John Robert Dorney was born in 1877 in Warrnambool. He was a hairdresser by trade, his business being listed in Wises’ Postal Directory of 1895-96 for Warrnambool, he later moved to the Koroit area, 16 km west of Warrnambool.
He married Ellen Loretta McCormick in March 1905. Just seven weeks later John contracted typhoid fever, he was progressing satisfactorily until peritonitis set in, and he died painfully four weeks later on 21 May 1905. John and Ellen had a child, Helen Frances Dorney, born after his death.
Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), Saturday 25 March 1905, page 32
DORNEY— McCORMACK.-At the [?] Catholic Church, Koroit, on March 8, Mr. John Dorney was married to Miss Nellie McCormack youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. McCor-mack, of Kirkstall. The Rev. Father [?] officiated, and Miss Logan played the March. The bride was given away by her brother, Mr J. McCormack. She wore [?] voile and a white hat, trimmed with [?] roses. The bridesmaid Miss K. Fitz[?] also wore cream and a [?] hat. The bride-groom's gift to her was a dagger brooch and to the bride a curb bangle.
John was also a member of the Garrison Artillery Band during his Warrnambool days, which was declared ‘famous in Warrnambool’s history’ during the centenary celebrations in 1947. The following review appeared of John in the 3 October 1892 paper ‘...Sergt. T. Nelson and Drummer J. Dorney representing the Warrnambool State School, the former singing ‘Mulligan’s Pie’ and the latter, played a march on the drum in his usual style, and gave in reply to an encore a song, ‘The elephant chased a flea’ with side drum accompaniment, which caused great merriment...’
He was a very active man, being the secretary of the Cycling Club and treasurer of the Koroit football club. He frequently acted as a Master of Ceremonies for dances that were held in the town, was a member of the H.A.C.B.S and the C.M.Y.S., and a prominent member of the Koroit fire brigade and Koroit minstrel club.
Legal documents relating to the execution of John’s will name his wife Ellen and brother James Henry as beneficiaries. The documents list his assets and liabilities, details the contents of his hairdressing/tobacconists shop and makes mention of a contract of sale from Edward Paul Dorney to John Robert Dorney of the shopfittings. John’s will was prepared 3 days before his death.
The Age, Monday 22 May 1905, page 1
DORNEY - On the 21st May, at Koroit, John Robert Dorney, beloved husband of Nellie, and third son of James and Elizabeth Dorney, of Warrnam-bool, aged 27 years. R.I.P.
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