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John Innerarity Buchan, Estate Agent (1842-1922)

John Innerarity Buchan was born in Tannadice, near Forfar, Scotland on 11 November 1842. He migrated to Victoria at the age of 10 with his father John Buchan (c 1808-1874) and family, sailing on the Lucia Maria from Liverpool on 13 November 1852, arriving in Geelong on 21 March 1853.

On completing his schooling he joined his father's real estate and auctioneering business, John Buchan & Co, in Collin Street, Melbourne, subsequently becoming a partner. He became one of Melbourne's leading valuers of city property, and was valuer for the A.M.P Society and other institutions.

Buchan was a councillor for the City of Melbourne for 7 years, a member of Fitzroy Council in 1870, and represented Fitzroy at the conference which established the Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works. He held the rank of major in the Victorian Volunteer forces.

Buchan was also a keen supporter of rowing, and was a vice-president of the Victorian Rowing Association. In 1889 he presented a Buchan Cup for the winners of the Maiden Eight at the annual Melbourne Regatta; a second and third cup were presented in 1903 and 1914.

He resided at Finhaven in Stevenson Street Kew, which had been built by his father in 1872. This grand two-storey residence had 16 rooms, a ballroom and billiard room and 7½ acres (3 hectares) of land reaching down to the Yarra River. The Buchan's entertained at Finhaven on a regular basis.

John Innerarity Buchan married Blanche Ellen Shaw in 1885. Buchan and his wife had three sons and three daughters; two sons went to World War I, one was killed and other returned with shell-shock.

John Innerarity Buchan died at Finhaven in December 1922, aged 80. His wife Blanche, who was about 18 years younger than Buchan, continued the social life at Finhaven, for example holding a ball and garden party in 1925 to welcome officers of the visiting American Fleet.

Blanche Buchan sold up Finhaven in 1941. The family firm of John Buchan & Co oversaw the auction of the land for subdivision. Blanche died two years later in 1943 at the age of 83.

The land was subsequently subdivided, and several houses now lead off Finhaven Court, which runs off Stevenson Street.


References:
Burke's Colonial Gentry, vol 2, p. 849-150, 1895.
Lang, John. The Victorian Oarsman, Melbourne: A.H. Massina, 1919
Obituary, The Argus, 16 Dec 1922, p 30
The Argus, 24 Jul 1925, p 19; 3 Nov 1926, p 14; 18 May 1940, p 17; 23 Jun 1941, p 3.

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