Meet Hector Neil McLean, a Man with a Vision and Extraordinary Kindness.

November 28, 2023 9:25 pm

Hector Neil McLean was born on 5th December 1856 at Ellerston in the Hunter Valley, NSW. He lived most of his life in Inverell and was regarded as a very community-minded citizen. He served on Council and was committed to a dream of establishing a Convalescent Hospital.

His legacy is the cornerstone of McLean Care, and before he died in March 1932, a provision of his Will designated that a convalescent home be established on his family property ‘Killean’, the present site of McLean Care Inverell residential facilities.

When Hector McLean penned his wishes in his last will and testament, it was a document that would forever shape the future of our organisation. Hector was a grazier and landowner and a successful businessman, but he was also a man who believed in the power of giving. Never married and with no children of his own, his generosity extended not only to his family, friends and loved ones but also to the people who had worked alongside him.

He left substantial sums of money to his nieces, nephews, and brothers, among others. For example, In 1932, he bequeathed amounts of £500 pounds to many individuals, an act of generosity that, when adjusted for inflation, would equate to over $59,000 today. He bequeathed amounts of £1,000 pounds to his brother, equating to over $118,000 in today’s value.

After numerous bequests to relatives and friends, he desired the residue of his Estate to be devoted to the establishment of a Convalescent Home. He was very particular on how the Trust would be administered to bring his vision to life.

His Trustees (P.T. Coy; Rev James and Alec Frederick Avern A.F.A) in pursuance of his Will, created three “Home Trustees” (A.F.A; H. Buxton and E.N Ditchfield) and transferred to them, the 200 acres of land and then the two sets of Trustees jointly set to work to build, and equip the home, and to launch it.

He also planned ahead and this from his will stated “When that is satisfactorily done, The Will Trustees will ‘evaporate’, and transfer all remaining Estate assets to the “Home Trustees”.

Between the 1930’s and 1954 the Perpetual Trustee Company was administered by The Will Trustees P.T. Coy; Reverend E James; and A.F Avern, and The Home Trustees A.F Avern; H Buxton; and E.N Ditchfield, administered everything and made sure Hector’s vision was brought to life.

His obituary in the Inverell times described Hector McLean as a man whom “out of raw materials be built up a house of character, in which he lived and had courage to stand up to the name he made” and “an unbounded faith in the prosperity of Inverell and the district.”

What truly set Hector Neil McLean apart, however, was his determination and his clear, unyielding vision. Killean, would be utilised to create a convalescent home for those in need. His detailed instructions on the number of acres, the administration of the Trust, and those entrusted with its management, were ironclad.

These precise guidelines laid out in his Will would be the compass guiding the development of the very first McLean Care home as well as the management structure including Home Trustees.

His bequest included infrastructure considerations, and smart financial investments, he even thought about the remuneration for Medical Men, Nurses and Employees along with the expense of providing food, drugs and medical appliances.

In 1970 McLean Care’s first Retirement home was established and administered by the Board of Trustees and the Board of Advice. In 2007, HN McLean Memorial Retirement Village Ltd and HN McLean Village Holdings Ltd with a Board of Directors was established and later in 2010, McLean Care Ltd was created.

Though the management and administration structures may have changed from those early days, it was Hector’s attention to detail, his vision, and his unyielding bequest that empowered the trustees of his estate to eventually bring his dream to life in 1953 – efforts were delayed post war as building materials were difficult to procure at the time.

Today, we continue to carry his legacy forward, as the custodians providing care and support to those in need, just as he intended.

We remember our Founder Hector Neil McLean and his incredible legacy that now helps countless lives. Every day we uphold the values he held dear, and we look to the future with the same unwavering commitment to the wellbeing of the communities we serve.

McLean Care has come along way since 1953 and remains a thriving, modern and successful organisation that continues to care for older Australians.