Australian Dictionary of Biography

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William (Tim) Jackson (1907–1975)

by George C. Wade

This article was published:

William (Tim) Jackson (1907-1975), orchardist and politician, was born on 28 October 1907 at Dover, Tasmania, eldest of five children of English-born parents Dr William Jackson, gentleman orchardist, and his wife Maud, née Bush. Dr Jackson had studied medicine at Caius College, Cambridge, and represented England at Rugby Union football; a colourful personality and a philanthropist, he was an authority on all branches of gardening. Young William, who was known as 'Tim', was educated at The Hutchins School, Hobart, and began farming at Dover, growing high-quality fruit and vegetables. At St Peter's Anglican Church, Geeveston, on 19 February 1932 he married Nancy Golding Eady, a schoolteacher. A member (1933-34) of Esperance Municipal Council, he was managing director of Port Huon Fruit Growers.

On 1 September 1940 Jackson was appointed sub lieutenant, Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve, and was sent to Britain that month for service under the Admiralty Yachtsmen Scheme. He was navigating officer of H.M.S. Wanderer in 1940-43. Back in Australia, from January to August 1944 he was first lieutenant of H.M.A.S. Kapunda. In October he took command of H.M.A.S. Bendigo which performed minesweeping duties with the British Pacific Fleet. He was demobilized on 6 March 1946 as acting lieutenant commander and became foundation president (1950-59) of the Dover branch of the Returned Sailors', Soldiers' and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia.

Standing as a Liberal candidate, on 23 November 1946 Jackson was returned to the Legislative Assembly for the seat of Franklin. An 'amiable giant of a man', 6 ft 3 ins (191 cm) tall and well liked by all, he was elected deputy-leader of the Opposition in 1951 and leader in 1956. He had barely taken up the leadership when C. A. Bramich, the honorary minister for housing in (Sir) Robert Cosgrove's Labor government, crossed the floor on 11 September, giving the Opposition a majority. Jackson moved a no confidence motion which was carried 15 to 14, but, lacking political guile, he was outwitted by Cosgrove who adjourned the Assembly and regained office at the elections on 13 October. Hampered by disunity and an 'insidious whispering campaign' against their leader, the Liberals again failed narrowly at the elections on 2 May 1959. Pressure mounted against Jackson and, when the party organization intervened on 19 March 1960, he resigned in protest and was succeeded by (Sir) Angus Bethune. Jackson left the party and sat as an Independent Liberal until May 1964.

After his father's death in 1948, Jackson took up the hybridizing of daffodils, which William had begun in the 1920s. Each year he flowered thousands of daffodil seedlings, selecting just a few hundred for further testing. Only those that passed a three-year trial were named. He exported bulbs to many countries, including Britain, the United States of America, Canada and Japan. Between 1955 and 1963 Jackson won nine Australian Seedling cups in succession and eight Tasmanian cups; his daffodils were awarded the national championship in 1964, 1968, 1969, 1972 and 1973. Following a world tour in 1972, he was satisfied that Tasmania led the world in his speciality—superior pink daffodils.

Survived by his wife, son and daughter, Jackson died on 19 February 1975 in Hobart and was cremated. His wife won a trophy at the World Daffodil Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, in 1976.

Select Bibliography

  • K. West, Power in the Liberal Party (Melb, 1965)
  • W. A. Townsley, Tasmania: Microcosm of the Federation or Vassal State 1945-1983 (Hob, 1994)
  • Daffodils (Dover, Tas), 1963-75
  • Saturday Evening Mercury, 25 Jan 1969, 19 Aug 1972
  • Mercury (Hobart), 11 Sept, 6 Oct 1976
  • Huon News, 20 Oct 1990
  • private information.

Citation details

George C. Wade, 'Jackson, William (Tim) (1907–1975)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1996, accessed online 16 July 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 14, (Melbourne University Press), 1996

View the front pages for Volume 14

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


28 October, 1907
Dover, Tasmania, Australia


19 February, 1975 (aged 67)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

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