FOUR generations of Korumburra’s Macqueen (in some instances MacQueen) family assembled at Coal Creek Community Park and Museum on Sunday to see the historic village’s barbershop officially named the ‘Lachie Macqueen Barbershop’.
They came from all over Australia to celebrate the lives of Lachie and his wife Tootse, as well as their children, whose stories now feature in the refurbished shop.
All nine of their children (seven sons and two daughters) served in the armed forces during World War II, and all came home.
Not surprisingly, the large family has since grown.
The project was the initiative of Korumburra historian Shirley Holland after she came across an article titled ‘Something Korumburra is proud of’, featuring the Macqueen family story.
Lachlan Macqueen was born in the Lal Lal area near Ballarat in 1875, was trained as a teacher but was lured to the goldfields.
His real talent, though, was singing and he toured the world as a tenor until he met Tootse (Heather Lay).
Lachie soon gave up the touring life, bringing his growing family to Jeetho, then Bena, and finally Kardella Road, Korumburra.
He started work as a grocer, but found one of the skills he learned touring, particularly barbering was in demand – a trade he followed until his retirement in 1940.
The Commercial Street barbershop became a gathering place for all his friends, and he became known as the singing barber.
Through Mrs Holland’s research, she unearthed that the barbershop at Coal Creek was originally promised to be named in Lachlan Macqueen’s honour – in fact the chair is the same one that was in his shop for many years.
Lachie’s descendants were heavily involved in collating the family’s history and were thrilled the barbershop became the meeting place for what turned out to be a family reunion on Sunday.
Lachie would be proud