A pioneer family to come together

Reunion of long-term north Queensland settlers


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Five generations of the Gordon family will gather in Bowen, north Queensland, later this year for a 150 year family reunion.

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James and Agnes Gordon who migrated from northern Ireland 150 years ago for a new life in Bowen, north Queensland.

James and Agnes Gordon who migrated from northern Ireland 150 years ago for a new life in Bowen, north Queensland.

WHEN James and Agnes Gordon migrated from northern Ireland 150 years ago for a new life in Bowen, north Queensland, little did they realise the dynasty they would be creating.

It’s hoped at least five generations of their family will gather at Bowen on 20 and 21 August for the Gordon 150 Year Reunion.

Reunion organiser Bill Townsend said six generations of Gordons had been born in Australia including matriarch, Amy Lawrence, Townsville, who was born in Bowen in 1914.

Amy's Aunt, Mary McDonald (1858 – 1959) was Bowen's first centenarian. 

James and Agnes settled in the region with 11 children. Today, the Gordon family is spread throughout Australia from Cape York Peninsula to Tasmania, Darwin to Adelaide and beyond.

Early generations were farmers, teamsters and graziers and the family has owned more than 40 cattle properties including Strathburn on Cape York, Braidwood Park at Jundah and Arndilly in Lismore.

It’s believed family members currently own eight properties from Cape York to Northern Rivers. 

The family was also in the butchering business with shops at Port Douglas, Cairns, Gordonvale, Innisfail and Collinsville.

Bill Gordon, who is assisting with the reunion, said at this stage, the youngest Gordon family member would be a one-year-old sixth-generation Australian, with the most senior citizen, a second-generation woman aged 102 years.

Second generation James Lott Gordon (1903-1988), James Gordon (1846-1941) who came to Bowen with his parents, James and Agnes, third generation William Gordon and first generation James Gordon (1877-1958).

Second generation James Lott Gordon (1903-1988), James Gordon (1846-1941) who came to Bowen with his parents, James and Agnes, third generation William Gordon and first generation James Gordon (1877-1958).

Mr Gordon said it was almost 100 years since James Gordon, who came to Bowen as a 19 year-old formed a partnership, J Gordon and Sons, with two of his sons George and Ted (Edwin) and purchased Mt Pleasant Station, halfway between Bowen and Collinsville.

“Mt Pleasant has remained in the family's ownership continually since then and is presently owned by a great grandson of James, Jamie.”

The family won the Premier's Sustainability Rural Award, one of Queensland's most prestigious honours for sustainable farming, last year.

For more information contact Heather Blackband, hbblackband@bigpond.com, Bill Townsend, bill_townsend2003@yahoo.com or Bill Gordon, shirleyandliam@gmail.com 

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