John George (Jack) Joyce was born in Launceston on 7 Feb 1870. He was the third of five children of John Samuel Joyce (1841-1912) and his wife Eliza Jane Carey (1847-1891). Jack was a third generation butcher. His grandfather, James Joyce (1810-1887), arrived in Tasmania as a convict in 1832 on the ship Lord William Bentinck and worked in Launceston as a tailor for 20 years before opening a butcher's shop in Charles Street. James' son John took over the business from his father, and moved it to 137 Brisbane Street. On John's retirement in 1893 the butchery passed to Jack, his oldest son. Earlier Jack had been apprenticed in the drapery trade.
On 1 Jan 1904 Jack married Esther Barrett. They lived at 'Tamarleigh' with their five children. Esther died suddenly on 22 July 1923. Jack passed away just four years later on 20 June 1927 and was buried at Carr Villa. He was a Freemason and greatly interested in sport. His obituary in the Daily Telegraph stated that he was 'one of the best known and most popular master butchers in Northern Tasmania'. His younger brother Edward also attended the Tasmanian Exhibition. See The Examiner 5 Nov 2005, p. 30.