Settler family holds reunion
THE third Boyd family reunion will take place at the South Tweed Sports Club this Sunday.
About 100 descendants of one of the Tweed's most prominent families will attend, travelling from as far as Sydney, the Hunter Valley and Brisbane.
Artist Warren Keats, of West Tweed, said the reunion will mark the 150th anniversary of the wreck of the Ebenezer on the Tweed River Bar, when John Boyd's wife Hannah and infant son Thomas, and Edward Boyd's wife Mary and infant son Edward, all died.
The women and children had been travelling to join the Boyd brothers' timber camp.
The four brothers - John (1823-1896), Thomas (1826-1884), Edward (1829-1863) and Richard (1835-1877) - had come to the Tweed in the early 1850s to cut cedar to send to their father's timber yard in Sydney.
Warren Keats is the great grandson of John Boyd. His grandmother Eleanor, John and Hannah's daughter, was lucky to avoid the boating tragedy when she was left behind in Sydney because she had measles.
Mr Keats, who paints historical scenes of the Tweed and is a cousin of the town's former long-time mayor Max Boyd, said John Boyd was credited with making peace with the Tweed Aborigines, ending hostilities involving cedar cutters from the Moreton Bay penal settlement.
John Boyd saw the Ebenezer arrive at the river mouth in the evening.
The schooner ran aground on a sandbank, then was hit by a storm and started to break up.
Edward Boyd, who had accompanied the women and children on their sea journey, was unable to save them.
The next morning, John Boyd rowed up the river to see what had happened and found his son floating in the water.
Thomas Boyd senior had fought in Spain with Wellington against the French. He went to Ireland in 1815, where he married.
He went to Sydney in 1826 as part of the Royal New South Wales Veterans' Company.