M Douglas

M, #21396
Directory*1895 Upper Beaconsfield, VIC, Australia, Douglas, M., agent.1 


  1. [S361] G. F. Witton's Commercial Directory, Listed under Beaconsfield Upper. 33 miles S.E. from Melbourne; rail to Beaconsfield R.S., thence hire, 5 miles; post and tel. office; State school; mechanics' institute and free library; assembly hall. Population 510.
Last Edited16 Dec 2018

Robert George Pettit

M, #21407, b. 1864, d. 21 Sep 1936
Marriage*1904 Spouse: Jane Nixon. VIC, Australia, #M675.1
Death*21 Sep 1936 Northam, WA, Australia. 
Death-Notice29 Sep 1936 PETTIT.—On September 21, at Northam, Robert George (Doodlakine), loving husband of Jane, fond father of Jack, Leila (Mrs. Herrick), Maude (Mrs. Bannon), Bill, Neta (Mrs. Cooke), and Mona; aged 72 years. Victorian papers please copy.
At rest.2 
Death-Notice*8 Oct 1936 PETTIT, ROBERT GEORGE, at Northam, on September 21; aged 72 years.3 


Jane Nixon b. 1879, d. 6 Jan 1939
Child 1.Evelyn Maude Pettit+ b. 1907, d. 1998


  1. [S27] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Marriages) (online).
  2. [S14] Newspaper - The West Australian (Perth, WA), Tue 29 Sep 1936, p1
  3. [S14] Newspaper - Western Mail (Perth, WA), Thu 8 Oct 1936, p4
Last Edited10 Dec 2019

Margaret Ellen Eckersall

F, #21409, b. 1859
Father*William Eckersall b. 1812, d. 7 Aug 1890
Mother*Elizabeth Goldsborough b. 1827, d. 7 Apr 1908
Birth*1859 Brunswick, VIC, Australia, #B5991/1859.1 
Marriage-Notice*25 Mar 1889 HEWITSON—ECKERSALL.—On the 19th ult., at the residence of the bride's parents, by the Rev. A. M'Vean, assisted by the Rev. W. J. Bray, William Hewitson, B.A., son of Thomas Hewitson, of Clunes, to Margaret Helen, third daughter of William Eckersall, of Brunswick. No cards.2 


  1. [S26] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Births) (online).
  2. [S11] Newspaper - The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), Mon 25 Mar 1889, p1
Last Edited12 Aug 2020

Peter M Luke

M, #21417, b. 1915, d. Sep 2007
Father*Charles Robert Montague Luke b. 1885, d. 3 Nov 1962
Mother*Elsie May Ann El Speed b. 1885, d. 8 Feb 1962
Birth*1915 Woollahra, NSW, Australia, #B36469/1915.1 
Death*Sep 2007 


  • 28 Sep 2007: Peter Luke, 1915-2007
    Peter Luke, founder of the CYCA and competitor in the first Sydney-Hobart, dies aged 92.
    Peter began his boating career at a very young age. He was given an 8ft dinghy with a 1hp outboard motor as a child, but it wasn’t long before Peter had converted it – with a sugar bag for a sail, hung off a broomstick for a mast. In the ensuing years he graduated from dinghies to keelboats, culminating with the launching of his Alden-designed 41ft yawl,Wayfarer, in 1942.
    In 1944 Peter co-founded the CYCA with his friend Charlie Cooper, and in June that year a group of eight yachtsmen met at Monte Luke’s studio in Castlereagh Street and conducted the first meeting. The fact that the club’s intended cruise from Sydney to Hobart became a race is now well known. In May 1945, British naval officer Commander John Illingworth addressed a meeting of the club, and when asked to join a planned cruise to Hobart is alleged to have said “Why don’t we make a race of it?” The rest is history. Peter Luke set a record in that race that still stands today – the longest-ever time to finish the 628 nautical mile course, 11 days 6 hours 20 minutes.
    Peter gave up a career in photography in the mid-1960s and for several years held a number of jobs in the marine industry before retiring about 1975 to Port Stephens with his second wife Monnie and Wayfarer, living aboard the yacht while they found a place to live. He is survived by Monnie, and her daughter Pauline, his first wife Betty, and their two children Lindy and Roland.2
  • 18 Oct 2007: A founding father of the Sydney to Hobart
    PETER LUKE was a co-founder of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, which hosts one of the three great ocean racing classics in the world, the Sydney to Hobart. Yet Luke and Charlie Cooper formed the club in 1944 specifically for yachtsmen who did not want to race.
    Now the club is one of the world's foremost ocean racing clubs and, since its inception, cruising has played only a minor role. The founders' mission of cruising was swept off course by the first Sydney to Hobart race in 1945, when a planned Christmas cruise to Hobart by Luke and two others turned into a race at the suggestion of John Illingworth, a British naval officer and renowned ocean racer who was stationed at Garden Island.
    That race ran into storms, with fears of yachts lost at sea, and occupied front-page headlines in the week between Christmas and the New Year. It fired the imagination of postwar yachtsmen and became the club's central focus.
    Luke took part, along with eight other yachts, in his 12.2-metre Bermudian yawl, Wayfarer, designed by John Alden. Wayfarer set a record that still stands - the longest time to complete the course, 11 days, six hours and 20 minutes. Luke used to say that the record "wasn't beaten even by any of the all-girl crews" who have since competed.
    During the 1945 race, the crew went ashore several times to phone home. Towards the end, after battling fierce winds in Storm Bay for 12 hours and getting nowhere, they went ashore for a crayfish dinner at Port Arthur before finishing the next day. They were ocean racing but not yet "ocean racers".
    Luke, who has died at 92, was the son of the Sydney photographer Monte Luke, who worked in the theatre before establishing his photography business. Well-spoken and handsome, he could charm birds out of trees. He did extremely well in portrait and wedding photography and bought land at Taylors Bay on Sydney Harbour, building an architect-designed house in Mosman. Peter's mother, E.M. Speed, from Ballarat, managed the business.
    The couple doted on their only son, giving him a 2.4-metre dinghy and one-horsepower outboard motor at an early age. He soon converted it to sail, hoisting a sugar bag on a broomstick.
    After finishing his schooling at Kings, young Luke went to work in the darkroom at his father's studio. He worked there for 35 years, "cordially detesting" the commercial side of the business but feeling obliged as an only son to carry on.
    His real love was boats and the sea, and he read voraciously on the subject. He remembered the frustration of covering a wedding at St Mark's church, Darling Point, on a Saturday and seeing all his mates on the harbour in their yachts.
    Luke was sailing in March 1944 when he saw another Alden design, Charlie Cooper's Asgard. He took photographs, which he later gave to Cooper, a fruit merchant. Cooper responded with a box of fruit, and a relationship was established. They formed a cruising club in June 1944 with six other yachtsmen. Luke, with his good looks and outgoing charm - some said he looked like Errol Flynn - was the club's chief recruiter, the first secretary and later vice-commodore and commodore.
    He was very active in the club for 15 years or so until it became obvious that, to win races, one had to be wealthy enough to buy the latest gear. Although he became less active, he was elected to life membership in 1957. He relinquished this honour and his club membership in 1976, when the club accepted its first commercial sponsorship, from Hitachi.
    Luke was a Corinthian in the sense of believing that recreational activity must be divorced from commerce. He also had vivid memories of the Japanese attacks on Sydney in May 1942 and held negative feelings about the Japanese. He was persuaded to rejoin the club at the time of the 50th anniversary race, when he sailed to Hobart at the age of 79 aboard Charisma.
    The start of the Sydney to Hobart has become a great Australian carnival, with a huge live television audience and up to 400,000 spectators lining Sydney's foreshores on Boxing Day. A friend of Luke's wrote in 1960: "Should you never have the opportunity to give Australia any more gifts such as this festival, it will not matter, as you have cast the traditional die of celebration on the sea and brought to fruition 'a thousand sail of the line'."
    Peter Luke married Betty Anderson in 1938 and they lived on a houseboat near the Spit Bridge for many years. He married Mornette Wilson in 1959 and they lived on the harbour, on Wayfarer, for many years before moving to Port Stephens in 1973. He is survived by Mornette, Betty and the children of his first marriage, Lindy and Roland.
    source SMH3


  1. [S7] Registry of NSW Births Deaths and Marriages.
  2. [S50] Miscellaneous Source, Yachting World 28 Sep 2007, viewed online https://www.yachtingworld.com/news/…
  3. [S14] Newspaper - https://www.smh.com.au/national/…
    by David Colfelt.
Last Edited14 Dec 2018

Jessie Rita Horsfall

F, #21420, b. 1908
Married NameGriffiths. 
Birth*1908 Richmond, VIC, Australia, #B6509 [par Jesse HORSFALL & Margaret LOFTS].1 
Marriage*1934 Spouse: Ernest James Griffiths. VIC, Australia, #M5787.2

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
1936Toomuc Valley Road, Pakenham, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: home duties. With parents Charles GRIFFITHS (gardener) & Sarah Frances GRIFFITHS (home duties). With Ernest James Griffiths.3
1937Pakenham Upper, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: home duties. With parents Charles GRIFFITHS (gardener) & Sarah Frances GRIFFITHS (home duties). With Ernest James Griffiths.4
19541 Tennyson Street, Moonee Ponds, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: home duties. With Ernest James Griffiths.5
1977521 Monbulk Road, Tecoma, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: nil. With Ernest James Griffiths.6


  1. [S26] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Births) (online).
  2. [S27] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Marriages) (online).
  3. [S136] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1936 "Jessie lists address as Pakenham only, others Toomuc Valley Road."
  4. [S137] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1937.
  5. [S154] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1954.
  6. [S177] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1977.
Last Edited16 Dec 2018


Some family sections show only the children who were associated with Upper Beaconsfield.

Some individuals may be featured because members of their family were associated with the Upper Beaconsfield area, even though they themselves never lived here.