAlexander Macdonald (1813-1888) descendancy
Stephen Blomfield (c1750?-1809) descendancy

Citations

  1. [S9] Letter - Alexander Macdonald to Foreign Secretary of London Missionary Society, 20 Nov 1846.
  2. [S395] Family Bible - Robert Macdonald bible.
  3. [S933] BDM VIC Registry, death record, District of Sth Melbourne, 1902, No. 11653.
  4. [S747] Filmed Manuscript - National Library, Canberra, AJCP Microfilms: Film M30, box 15, folder 5, jacket C to film M75, box 4, folder 8, jacket A.
  5. [S338] Varcoe's NZ Marriage Index, at http://marvin.otago.ac.nz/marriages/, Folio 97.
  6. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 97.
  7. [S924] BDM Registrar of New Zealand, marriage record, Reg. No. 1857/497 (Eliza) and 566 (Frederick).
  8. [S802] Newspaper - Southern Cross, issue of 20 Mar 1857, Vol XIV, Issue 1015, p3.
  9. [S265] Book - Edgar T. Jones, George & Martha Clarke Family Tree, p13.
  10. [S323] Family Bible - Mary Lee Clarke bible, On 30/6/1857 at the home of the bride's mother, 'Brick House', Queen Street, Auckland, married Mary Lee (Hannah) CHRISTOPHER. b.2/4/1826, Thetford, Norfolk, England.
    "The Marriage ceremony was conducted by Rev. Alexander MacDonald, Congregational minister of High St. Auckland, after the delivery of the certificate required by the Act of the General Assembly of N.Z. and entitled the Marriage Act, 1854.
    Witnesses: Thomas Morell McDonald (sic) and Charlotte Clements Forsaith. Present at the Marriage: T. MacDonald, Charlotte Forsaith, Mary Brown, Helen Burrows, Mr & Mrs Forsaith, Mr & Mrs Matthews, Mr & Mrs Nutter, Mrs Ludbrook senr., Mrs Burrows, Mrs Woodham, Mrs Christopher, Mr Ludbrook, R. MacDonald, Mr & Mrs Joseph Brown, Misses Matthews, Buttle, Lyth, Jane McIntosh.
    The hymn sung was 'Come let us join our Cheerful Songs.' "
  11. [S338] Varcoe's NZ Marriage Index, at http://marvin.otago.ac.nz/marriages/, Folio 99.
  12. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 99.
  13. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Marriage Reg. No. 1857/180.
  14. [S261] Pearlspad, New Zealand, at http://www.pearlspad.net.nz, As extracted from the 'New Zealander', and recorded at www.pearlspad.net.nz/MARRIAGES.htm, although it is unclear if the misspelt names are transcription errors or an error by the New Zealander staff:
    McDONALD - MATTHEWS - On 9th December 1859 at the residence of the bride's father, Wellesley-street, Auckland by the father of the bridegroom, Robert Conder, eldest son of Rev Alex McDonald to Emma, second daughter of Mr E J Matthews, Builder, late Clerk of Works, Royal Engineers Department.
  15. [S338] Varcoe's NZ Marriage Index, at http://marvin.otago.ac.nz/marriages/, Folio 130.
  16. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 130.
  17. [S924] BDM Registrar of New Zealand, marriage record, Reg. No. 1859/1150.
  18. [S928] BDM NSW Registry, marriage record, Reg. No. 1628/1900.

Robert Nutter MACDONALD

(1878 - 1881)
Father*Robert Conder MACDONALD b. 1836, d. 1902
Mother*Emma MATTHEWS b. 1838
Robert Nutter MACDONALD was born in Auckland, Auckland, on 14 October 1878.1,2,3,4

Robert died on 25 July 1881 in Auckland, Auckland, at age 2.1,5 He was buried in 1881 at the Symonds St Cemetery in Grafton.6
ChartsAlexander Macdonald (1813-1888) descendancy
Stephen Blomfield (c1750?-1809) descendancy

Citations

  1. [S139] Cemetery Entry - NZSG, Symonds St Cemetery, NZ Cemetery Records, B03.17 (Vol 1, p49), gives age as '9 mths', implying birthdate of 1880. This is almost certainly wrong and should read '2yrs 9mths.'
  2. [S327] Email - A Macdonald, email & correspondence to D Ferguson, 1 Sep 2003 onwards.
  3. [S395] Family Bible - Robert Macdonald bible.
  4. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Birth Reg. No. 1878/18186.
  5. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Death Reg. No. 1881/4344.
  6. [S139] Cemetery Entry - NZSG, Symonds St Cemetery, NZ Cemetery Records, Presbyterian section, west side, Section B03.17 (Vol 1, p49).

Sadie Alexander MACDONALD1

(1900 - 1977)
Father*Alexander Blomfield MACDONALD1 b. 1869, d. 1934
Mother*Wilhelmina WALLIS1 b. 1871, d. 1921
Sadie Alexander MACDONALD was born on 7 April 1900 in Marrickville, New South Wales.2,3

She married Sydney Herbert ANDERSON in New Zealand in 1922.4,5,6

She died on 24 August 1977 in Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, at age 77.4,7

Family

Sydney Herbert ANDERSON (1891 - 1983)
Children
ChartsAlexander Macdonald (1813-1888) descendancy
Stephen Blomfield (c1750?-1809) descendancy

Citations

  1. [S327] Email - A Macdonald, email & correspondence to D Ferguson, 1 Sep 2003 onwards.
  2. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Death Reg. No. 1977/45001 gives this birthdate.
  3. [S284] Index - New South Wales BDMs online, at http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au, Birth Reg. No. 14160/1900.
  4. [S354] Electronic Files - A Macdonald, and subsequent correspondence.
  5. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 3779.
  6. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Marriage Reg. No. 1902/4346.
  7. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Death Reg. No. 1977/45001.

Sheila Mabel MACDONALD

(1880 - 1965)
Father*Thomas Morell MACDONALD b. 1840, d. 1909
Mother*Charlotte Clements FORSAITH b. 1843, d. 1894
Sheila Mabel MACDONALD was born in Invercargill, Southland, on 4 January 1880.1

She married George Lyon CUTHBERTSON, son of Robert Ferguson CUTHBERTSON and Susan Elizabeth DENNISTON, in Invercargill, Southland, on 23 June 1903. (However the date is unclear and may have been the 4th or 23rd).2,3

Sheila died on 26 January 1965 in Palmerston North at age 85.

Family

George Lyon CUTHBERTSON (1876 - 1938)
Children
ChartsAlexander Macdonald (1813-1888) descendancy
Samuel Forsaith (c1702-1751) descendancy
Stephen Blomfield (c1750?-1809) descendancy

Citations

  1. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Birth Reg. No. 1880/12603.
  2. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 3165.
  3. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Marriage Reg. No. 1903/3846.

Thomas Edmund MACDONALD

(1862 - 1939)
Father*Robert Conder MACDONALD b. 1836, d. 1902
Mother*Emma MATTHEWS b. 1838
Thomas Edmund MACDONALD was born in Auckland, Auckland, on 30 December 1862.1,2,3,4,5,6

Thomas left New Zealand for Australia in 1885.7

He married Harriet Jane CANNING, daughter of John William Patrick CANNING and Sarah Ann BUTLER, at St Thomas Church in Sydney, New South Wales, on 21 June 1892. Thomas described himself as a chemist, living at Walker St at the time of his marriage. Harriet was under the age of 21 and the minister recorded the consent of her father in the register.1,2

He gave his occupation as Chemist at the birth of his daughter Ada (1893), then 'Chemist and Dentist' in 1897 when his daughter Olive was born, but was just 'Dentist' in 1901, when Beryl was born.8,1,9

He signed the register at Archibald CAMPBELL and Ada May Blomfield MACDONALD's wedding at Congregational Church, Alfred St in Sydney, New South Wales, on 1 January 1921.10,11

Thomas died on 3 April 1939 at 5 Russell Ave, Lindfield in Sydney, New South Wales, at age 76 of senile decay.3 He was cremated on 4 April 1939 at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium.3

Family

Harriet Jane CANNING (1871 - 1942)
Children
ChartsAlexander Macdonald (1813-1888) descendancy
Stephen Blomfield (c1750?-1809) descendancy

Citations

  1. [S926] BDM NSW Registry, birth record, Reg. No. 16264/1897.
  2. [S928] BDM NSW Registry, marriage record, Reg. No. 6903/1892.
  3. [S927] BDM NSW Registry, death record, Reg. No. 8449/1939.
  4. [S354] Electronic Files - A Macdonald, and subsequent correspondence.
  5. [S395] Family Bible - Robert Macdonald bible.
  6. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Birth Reg. No. 1863/3078.
  7. [S927] BDM NSW Registry, death record, Reg. No. 8449/1939; states ' 54 years in NSW.'
  8. [S926] BDM NSW Registry, birth record, Reg. No. 33117/1893.
  9. [S926] BDM NSW Registry, birth record, Reg. No. 33644/1901.
  10. [S928] BDM NSW Registry, marriage record, Reg. No. 3548/1921.
  11. [S284] Index - New South Wales BDMs online, at http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au, Marriage Reg. No. 3548/1921.

Thomas Forsaith MACDONALD

(1866 - 1933)
Father*Thomas Morell MACDONALD b. 1840, d. 1909
Mother*Charlotte Clements FORSAITH b. 1843, d. 1894
Thomas Forsaith MACDONALD (1866-1933)
Thomas Forsaith MACDONALD was born in Invercargill, Southland, on 5 July 1866.1

He married Margaret Annie MATHESON in New Zealand in 1895.2,3

He was widowed at age 46 on the death of his wife Margaret on 16 May 1913.4,5

Thomas's second marriage was to Jessie Nicol BURT on 26 April 1916 at Alex Burt's residence, York Place in Dunedin, Otago.4,6,7

At the time of his second marriage he described himself as a Commission Agent.4

Thomas died on 12 February 1933 in Invercargill, Southland, at age 66.8 He was buried on 13 February 1933 at the Invercargill Eastern Cemetery in Invercargill.9

Family 1

Margaret Annie MATHESON (1869 - 1913)
Child

Family 2

Jessie Nicol BURT (c 1880 - 1963)
ChartsAlexander Macdonald (1813-1888) descendancy
Samuel Forsaith (c1702-1751) descendancy
Stephen Blomfield (c1750?-1809) descendancy

Citations

  1. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Birth Reg. No. 1866/4450.
  2. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 3725.
  3. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Marriage Reg. No. 1895/2219.
  4. [S924] BDM Registrar of New Zealand, marriage record, Reg. No. 1916/10971.
  5. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Death Reg. No. 1913/5834, aged 43.
  6. [S421] Presbyterian Church Archives of NZ, at http://www.archives.presbyterian.org.nz/
  7. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 2199.
  8. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Death Reg. No. 1933/7027, aged 66.
  9. [S586] Invercargill City Cemetery database, at http://www.icc.govt.nz/ServicesA-Z/Cemeteries/…, Block 9, plot 23.

Thomas Lachlan MACDONALD KCMG

(1898 - 1980)
Father*Thomas Forsaith MACDONALD b. 1866, d. 1933
Mother*Margaret Annie MATHESON b. 1869, d. 1913
Sir Thomas Lachlan MACDONALD
(1898-1980)
The following autobigraphical details are sourced from the NZ Dictionary of Biographies, and although interesting, are full of errors (which they refuse to correct). Especially glaring is the reference to Alexander Macdonald moving to missionary work at Ruapuke, which is total garbage - there seem to be a confusion with Johann Wohlers, whose descendents married Macdonalds. However, the entry is reproduced here as it does provide a good overview of his life.

"Tom took great pride in his Scottish descent: one of his great-grandfathers, Alexander Macdonald, had sailed from Wester Ross, Scotland, to Samoa as a missionary in the 1830s, and thence to Ruapuke Island in Foveaux Strait. Another great-grandfather, Thomas Spencer Forsaith, was elected to New Zealand’s first parliament in 1854, and was a member of its shortest ministry.

After matriculating from Southland Boys’ High School, Tom Macdonald joined the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand, serving as purser on a number of the company’s ships.

In 1918 he volunteered for military service and went to the Middle East with the final draft of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

On his return from the war he worked as a teamster and shepherd, then in 1923 acquired his own farm at Rankleburn, near Tapanui. He was married in Tapanui on 7 April 1926 to Elsie Ann Stuart, a fellow Southlander. A keen rugby player, he represented West Otago in 1925. He also belonged to the local Masonic lodge, becoming its worshipful master in 1931.

In 1937 Macdonald sold his farm and moved to Gore. At the general election in 1938 he stood for Parliament as the New Zealand National Party candidate in the Mataura electorate, winning comfortably against the long-serving independent MP and former mayor of Gore, Davy McDougall. Macdonald’s move showed considerable self-confidence, for the first Labour government (which McDougall supported) was still riding high.
Enlisting again as a private in 1940, Macdonald would have the rare distinction among MPs of serving in the Middle East in both the First and Second NZEF. During his second stint of active service he rose to the rank of captain before being invalided home in 1943 because of persistent illness.
Later that year he was re-elected unopposed in the Mataura electorate. In 1946, when the electorate disappeared, he succeeded the former leader of the National Party, Adam Hamilton, in the neighbouring electorate of Wallace. Three years later he was appointed to Sidney Holland’s cabinet as minister of defence, a portfolio he held until his retirement from politics in 1957. Late in 1954 he acquired the additional portfolios of external affairs and island territories.
Macdonald was thus responsible for the conduct of New Zealand’s defence and foreign policy during an important transition in the country’s international relations. In 1954, on becoming a member of the South East Asia Collective Defence Treaty, New Zealand transferred its defence commitment from the Middle East. The following year it established its first diplomatic post in South East Asia, and in 1956, in a new peacetime initiative, stationed armed forces abroad with the Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve in Malaya.
As the spokesperson for the armed forces in cabinet, Macdonald had to contend with considerable indifference and even outright antagonism on the part of the prime minister, who as minister of finance was consistently reluctant to contemplate any increase in military commitments or expenditure. By contrast, Macdonald was highly regarded by his officials, whose only reservation was that he was too modest and insufficiently assertive: he simply ‘does not realize that he is quite as good as he is’, wrote the secretary for external affairs, Alister McIntosh. In 1957 McIntosh recorded that Holland had ‘worked up the most intense obsession against Tom Macdonald, whom he accuses of having kept the defence proposals from him for months with the intention of presenting him with a cut and dried plan’. It seems likely that frustration with Holland’s obstructionism over defence commitments and expenditure was the dominant motive in Macdonald’s decision to retire from politics before the 1957 elections.
Macdonald’s relations with Holland’s successor, Keith Holyoake, were also cool. He was seen as an obvious choice to fill the vacant high commissionership in London when National was returned to power in 1960, but he was not, apparently, Holyoake’s first preference, and his appointment was not made for some months. Although his original term, beginning in 1961, was extended until 1968, Macdonald was particularly aggrieved that he was not authorised to take leave in New Zealand during the whole of that period.
His appointment coincided with mounting concern in New Zealand at the prospect that Britain might join the European Economic Community (EEC) and that unrestricted access of New Zealand’s agricultural exports to the United Kingdom would be put at risk. Whereas his predecessors had been able to delegate most of their substantive work to their staff, Macdonald had to lead from the front in seeking to persuade the British government and public that if Britain were to join the EEC, special measures would be needed to allow the continued entry of New Zealand’s agricultural products, especially butter, cheese and lamb, for which Britain had been the traditional market. He was notably successful in establishing first-name contacts with people who mattered both in politics and business, and his devotion to Freemasonry undoubtedly opened doors in the City of London.
During his high commissionership, Macdonald was appointed concurrently as New Zealand’s first ambassador to the EEC in 1961, and its first ambassador to Ireland in 1966. Although Britain did not in fact join the Community until after his retirement, maintenance of New Zealand’s place in the British market remained his principal concern during his seven years in what was then regarded as New Zealand’s most important diplomatic post. In 1963 he was knighted (KCMG). During his time in Britain he often stayed with his cousins in Wester Ross and in 1963 he was named Scotsman of the Year.
After returning to New Zealand, the Macdonalds lived in Waikanae. In his retirement Tom was able to pursue his interest in tramping, photography and gardening. He also enjoyed and had a talent for composing light verse.

Tom Macdonald was known throughout his varied and eventful career for his common sense, friendliness and integrity."1


Thomas Lachlan MACDONALD KCMG was born in Invercargill, Southland, on 14 December 1898.2

He attended school in 1905 at Invercargill, Southland.

As Lance-Corporal (#79151) with the NZEF 43rd Reinforcement Mounted Rifles, he embarked on 10 October 1918 on the Moeraki, leaving Wellington for Sydney, then transferring to the Malta for the Suez.3

He married Elsie Ann STUART, daughter of George STUART and Elsie Isabella CUMMING, in Tapanui on 7 April 1926.4,5

Thomas died on 11 April 1980 at Wellington Hospital in Wellington at age 81.6,7,8,9 He was cremated at the Karori Crematorium in Wellington on 15 April 1980.6,10

Family

Elsie Ann STUART (1891 - 1975)
Child
ChartsAlexander Macdonald (1813-1888) descendancy
Samuel Forsaith (c1702-1751) descendancy
Stephen Blomfield (c1750?-1809) descendancy

Citations

  1. [S598] NZ Dictionary of Biographies, at http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/dnzb/, The biographical details here have themselves been sourced from:
    Obit. Southland Times. 14 April 1980: 2; Obit. The Times. 14 April 1980: 17;
    ‘Successful candidates: biographical sketches’. Otago Daily Times. 17 Oct. 1938: 16; and Templeton, I. ‘Peerage would honour this fine diplomat’. Auckland Star. 26 Feb. 1968. This explains in part the many errors (especially in the details taken from The Times obituary, which are largely rubbish).
  2. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Birth Reg. No. 1899/3782, and Death Reg. No. 1980/33796 gives this birthdate.
  3. [S597] Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database, at http://muse.aucklandmuseum.com/databases/cenotaph/…, NZEF Nominal Roll Vol IV, Roll 91, p8.
  4. [S443] CD - NZ Marriages, CD - NZ Marriages 1836-1956 V2, NZ Registrar General's Folio 2757.
  5. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Marriage Reg. No. 1926/2273.
  6. [S909] Newspaper - Wellington Evening Post, issue of 12 Apr 1980, news item.
  7. [S6] Newspaper - Times of London, issue of 18 Apr 1980, issue 60604, p19, col G; Obituaries. Note that the origin of the detail in this obituary is unknown (the columnist was 'B'), but much of the content is pure fabrication - unfortunately detail has been copied and used in other biographies.
  8. [S542] Index - New Zealand BDMs online, at http://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/, Death Reg. No. 1980/33796.
  9. [S570] Wellington City Cemeteries database, at https://wellington.govt.nz/services/community-and-culture/…
  10. [S570] Wellington City Cemeteries database, at https://wellington.govt.nz/services/community-and-culture/…, Karori crematorium, record 47788.