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Sir Clive McPherson

1884 – 1958

Sir Clive McPherson (1884-1958), pastoralist and businessman, was the son of a bank manager, and his mother was a pianist who came from a pastoral family. Having attended Caulfield Grammar, he started his banking career at thirteen, but soon left to work on his uncle’s property. Before he was twenty he was overseer at Bungeeltap, Ballan, whence he proceeded to a position as book keeper on a property in the Riverina. In 1903 he began working in an auctioneering firm; soon, he became managing partner of an auctioneering business of his own, McPherson, Thom, Kettle and Co. In 1920 he and his wife bought Boomanoomana at Mulwala, NSW, and over the ensuing years he bought six more properties in NSW and Victoria. Over the 1920s he became well-known as a rural leader and man-about-Melbourne. He served on many bodies including the British Phosphate Commission, the Dairy Produce Export Control Board, the Victorian Unemployment Council and the Closer Settlement Commission, the latter set up to alleviate rural crises brought on by the Depression. He moved with his family to Melbourne in 1933 and was knighted in 1941. Later, he was on the boards of the National Bank of Australasia and the Commonwealth Bank as well as the Royal Melbourne Hospital. During World War II he was honorary chairman of the Australian Wheat Board. Close friends with Sir Harold Darling and Robert Menzies, he lost his Commonwealth Bank and British Phosphate directorships under the post-war Labor government. Henceforth he concentrated on Younghusband Ltd, the pastoral house of which he was managing director and chairman from 1938 until his death.

Updated 2018