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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Dr James Patrick MCALEER

Born 1895 in Mullewa, Western Australia [15]
Son of Patrick MCALEER and Katie RODDY [15]
Commenced his medical practice in Three Springs in mid 1921 [10: 15-Jul-1921]
Medical Practitioner in Three Springs 1921-1926 [6] [10] [19] [109]
Attended the wedding of Robert A. CALDOW and May I. BYRNE at the Three Springs Hall on 5 October 1921 [9: 21-Oct-1921]
Attended the scene on Fairfield Farm in Three Springs where Percy E. HUNT was crushed by a tree on 31 October 1921 [86: 3-Nov-1921]
Member of the Three Springs Football Club - was Secretary in 1922 [9: 4-May-1923]
Member of the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee in 1922 and 1923 [124]
Honorary Surgeon of the Three Springs Saint Patrick's Day Committee's Picnic Race Meetings from 1922 to 1925 [124]
Due to illness he was an inmate of the Saint John of God Hospital in Perth during some of June 1922 [10: 30-Jun-1922]
Returned to Three Springs in early July 1922, although he still wasn't well enough to resume his medical practise [10: 7-Jul-1922]
Presided over the social evening tendered to Thomas J. BERRIGAN in Three Springs on Friday 13 October 1922 [9: 20-Oct-1922]
For a number of years conducted a Cottage Hospital from a house on Charles C. MALEY's Parakalia Farm in Three Springs [P2]
The Cottage Hospital opened in May 1923 under the management of Matron COX and her assistant Miss SIMPSON [9: 25-May-1923]
Steward of the Saint Patrick's Day Picnic Race Meetings held in Three Springs on 15 March 1923 and 17 March 1924 [124]
Treated Fannie GOOCH for a dislocated shoulder and bruising after she was charged by a steer on 22 November 1923 [86: 27-Nov-1923]
Treated local boy Walter A. WILTON after he was accidentally shot in the buttock on Sunday 25 November 1923 [86: 27-Nov-1923]
During July 1924 he was busy with the Cottage Hospital, which was filled with people suffering from influenza [9: 25-Jul-1924]
He was a speaker at a gathering to show appreciation to Senator LYNCH at the Three Springs Hall on 2 October 1925 [9: 9-Oct-1925]
In October 1924, when he was a patient at the Perth Public Hospital, Dr F. TIPPING filled his shoes in Three Springs [86: 18-Oct-1924]
Married Kathleen Monica HEARN in Perth in 1927 [66]
Medical Practitioner in Geraldton 1927 onwards [6]
Resided and ran his doctor's surgery from premises on Cathedral Avenue in Geraldton [144]
In company with Howard B. SMITH of Arrino he visited Three Springs during early February 1929 [4: 9-Feb-1929]
Mayor of Geraldton from 1945 to 1957 [86: 10-Feb-1977]
Along with his wife resided in retirement on Earra Farm in Arrino [19]
Later resided at Lawson Flats in Perth [24]
Father of Margaret and Tony [86: 10-Feb-1977]
Died 6 February 1977; buried at Three Springs General Cemetery in Three Springs (Roman Catholic, Plot 124) [24]

From The Geraldton Guardian newspaper, Thursday 10 February 1977:
Obituary - Death of "The Family Doctor
"Dr James McAleer, one of the traditional family doctors whose name was a household word throughout the Geraldton region for more than three decades, died to Three Springs at the weekend. Widely known as a busy family doctor with a large practice, he was persuaded to stand for the position of Geraldton's Mayor in 1945 to succeed Mayor R. Carson. Dr McAleer was elected and continued in office until 1957, when he was succeeded by Charles Eadon-Clarke. It was during Dr McAleer's mayoral term that firm guidelines for the future development of Geraldton emerging from World War 2 were laid down. A town plan was prepared for the council by Mr Harold Boas as the overall guidelines. Many major problems faced the town council of that day, the bulk of them hinging on overall lack of finance. The town's gas works was a continual drain on the electricity undertaking - and the pressing need was for more electricity generating plants as the town developed.
Complication. Complicating the whole issue was the change-over from direct to alternating current in the town supply, a major job which had to be tackled piece by piece. Sealing to the town streets was another problem which loomed large. Veteran residents will recall the horror stretch of gravel named Shenton Street which ran behind the new high school. Geraldton's ratepayers were small in number, revenue correspondingly small and overall development and improvement of facilities such as sealed streets was slow. During his long term as mayor Dr McAleer turned thoughts towards possible export of iron ore through Geraldton. The whole exercise was concentrated at that time on the Tallering Peak deposits north of Mullewa, but the political climate of that day was not right. Iron ore export did come through Geraldton years later, but from Koolanooka Hills deposits near Morawa. Dr McAleer gave great encouragement to establishment of Elderest Flats at Bluff Point for pensioners and during his mayoral term there was consideration to developing Mahomet's Flats. But it was not until long after Dr McAleer had left Geraldton to live in the city that Mahomet's Flats development began. One of the streets there had been named in his honour.
Dignity. A veteran councillor who served during Dr McAleer's mayoral term yesterday described him as "a gentleman who lent a terrific lot of dignity to the town." Dr McAleer's home and surgery were in Cathedral Ave where the premises of Young Motors now stands and there the doctor and his wife raised their family - daughter Margaret who is now Miss Margaret McAleer, member of the Upper West Province, and son Tony who is now president of the Three Springs Shire Council. At a private family funeral at Three Springs on Tuesday the remains of this man who served the Geraldton area for so long and faithfully were laid to rest. Present Mayor Charles Mildwaters paid tribute to Dr McAleer at last night's council meeting. Neville Thompson."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'James Patrick McAleer' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 17 April 2024 from [reference list]

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