One side of the law to the other

Posted: 18 February 2020

by The Honourable Professor Howard Nathan QC

The first President of the Hobart Hebrew Congregation, Louis Nathan was the brother of Rosetta Joseph who in turn was the daughter of Nathan Nathan. Also known as Nathanial Newton and even later as Lionel. Nathan

Nathan was a jolly 16yo lad convicted at the Old Bailey in 1799. He returned to England in 1807 having obtained the permission of Governor Bligh to do so. The Brits as a general rule did not want their convicts back. He touted to the East End Jews the marvellous benefits of being transported and was not disappointed that his son in law obliged. Once in Sydney, Moses Joseph and his new wife Rosetta busily brought out all 9 of their siblings. Most came voluntarily, but many more mispoocha did not have that option. However, the Hobart Hebrew Congregation’s first President Louis Nathan arrived in Sydney, and soon settled in Hobart. The Donor Boards in the Shul list both his father, Lionel a fancy later added first name, and his mother, Sarah.

Some five generations later, and somewhat to the surprise but I hope delight of the family, I was appointed or as they suggest, anointed onto the Supreme Court of Victoria. Subsequently as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Courts (some are unkind enough to suggest I always was) of Belize, the Bahamas and also the Eastern Caribbean. I am delighted to tell you that none of my descendants will commit the same offence by becoming lawyers.