Haycraft Family

“The place of tall trees” mourns the passing of Jack Haycraft MBE JP.

Jack Haycraft, proprietor of Marylands for more than 30 years passed away peacefully at Darlingford, Eildon aged 88year on Monday 23rd May 2011.

Jack’s passion Marysville knew no bounds and anyone who knew him saw a man with an unwavering determination to see the town progress.

Arriving in Marysville in 1954 Jack together with wife Lesley and two small children Peter and Graeme, set about developing Marylands into Marysville’s ‘largest and most popular Guest House’.

Jack and Lesley quickly developed a reputation of providing a quality family holiday and over the ensuing 3 decades countless thousands of Victorians made Marysville the place for their annual holiday.

Jack always held the view that anything that was good for Marysville was good for Marylands and accordingly quickly became actively involved in the town’s numerous associations and clubs. It would probably be easier to list the things he was not involved with over the years. He represented Marysville as a councilor with the Shire of Healesville in the Marysville Riding for many years and was twice Shire President.

At a town level he had much to do with the Marysville Bowling Club (Life Member) the Marysville Anglican Church, The Marysville Water Board, The Marysville Tourism and Progress Association. He was part of the organising committee to celebrate the arrival of the SEC power in the 1950’s, was the inaugural Chairman of the Wirreanda Festival. He took a leading role in Marysville 1963 Centenary Celebrations, the setting up of the Community Care Centre and was a charter member of the Marysville Lions Club. He played a leading role in the early development of the Marysville Golf Club, and was a key player in the floodlighting of Steavenson Falls as well as the building of a television repeater station ensuring all Melbourne TV stations were received.

He was for many years a Board Member of the Melbourne Tourism Authority, the inaugural Chairman of the Upper Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges Authority. As a Justice of the Peace (JP) he received special recognition for 50 years of service …the list goes on.The culmination of his work saw him being awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth for his civic duties in 1978.

Unfortunately Jack’s career was cut short when, in accident at Marylands, he sustained serious injuries. This resulted in the business being sold and in the early 1980’s he retired to live for more than 20 years in a house in Sedgewick Street.

Jack often spoke proudly of what he believed was his greatest achievement -  “saving the Beauty Spot from Private development” and returning it to the people as a special natural attraction complete with a magnificent tree fern gulley through which a gently flowing O’Leary’s creek meanders.

He also fondly recalled his “membership” of the Fred Barton Club. This was an unofficial gathering of Marysville’s local identities and business people including such luminaries as Geoff Cuzens of Cumberland fame, Fred Barton one of the earliest families to settle in the area, Bill Walker, a noted timber man, Fred Fiske, owner operators of Marylyn Guest House. The “meetings” consisted of a regular get-together at the Marysville hotel for a few beers to discuss Marysville matters. The unwritten rule was that the last person to arrive was “in the chair” and bought the drinks. As the last surviving member of the club I have no doubt Jack will be in the “Chair” buying the drinks this week at the club’s next meeting.

Jack Haycraft MBE, JP – Marysville salutes his passing.

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