One of our family has died: Farewell Joan Tyzack

Joan (nee Burridge) was born on the 4th April 1928 and died on the 10th August 2017.

Family members and friends are invited to attend her funeral.  The funeral service will be held at Le Pine Chapel, 21 McDonald Street , MORDIALLOC, Victoria on Tuesday, 22nd August 2017 at 02:30 PM.

Funeral home

Joan married Stan Tyzack on the 18th of September 1954. Apparently Joan worked in the office in his workplace, Hill &Co. (an accountant, estate and business agency) . It is not known the date when Joan commenced this employment nor when they met, but Stan had been working with the firm since 1939.  Late in 1965, Joan’s sister Audrey commenced work for the firm.

In the 1960s two daughters entered their family; Lynne (20/10/1961) and Julie (23/8/1963).

The photo below shows Julie, Joan and Lynne in the 1960s.

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In the photo below Joan is holding baby Julie

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The full family photo is shown below with Stan, Julie, Joan and Lynne

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During the preparation of the book William Baker Tyzack and his descendants in Australia, and when planning the Tyzack 150th family anniversary, I exchanged letters with Joan and had lengthy phone discussions. She was a thoughtful, interesting woman who was open and a pleasure to talk with.  Faced with a series of ongoing health problems, Joan was never despairing but hopeful. As such she presented as a wise role model for dealing with the vicissitudes of ageing.

Unfortunately we never met.  This month, I and the world has lost a wonderful friendly soul.


Recognition for contribution

In yesterday’s listing I am delighted to say that Arran Pearce Hassell, great great grandson of William Baker Tyzack was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the Queen’s Birthday Honours “For outstanding achievement as the Commanding Officer of the Defence Force School of Intelligence and Deputy Head of Corps, Australian Intelligence Corps.” The full citation indicated: “Lieutenant Colonel Hassell has displayed outstanding leadership and professional commitment as the Commanding Officer of the Defence Force School of Intelligence. His efforts have resulted in a positive cultural shift within the School and significant modernisation in the training of the Australian Defence Force Intelligence workforce. His efforts have directly contributed to the remediation of hollowness in the Australian Intelligence Corps.”

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I know my grandmother, Louisa Caroline Tyzack wife of Harold Gordon Tyzack (grandson of William Baker Tyzack) received the Order of the British Empire (Civil)/British Empire Medal (Civil) on 1 January 1975. This medal, usually referred to as the BEM, was the Queen’s way of rewarding service to the British Empire in the United Kingdom and abroad.  Specifically it recognised my grandmother’s voluntary community work over decades.

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I wonder how many Tyzack family members have been recognised with a Queen’s birthday honour.  Please let me know if you are one.




Sailing ships

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sailing around the Derwent River Harbour in a full scale replica of the Lady Nelson sailing ship.  The original was built in 1798 in England and plied the waters between Newcastle and Norfolk Island and Tasmania for the next  twenty five years.  My day on the water was glorious with blue skies, golden sunshine and a firm breeze. When all the sails went up, we scudded along at 7 knots.  Quite wonderful. The image below is of the replica in which I sailed.

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The water surface had an almost millpond quality as we returned to the wharf. I couldn’t imagine how sailing ships would cope with heavy seas.

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I spent a great deal of time trying to remember what I knew about the Lincolnshire, the ship which brought our ancestor William Baker Tyzack and his family to Port Melbourne from England. I tried to imagine what it might have been like, with so many ropes and so many sails being part of the picture for 83 days at sea.


Today I have been able to compare the sizes of the two vessels.  The Lady Nelson came out to Australia with around 20 people. The original crew size was 12. By contrast the Lincolnshire, when first launched in 1858  sailed with a crew of 60. The Lincolnshire was designed for 180 passengers in addition to the large crew.  When William travelled in 1866, approximately 116 passengers plus crew sailed.  Not a full complement, but undoubtedly the hold was full of supplies and cargo so space for moving around would still have been at a premium.

Records show that at times there were perhaps 60 or so people sailing for days on the Lady Nelson.  Yesterday with passengers and crew I suspect our number was around 40. It was standing room only on the deck when all were assembled. Sailing for days would have been very cramped and most uncomfortable by today’s standards (although I recognise that people were generally physically smaller back then than we are today). Add to that, on the original Lady Nelson, the area below deck remained unstructured with one open hold. Apparently people slept on boxes and ropes and all.

My photos below give some idea of the majesty of a sailing ship however small.

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The original Lady Nelson was approx 53 feet long compared to the Lincolnshire which was approx 198 feet long – that is, William’s ship was over three times as long as the ship I sailed on yesterday.

The Lady Nelson was approx 17 feet wide compared to the Lincolnshire which was 33 feet wide – that is, William’s ship was almost twice the breadth.

The Lady Nelson weighed 61 tons compared to the Lincolnshire which weighed 1025 tons – the latter being about 17 times the tonnage of the smaller ship

Having pursued this simple research comparing the two ships, and after yesterday’s most stimulating sail, I feel I have a small but greater understanding of what William, Charity and their four children might have been exposed to at sea.

The Lady Nelson replica runs trips lasting a few days; I am considering taking one of these small voyages. Part of the deal, if you wish, is to learn to handle the ropes and even climb around the sails.  I wonder if the Lincolnshire crew allowed such liberties to its passengers.

A reunion for some and an anniversary celebration for others

Our Cocktail Party and BBQ flowed smoothly, all the more so for June acting as the MC for both occasions.


Through her we were welcomed warmly, were told what the jewels on our name badges meant, learnt where the bar was and how to access it, and at the BBQ knew when it was time to eat and where the food was.


On Saturday June made it clear we were not attending a family reunion because as a family group we had never had one union. The Cocktail Party was an event marking the anniversary of William’s arrival in Australia so it was an anniversary celebration.  However on Sunday she explained that for some people, all those who had been at the Saturday night party, the Sunday BBQ was a family reunion.  For everyone else it was not a family reunion.


June had other duties which she performed with aplomb. She introduced Phil who launched our Tyzack anniversary book officially, and she thanked Jill for bringing the Family Bible before allowing Helen to say a few words and hand the book over to Norm as the oldest living descendant of William Baker Tyzack with Tyzack as his surname.

On Sunday, June alerted everyone to the only existing photo of William and thanked Marian, who is the current caretaker of that piece of history, for bringing it to the BBQ for everyone to see.

Thanks June for informing us about what was happening and keeping us all together at the events.


Great job June despite the occasional waver as you balanced on a chair so everyone could see you!



The Tyzack Family Bible

In 1852 on the occasion of William Baker Tyzack marrying Charity Juby, William’s step mother gave them a new Family Bible as a wedding gift.  This was one of the possessions that William carried with him to Australia over an 83 day sea journey, and then through a life living in the suburbs of Carlton and Hawthorn. His son Thomas William Tyzack inherited the Bible.  When Thomas died, his eldest son Harold Gordon Tyzack (Gordon) took possession. After Gordon died, Harold Edward Markson Tyzack (Ted) became the caretaker. Last year not long before reaching his 102nd birthday, Ted passed away.  Recently, his daughter Jill decided to pass the Bible on to the oldest family member with the Tyzack surname.

She determined that the Tyzack anniversary events in October was the appropriate place and time to make the transfer.

On behalf of Jill, I spoke about the Bible’s history.

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Particularly I made mention of the excellent condition of the Bible and I noted the gold page edges were not damaged or tarnished. Was William Baker Tyzack a religious man?  If so, I suggest he used a different Bible for his readings. His son Thomas William Tyzack was one of the founders of Christ Church in Essendon. Was he religious? If so, he must have used a different Bible. My grandfather Gordon was not a religious man although my grandmother regularly played the organ at church services for many years. And finally, Uncle Ted was an atheist.  Our ancestors (possibly their wives) have carefully kept the Family Bible in near perfect condition for 164 years probably because any religious faith they carried did not require them to read and use the Family Bible.

On Saturday 8th October, the Family Bible passed to the oldest living descendant of William Baker Tyzack, Norman Tyzack. He promised to  look after it with the same amount of attentive diligence that his predecessors had.



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Family members were most interested and appreciative.

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Book launch

Great great grandson of William Baker Tyzack, Phillip Hassell, officially launched our book William Baker and descendants in Australia on Saturday 8th October during our Cocktail Party. He spoke about the man and the contents of the book. In addition, Phil added humorous personal anecdotes which enriched our knowledge of our ancestors.

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He certainly grabbed the attention of family members.

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Going to church

When my sister read the chapter on Thomas William Tyzack in William Baker Tyzack and descendants in Australia , she noted his connection with Christ Church in Essendon. An email whizzed into my email box and she asked:  how about we go to a church service on the weekend of the Tyzack anniversary events?

Contact was made with Father John Mathes and his excitement extended to taking photos, on our behalf, of the plaques and boards which list our Tyzack family members.  An earlier posting presents these wonderful photos. Last Friday my sister and I visited the church to get a sense of the atmosphere and to absorb the environment slowly.  Once there, Father John greeted us warmly, showed us around and provided welcome refreshments.  I am most impressed by his photographic abilities because my photos are not nearly as clear – see below the subdued light of the interior of the church and the awkward spaces which challenged me.


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The original 1890s church building still exists and operates as an Opportunity Shop for the adjacent newer church.

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Yesterday on Sunday 9th October 2016, twelve members of our large Australian Tyzack family arrived for the 9.30 am church service.  As other parishioners entered, Father John introduced us, showed off the boards and plaques and directed us to sit in the pew with the brass end plaque commemorating brothers Leonard Victor Tyzack and Thomas Oswald Tyzack’s return from World War 1.

Then the service started.  Father John told the congregation we were attending because of our Tyzack anniversary weekend; that 150 years ago William Baker Tyzack and his family (which included Thomas William Tyzack as a young child) arrived in Australia, and that our family have gathered together from around Australia for the first time in history to commemorate the event (and our gratefulness to be born in Australia).  Father John has a warm relaxed style which makes everyone feel included and welcome.  To our surprise when he started the homily or sermon, he referred to family history generally plus our Tyzack history and then used that information and ideas to connect with the message of the Gospel (Luke 17:11-19) which had been read earlier.  I very much liked the fact that Father John did not present from up on high in a lofty pulpit rather he walked around at ground level near the front of the congregation.  In this way, his sermon felt much more personalised and accessible.

After the service, our family was invited to join the congregation for morning tea, during which time, Father John opened the old church building to show us where Thomas William would have worshipped 120 or so years ago.

And the Tyzacks were seen in print.  The handout leaflet for Sunday 9th October included:  Welcome to members of the Tyzack family who are celebrating the 150th anniversary of William Baker Tyzack arriving in Australia.  One of his sons, Thomas William Tyzack was a parishioner at Christ Church during the 1890s.  A book Christ Church North Essendon 1890-1990. The Joys and Tears of 100 years, published in 1990, considered Thomas William Tyzack as a Founder; On the 14th  January 1892, 8 guardians were appointed: Tyzack … Mr Tyzack was Secretary and Treasurer.

I hope I am speaking for all who attended yesterday’s service when I say I am very grateful for the generous spirit of Father John to acknowledge our family so fulsomely and for the warm welcome given to us by parishioners.  This was a meaningful service at so many levels.