Ninian Paton

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In His 93rd Year A survivor of the Stockade fight is Mr. Ninian G. Paton, of Bennett-street, Neutral Bay, who is in his 93rd year. "I came from Glasgow to Melbourne in 1852," he said. "At the age of 12 I was working at Ballarat, and retain vivid memories of the famous Eureka Stockade. I had a position near the blacksmith, who owing to the shortage of weapons, was turning the proverbial 'plough shares into swords." "A man beside me had the top of his head lifted off in the encounter with the troopers." Miner and Seaman Ninian Paton liked the adventurous life of those days. He wandered the goldfields of Australia and New Zealand, and spent two years at sea. In 1885 he came to Sydney and built his first shop on the site where Lowe's now are, opposite the Queen Victoria Markets. Some years later it was burnt to the ground, the bank crash followed, and Ninian Paton, at the age of 50, and with a family of 10, had to start business all over again. At the age of 88 he underwent a major operation, and now, as he said yesterday, "I never felt better!"[1]


Death Of Eureka Stockade Riot Witness
A WITNESS of the Eureka stockade and Ballarat rebellion, Mr. Ninian G. Paton, of Bennett Street, Neutral Bay, died on Saturday, three days before his 95th birthday. He was a retired ironmonger, and for many years had been a sidesman at St. Augustine's Church, Neutral Bay. Until last year, when he tripped in the garden at his home and broke a leg, he was extremely active, and was a well-known figure about the suburb. Mr. Paton, who came to Australia from Glasgow when a boy of 10, saw the soldiers marching into Ballarat during the rebellion. He was 12 at the time, and was standing near a blacksmith when the latter was killed by the soldiers' volley. Another memory of his youth was the departure of Burke and Wilis on their tragic expedition into Central Australia. Mr. Paton, who had fully recovered from his broken leg, died following a short illness. Seven of his ten children are living, and there are 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The funeral will leave St. Augustine's Church at 11.30 a.m. today, for Gore Hill Cemetery.[2]

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  1. Sydney Sun, 17 January 1935.
  2. Daily Telegraph, 6 September 1937.