William Charles Pousty
William Charles Pousty
Date of Birth 7 January 1864
Place of Residence Mulgrave Street Launceston Tasmania Australia
Spouses Name Ethel May Harrison
Childrens Names Marguerite Ethelwyn

William Charles Pousty, the eldest of six children, was born in Kings Street, Hereford, England, on 7 Jan 1864. His parents were William Pousty (1837-1897) and Caroline Hodges Ward (1834-1895). The Pousty family migrated to Australia in 1883 on the Iberia. William junior was employed by the Postal Department before setting up his own business in 1890. His electrical depot was at 63 Brisbane Street, Launceston. In 1889 he installed the first electric light in the Launceston district at the Waverley Woollen Mills and at the residence of the proprietor Peter Bulman. In the official catalogue of the Tasmanian Exhibition of 1891-92 he was described as an electrical mechanician. He displayed electrical bells, telephones and electric light appliances for domestic and mining purposes.

Before the Exhibition William had reorganised and extended the electric lighting plant at the Mount Bischoff Company's mine and also provided electric light for a number of events in Launceson. He was the first to introduce the phonograph in Tasmania, was a member of the Northern Tasmanian Camera Club, a committee member of the Launceston City and Suburb Improvement Association, a teacher of electricity at the Launceston Technical College and later did electrical work on the West Coast. He also spent 16 years in England and Africa, returning to Tasmania on his retirement in 1922.

William married Ethel Harrison on 20 Feb 1900 in Launceston. They had one daughter, Marguerite (Meg), who was born in Launceston on 12 Feb 1907. Meg trained as a nurse at the Launceston General Hospital and started a chest clinic there in the 1930s. William died at George Town on 15 May 1925. His wife Ethel died aged 83 on 16 Mar 1958. Meg returned to England in 1961 and died in Wilton, Salisbury, in 1988. See The Examiner 28 Oct 2006, page 36.

Barbara Valentine, Robert Ward & John Stratton Poustie Jan 2008