Biographical entry: Packer, Frederick Augustus (1839 - 1902)

Musician and Public Servant


Frederick Augustus Gow Packer, musician and civil servant, was born in England. In 1852 the family migrated to Hobart Town and soon became prominent in the colony's musical life.


Packer followed his father as organist of St David's Cathedral. He was instrumental in the acquisition of the organ at the Hobart Town Hall, and became honorary city organist. He was also a skilled pianist and accompanist, and a music teacher whose pupils included soprano Amy Sherwin.

Composition was another of Packer's talents. He wrote the 1869 Ode of welcome to the Duke of Edinburgh, and composed commemorative pieces, comic operas and some contemporary long-running hits. The State Library of Tasmania holds the scores of many of his songs. After his retirement from the civil service, Packer moved to Sydney.

Wendy Rimon

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