Cement History, Family History

Jock Sneddon, a generous Scot

Jock Sneddon was the type of person who always raised his hand. If there was a position to be filled, like secretary of the cement works bowling club, he found pen and paper. If there was a task to be done, like planting trees around the perimeter of the Community centre, he took up a shovel. So it shouldn’t surprise us that when exhibition golfer Billy Bolger wanted someone to volunteer for a trick shot at Henbury, Jock offered a hand. Bolger teed off it, to the amazement of the crowd. ‘You were lucky,’ said fellow exhibition golfer Sam Richardson. ‘Bolger missed your hand by a hair-breadth!’

As you probably guessed, Jock aka Jack aka John Sneddon, was a Scot. He migrated to Australia in his early twenties, found a suitable bride, Eva Williams, fathered two children Margaret and John, and began a successful 29-year career as Under Manager of Kandos Colliery in 1921. In 1952 he sailed to Scotland for a holiday in his homeland.

Jock Sneddon didn’t stop raising his hand: on the football field as referee, and on the cricket pitch, golf course and bowling green to beat the opposition. He was a committee member of Kandos Co-operative society for more than a decade; founding member and Junior Deacon of Kandos Masonic Club in 1938; collector of weekly contributions for the Kandos Olympic pool; initiator of the cement works ambulance division and committee member of Rylstone Hospital. And he was always ready to provide a solo musical item at a local fundraiser.

In case you are getting the impression life was an easy ride for Jock, he had a few knockbacks. He suffered at least two accidents in the colliery and his daughter died before him. Nevertheless, he himself couldn’t have had an easier death. On Sunday 27th January 1963 Jock arrived at the bowling green where he had been a member for three decades, removed his coat, sat down, collapsed and died.

Vale Jock Sneddon, a ‘fine and generous’ Kandos identity.

Locomotive carrying coal out of Kandos Colliery
NSW State Archives

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