JAMES McCLELLAND, OAM
1927 - 1994

Betty, JamesOf Scottish/Irish descent, James McClelland's great, great grandfather & grandmother, along with four of their six children, emigrated to Australia aboard the sailing ship Sarah & arrived in Sydney in 1851. The eldest two children arrived in 1848.
James was born in Campsie, NSW on 11th April, 1927 to
Roy (died 1962) & Daphne Clarris McCelland (nee Denny, died 1934). His sister Betty was born in February of the following year (1928) and his second sister, Dorothy, in June of 1929.
Contrary to popular belief, James was not a police officer, although his father, Roy McClelland, QPM, DCM, was Supt. Of Licensing, possibly somewhere in the City as it is recalled that he returned home from work via train.
Most of James' time was spent studying and although he should have been able to have plenty of girlfriends, he was not a mixer and had no girlfriends at all. When he reached 26-years-of-age, he decided that he had been lonely long enough and it was time he got married. He went to a Marriage Agency and for a fee (equivalent to about $20.00), he was introduced to a young lady. Six months later on the 29th December, 1951, he and Sylvia were married at the C of E Church in Marrickville; a marriage which lasted for 42 (wonderful - the best ten quid I ever spent!!) years.
James & Sylvia continued to live at Campsie for a short while after their marriage before they moved to Marrickville to live with Sylvia's grandmother and their three adopted sons. On the death of the grandmother they moved to Ingleburn and built a house. Unfortunately, circumstances forced them to give up the house and they moved to Warragamba where they lived for many years before finally moving to Silverdale where James passed away suddenly on
18th August, 1994 after having collapsed. He was rushed to hospital where a ruptured stomach ulcer was diagnosed, but James' condition was too weak for him to withstand an operation and he died a few hours later, aged 67 years. His much longed for first granddaughter was born in Dubbo the day before (17th August) and sadly he never got to see her.

In the 1970's he became known as the "dam man" for his warnings about the possibility that Warragamba Dam would fail during heavy flooding, and he appeared on the Mike Walsh Show with a homemade model showing the catastrophic consequences of such a failure.
James worked as a prison officer at Dharruk Prison for many years and for the final twenty years of his working life was employed as a Security Guard for Crane & Field Metal. Throughout his lifetime he was an ardent historian, researching and writing numerous books for which he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal on 18th April, 1988.

Quote: "I don't know what history will say or write about me. I hope it will describe me as a 'Wise Old Man'. If it does, one of the secrets of wisdom I would like to pass on to you - I call them 'precious pauses'. When I sit in my car, I pause for a couple of minutes before starting the engine. Before knocking on someone's door, I pause for a couple of minutes. Before starting any new task, I pause for a minute or so. I find it helps me, perhaps it may help you too".

James McClelland