Wednesday 10 March 2021

A Local Treasure

Edward John McBarron, born in 1918 at Albion Park, was a well-known Campbelltown figure for many years. As a Veterinary Science student he graduated from Sydney University in 1942. Whilst studying at University, he had been obliged to collect 100 botanical specimens, but continued to collect long after 100. His collection grew to over 15,000 specimens, now a vital part of the National Herbarium.
Eddie, as he was known, became an Inspector of stock at Holbrook and Albury before his appointment in 1953 as a Veterinary Research Officer at Glenfield Veterinary Research Station. This began his long association with the Campbelltown area.
Eddie published many papers and books throughout his life, ranging from veterinary papers on metabolic disorders in cattle to books on the botany and history of Campbelltown. 36 veterinary publications included subjects such as poisonous plants, water-borne bacteria and endangered species. Over 40 publications on local history and flora mainly concentrated on the Campbelltown area.
As a member of the Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society Eddie helped to label and restore exhibits in the Stables Museum at Glenalvon. He was made a Life Member of the society in 1995.
Eddie married Olive Gadd in 1946 and had four children, two boys and two girls. His other interests included the search for the perfect home brew, buying and tinkering with rarely seen makes of cars, and learning foreign languages, particularly French. 

Edward John McBarron (Richard Lawrance Collection 
Campbelltown City Library. Copyright Richard Lawrance)

He was nominated by seven organisations from a cross section of interests for an Order of Australia Medal, which was awarded in 1992 for his efforts in conservation, the environment and systematic botany.
Edward John McBarron passed away on 23rd August 1996 leaving a legacy of a wealth of information collected throughout his lifetime and compiled into readily available formats. We are pleased to hold at Campbelltown a number of Eddie’s publications which have greatly enhanced our knowledge of our local history.

Compiled by Claire Lynch from an adaptation of funeral eulogy given by David McBarron

Grist Mills Vol. 9 No. 4 

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