Béchervaise, John Mayston (1910–1998)

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John Mayston Béchervaise (1910–1998), writer, schoolteacher, explorer, and traveller, was born on 11 May 1910 at Malvern, Melbourne, second of five children of Herbert Walter Béchervaise, accountant, and his wife Lilian Maude, née Mayston, both Melbourne born. He grew up in the suburb of Murrumbeena, being educated first at the local primary school and then at the Working Men’s College Preparatory School. John’s parents were committed members of the Church of England, and he later described himself as being ‘firmly Christian’ in his youth (Béchervaise 1976). His first job, in 1926, was at the National Bank of Australasia Ltd, but his interests in art and literature led him to join the Victorian Education Department in September 1927 as a junior teacher at Murrumbeena. After topping his year at the Melbourne Teachers’ College in 1930, he was assigned to Mount Eccles State School in Gippsland. From 1932 he worked with George Browne, then vice-principal of the college, to prepare textbooks and revise curricula.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Specialist publicationAustralian Dictionary of Biography
PublisherNational Centre of Biography, Australian National University
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • Australian history
  • Antarctic history
  • history of exploration


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