Our oldest family member has a milestone birthday

Consult your copy of our book William Thomas Tyzack and descendants in Australia and you will see Norman Oswald Tyzack was born on 20 May 1927.

Congratulations Norm for reaching your 90th birthday last Saturday.

To celebrate the occasion Norm was surrounded by his extended but close family including those who travelled from as far away as Darwin.  The happy photo below, marking his 90th, includes some of our relatives who were not able to attend the Tyzack anniversary events last year.

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If you would like to send Norm special well-wishes please forward them via the email address tyzack150thanniversary@gmail.com and I will ensure he receives your messages.


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.

Red poppies

I stepped outside the house to collect my mail and heard, in the distance, the last post being trumpeted at the Bellerive war memorial. It was 11.00 am on the 11th of November. I stood to attention remembering those who have fought in wars, and what I saw made the necessary connections.

For years I have watched self-sown red poppies pop up but I have never before thought of them as flowering on Remembrance Day. Their red petals were wavering in the breeze at the end of my driveway. I doubt whether these poppies are anything like those at Flanders and elsewhere in WWI, nevertheless, with the last post on the breeze, I had all the components with which to remember all family members and friends who have gone to war on Australia’s behalf.


In the earlier email, I highlighted two of our family members who went and fought in WWI.  Other family members served their country during WWII.  I remember them with gratitude today.

Corporal: Harold Edward Markson Tyzack

Craftsman: Paul Thomas Tyzack

Private: Ronald Baker Tyzack

Sargeant: Victor Thomas Tyzack



Today is Remembrance Day

On the 11th of the 11th month each year, we remember those who fought wars overseas on behalf of us: the Australian people.

When twelve Tyzack family members descended on Christ Church in Essendon over a month ago, we sat in the pew dedicated to two Tyzack men who returned from World War 1.  For members of our family these were an uncle, a grandparent, a great grandparent or an even more distant relative.

Our recent family gathering of the size and complexity it had, would not have existed without Corporal Leonard Victor Tyzack – known as ‘Lennie’.  He had six children, many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Bruce Tyzack tells us in our book William Baker Tyzack and descendants in Australia, that “Lennie died at the Repatriation General Hospital in Caulfield aged just 40 years old on the 1st April 1933 having suffered from TB since the war, but finally dying from cardiac failure.”

Our second family member who returned from the first World War was Lieutenant Thomas Oswald Tyzack. Bruce informs us that following the war, ‘Ozzie’ married and lived the last part of his life in New Zealand. “Thomas Oswald Tyzack died suddenly and unexpectedly on the 12th May 1928 having had a heart attack on the third hole at the Titirangi Golf Course; he was only 42 years old.”

Both men were young when they passed and I can only imagine that their contribution through World War 1 had an enduring impact on their bodies.

During our visit to the church, we noted a commemorative plaque had been attached to our pew.



BBQ photos – the final group family shot

Here we are with all our differences; heights, colours, ages, size, clothes …  I have included every photo taken of the group, in case your best photo is in one photo but never in another.

While 76 family members booked to attend the BBQ, perhaps not all made it into this photograph – I never counted the people in the photo. Possibly some were off playing in the children’s playground next door and others may have left the party early.  I hope you find yourself and your family below.

What a handsome crowd we make.  Thanks everyone for making Sunday 9th October such a happy occasion.
















BBQ photos – preparing for our family group photo

During the BBQ,  family members gradually meandered out to the BBQ area of the Port Melbourne Bowling Club in preparation for a large family group photo.  Here are some of those early ‘arriving’ photos.

Bringing together approximately 76 people was always going to be a slow but a happily relaxed process as these photos show- despite the careful directions of one family member.