James Seaver McFadzean
1864 – 1935
James McFadzean, was a member of Preston City Council between 1919 and 1924, but he also took part in many different areas of community life. In effect he helped to shape Reservoir in the early days of its development as a suburb separate from Preston.
By profession he was a Dairy Supervisor, inspecting local dairies, and lived in Pine Street and Ralph Streets, Reservoir, so very near to his great passion – Edwardes Lake Park. As Honourable Secretary of the Reservoir Progress Association, James had many plans for Edwardes Lake Park and donated money to plant trees to beautify the park. In 1916, with materials supplied by the Council, he organised working bees to install fencing and planting. These projects were successfully carried out by volunteers in the local community after James called for helpers who, ‘can spare an hour or two to come along with a spade and help us out’ promising that there would be ‘many odd jobs for all willing helpers as well as those taking part in more strenuous spade exercise’. Over a thousand trees and shrubs were planted to make the lake and park a great resource for future generations.
In the following years James McFadzean and others organised the construction of a concrete weir and spillway in 1919 to repair a brick weir holding the water in the lake. Previously the brick weir had been washed away and the park had been neglected. The popular sport of rowing and boating could begin to grow again. The sport of rowing was close to his heart and James became the first President of the Preston Rowing Club.
In a very busy life, he also found time to be President of the Friesian Society and was prominent in Masonic circles being a Past Grand Standard Bearer. He was a member of the Civil Services Lodge and also of the 1923 Masters’ Association. He died in 1935 and is buried at Coburg Cemetery.
Due to its close proximity to Edwardes Lake Park, we can almost certainly assume that McFadzean Avenue in Reservoir is named after James Seaver McFadzean.
About People. The Age (Melbourne Vic: 1854-1954) Friday 4 January 1935 p 9
Ancestry. Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980
Edwardes Park Preston: Letter to the Editor. Preston Leader (Vic: 1914 - 1918), Saturday 10 June 1916, page 3
Family Notices. The Argus (1848 – 1957) Friday 4 January 1935 p 1
Forster, Harley W. (1968). Preston Lands and People. Melbourne: Cheshire, p. 66
Find my Past. Victoria Births 1836-1913
Northcote Leader (Vic: 1888 - ) Friday 11 January 1935, page 6
Obituary. Northcote Leader (Vic: 1888 - ) Friday 4 January 1935 p 4
Preston Leader (Vic: 1914 - 1918), Saturday 30 March 1918, page 2
Rowing notes: the late J.S.McFadzean. Northcote Leader (Vic: 1888 - ) Friday 11 January 1935, page 6