Mr John Macgregor
Mr John Macgregor Northern Star archives

TALES: Bachelor milks life for all it's worth

ONE OF the great pioneering names in the dairy industry on the Northern Rivers would have to be that of John Macgregor.

A Scotsman born in Tain, in the very north of Scotland, Macgregor received his early education at the Glasgow Mechanics Institute where his father was a teacher.

Before coming to Australia in 1880 he worked in a broker's office and as a civil engineer in Glasgow.

He and his brother Alexander moved to the Clarence where they initially stayed with relatives at Palmer's Island.

It wasn't long, however, before he heard of the prospects available in the Brunswick area and the brothers evenutally selected land at Myocum in 1882.

Being some of the first settlers in the area, they felled the virgin scrub and tried various different ways to make a living, in timber-getting, poultry farming and cane-growing.

It is believed Macgregor was the first man in the Brunswick district to make butter, using dairy cattle obtained from Mr Alex McPherson, a sugar mill owner at Swan Bay.

Macgregor was a big believer in breeding his own cattle and through the years progressively improved his herds and holding establishing his 200 acre farm Glenlyon at Myocum, considered on of the best in the state.

In 1895 Macgregor was elected to the board of directors of the North Coast Co-operative Company Ltd and was actively associated with them until 1927 when he retired from public life.

He was also a member fo the first provisional Byron Shire Council serving as president from 1908-1909.

Macgregor was also president of the Mullumbimby Show Society for a number of years. He was made a life member of the society in 1936.

A simple headstone for a man who packed plenty into life.
A simple headstone for a man who packed plenty into life.

Other positions he held include becoming one of the first members of the Mullumbimby Prebyterian Church, Member of the Masonic Lodge and patron of the Mullumbimby Bowling club.

With so much going on in his life it is probably no surprise that he never married.

He died on May 18, 1939 and is buried at Mullumbimby cemetery.


  • 'Pioneer of Dairying Industry on N. Coast', The Northern Star, Friday May 19, 1939, Page 8.
  • 'Life Member', Mullumbimby Star and Byron Bay-Bangalow Advocate, Tuesday, November 10, 1936. Page 2.

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