Historical information

John Whan was born in Carlton of Irish parents and moved with them to Wodonga by bullock dray at the age of 12. After completing his education in Wodonga, John became manager of McLean Brothers and Rigg branch store in Sydney Street, Wodonga for a number of years after which he bought the business and operated Whan’s General Store in Sydney Road, Wodonga which at its peak employed his six children.
John Whan was also a shire councillor for 15 years, including a term as Shire President in 1904-5. He was also Chairman of the Wodonga Water Trust when it built the water tower in 1922 – 23.
He had many other community involvements including the School board and the Library Committee, served as an honorary justice and Deputy Coroner. secretary of the Wodonga branch of the I.O.O.F., and the Wodonga Cemetery Trust and the Masonic Lodge. He was a foundation member of the Presbyterian Church in Wodonga. He died on 10 October 1933.
The Whan General Store was carried on by his son, John Bruce Whan, who later moved to a farm in Wangaratta. It is believed that the Whan’s store went out of business after the Depression because he extended credit to people who could not afford to pay their debts.


These photographs represent the business of a prominent Wodonga family and community member.

Physical description

3 black and white photographs showing the Whan store in Wodonga at various stages in its development