Nicholas Boyaze (Voyatzis) was born in Crete around 1857 and led a remarkable early life before arriving in Australia in 1886 aboard the ‘Australasian’.1
In 1898, Nicholas settled in Bohnock, a small township on the Manning River. Here he managed the oyster leases of the Sydney-based Comino Brothers, who he worked for in Sydney when he first arrived in Australia. Nicholas employed many local river men to harvest oysters and maintain the oyster beds and trays.2
Nicholas’ generosity and cheerfulness were well-known in the district. It was due to his efforts that Bohnock gained a post office. For seven years he worked voluntarily with the local school teacher, George Campbell, to deliver mail to the region. He would, on more than one occasion, run his boat to Taree to post an important letter rather than see it delayed.3
Nicholas owned three boats while living at Bohnock. The first was a well-appointed one named ‘Pandora’. The larger boat ‘Ariadne’ was used as the school and passenger boat while the third, ‘Salamis’, was used for farming oysters.
He contributed significantly to Bohnock Primary School. He ensured attendance numbers were maintained by conveying children to school by boat for free and lent horses to others. When schools gathered for sporting competitions he endeavoured to see that the Bohnock students were fully supported and lacked for nothing in comparison with larger schools.4
After 27 years living in Bohnock, Nicholas passed away unexpectedly in 1925. He is buried in the Oxley Island Cemetery however no headstone marks his grave.5
Compiled by Janine Roberts, based on the research of Bevan Nelson.
Further reading: Bevan Nelson, When we were kids: The story of Bohnock, a small rural community (Bohnock: 2004).
1 Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Certificates of Naturalization, 1849-1903 [database online].
2 Bevan Nelson, When we were kids: The story of Bohnock, a small rural community, (Bohnock, 2004).
3 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 22 April 1925.
4 Nelson, When we were kids.
5 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 22 April 1925.