Driving around Tuncurry, you may notice iconic sites such as The Great Lakes Cinema, the abandoned BI-LO, and the Rockpool. But one lesser known locale is Fazio’s Transport and Bricks at 5 Lake Street.1
Our story begins on the Italian island of Lipari where Vincenzo Fazio was born 11 July 1865. At age 21 he left his life in Lipari and immigrated aboard the ‘Jeira’ to Australia. He worked as a fisherman in Sydney for 10 years before moving to Tuncurry.2
Vincenzo married local woman, Lilian Hardy, and opened the first fishery in Tuncurry.3 The building in which it was situated, Keepsake Cottage, was composed of wreckage from the ‘Empress of India’, which sank at Forster. Here the Fazios also ran a convenience store, where Lilian created and served her famous ice cream. This store would later be owned by another Italian immigrant, Enrico Bonventi.4
Throughout his time as a fisherman Vincenzo (along with the other Italian immigrants), introduced Mediterranean fishing methods that are still used today in the local area. But Vincenzo wasn’t just a fisherman, he was a truck driver too.5
As electric cooling hadn’t yet been invented, the transporting of fresh fish from one place to another whilst maintaining the quality of the fish was an issue. In 1913, a railway was established that permitted travel to Sydney from Taree. This was perfect for the local fisherman as they could transport their fish to the city market without the fish being spoilt. Vincenzo maximised the efficiency of transporting the fish to Taree by founding Fazio’s trucking.6 Fazio trucks can still be spotted in the Forster-Tuncurry area, but they don’t transport fish these days.
Author: Luke Maher, Year 9, Great Lakes College Tuncurry.
To read a longer version of this story please click here.
2 NAA: A659, FAZIO, Vincenzo – Naturalisation; NSW BDM, Death Index for Vincenzo Fazio: 27617/1962.
3 NSW BDM, Marriage Index for Vincent Fazio and Lilian J Hardy, 177/1896.
4 Susan Gogarty, Tuncurry: Tapestry of a town. Tuncurry: N.S.W.: Great Lakes Historical Co-operative Society Ltd, 2011.