Douglas House History

Mr James Stuart Douglas was one of the founding families of PLC Orange and Chairman of the PLC Council (1932-1933).

A tribute to James Stuart Douglas from The Gleam – 1971

In the death of Mr. James Stuart Douglas the Presbyterian Ladies’ College Orange, lost the human association with a good friend, a friend who was instrumental in founding the School and who has been with it in all its difficulties and problems of development for more than 40 years. He was one of that small group of men who, with insight, courage and faith, and on the brink of a world depression, saw the need of a Presbyterian Ladies College in the West of New South Wales, and the possibilities of Campdale as a site – the same Campdale to whose fields he used to come as a boy for Sunday School picnics in the country.

“Each Presbyterian Ladies’ College in New South Wales has been deeply indebted to the tireless energy, and to the foresight and friendly wisdom, on one particular man – that man in the story of Orange Presbyterian Ladies’ College was Mr. J. S. Douglas.

“Nurtured in the faith of his fathers, he was a sincere member of the Christian church and by his presence at the morning service of St. John’s which the boarders of the Presbyterian Ladies’ College also attended, he established a bond of which the girls were perhaps only fully aware after leaving school, and on looking back.

“Always welcome at the College he was a well-loved and familiar figure as he came up to advise, or to attend a function, or to revisit and enjoy the beauty of the setting he had hoped would be befitting a girls’ school. To give them beauty, within the buildings and without, was always his wish. Girls recognised and affectionately greeted him in places far removed from Orange and to these girls who introduced themselves to him, he represented all that the school had meant to them.

“Mr Douglas rejoiced to see his own standards coming through in the School’s training for gracious living, expressed in the behaviour and dress of the girls, as well as in their lives of a service to the community.

“He was a man of principle. He stood erect, as he had done in the Service of his country in the first World War. He hated show and pretention: he hated injustice and sharp practice. He was successful in his own affairs and wise in counsel. He dealt with public affairs entrusted to him with the same care with which he dealt with his own. He moved easily with men of all ranks, and with women and children he was chivalrous, kind and gentle. He stood for the old dignities: he was even a loyalist; he appreciated the arts.

“In short, in every sense of the word he was a gentleman.”