Hector GOLLAN , 18431922 (aged 79 years)

Captain Hector GOLLAN
Hector /GOLLAN/
Given names

The headstone for Hector is inscribed that he was 79 years old at the time of his death in 1930.


John and Margaret Gollan, with their children Hector, Roderick, Thomas and Margaret arrived on board the "Telegraph" as assisted migrants from Killishandra, County Cavan, Ireland.

Note of Interest

The ketch "Maggie Gollan", built by Hector and owned by J.F. Tiffany of Cossack, Western Australia was wrecked. The ship weighed 58.32 tons with a length of 5.7 metres and a beam of 2.1 metres. It is located at:

latitude: 15°22.5XX' S longitude: 118°15.0XX' E system: WGS84

Storm at Cossack, April, 1898.

A very severe storm, known locally as a "willy-willy," visited the North-West coast at the end of March and beginning of April. The first well-marked sign of its approach came from Port Darwin, in the Northern Territory of South Australia, on March 28th. The barometer at 9 a.m. read 29·40, and fell to 29·34 during the course of the day, accompanied by heavy rain. This is the lowest reading recorded there since that town was devastated by a terrible cyclone about a year previously. The storm, keeping out to sea, travelled in a South-West direction at first, passing Wyndham on the 29th where the barometer fell to 29·33, with heavy rain. It continued to move down the coast, passing Derby on the 30th (29·51 ) and Broome a little later on the same day (29·60). Its motion now appeared to be retarded, due probably to the fact that it was recurving and preparing to travel in a more or less South-East direction. The winds now commenced to freshen, blowing from the East at Cossack and North-East farther up the coast, and this, combined with the shape of the isobars, indicated that the storm centre was still lying out at sea. On the morning of the 2nd the wind was from the North at Condon, East at Cossack, and South at Onslow, blowing strong at each place, and the barometer at Cossack had fallen to 29·54, with very high sea. The storm, apparently, was now moving from the sea straight on to Cossack, where the barometer fell rapidly, reaching a minimum of 28·718 at 5 p.m. Some idea of the hurricane that was then experienced by the inhabitants of this town may lie gathered from the following extracts from the West Australian:—

"The town presents a very dilapidated spectacle. In no storm previously experienced has so much damage been wrought. Telegraph communication between Roebourne and Cossack, and Eastwards, is entirely cut off. The line between the two former places is down for three or four miles. The tramway embankment across the marsh is washed away, and the rails have parted in places and been lodged 20 yards from the site of the embankment. All the approaches and bridges, both along the tramway line and on the road, have been completely washed away; the rails standing several feet from the ground. Communication is cut off by road.

"Several daring persons walked up to Roebourne through mud and slush up to their knees to communicate the news of the most terrible disaster that has befallen Cossack, which appears to have been the very centre of the hurricane. The experiences of some of the residents of Cossack are most heartrending. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, observing their dwelling collapsing, left it with the intention of proceeding to Mr. C. W. Paterson's residence, a few hundreds yards off. They had a terrible time of it. They were for four hours hanging on to the spinifex, in the midst of the storm, before they reached their destination. Wilson lost sight of his wife for a whole hour, and then only found her by chance. S. Hemingway and B. Thompson, after their residences had collapsed, got into a 400-gallon tank to save their lives, and remained there, up to their middle in water, till daylight. The jetty has sunk down many feet, and the goods shed is frightfully torn about by the storm. The sea burst in the door facing the creek and swept a quantity of cargo out. Fearful damage has been done to shipping. The s.s. "Beagle" is piled up on the rocks on the South side of the jetty, in front of the Weld Hotel, with her stern resting on the fallen walls of the jetty and her bows on the rocks. The schooner "Maggie Gollan" is a total wreck on the beach, towards Japtown. The dilapidated jetty was fully loaded with general merchandise for Condon. The cargo is now strewn along the strand from one end to the other. The schooner "Harriet" is high and dry on the beach close to the North side of the jetty. The s.s. " Croydon," which was moored near the stock jetty, on the opposite side of the creek, was carried fair on to high land. The cutter "Rose" has been washed up between the residences of A. Rouse and A. S. Thompson. Smaller crafts, such as passenger boats, etc. were carried greater distances inland. The only boat that remained at her moorings was the police boat, Not a single boat other than this is safe."

After this outburst it is difficult to define the track of the storm. Our stations are, unfortunately, very widely separated in this district, and entirely confined to the coast. On Monday, the 4th, the direction of the wind and general shape of the isobars indicated that the pressure was lowest to the seaward of Cossack, and on the 5th the normal type of weather accompanying an anti-cyclone over the South-West portions of the Colony prevailed.

It not infrequently happens that these "willy-willies" travel overland to the Great Australian Bight and bring unsettled weather to the goldfields; but, in this instance, no such track was in any way indicated

Note of Interest

The steamer "Christina Gollan"built by Hector foundered off the coast of New South Wales, between Sydney and Port Stephens. She weighed 54 tons and dimensions of 20,7 x 4,8 x 2,1 m. Her position is:

latitude: 33°44.4XX' S longitude: 151°22.2XX' E system: WGS84

From the Flotilla Austrealia web site: http://www.flotilla-australia.com/

CHRISTINA GOLLAN 54 gross tons, 37 net. Lbd: 68' x 15'6" x 6'8". Wooden steamship, compounded engine of 40 horsepower. First owner was H Gollan of Tinonee on the Manning River, New South Wales. Whether he also built the vessel is unclear. Ownership since is vague as William Villiers Brown of Townsville, Queensland had ownership up to February 1901 until he sold this ship to Captain James McGeorge. McGeorge failed to make good a mortgage on the vessel and so, William Brown sold her to the Illawarra S N Co in August 1901. In 1905 the Illawarra & South Coast S N Co Ltd found the necessary register entries were not in order dating back to August 1901 and the correct details were made in order to 'legalise' the whole situation. Sold 1911 to unknown owners and reported as wrecked in 1920



Captain Hector Gollan, who died recently at Tinonee in his 82nd year, was one of the most widely known men in the Manning shire, having taken an active part in the building up of this part of the State. He first was engaged in the timber industry. Later he turned his energies to shipbuilding, and he built the schooner Isabella Gollan, which traded on the coast for many years. He also built the ketch Maggie Gollan and the tugs Christina Gollan and John Gollan. Captain Gollan gained his master's certificate, and, taking charge of the Maggie Gollan, for years made regular trips between Sydney and the Manning. Captain Gollan took a keen interest in civic affairs, acting as president of the local Agricultural Society, Mainnlng River District Hospital, Progress Association, and other organisations. He was also one of the representatives of C Riding in the Manning Shire Council.


Notes about Captain Hector Gollan and his ships

Source: Beautiful Tinonee, Hector Gollan (jnr)

  1. Owned much land in Tinonee, NSW
  2. Commenced shipbuilding at Tinonee in 1874 at the age of 31. Learnt shipbuilding for 2 to 3 years before this from Leonard Steinmetz at Coomba, Cape Hawke.
  3. Laid keel for the ketch Maggie Gollan in 1874, at the junction of Milbai Creek and another small creek running north through Mondrook. The boat was christened by his youngest sister Christina, who later married W. J. Ellis. After rigging the ketch set sail on 16th July 1875 and went to Sydney. In 1890 it was sold to Mr Tifney of Perth WA but was driven ashore and wrecked in a cyclone at Cossack near Broome.
  4. Hector went before the mast and passed his coastal mariner’s certificate and sailed between the Manning and Sydney for 8 years.
  5. The Christina Gollan was built in 1884 and floated off on 20th January 1885 in Mill Creek. Sold to a Townsville firm and converted into a sailing vessel. It traded in the Gulf of Carpentaria. It was converted to a steamer again and went back to Sydney. It foundered at Little Head on a trip to the Hawkesbury River on October 8th 1920.
  6. John Gollan built in 1888-1889 an served for 48 years. Last owned by J & T Miles but broken up at Forster in 1940.
  7. Hector has the distinction of being the only skipper to bring a ship over the Manning River bar at night time.
  8. Lot 18 & 19 Section 11 Tinonee was the location of the Federal Saw and Planing Mills (sawmill). It was opened in February 1904 by Sir Thomas Waddell. Burnt down at Christmas 1904. Hector was the owner and began the samill again in August 1908. In 1915 the sawmill went under the name H. Gollan & Sons.