Frederick Smithies, known as Fearless Fred, was a civic leader and wilderness explorer.
He started work in 1902 in Launceston with the South British Insurance Company and from 1912 was manager of the Atlas Assurance Company for the next 50 years.
Fred was a leader of many organisations, including the Launceston Arts Society treasurer for 60 years, and a leading light in the Northern Tasmanian Camera Club from 1920 to 1960.
The club recently renamed its trophy for the best colour image, the Frederick Smithies Memorial Trophy, presented in 2020 by his daughter, Margaret Carrington.
He joined the Royal Society in 1921 and was an active member until his death. Fred was a prime mover in establishing the Launceston 50,000 League in 1926 with the object of advancing the growth and prosperity of Launceston and Tasmania in general.
The Tasmanian Society, formed in the 1920s, had the same objectives as the National Trust, the Tasmanian Branch being formed in 1960. One of the first to join, Fred was a life member.
He was also influential in having the swimming pool located at Windmill Hill.
Fred was the chief agent in the formation of the Tasmanian Alpine Club formed in 1929, holding the positions of captain, president and patron and opening the new ski lodge on Ben Lomond.
Commissioned by the Tasmanian Government and the Launceston City Council to take charge of the Tasmanian display in the Melbourne Centenary Exhibition in 1936, Fred's own photos were a major feature.
He was a Foundation member and patron of the Launceston Walking Club, formed in 1946, and after several years of organising by a sub-committee of the 50,000 League, chaired by Fred Smithies, the road to the top of Mt Barrow opened on August 13, 1946.
Fred played lacrosse for several years; his team was state premier in 1910 and 1920. In addition, he was a board member of the YMCA and eventually made a life member.
In 1946 Frederick Smithies was awarded an Order of Australia in recognition of many years of service to Tasmania in aiding tourism, and in opening up some of Tasmania's little known, wilder areas.
Fred established many precedents in exploring Tasmania, including riding Indian Scout motorcycles from Waratah to Zeehan with Bill King, the first vehicles to do so, and he drove the first motor car from Derwent Bridge to Queenstown in his Model "A" Ford.
He made the first winter crossing of Cradle Mountain in 1924 with Gustav Weindorfer and Charles Monds, and climbed Frenchman's Cap with Cliff Bradshaw in 1931.
Fred also undertook the Skyline Climb on Cradle Mountain, only the second time it had been done.
Fred Smithies estimated he lectured to 40,000 people, having delivered 300 lantern lectures in the period 1920 to 1933.
Frederick Smithies' nerveless rock-climbing gave dizzying perspectives to well-known peaks, providing unprecedented copy to the Tasmanian press.