About The Author — Lyall Ford

Lyall Ford grew up in the coastal city of Mackay in North Queensland, which is the centre of the largest sugar growing area in Australia.

After becoming dux of the Mackay State High School, he studied Civil Engineering at the University College of Townsville (now James Cook University). After an undistinguished University career, his greatest claim to fame being that he was one of the group of students who painted the first ‘Saint’ on Castle Hill, he began work with the Main Roads Department in Mackay. He has since travelled widely around Queensland, having been based in a number of different centres including Barcaldine (twice), Brisbane, Cloncurry, Emerald and Cairns (twice). He worked for a civil engineering contractor in England for 18 months in the 1970s. He is currently Director (Project Management Services NQ) based in Cairns.

He has always been interested in family history but his active search for records commenced in 1977 after his father’s death. This event drove home the importance of recording the stories that the old timers tell before they die, rather than wishing afterwards that this had been done.

Consequently he has spent the years since then recording the stories of older family members and their friends. Most of them have now passed on but their stories live on in the books that he is now writing. A period of long service leave in England in 1978 allowed him to research the history of the various branches of the family prior to their emigration to Australia. The Internet has been invaluable in recent years for following up on this research. His wife Penelope (Penny) and young son Miles accompanied him on the trip to England. They later had three more children — Felicity, Christopher and Stephanie.

In his travels around Queensland, Lyall was able to accumulate a considerable amount of information about the history of the State. Consequently his books aren’t like most family histories, as they include a wealth of information (including much original research) about various parts of Queensland. Although holding down a full time job, he is continuing to write in his spare time in an effort to ensure that the results of his research are recorded before he follows in the footsteps of his ancestors.