John Francis Tabrett was born in Kent, Ashford, England. He arrived in Australia in 1873 at the age of 24. He was tall and athletic. At the time of his death in November 1919 he left a widow, six sons and three daughters.
Occupation & interests
Tabrett was a builder, timber merchant, contractor, brick maker, tour operator and businessman. He established himself as a contractor and timber merchant and builder in Newtown c1876. He and partner William Draper erected the Commercial Bank at Newtown and as well as the Leichhardt Town Hall. A keen roller skater, his company also erected ‘Her Majesty’s Skating Rink’ in 1888, which in summer was converted into ‘monster’ swimming baths on King Street. The company ran into financial difficulties in 1889 and was declared bankrupt. He and his family then moved to the Blue Mountains, where he served on the local council for many years, and ran a successful tourist coach and motor service.
Tabrett was captain of the Newtown Voluntary Reserve. He was a member of Sydney Lancers. He was a justice of the peace (JP) and Commissioner for Affidavits for NSW.
Local government service
John Francis Tabrett was an alderman on Newtown Council in 1886-87, representing O’Connell Ward.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 February 1890, p. 3 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13760951
‘Mr J F Tabrett’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 November 1919, p. 12 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28097400
‘Death of Mr J F Tabrett, JP’, The Blue Mountains Echo, 7 November 1919, p. 5 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10