The following articles were in the Norfolk Islander (the local paper) which was founded in 1965)
Some alterations have been made to make article more correct.
Saturday 2nd March 2002
Descendants of First Fleeters invade Norfolk Island for a Family Reunion.
From the 2nd until the 9th March Norfolk Islands population will swelled with the descendants of convict couple, Nathaniel Lucas and Olivia Gascoigne, arriving on Norfolk for a Family Reunion and Dedication Ceremonies. Nathaniel and Olivia, were two of the first 23 people to land on Norfolk Island on the 6th March 1788 when the “Supply” arrived with it's human cargo to establish the colony. Nathaniel had arrived in Sydney on board the “Scarborough” and Olivia on the “Lady Penhryn”. Having been chosen because of their behaviour or vocation they were transferred to the “Supply” when it sailed for Norfolk Island. They, under the guidance of Governor Phillip Gidley King established the colony and farmed successfully. Nathaniel was appointed Superintendent of Carpenters and built many of the First Settlement buildings including Cascade Wharf. Their lives are well documented with information in the Museum.
What was of interest to the Norfolk Islanders is just how large a family this couple produced. Nathaniel and Olivia are mentioned in Colleen McCullough’s “Morgan’s Run” and her description of life in the colony is considered to be very accurate. On the 10th November 2001 “A NATION WITHIN A NATION” was launched at a book launch in Melbourne. This 4 kilogram volume containing 1500 pages is about the life and the descendants of this couple. This magnificent volume was the work of Peter Mckay a descendant of james the 8th child of Nathaniel and Olivia.The men in the family have served their country in the wars since Federation in 1901.
Whilst most of the family have lived fairly normal lives, blending into the population, others have stood a little taller. Family members have been prominent Politicians, Judges, Lawyers, and the world famous Germain Greer, and one member was involved with the Breaker Morant story. Quite a few of the descendants have made names for themselves in the sporting arena including, Basketball, Australian Rules Football, America’s Cup yacht racing and one of the greatest ever jockeys, Shane Dye. There have also been famous entertainers as well, including Bobby Le Brun who was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his contributions to theatre over 50 years. He was also awarded the first “Mo Fellowship Award”. One of the famous singing groups the “Deltones” is also a descendant. Alan Pease the world's foremost expert on Body Language is also a descendant of this couple. He has published eight books in over thirty-five languages and sold more than four million copies. His top rating television series on human communication was watched by more than a hundred million viewers.
Family members are now spread throughout the world and members can be found in New Zealand, Britain, America, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Singapore, Zambia, Japan, and the Solomon Irelands.
There are now an estimated 25,584 living descendants or to put it in different terms 1 in every 799 people in Australia are descendants of Nathaniel and Olivia. One branch of the family alone has produced 8,252 descendants. There are now 10th generation descendants of Nathaniel and Olivia. New family members are still being found and with computers, E-mail, Web Sites and Search Engines it is far easier than it was years ago.
Our Family Reunion was organized to coincide with the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet. While on the island the descendants presented a copy of the book “A NATION WITHIN A NATION” to the Museum. On Foundation Day a plaque was dedicated to the twin daughters of Nathaniel and Olivia who were killed just three days short of their second birthdays. Nathaniel was clearing land near the house and had set fire to the tree thinking it would fall clear of the house, a sudden gust of wind blew the tree on to the house, killing the twins and badly injuring Olivia. This was on the 14th August 1792.
The descendants of Nathaniel and Olivia generously donated towards the plaque and a seat was also dedicated down at Kingston. This seat was a gift to the Norfolk Island Community from the descendants, honouring and celebrating the lives of their ancestors. A tree was also planted at “A Walk in the Wild” as a living memorial to Mary and Sarah the twin girls that were killed.
Many of the descendants on this trip had never met before this but because they share a common bond, it was certainly a very special time together. The uniting bond that brought us together was a pride in our ancestors and a love of family values. Our Nations would not be what they are today without the strength and tenacity shown by our forebears. The Lucas – Gascoigne Banner was unveiled for the first time while on the island and the Logo on the banner states “Builders of a Nation”. Nathaniel and his sons were indeed builders in occupation, a tradition that was handed down through many generations. Many prominent buildings in the early Sydney Town can be attributed to Nathaniel and his sons. What is even more important is that they became “Builders of a Nation” in that they alone have created what is believed to be Australia's largest family.
Saturday, 9th March 2002.
They were tough people!
This was the general opinion of the pictured group of Lucas-Gascoigne descendants who were pictured at Kingston on foundation day, Wednesday the 6th March.
Together with Lt. Philip Gidley King (a.k.a. Mike Perkins) our picture shows one member of each branch of the children born to Nathaniel and Olivia while on Norfolk and in Sydney.
In the photograph the family was represented by the following people.
Back row - Lt to Rt. Geoff Lucas, Rhonda Mackie, Ian Blair, Graham Lucas, Marjorie Sullivan, Nola Lord, Jean Higston, Carmel Lockwood, Wendy Brown and Greg Lucas.
The visit had brought home to them all, just what hardships and privations their ancestors had to suffer. A visit to Nathaniel and Olivia's Lot 33 where their home was located was also very special.
Nathaniel and Olivia Would Have Been Proud.
Organized by June Dark, who firmly believes "that our greatest asset in life is Family and each and every member of that family complements and enriches the lives of the other members of the family regardless of how close or distant that relationship is" Our picture shows the group of descendants of Norfolk's First Fleeters, Nathaniel Lucas and Olivia Gascoigne who are visiting the island. They were here for a Family Reunion and Dedication Ceremonies which were held on Foundation Day, 6th March 2002.
We would like to record the names of those members, part of the estimated 25,584 living descendants who trace their ancestry back to Nathaniel and Olivia who were in the first party to arrive on Norfolk on the 6th March, 1788.
Here for this special occasion were. (Total of 118).
Gregg Lucas; Debra Buckley; Susan Lee; Nancy Allan; Ashley and Pauleen Groom; Anita and Mary Lucas; Brian and Carolyn Bartlett; Allan and Jennifer Birnie; Ian and Bernice (Dawn) Blair; Penny Boon; Kathleen Brooks; Wendy Brown; Marguerite Byard; Ernie and Pat Cannard; Gwen Chapman; Julie Davies; June Dark; Tom and Carlene Farmer; William (Bill) and Meribeth Fletcher; Nancy Gibson; Warwick and Pam Grace; Max Haddril; Ernest and Jean Hingston; Janice Hovey; Sharyn Hutchinson; Jean Jackson; John and Judy Keating; Keith and Carmel Lockwood; Chris and Mick, Geoff and Ros, Les and Kim, Pat, Lynne and Graham Lucas; Kenneth and Wilma McCubbin; Peter, Patricia J, Patricia M. Meers; Kevin and Marie Meers; Herbert (Herb or Bert) and Catherine (Kate) Moffatt; Judy Nagorcka; Allen and Kay North; Charles (Warwick) and Margaret Parker; Lorna Paton; Ryan, Kerry and Krisy Paulsen; Ken and Faye Pickett; Merv and Wendy Poyner; Kaye Price; Vera Pumphrey; Audrey Reeves; Paul and Patricia Reynolds; Allan and Janice Robinson; Lindsay and Millie Scott; Anne, Michael, Rod and Suzanne Smith; Marjory Sullivan; Lenore Todd; Bill, Mary and Paul Bouker; Brian and Jocelyn Cavagna; Lynn Krause (friend); David and Nola Lord; James and Rhonda Mackie; Helen O'Brien; Winifred Sullivan; Prue Rees; Amy Roberts; Dorothy Scott; Kathleen Westlake; William (Bill) Evans and Mary Sanders; Margaret Lambrick; Nancy Little (friend); John Meers; Kathleen Murphy; Helen and Patrick Newman; Alicia and Wendy Philby; Fred and Maureen Rodda; Susan Afford; Margaret and Frank Pitt;
Our Picture shows June Dark (centre) with her daughter Kerry Paulsen (standing) and grandchildren Ryan (left) and Krisy holding the Lucas - Gascoigne Banner and seated on the seat donated to the Norfolk Islanders to commemorate the lives of Nathaniel and Olivia.
They helped to save the significance of Foundation Day. (page 5 Volume 37, No 15 Saturday, 9th March 2002 THE NORFOLK ISLANDER).
For the last 17 years Foundation Day on Norfolk Island has been marked by the re-enactment of the landing of the settling party, under the command of Lieutenant Philip Gidley King, Commandant, together with 7 other officials and 15 convicts.
Unfortunately this year's re-enactment was greatly condensed due to the problems being encountered with Public Liability insurance.
Among the 15 convicts who landed here on the 6th March, 1788 was Nathaniel Lucas, a carpenter and joiner, who was sentenced to 7 years transportation for the theft of muslin caps, handkerchiefs, aprons and towels valued at 52 shillings. One of the female convicts was Olivia Gascoigne, aged 25 years who, when in service, stole with force of arms 13 pounds 4 shillings and sixpence in coin and was sentenced to hang. Her sentence was reprieved to one of 7 years transportation.
When selecting his small party Lt. King had advised " .....that if any partiality or reciprocal affection should take place between male and female convicts going there or after their arrival at Norfolk, they might marry ......."
Nathaniel and Olivia married and had 13 children (11 born on Norfolk and 2 in Sydney Australia), of which there were twin girls, Mary and Sarah, who were killed in an accident when a pine tree, which their father had set fire to while clearing land, crashed on their home.
In March 2001, June Dark visited the island and while standing in the Cemetery said she felt very sad that there was nothing to recognize that the twins had ever lived here.
So she set about organizing a Family Reunion on Norfolk and during the week, the group, who come from all Australian States and New Zealand, would unveil a plaque at Emily Bay in Memory of the twins. A memorial seat, overlooking Kingston Pier, was also presented to the people of Norfolk Island.
Photo above shows Dr. John Duke, Mike Perkins (The Commandant) and Mr. Tony Messner (The Administrator of Norfolk Island) and some of the descendants of Nathaniel and Olivia. Dr. Duke prayed a blessing on all those that would sit upon the seat and Mr. Messner accepted the seat on behalf of the people of Norfolk Island.
Garden Party at Forrester Court.
First Fleet Descendants of Nathaniel Lucas and Olivia Gascoigne joined by members of the First Fleet Fellowship of Victoria enjoyed a wonderful day at Forrester Court last Tuesday.
John, a First Fleet Descendant of Robert Forrester, very kindly opened his home and gave the group the freedom of his property for the day. This, in turn helping to raise funds for our local charities such as the Rotary Club who supplied a wonderful lunch for all. The Travel Centre very kindly donated all the proceeds of the day to the Community Centre project.
Special guests included the Administrator of Norfolk Island, Mr. Tony Messner and his wife Robyn, June Dark, the very enthusiastic organizer of the Lucas/Gascoigne family and a First Fleet descendant Paul Bonner-Jones, singer songwriter who entertained during the day with some nostalgic songs of the First Fleet. (Paul's ancestor was Owen Cavanough who was a marine and believed to have been one of the first to step ashore in Australia in 1788).