Paternal ancestors

My late father was John Joseph FUSSEN.

He was born in East Sydney, New South Wales on 13 December 1922, the son of John Joseph FUSSEN [snr] and Concettina Sylvia GIARDINA.

After his father’s death in 1931 when young John was only 8 years old, the family moved from Sydney to Taree where his maternal ancestors, the McCAYs and the SCHUBERTs had settled when they arrived in the colony.

After leaving school John worked at the Peter’s Creamery factory, later to become Peter’s Ice Cream.  I have fond memories of my brother and I riding on the early morning barge with Dad up the Manning River to collect the milk from the surrounding farms for processing at the factory in Taree.

My brother and I were both born in Taree but before long Dad was transferred to Grafton to establish the Peter’s Ice Cream factory there.  Grafton has very strong memories: the Peter Pan Kindergarten I attended, the floods, the Jacaranda trees, my dog Pluto and my brother’s stay in hospital after he fell down the back stairs [with a lot of help from his little sister!].

The next move was a big one – to Adelaide in South Australia where Dad was to be production Manager at the Peter’s Ice Cream factory.  There was a period after Dad left and before the family could follow when Mum, my brother and I spent some time with Mum’s family in Newcastle and where we had a short period at school.

Adelaide was a child’s paradise – we lived around the corner from the factory which was really convenient as Dad was on-call 24 hours a day while the factory was coming up to full production mode.  My brother and I would come home from school, grab any homework, and then head around the corner and up to Dad’s office, laboratory, testing centre and cool rooms on the mezzanine floor.  We had a special job – official taste testers and THE market research for all new potential products.  It was a tough life.  Lemonade ice-blocks were REALLY popular.  But nothing could beat the 2-3 years that Dad spent designing, developing and perfecting his own creation – the Drumstik!

Peter’s Ice Cream was such a huge part of our young lives and Dad remained there until the mid to late 1960s [need to check that date!]  There are so many wonderful memories and stories – but they can wait for a while.

Dad’s ancestral line includes family from a wonderful mixture of countries: France (and possibly Switzerland and/or Prussia), Ireland, Italy and Germany.

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