Flack, Charles

Charles Thomas Flack, born in Suffolk England, in 1854, arrived in Australia with his parents, Peter and Mary and Flack, in 1857. In 1885, in Milton, New South Wales, Thomas married Susanna Hewitt, aged 20 years, granddaughter of Susannah and Samuel Hewitt. The Hewitts were Wesleyan Methodists and the young Susannah and her parents were Sunday School teachers at the Dundas Methodist Church.

 Charles and Susannah moved to Beecroft about 1895, living in a timber cottage on an orchard at the corner of Murray Farm and Orchard Roads, the house now being 127A Murray Farm Road. In the early 1900s Charles purchased a property in Orchard Road and built by himself a timber house on stone foundations and planted an orchard of oranges, lemons, peaches, plums and apples. The income from the fruit, sold at the Parramatta markets, and the raising of pigs provided adequately for his family of seven children born between 1886 and 1900.

Naturally, the Flacks attended the Beecroft Methodist Church, but only the six eldest children attended Carlingford Public School, taking short cuts across paddocks to get to it. The youngest child, Esther, went to Beecroft Public School where her great joy was to win a book prize, ‘The Wonders of the Plant World ‘for the best school garden in 1914.

To visit their friends, the Masons, in Mary Street, and for Esther to go to school and the family to church, Charles felled a large tree in the bush near their home and laid it across the creek as a bridge. In the school holidays the children had to help in the orchard, once a year scrubbing the trunks of the fruit trees – not a favoured task.

Susannah Flack died in 1913 at the age of 47 years and the eldest daughter Olive, then aged 23 years, took her mother’s place in running the home.[1]

Arthur Flack (born in 1897) served with the Australian Imperial Forces in France and Olive enlisted
as a Red Cross nurse.[2]

Charles Flack died in 1931 at the home of his daughter Esther in Carlingford and was buried in the
Methodist Cemetery at West Pennant Hills beside his wife.[3]

[1] Cumberland Argus, 5 April 1913.

[2] Arthur Stewart Flack, railway porter, of Orchard Road, Beecroft, embarked on 17 July 1918 with the 13th New South Wales reinforcements.

[3] Information from Mrs Jeanette Moss of Epping.