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Facy, Peter (1822–1890)

Another old identity in the person of Mr. Peter Facy, sen., passed away yesterday morning.

So much was he respected by his numerous friends that the news of his unexpected demise created quite a gloom over the City, and in all quarters yesterday he was the subject of reverential conversation. It was not generally known that Mr Facy had been ill. On Thursday last he was at his place of business as normal, but Mr. Andrews, who is in the employ of Messrs Facy and Fisher, of which firm deceased was senior partner, noticed that Mr. Facy looked somewhat ill and pale, and obtained a cab for his conveyance home. The deceased gentleman did not then leave his residence in Hampden-road until Monday last, when he drove round to the office of the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co., the Bank of Van Diemen's Land, and his own office, returning home afterwards, and that was the last occasion on which he left his house.

He appeared on Tuesday to be recovering from his short illness, which took the form of a difficulty in breathing and a heaviness in the region of his heart. At 10 o'clock on Tuesday night he retired to rest, that being his usual time of retirement. Sleeping soundly until half-past 11 the same night he awoke, and found the difficulty in breathing increased to such an extent that it was deemed advisable to call for medical aid, which was obtained, but proved ineffective, as the patient died peacefully at 1 o'clock yesterday morning.

He had always enjoyed good health until the last year or two. Mr. Facy was born at Ashburton, Devonshire, England, on October 6, 1822, and when a mere infant was brought with his brothers and sisters, he being the youngest of the family, to Hobart by his father, Peter Facy, in the ship Cumberland which arrived here on the 23rd January, 1825. Captain Carns, father of the late Dr. Carns, of Hobart, was master of the vessel, and amongst the passengers on the Cumberland during that voyage were Dr. Crowther and family, Sir Alfred Stephens, Major Lloyd and family, and Mr. Wakefield and family. It may be remarked that the Cumberland, after making an intermediate voyage, sailed from Hobart on 28th May, 1827, for England, but was never again heard of, and on the outward manifest, a copy of which still exists, deceased's father was mentioned as a wool exporter. It will be seen that deceased last month completed his 65th year of residence in Tasmania. On arrival in the colony Mr Facy's father commenced business as a tanner and fellmonger near the lower part of Collinastreek (?), on the bank of the creek, and continued in that line of business until his death. He was one of the first settlers to send consignments of wool from Van Diemen's Land to England, and exported in conjunction with Messrs. Kermode, Henry Hopkins, and others.

On his death, his son Peter, the subject of the present notice, entered the business along with his brothers, and carried it on until the year 1848, when it was closed, and he and his brother Joseph started for England on a visit, and remained there for two years. On Mr. Facy's return to Tasmania he joined in partnership with Captain William Fisher as shipping agents, and was connected with the firm and worked energetically until some ten days prior to his decease. Mr. Facy was one of the first shareholders in the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co., which was instituted in the year 1852, and two years later, in May, 1854, he was elected a director, continuing in that capacity, with the exception of 12 months, until his death. As senior director, his cool judgment, which marked all his dealings, was ever regarded by his colleagues on the Board as its weight deserved.

In all shipping matters his opinion was taken as an authority, and during the years he served as a Warden of the Marine Board, and also as a member of the Consolidated Board, he displayed a thorough acquaintance with his duties, but his interest was centred mainly in lighthouse work, and he was one of the chief promoters of the building of the Mersey Lighthouse. His connection with the Marine Board terminated in December, 1888. Mr. Facy had monied interest in the barques Kassa, Wild Wave, and Pet, the barquentine Guiding Star, the S S Pinafore, and the ketches Hero, Priscilla, and Huon Chief.

He was often to be seen on the wharf, and his presence will be greatly missed by all who have business to transact in that locality. Mr. Facy was also a director of the Bank of Van Diemen's Land, and up to last year president of the Hobart Mutual Building Society. The temperance movement has lost in Mr. Facy one of its strongest supporters, as since its commencement in Hobart he has been closely identified with it in many ways. The Tasmanian Temperance Alliance claimed him as its treasurer for the past 30 years, and he was one of the most honoured and loved of its members. He looked forward with pleasure and delight to the opening of the new Temperance Hall in Melville Street, for the erection of which he had worked earnestly, and he was one of the founders of the Alliance. Though never what might be termed an active politician, be was often to be seen in the Speaker's gallery, in the House of Assembly during the progress through Parliament of the new Licensing Bill.

One of the memorial stones of the now Temperance Hall was dedicated to Mr. Facy. His name appears as the publisher of the Peoples' Friend, a temperance periodical in which he manifested great interest. Mr. Facy was appointed a justice of the peace in February, 1883. He contested once for an alderman’s seat conjointly with Mr. Henry Pearce, but was unsuccessful, and he never again stood for the position of alderman. Cricketing was a sport in which he took great pleasure, and he took part in the first North and South match played at Oatlands, and also in the first All England match played in Tasmania in 1881, Mr. Facy in religion was a Congregationalist. He leaves a wife, whose maiden name was Kliza Vautin, being second daughter of the late Mr. James Vautin, of the Audit Department, and two sons, Mr. Peter Facy, secretary to the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co., and Mr. Henry James Facy, to mourn his loss.

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'Facy, Peter (1822–1890)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/facy-peter-357/text358, accessed 19 July 2019.

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