A McVean family album reproduced by kind permission of Colin Houston with copyright: reserved.
To accompany the display of childhood photographs of Sir COLIN MCVEAN GUBBINS
first posted in
November 2010 and first exhibited in
the pictures below shown on 29 January reflect the lives of his grandparents
child of Penicuik papermaker Alexander Cowan
& her husband the chief surveyor of
unhappily, the newlyweds pose with Colin’s parents the Rev. Donald McVean of
older picture of Colin’s revered parents and his siblings is probably one he
took with him on his earlier bachelor expeditions to survey the coasts of the
Mary Wood Cowan with her parents and some of her many siblings probably in 1857 at her sister’s marriage to the Reverend Boog Watson. Mary was then 20 and her father Alexander Cowan the papermaker (centre) died soon after in 1859. (Alexander’s will endowed the Cowan Institute where this exhibition was shown in January 2011). Mary’s mother Helen Brodie, Alexander’s second wife, died in 1863 so by the time of her own marriage to Colin McVean in 1868 Mary was an orphan, albeit a thirty-year-old one. Alexander Cowan and his first and second spouses had twenty children, Mary was the seventeenth.
Mary and Colin sailed to Japan after their wedding, in the company of Richard Henry Brunton (the father of Japanese lighthouses) and other appointees to the Japanese Imperial service.
Becoming established in
Enlargement shows the first children, Helen Brodie
(later Mrs Gubbins) born
Colin McVean and the team at the Japanese Imperial Survey Department
Getting to grips with surveying
Minister of Public Works Ito Iwakura .
Ito Hirobumi had been chosen to be one of the Choshu Five sent from
Noni and Dondo
family back in
Noni and Dondo
Lily, Helen, Alick & Arthur
Colin McVean and Mary Cowan stand between their Gubbins grandsons at Kilfinichen
A McVean album picture of the
The same church appears at centre in this 1906 postcard view of the earthquake
And this Lloyds of
Gateway to Mull: Oban Harbour and the Caledonian Railway’s trains from Stirling via Balquhidder and Loch Awe
with John McVean Luard, Flora’s son
Dondo (Donald Archibald Dugald) McVean (born 1870, grandson of Alexander Cowan).
An officer in Rattray’s Sikhs he had been Winston Churchill’s tentmate in the Malakand Field Force
Dondo and his adventures will be the subject of a later display
McVean family photographs
All reproduced by kind permission of Colin Houston with copyright: reserved.
childhood photographs of Sir COLIN MCVEAN GUBBINS
RICHARD HENRY BRUNTON the father of Japanese lighthouses
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