The stone cairn and plaque in the Balyang Sanctuary at the end of Shannon Avenue, Newtown, commemorates the life and work of Captain Foster Fyans (1790-1870), Geelong's first Police Magistrate and long-serving Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Portland Bay Dristrict. Fyan's House, Bellbird Balyang, one of the earliest stone houses in Geelong, stood on this site from 1896. Foster Fyan was a most influential Colonial administrator and pioneer Geelong settler, and the name of his Barwon River property is commemorated in the name, Balyang Sanctuary.
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Geelong Regional Commission
The inscription on the plaque reads:
'Hereabouts from 1846 stood Bellbird Balyang.
Home of Captain Foster Fyans (1790-1870)
For details see:
Lang, W. R. - 'Geelong's Monuments and Plaques' No 66. Geelong Historical Records Centre.
Brownhill, W. R. - A History of Geelong and Corio Bay, Wilke & Co., Melbourne, 1955, pp. 62-64.
For details of the Career of Foster Fyans, including several illustrations of the house, Bellbird Balyang, see:
Brown, P. L. - Fyans Memoirs List Print, Geelong, 1986.
The above publication includes a detailed bibliography relating to Foster Fyans.
Foster Fyans was born in England in 1790, and joined the British Army at the age of 20 years. Fyans was appointed Police Magistrate at Port Phillip in 1837. He purchased land in Section 12 for $5 an acre of the Barwon River known as Saw Pit Bends.