Fred Mace - Tribute
Frederick Mace - Tribute
Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, on the corner of Westbury Road and Mace Street in the northern community of Prospect Vale sits a white house with a green roof. For the past 65 years this house was the home of Mr Frederick Mace, a pillar of Prospect Vale. It is no coincidence that Fred Mace lived on Mace Street. As one of the trailblazing farming families in the region, it was only natural that the legacy of the Mace family be enshrined in the name of one of its oldest streets.
Fred Mace moved to Prospect in 1933 with his parents and siblings when he was 11 years old. He was born at Toosey Hospital, Longford on 22 March 1922. In 2013 Fred, then aged 91, was invited back as an alumnus for the 100th anniversary of Summerdale Primary School. The juxtaposition of the school's rich heritage with its present students speaks to how deeply Fred's life and legacy is rooted in the Prospect region. Fred told The Examiner at the time that he recalled walking through bush and cutting through paddocks to get to school as a lad. Fred's life was full of hard work. In an interview with the Facebook page Humans of Launceston, he said he had always worked and he worked hard seven days a week without any real holidays.
As a boy he had special permission to go to school two days a week so he could work with his dad, Frederick Leroy Mace, on their five-acre pig farm near the school. When he was 14 he left school and began working full-time as a farmer, seeing to 90 or so pigs and tending to the market garden and the hay crops. This is where his expertise and inherent knowledge of farming crystallised.
In 1947, aged 25, Fred bought his own farm and 33-acre plot of land stretching from the present-day Prospect shopping centre to Silverdome. Fred paid £750 of his hard-earned money for the property, living by his creed of 'If you cannot pay for it, you cannot have it'. A combination of magic Tasmanian soil and his farming know-how allowed Fred to grow award-winning vegetables over the years, such as metre-long carrots and pumpkins so large it took six grown men to lift them.
Being so occupied with his farming love came a little bit late for Fred. After a brief courtship he married Lola in June 1952 and moved into a shack on the property that is now 6 Mace Street. Two sons, Maurice and Ross, followed not long after. The Mace family continued farming and connecting with their community. Fred also loved participating in local footy. He was a life member of the Hagley Football Club, volunteered as an official timekeeper and won best clubman in 1995.
Standing by his creed of showing respect for your neighbours and friends, working hard and giving a helping hand to those in need, Fred also volunteered as a maintenance man at the graveyard in Westbury Road, where many of his ancestors rest. Fred kept the Mace family Bible dating back to 1835, highlighting just how important he viewed family and connection to place.
Aside from one incident in his 20s when Fred and his mate Herbert Rudd were required to stuff a punctured tyre with big clumps of grass on the way back from a trip to visit St Marys, Fred lived an entirely law-abiding life. He was never once booked by the police. Luckily no-one cottoned on to the patched-up tyre on the slow trip back to Launceston. Fred's record remained untarnished.
Fred's 33-acre block of land was partitioned and a number of blocks sold to convert into housing developments in Prospect when it was really taking off as one of Launceston's major suburbs.The Mace land forms an important part of Prospect, geographically and in spirit. In 1980 Fred sadly lost Lola to ovarian cancer and missed her deeply from then on. Still living on Mace Street Fred and Lola's sons continued to help out with the house and to keep him in high spirits. Being a father to two and grandfather to Maurice and Jenny's three boys, Daniel, Gavin and Andrew, and to Ross and Susan's three daughters, Rebecca, Pamela and Sarah, plus great-grandad to Koby, Rubi, Lucas and Poppy, Fred loved being a dad, grandad and great-grandad as he watched his family grow and his community flourish.
We sadly lost Fred Mace on 10 April this year at the age of 97. What is striking about Fred's legacy is how adaptable he was to change throughout his life, but how steadfastly he stood by his beliefs and his community. I believe that so long as we remember Fred's words and deeds, his character will continue to permeate throughout the community, giving us pause to reflect on Fred's life and deep mark on Prospect Vale - the place is was then and the place is it today.