- Haken, J.K., Dr
- History - pre-Federation, Biographies and personal histories, Naval history
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- September 2006 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Because of his maritime and military duties, he was co-opted onto many Government committees and engaged in many charities. He became Chairman of the Pilots’ Board on 13 January 1863 and held the position until 30 March 1872, when the Board was disbanded. During this time he was also a member of the Fisheries Commission. On 1 January 1870 a Board was established for Inspecting and Maintaining the Supply of Colonial Warlike Stores, and Hixson was appointed to the Board.
Similarly, on 1 October 1870, he was appointed a Commissioner to Advise the Government in Matters Connected with the Defence of the Colony from Foreign Aggression. The body was redesignated as the Local Defence Committee with continuing membership until Federation when the Committee became redundant.
In 1874, he was selected to establish an observatory to observe the transit of Venus at Goulburn. Hixson represented New South Wales at a maritime Conference held in Hobart in 1893 and again in New Zealand in 1898.
With James Barnett, the Colonial Architect, he designed the badge of the Colony, later the badge of the State, which was adopted on 4 July 1876. The rationale for the design was not forwarded to England at the time approval was sought and is unknown.
He was Chairman of the Sailors’ Home located in Sydney for 40 years, President of the Royal Humane Society of New South Wales, and assisted in the formation of the Royal Shipwreck Relief.
Francis Hixson married Sarah, the second daughter of the Hon. Francis Lord, on 2 November 1861 at St Thomas’ Church, North Sydney. They had seven children; three sons were officers in the Naval Brigade, and the fourth, an officer in the Queensland Naval Forces. The family photograph which appears with this article is reproduced with the permission of the Royal United Services Institute of New South Wales.
He died of heart failure at his home in Double Bay and was buried in Sydney with Naval Honours.
About the author: Dr Haken is a retired Professor from the University of NSW and is interested mainly in Colonial Military History. He has published widely and is the author of Lineage and Officers of New South Wales Military Forces, 1854 – 1903, and Lineage and Officers of New South Wales Naval Forces, 1863 – 1902, the latter published as Monograph No 199 by the Naval Historical Society of Australia.