ⓘ Robert McDougall (philanthropist)

Robert McDougall (philanthropist)

ⓘ Robert McDougall (philanthropist)

Robert Ewing McDougall, sometimes referred to as Robert Euing McDougall, was a businessman, and philanthropist from Christchurch, New Zealand. He was the benefactor of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery.


1. Early life

McDougall was born in Melbourne in 1860 and moved to Christchurch in 1863. He was educated at Charles Cook’s Private School and Christ’s College. McDougalls father, W.E. McDougall, was a partner of the Aulsebrooks Bakery with John Aulsebrook. His father left the partnership after two years but bought an interest in the company for his son.


2. Career

Before taking over the ownership and management of Aulsebrooks Bakery, McDougall worked as a junior clerk in the Colonial Bank of New Zealand and also managed Lane’s Flour Mill, on Mill Island in the Avon. In 1889 John Aulsebrook moved to Sydney and sold the rest of the Aulsebrooks Bakery to Robert McDougall. McDougall remained governing director of the company for the rest of his life. He was also a director of the Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Company Ltd., and the Mutual Benefit Building Society. He was a founding member of the Canterbury Industrial Association, which is now known as the Canterbury Manufacturers’ Association.

McDougall died at his residence on 21 February 1942.


3. Legacy

His interest in art led him to donate £26.000 to go towards the building of a new Art Gallery for Christchurch in the Botanic Gardens now called the Robert McDougall Art Gallery. His family home in Merivale, called Fitzroy was donated to the nursing organization Nurse Maude where it is still based today and now named McDougall House. The street in Christchurch McDougall Avenue is named after McDougall.