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Charles Rowand came to Australia on the Travancore arriving in Geelong with his father, Dr Charles Rowand, brothers and sisters in 1849 after the death of his mother, Maria née Griffen. His father, who graduated at University of Glasgow in 1844, set up practice in Ashby (Geelong West). Charles practised privately until 1852 when he joined the Bridges Department as assistant engineer. He was the engineer of the first Barwon Bridge completed in 1848. He designed the Pollocksford Bridge which was completed in 1859. He became an engineer at the Central Road Board (the forerunner of Country Roads Board, then VicRoads) when the office in Geelong was established.
He married Agnes Lees Robertson (daughter of Gilbert Robertson) in 1854. Their children were:
Agnes Maude — born 4 June 1855
Gilbert Roberts (or Robertson) — born 3 April 1857
Margaret Elizabeth — born 1859
Frances Amy Stewart — born 1861
Charles Macdonald — born 5 October 1864
Maria Louise — 5 August 1866
Jean Reid — born 18 May 1871
Charles purchased land near the creek at Mount Duneed where he planted 4 acres of vines by 1858.
He had a bluestone cottage built on his land on the south east corner of Feehans and Williams Roads.
He served 1 term on the Barrabool Road Board in 1861. He became engineer of the Ballarat and Western District and was living at Connewarren, near Mortlake, when his son was born in 1864 and daughter in 1866.
He later moved to Gippsland where he became the first engineer of the Shire of Buln Buln in 1878. He purchased crown land in the district.
He died on 1 September 1908 at the age of 83 at Armadale and was buried in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. He was said to have been the oldest road engineer in Victoria at the time.
A broken column signifies a life cut short (perhaps grandson Gilbert Robertson Macdonald).
Gilbert Robertson was 56 when he died on 5 September 1851.
Buried with him are:
Agnes Lees Robertson, his wife — died 28 January 1853 aged 51 years
Charles Rowand, his son-in-law — died 1 September 1908 aged 83 years
Agnes Lees Robertson Rowand, wife of Charles — died 10 August 1891, aged 61
Jean Reid Lucas, daughter of Charles Rowand — died 2 August 1947
Theodora Lucas, daughter of Jean Reid Lucas — died 23 August 1963
Gilbert Robertson Macdonald, son of Alexander C and Margaret Rainy (née Robertson) Macdonald, a grandson of Gilbert Robertson — died 2 January 1854
He went to Melbourne in 1876 where he went into business as an accountant and manager of companies, and spent much of his time collating his records of the aborigines and their language and ways. He soon became an authority and in 1883 he founded the Royal Geographical Society of Australiasia. He became its first hon secretary and hon treasurer. He also edited the society's journal until 1906. To mark his retirement the members presented him with a purse of sovereigns. He served as a councillor for the Shire of South Barwon from 1888 until 1914.
In 1852 he married the Margaret Rainy, third daughter of Gilbert Robertson. She died on 8 February 1901 and was buried at the St Kilda Cemetery. Her husband died at his residence in Punt Road, Prahran on 18 June 1917 and was buried beside her. He was looked after in his declining years by their adopted daughter Lily. Their one month old son, Gilbert Robertson Macdonald who died on 2 January 1854, was buried with his grandfather Gilbert Robertson in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.
During 1845 and 1846 Gilbert became Superintendent of Agriculture at Norfolk Island. His wife and young children joined him there. His married daughter Fanny stayed in Hobart. The family lived at Branka House at Longridge. The main purpose of Longridge was to maintain an agricultural settlement with convicts supplying the labour.
Early in 1847 Gilbert resigned his position at Norfolk Island and travelled to Hobart to secure employment and prepare for the family to follow him. He probably did not find a suitable job in Tasmania as he came to the Geelong area soon after. He convened a number of public meetings. He was nominated to stand for election on the Geelong council in 1850. In his role as editor of the Victorian Colonist and the Chronicle he often expressed unpopular but well meaning opinions.
On 5 September 1851 he died about a mile from the Barwon bridge while riding his horse to Colac. Although he received immediate assistance he could not be saved. A subsequent inquest was held where it was decided he had died of an apoplectic seizure. It was learned that two previous seizures had occured. He was aged 56 years. On Sunday 7 September his remains were conveyed to the Geelong Eastern Cemetery for burial. Although the public had not been formally notified his funeral was attended by the most numerous and most respectable assemblage that had been witnessed in Geelong.
Very soon after his death about 80 of his friends met at the Prince of Wales Hotel to show their respect for him by raising of a sum of money by public subscription to be invested for the benefit of his family who were left in scant circumstances. It was expected that about £500 (a considerable sum back then) would be collected. By December it was reported that £1400 had been collected. His wife, Agnes née Lees, who died on 28 January 1853 at the age of 51 was buried beside him.
While Gilbert was Superintendant of Agriculture at Norfolk Island, his daughter Elizabeth White Robertson, wrote a series of letters to her married sister Fanny in Tasmania which were published in diary form. The book named "Elizabeth Robertson's Diary, Norfolk Island 1845" covers an early six week period of the life on the island soon after her arrival. She had contracted tuberculosis and feared she would never see her sister again. By 1847 Gilbert had resigned his post at Norfolk Island and headed to Hobart to gain employment and make arrangements for the family to follow. Sadly Elizabeth died on 14 January and is buried on the island.