It was with great sorrow that the Lithgow heritage community learnt of the death last week of Emeritus Professor Ian Jack.
Ian had a lifelong love of Lithgow and its heritage and over the years has made a huge contribution to our understanding of the rich heritage of our region.
In the early 1990s, the then Associate Professor from St Andrew's College, Sydney University, was appointed by Lithgow City Council to undertake a comprehensive review of the heritage assets of our region.
The final product of this exercise was the Lithgow Regional Heritage Study, published in 1998. This is the work that underpinned Council's decision to list some six hundred properties, as heritage items, or as falling within heritage conservation areas, in the Lithgow City Council Local Environment Plan 2014.
Ian's love of Lithgow was a constant element in his work. His interest covered both our industrial heritage and the pioneers that preceded industrialisation.
He was particularly enamoured by Andrew Brown of Cooerwull, a fellow Scot who was arguably our first industrialist and who grew to be one of the Colony's most successful graziers and a major philanthropist.
You can watch Ian Jack's 2017 Yvonne Jenkins Memorial lecture, which focused on Andrew Brown's role in the development of the area.
Ian has been an avid supporter of the Heritage community in Lithgow for many years. He has generously given of his time to speak at events hosted by the National Trust and the Lithgow Family History Society and has shared his knowledge directly with many people in the community who own heritage properties or have an interest in heritage for its own sake.
We have lost a prodigious scholar whose writings and other works will be treasured in our archives.
Over the years Ian has served terms as President of the Royal Australian Historical Society and as a member of the New South Wales Heritage Council. In recent times he has acted in executive roles with the Hawkesbury Historical Society and the Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage
Organisations, both of which he has recently served as President. He will be greatly missed by all in the wider Australian Heritage community.
- Written on behalf of the Lithgow Regional Branch of the National Trust (NSW) by Treasurer Ramsay Moodie.