Andrew John Baxter McMaster

At the John Oxley Library we often receive interesting feedback from the public about the photographs we have digitized on Picture Queensland.  This is a valuable way for us to add to the information about our images.  The photograph below of A. J. B. McMaster was digitized as part of our portrait collection.

Andrew John Baxter McMaster, ca. 1930.  Image No: 68338

At the time of digitization the only information we had about this image was that it was a portrait of A. J. B. McMaster.  Recently A. J. B. McMaster's son, John McMaster, contacted us and provided the library with a wealth of information about his father.

Andrew John Baxter McMaster was the eldest son of William McMaster. William's youngest son, Fergus, was one of the founders of Qantas Airways.

Qantas Empire Airways.  Image No: 23472

The McMasters were a well known family from Winton.   A. J. B. McMaster was a self taught engineer, grazier, inventor and scientist.  He installed large pumps in the Winton Dam which shot large columns of water into the air in an attempt to cool and clean the boiling, foul smelling bore water.  He also started and owned the first local wool scour, named the Alba Wool Scour, which was a very successful operation.

Main street of Winton, 1918.  Image No: 99303

A. J. B. McMaster was made an honorary member of the C.S.I.R.O. for his extensive research into blowfly breeding and eradication.  He was also chairman of the Queensland United Graziers' Association for many years.

As an added bonus John McMaster has kindly offered to donate original material and photographs relating to his family to the John Oxley Library.

It is wonderful that one small photograph can generate so much historical information about a family and provide links to pioneering outback Queensland.


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I visited here in 1946, when my grandfather, Edward Lynch, managed, I think this wool scour. I've been trying to find out more about the area, as I haven't been back to Winton for about 64 years.Cleo Lynch

Hello CleoI'm sure we are related, Edward Lynch is buried in Townsville. Edward's father is buried in Winton. I was born in Winton in 1945.

Yes, I 'm sure we are related - I'm Edward Jnr's eldest child. Would love to catch up with you

Hello Selwyn, don't know if you are still following this blog. I am n Winton at the moment - there is virtually no collective memory of Alba, nor of its transition to a QANTAS hangar. We've driven out to where Alba was supposed to have been, but it is desolate ground, baked hard by the drought's relentless sun - also found Great grandfather Paddy Lynch's grave - a modest headstone - probably all Grandad Lynch could afford - having just lost a court case against the AWU for underpaying shearers! Cleo

My maternal grandfather also named Edward Lynch, managed the Alba Wool Scour in Winton along with my paternal grandfather John Slater Pratt. I haved a photo of a bank deposit dated 22/01/1916 signed my John Slater Pratt. These records were found in the Waltzing Museum in Winton. Hello Cleo Lynch, we're related? Grandmother's name was Bertha. My Dad, George Slater Pratt also worked at the scour.

My Grandmother, Mavis Lynch worked there early 1940's ? She may have been married then to a Sydney Blowers. My Dad Robert said that when he was a lad he made a canoe out of wriggly tin and paddled about in a dam at the scour. Sydney left when Dad was 3. Perhaps Mavis had married Dad's stepfather by this time. Clifford Garrett.Mavis' father was Patrick Lynch. He had a brother Edward. I am researching family history, so any info about the Lynch's would be appreciated.

Correction to comment 3. Just been told I am incorrect re-Mavis Lynch.Her father was Edward Lynch, mother was Bertha. Mavis' siblings were Bebe,Nancy,Edward(Ted) and Jesse, who married a fellow called Pratt.

Mavis Lynch was one of my father's, Edward's, sisters, along with Nancy (Sandgate) Bebe and Jessie (?e)

Still plugging along hoping to catch up with you.Cleo

Hello again Cleo Lynch, my apologies for not replying to you sooner. Please note my e-mail address, I'm still trying to put our Families together. My Mum Jessie Lynch married George Slater Pratt who also worked at the wool scour. Your Grandfather Edward Lynch's father, Patrick Lynch & brother Michael were born in Castleisland Ireland. It would be great to hear from you. Kindest regards, Selwyn PRATT

My Paternal Grandfather John Slater Pratt managed the Alba Wool Scour until his death in 1933. Then my Maternal Grandfather Edward (Ted or Ned) Lynch managed it until after WW2. My father George Slater Pratt (Nugget) also worked at the scour. I am still looking for information in regards to my forebears & their association with the scour in Hughenden & Winton