Chief Engineer Bruce George Macdonald


Bruce George Macdonald was born in Auckland New Zealand in 1880, first child of Capt Colin and Mrs Margaret McDonald.

It is unclear when Bruce went to sea but the 1903 Victorian Electoral roll has him living at the family home, 8 Moreland rd Brunswick, giving his occupation as Engineer. The first passenger listing I have been able to find lists him as a 25 year old 4th Engineer in the Currie liner ss. Argus in January 1905. Bruce served in various Currie vessels gaining his time at sea towards promotion. By April 1906 he was serving in ss. Darius and had been promoted to 3rd Engineer and in September 1907 he is listed as 2nd Engineer of Gracchus, however this is the only time that year he is listed as such.

The electoral roll of 1909 still has him listed as living at the family home which is now 63 Park st St Kilda. The ss. Darius May 1910 appears to be when he was permanently promoted to the position of 2nd Engineer as he is shown in this position and ship for 5 further voyages.

With his brother Hector Millar Macdonald joining Currie's in January 1912 there were now 3 members of the family serving with this Melbourne, Australia based shipping line. In 1912 Bruce married Miss Ida Margaret Wemyss in Ascot Vale, Victoria, he also had a change of vessel this year being listed as 2nd Engineer in Euryalus in November. A daughter, Phyllis Marjorie Macdonald was born in 1913 in Glebe New South Wales, her father now serving in the Archibald Currie's ss. Itonus.

This is where the trail (for the moment) has gone cold. The Archibald Currie line was sold to the British India Steam Navigation Co in 1913 and it is unclear if Bruce made the change to the new company or took another direction.

* 14.01.1907 - Gracchus 3rd Engineer

Chief Engineer Bruce George Macdonald

The last passenger list I have been able to find for Bruce is May 1915, unfortunately however, the vessel on this list is only shown as H.I. and a shipping company is not listed. The passenger list is done on Burns Philp stationary, however this company was acting as B.I's agents in Sydney at the time and many of Colin's passenger lists of the period have a Burns Philp letterhead.

It is quite curious that while Bruce had served in many of the same vessels as his father and uncle Murdoch, I have not been able to find one occasion where he was sailing in the same ship at the same time, unlike his brother who spent many years with their father in ss. Janus. Bruce died prematurely on the 13th of July 1918 at 38 years of age at his parents home, "Waipu" 63 Park st St Kilda due to a malignant growth on the hip. He was buried at Brighton Cemetery, Victoria, Australia in plot Pres M 34 on the 17/07/1918. His wife Ida lived to the ripe old age of 80, passing away in 1966.

To see all Passenger lists for Chief Engineer Bruce Macdonald please click here.


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