Descendants of WILLIAM and ISABELLA  (nee Cunningham) JOHNSTON from Whitsome, Scotland, who arrived in Australia in 1817 and settled in the Bathurst and Wingham districts are invited to a reunion to celebrate 200 years since their arrival in Australia, 5-6 August 2017 at Wingham Golf Club, Wingham, NSW.  Enquiries to Margaret Chaffer –



A very happy Reunion was held at Bathurst in 2013 to recognise the importance of William & Isabella’s arrival in Sydney on 6th August 1817 on board the “Canada” following a journey of 138 days,  and their subsequent perilous journey across the Blue Mountains in 1823 with four very young children in Bathurst,.  William was appointed to the Government position of Superintendent of Agriculture as that area had started to open up the western area of New South Wales. A very moving ceremony for approximately 75 descendants was held with a special bronze plaque being placed on the memorial wall in Bathurst to honour early settlers in 2013.

As it is now almost 200 years since William and Isabella Johnston (as a newly married couple), and William’s friend Michael Henderson, arrived in Sydney Town, it is an appropriate time to honour these ancestors with further recognition of their courage and renewal of friendship with the many descendants of this large family – there were 12 surviving children born in the Colony between 1818 and 1838.

This special Reunion gathering is being planned for the weekend of 5/6th August, 2017 at the Wingham Golf Club.  Participants will start arriving on Friday, 4th August and will probably gather for a meal together on Friday night.  Saturday and Sunday’s programs are still being work out but will include visits to several properties in the area where Johnston family members lived, the Wingham cemetery, the Presbyterian Church for worship and to view the stained glass window dedicated to William and Isabella some years ago, a commemorative dinner and trivia on Saturday night as well as a special presentation to the Wingham Historical Society in memory of William and Isabella and recognising the wonderful work of this community organisation.


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