Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born at White Hills (Bendigo), Vic, on 16 June 1864; died at Chatham (Melbourne), Vic, on 10 October 1938.
Thomas lived all his ife in Victoria. He was educated at Huntly State School, c. 10 km NNE of Bendigo and went to work at the age of 14 with his father (Wiam Henry Tregellas) as an apprentice at the local forge. He spent his early years wandering in the surrounding bushland.
Tom's parents moved to Melbourne in about 1893 where they purchased a retail grocery store. Meanwhile, Tom remained at Huntly and worked the forge to provide items for farriers.
Tom married a city girl, Henrietta Moody, on 11 April 1895, and she moved to the bush to live with him. The couple moved to Daphne Street, Canterbury, a Melbourne suburb in 1900, and Tom found employment at an iron foundry in South Melbourne where he worked as a moulder and fitter for the next two decades.
He continued his childhood interests in natural history exploring the local swamps and marshlands, either by foot or by bicycle, and venturing further afield by train. Athough he had shod many a horse, he never rode or drove them, nor did he ever learn to drive a motor vehice when they became a popular mode of transport in the 1920s.
In later life and after the death of his wife in 1930, he had a range of jobs, including a dental mechanic for a short time.
In 1933, a workplace injury - a complex fracture to the collar bone - led to chronic disabity and forced him reluctantly into retiremernt. The injury left him in considerable pain for the rest of his life until his death on 10 October 1938.
Tom was by and large a naturalist, collecting specimens of plants, birds and their eggs in his earlier days, and his greatest pleasure was going bush.
Tom published numerous natural history articles in the long established weeky newspaper The Box Hil Reporter from about 1907, as well as several articles on ornithology in the Emu between 1919 and 1940. Tom is also mentioned, and his photography appears, in numerous articles by other ornithologists of the day. However, he is renowned today for his years of dedicated field studies and photography of the Supert Lyrebird during the 1920s and 1930s, which he undertook at his log campsite 'Menura' (Hardy Creek, then Monbulk State Forest) in the Dandenong Ranges just south of Kallista.
Tregellasia, a genus of birds in the family Petroicidae, was named by Gregory Mathews in 1912 in honour of Tom Tregellas.
Source: Extracted from book: 'Passions in Ornithology: A century of Australian Egg Collectors' (2020), Mason & Pfitzner, Canberra. [consult for source references]
Portrait Photo: State Library of Victoria, extracted from the book above.