AN Irish immigrant who served the Bathurst community as a hospital committee member, deputy coroner and was behind the foundation of one of two daily newspapers in the city, has been named as a Pillar of Bathurst.
John Eviston (1844-1925) was one of 11 past Bathurstians whose contribution to the local community was recognised as part of this year's Proclamation Day events, held on the banks of the Macquarie River.
The Pillars, located at Macquarie Park in Stanley Street are restored cast iron verandah posts that were a feature of the Royal Hotel in William Street.
They are an ongoing legacy project and each Proclamation Day new names will be added until the 80 available plaques have been filled.
Nominated by his great-great grandson Tony, John Eviston was recognised for his commitment to Bathurst.
A number of his descendants attended the ceremony, which Tony Eviston described as a "proud moment."
Born in Tipperary, Ireland, John Eviston immigrated to Australia in 1864, as a 20-year-old, originally living in Victoria.
In 1869 he came to Bathurst where he then settled for life.
Not long after arriving in the Central West he married Elizabeth Connelly and the pair co-established a successful men's wear business 'Kelaher and Eviston".
Renowned for his business integrity, John Eviston was equally known for his community service. A devout Catholic, he gave valuable service to his church in many ways, not least his work as a dedicated parish treasurer. He was also a founding member of Bathurst's St Vincent de Paul Society and the Australian Holy Catholic Guild two charitable organisations.
A true Irishman, Eviston was always at the forefront of the Irish cause locally, and his hand extended across the sectarian division that then separated Bathurst along religious and ethnic lines.
Eviston served the wider community for 30 years as an energetic Bathurst District Hospital Committee member, as well as 14 years as the Deputy Coroner. He was also one of the founders of the National Advocate which was the voice for community concerns.
Following his death in 1925, he was remembered as a valuable citizen, and a man who had led an honest and upright life.
Mayor Graeme Hanger OAM commended the efforts of Mr Eviston in the community saying he had "added something special to city's story."
"Everyone inducted in to the Pillars has played an important role in the history of Bathurst throughout the different eras.
"Each one has contributed to the story of Bathurst and we are proud to remember and honour them."
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