Letter: Launch of John Lean's fifth book

John Lean with his latest book
John Lean with his latest book

On Saturday 2nd December it was my pleasure to be part of history. The launch of local author and historian John Lean’s fifth and latest book on the early history of the Bellinger and Kalang river valleys.

John Lean has been working on this series of books for many years and they are a valuable insight into the district from its settlement in the early 1860s.

This book in particular covers the areas of North Bank Road, Raleigh, Repton to the sea at Bundagen. As a lifetime resident of North Bank Road I was invited to give a brief history of the area and stories of my childhood and family connections.   I am a direct descendent of first settler William Parsonage Tyson who in 1863 selected the property my family farmed for three generations on North Bank Road, which our family sold in 1973. My wife Yvonne and I still live on part of the farm which we subdivided.   My grandfather Bill Tyson came with his brother George who settled Fernmount and turned it into a thriving town complete with 27 businesses including the hotel.  The river was service with a punt which ferried passengers and goods to the north bank and back.

The books are beautifully written and illustrated and really are literary masterpieces due to their content and history.  I would like to congratulate John Lean on his fine works.  The books are available to read or  purchase from the Historical Society at the Bellingen Museum.

A good crowd came along to the launch at the museum with quite a few former residents along with local identities.

I feel very fortunate to be able to assist John with the history of North Bank Road as part of this book, so when he asked me to speak on launch day I proudly shared my memories of days past and spent an enjoyable morning sharing more stories with friends and all those in attendance.

May I recommend these books to you all – they are a marvellous recount of history and genealogy focussing on the first hundred years of settlement from 1863 to 1963. A very good read.

Thank you

Wal Tyson – North Bank Road