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John Campbell Climie

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John Campbell Climie (1828-1916) was a Scottish-born engineer who worked in Australia and New Zealand. He may have been working in Melbourne as early as 1856, when Austin, Climie and Co called for tenders for erecting a dwelling house for A. Grant at 193 Lonsdale St East, while he was resident in Caulfield near Melbourne by 1859.

1828 Born at Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, the son of James Climie (1782-1871), and his wife Mary Campbell. He had a sister Mrs. James Allison, and brother Daniel Climie.

He described himself as 'a surveyor who engaged in architectural work on occasion', and a 'Civil and Mining Engineer'.

1855 Advert. 'Mr John Climie, per ship Sussex. will hear of your sister, Mrs. Allison...Bull and Mouth Hotel, Bourke Street, Melbourne.'[1]

He designed and supervised construction of the Darebin Creek Bridge on the Heidelberg Road in 1863-4 and prepared the design for the 1869 stone arch bridge over Deep Creek Bulla, having won the £25 competition prize. The Inspector General of Roads and Bridges had recommended Climie's alternative design for an iron girder bridge on stone piers. At the time he won the Bulla competition he was working as part of 'Robertson and Climie, Architects and Civil Engineers', at 13 Bourke Street West.

1865 Legal action against Patrick Higgins, contractor.[2]

1868 Mentioned in Melbourne as applicant for surveyor to the North Melbourne and Carlton Investment Society.[3]

In 1870 he had a Mr Snowball as partner, and was also the Melbourne Agent for Fairlie Locomotives.

1873 March. Engineer-in-Chief of the Main Line Railway.[4]

1878 He moved to Tasmania to take the position as Engineer for Launceston to Hobart Railway, as well as the Emu Bay Railway in 1878. Other Tasmanian projects included the Table Cape lighthouse and the survey for the tramway from Strahan, Macquarie Harbour, to the Tin Mines at Mount Heemskirk. He also advertised for tenders for construction of several buildings, including a parsonage in Tasmania, and in 1870 (soon after the completion of the Bulla bridge), for a hotel and store at Sunbury for William Winter.

Climie moved to New Zealand, where he was received with some suspicion, perhaps because he took a high level position as City Engineer for the town of Wellington from a local candidate. His brother Daniel Climie, was also an engineer in New Zealand, (Mount Climie, New Zealand was surveyed and named by one of them) while his son Mr J. L. Climie, married Alice Price, eldest daughter of Mr H. G. Price, of the Lands and Surrey Department, Napier. A continuing link may be preserved in the current engineering firm of Climie & Co. in New Zealand.

1889 Death of his wife Kezia Harriett at Prahran, Melbourne, in the house of her son-in-law. Wife of John Campbell Climie C.E. of Tasmania.[5]

1893 Mention as an engineer of Zeehan.[6]

1898 August. Returning to Tasmania, he was appointed engineer to the Zeehan Town Board for a term of three years and continued his engineering practice for the local mines and tramways, living in Zeehan.

1916 March 26th. Died after having been admitted to the hospital a week earlier. 'CLIMIE- On the 26th March. 1916, at Zeehan, Tasmania. John Campbell Climie, surveyor and civil engineer, aged 88 years, beloved father of the late Allison Austin Goode, grandfather of F. E. G., E. A. G., and Mrs. V. J. Cohen; great grandfather of Allison and Beryl.'[7]

Among his children was son James, who worked as surveyor beside him for many years before his prematture death at age 47 in 1910.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Argus, Melbourne. 30th March 1855
  2. The Argus, Melbourne. 8th June 1865
  3. The Argus, Melbourne. 17th November 1868
  4. The Tasmanian Tribune. 21st January 1875
  5. The Argus, Melbourne. 10th May 1889
  6. Zeehan and Duddas Herald. 24th April 1893
  7. The Argus, Melbourne. 31st March 1916