September 29 - October 5, 2013: Issue 130
The Australian Fleet Celebrations of October 1913 - A Week of Welcomes
Australia loves a Party - Australians love the birth of anything or anyone new. For a maritime nation the birth of its own Navy and the manifest vessels finally arriving in Sydney Harbour were cause for celebrations honouring those who had steered the nation's safety and those who were now taking over these duties on these ships from their commanders to the lowliest seaman. Balls, fetes, galas, dinners, dances, a theatre event and a venetian floating carnival - every strata of society offered something and everyone was included, from the highest in the land to schoolchildren who lived in rural areas.
In THE ARRIVAL OF AUSTRALIA'S NAVY IN SYDNEY HARBOUR 4TH OF OCTOBER, 2013 one article we shared mentions how Sydney was being dressed up for the arrival of the Royal Australian Navy Fleet. The first week of October was also the commencement of the Annual Spring Carnival at Randwick:
The next few weeks will pass quickly, and the arrival of the Australian fleet on Saturday, October 4, is being eagerly anticipated by thousands of Australians, who are coming from far and near to witness the entrance into Sydney Heads. By a strange coincidence the arrival of the fleet takes place the same day as the Australian Jockey Club opens its Spring meeting at Randwick. Sydney is usually very gay during the Spring racing carnival, and with the double attraction, visitors will have no time to feel dull, for we are promised much gaiety. Already we hear of a matrons' ball to be given on Wednesday, October 8, and another on Friday, October 10, and, no doubt, many other entertainments are being arranged in honour of Admiral Patey and his officers, as well as for our country visitors. His Excellency the Governor-General is, we understand, coming over from Melbourne to welcome the Australian fleet upon its arrival and will be the guest of his Excellency the Admiral at Admiralty House during his stay in Sydney. SOCIAL. (1913, September 13). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15449865
Some reports from this first day of arrival:
The fleet is timed to enter the Heads at half past 10 o clock the flagship Australia leading followed by the cruisers Sydney, Encounter, and Melbourne, and the torpedo boat destroyers Warrego, Yarra and Parramatta. The vessels will be met at the Heads by steamers conveying Federal Ministers members and friends, and State Ministers and party. There will be a stately procession into the harbour and after the fleet is anchored Rear Admiral Sir George Patey, will call on Admiral Sir George King Hall on board the Cambrian and then proceed to Admiralty House where he will meet the Naval Board and be presented to His Excellency the Governor General. Afterwards the Rear Admiral will call upon the State Governor (Sir Gerald Strickland) In the afternoon a party from the war vessels will attend the A.J.C. Spring Meeting at the Randwick race course and in the evening the officers of the fleet will be entertained at a banquet in the Town Hall at which His Excellency the Governor General will preside. The fleet and the city will be illuminated during the evening.
On Sunday there will be an official church parade and an afternoon service in the Town Hall for the men. The attractions on Monday are -Vessels open for inspection in the morning, Eight Hours demonstration and sports, A.J.C. Spring Meeting officers' theatre party and city and fleet illuminations. In the evening on Tuesday there will be a march through the city and an at home on the Australia, a ball at Government House and illuminations. The celebrations will be continued on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. WELCOMING THE FLEET. (1913, October 4). The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 19. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7290558
"JACK" AT THE RACES. Provision was made by the A.J.C. for the admission of 400 blue jackets in uniform to the Leger enclosure on each day of the present meeting, officers of the fleet also being invited to the grandstand, and on Saturday a number of the new arrivals took advantage of the invitation. The bluejackets came out by special tram, and were interested spectators of the scenes that attended Randwick's record race day. JACK AT THE RACES. (1913, October 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15455471
Image No. a3291049 from Album 62: Photographs of the Allen family, 11 May 1913 - 15 October 1913, courtesy State Library of NSW
THE WELCOMING PARTY. FEDERAL LEGISLATORS. Among those aboard the Kubu, the boat chartered by the Federal Government, were the Prime Minister (Mr. Joseph Cook) and Mrs. Cook, the Minister of Defence (Senator Millen) and Mrs. Millen, the Minister for Customs (Mr. Groom) and Mrs. Groom, Mr. W. H. Kelly (Honorary Minister), Mr. A. Fisher (leader of the Federal Opposition), Senator Pearce (ex-Minister for Defence), Mr. W. M. Hughes (ex-Attorney-General) Commander Pethbridge, Commander Brownlow, Senators Maughan, O'Keefe, Givens, M'Dougall, Gould, Turley, Gardiner, Story, Nowland, J. J. Long, and Barnes, Messrs. J. E. West, Conroy, Massy, Greene, D. Watkins, R. Patten, Abbott, Thomas, J. Stumm, Matthews, Anstey, A. ?ynton, Pigott, Archibald, E. S. Carr, R. Howe, M'Wllliams, Ahern, J. A. Boyd, L. Atkinson, W. Kendall, A. Chapman, J. Fenton, Rodgers, Pigott, Maloney, J. H. Catts, Bam-ford, Sharpe, W. E. Johnson, F. Brennan,Amery, Sir J. Henniker Heaton, Mr. L. S. Amery, M.P. (British House of Commons), Colonels Ryrie, M.P., K. Mackay, Ryan, Flascial, Kyngdon, Meesrs. A. B. Piddington (interstate Commissioner), H. E. Pratten (pre- sident of the Chamber of Manufactures), W. G. Layton (Deputy Town Clerk), W. H. L. Smith, C. H. Getting, J. Ryan, T. W. Henry, O. Albert, Randolph Bedford, Osmond J. M'Dermott, F. W. Berne, O'Donoghue, A. Eastwood, J. H. Fawcett, J. J. Herlihy, J. R. Wal lace, H. H. Fanston. W. F. L. Bailey, W. Arnott, A. W. O'Connor, G. Forbes, P. W. Berne, W. F. Finlayson, D. Maughan, L. Long, Davies, J. W. Clarke, M'Leod, D. H. Ross. C. B. Boydell, W. J. Boydell, G. Upward, G. C. Gillespie, J. J. Poynton, W. M'Leod, A. C. Palmer, W. A. Gale, T. Temperley, F. M. Gelattly, W. Charlton, Edmondson, F. Hayes, G. A. King, J. Lane Mullins, B. J. Grogan, A. Mar tin, F. Barnes, J. Arthur, A. Lyle, Beaver, A. C. Palmer, W. J. Purden, T. Courtney, J. T. Gilday, Millett, R. L. Nash, S. Wilmott, R. J. Drummond, J. W. Cleary, Lucas, Herman, W. B. Griffin, and Stanley, Rev. R. Heffernan, Alderman C. T. Clarke, Evan Jones, J. G. Griffin W. J. Walker, Laurence, J. Fitzgerald, W. J. Cox, T. H. Barlow, W. P. M'Elhone, Gilpin, Sancy, R. Harris, M. Bourke, M'Gree, Lindsay Thompson, J. English, and W. P.Fitzgerald. THE WELCOMING PARTY. (1913, October 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15455497
ON BOARD THE HUNTER. A BROADSIDE OF SONG. A gay crowd of several hundred people boarded the steamer Hunter, reserved for the State's guests. Many prominent Government officers were present, including Mr. Coghlan (Chief Under-Secretary), Mr. Fotheringham, Mr. Percy Hunter, and Mr. d'Arcy (Secretary Navigation Department). One or two odd members of Parliament also found their way aboard. The passage to the Heads was enlivened by songs from the Leichhardt Public School Choir, under Mr. Newell, and by selections from the Public Schools Brass Band, under Bandmaster Bourke. The musical arrangements generally were in the hands of Mr. W. Bethell, Clerk in Charge of the Education Department. The Hunter's passengers had a fine view of the incoming fleet. They arrived at the Heads at about 10 o'clock, the grey, ghost-like line of ships then being about six miles out. There was no wild enthusiasm aboard the Hunter. The scene was rather one of impressive silence. Everyone was watching intently and thinking hard. It was not till the Australia was within hailing distance that the guests broke into a cheer, which was responded to by the officers on the warship gravely saluting. The Hunter paid each warship in turn the compliment in the same grave fashion, and in each case it was as gravely returned. The privileged boats followed in the wash of the fleet to its anchorage, and, when the Hunter got abreast she halted while the choir sang "Advance, Australia Fair." It was a broadside of song, and sounded well in the open space. ON BOARD THE HUNTER. (1913, October 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15455498
ON THE CAPTAIN COOK. The pilot steamer Captain Cook was reserved almost exclusively for members of Parliament and their wives. Numerous members of both Houses availed themselves of the invitation which was orally issued by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and President of the Legislative Council respectively on Friday evening. Among those present were the Premier (Mr. Holman), Mrs.Holman, and Miss Kidgell, the Minister forWorks and Mrs. Griffith, the Minister for Edu-cation and Mrs. Carmichael, the Minister for Mines and Mrs. Edden, and the Vice-President, of the Executive Council and Miss Flowers. The Captain Cook steamed to the Heads to meet the fleet, and they joined in the pro-cession at the rear of the last destroyer. ON THE CAPTAIN COOK. (1913, October 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15455489
THE FORESHORES. CROWDS AT VANTAGE POINTS. The populace turned out in their tens of thousands to accord a fitting welcome tothe fleet, and every headland was occupied by crowds, tensely alert, awaiting the ships. Ferry steamers moved slowly to and fro, also waiting, each packed with people. There was a big assemblage on South Head, every tram and boat for Watson's Bay from early morning being crowded to its utmost capacity. All round the Gap and beyond it spectators with their eyes strained seaward lined the cliffs, forming a living link, and had a magnificent view of the approach of the fleet from sea. All the head-lands on the northern side of the harbour were thickly thronged, and there would have been many more on Bradley's Head, George's Head, and other points, had the tram service been able to cope with the traffic and carry all who wanted to go there. As it was hundreds of North Sydney people gave up hope of getting to these reserves, and came over to the city side instead.
Oct 4, 1913: Spectators on Bradley's Head watch the RAN's first Fleet Entry into Sydney Harbour - HMAS AUSTRALIA and HMAS MELBOURNE [I] have just passed from view, HMAS SYDNEY [I] can be seen in the middle of the Harbour [right], with HMAS ENCOUNTER closer to the shore. Photographer unknown; appeared in a View Publications Pty Ltd booklet 'Warships in Australian Waters' [Sydney 1984] p29.
There were spectators all along both sides of the harbour, one of the most popular vantage points being Mrs. Macquaries Chair, which commands an extensive view of the waterway and Garden Island. The "Chair" was packed with people. Another favourite spot for sightseers was the Government House grounds, and the slopes of the adjoining Botanic Gardens also accommodated large numbers; while huge crowds swarmed along the sea-wall of Farm Cove.
Anticipating that a fine view of the approaching ships would be obtained from the many points along the coast toward Botany Heads, great numbers took up positions on Ben Buckler and the cliffs of Bondi, Bronte, Coogee, Maroubra, and Long Bay. The ships, however, instead of steaming up the coast, had gone out to sea, and entered the Heads from an easterly direction, and so those south of South Head got only a distant view.
Large crowds of sightseers gathered in the Botanic Gardens and Government House grounds yestorday, where a fine view of the crowded warships was obtained. The Sydney Professional Band, which was accommodated on a special stand in the latter grounds, played a number of selections during the afternoon. . THE FORESHORES. (1913, October 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15455493
CROWDS AFLOAT. Thousands of people were afforded an excellent view of the procession of warships up the harbour from the decks of ferry and other boats, most of which took up positions between George's Head and Bradley's Head. Excitement ran high when the flagship and her consorts came within batting distance, and cheer upon cheer rose from the occupants of the watching boats. Some of the boats were provided with bands, which rendered patriotic airs, "Rule Britannia" being the favourite.
The ferry boats provided a most animated spectacle. Everyone was intent on seeing the most of the warships, and, consequently, some of the ferries had a very decided "list.' People were perched precariously on the bontorails, on the backs of seats, and, in fact, on anything from which they considered they could get a better view than from the decks. No whistles were, by request, sounded till the warships came to anchor. The moment this operation was over a crowd of little craft, released from the shores, launches, motorboats, and skiffs, raced over to the warships loaded with passengers. Every boat that had a whistle blew a more or less shrill "cocka-doodle-doo," people cheered loudly, hats were waved vigorously, and handkerchiefs fluttered in the breeze. All the motor boats and other small craft were packed to their licensed capacity, and their passengers sent forth cheers. CROWDS AFLOAT. (1913, October 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15455500
VENETIAN CARNIVAL. POSTPONED TILL TONIGHT. The Venetian carnival, which was postponed on Saturday owing to the rain, will be held at Farm Cove this evening. The arrangements made for Saturday will be followed in all particulars. The boats will meet in the Cove at7.30 p.m., and be illuminated at 8 o'clock. During the evening the University Glee Club will give a musical programme. The Harbour Trust has placed at the disposal of the club the steamer Dayspring. VENETIAN CARNIVAL. (1913, October 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15455494
OFFICIAL VISITS. Immediately after the Australia was moored in Farm Cove Admiral Sir George Patey paid an official visit to Admiral Sir George King- Hall on the Cambrian, and the latter immediately returned the visit to the Australia. On each occasion the visiting Admiral was received by a guard of honour. The greetings of the admirals was, however, a most significant event, for it marked officially the occasion around which all the day's celebrations were centered, viz., the transference from the Imperial authorities to the Commonwealth Government of the Australian naval station.
Admiral Patey then called at Admiralty House, where he was received by the three members of the Naval Board who were in Sydney, Senator E. D. Millen (Minister for Defence),chairman of the board; Admiral Sir W. R. Creswell, First Naval Member; and Captain H. W. E. Manisty, Paymaster-in-Chief and secretary to the board. The Admiral was presented by the board to the Prime Minister, who in turn presented the Admiral to the Governor-General. Admiral Patey then left Admiralty House, and paid a formal call on the State Governor and Lieutenant-Governor. He subsequently returned to Admiralty House, where he was entertained at luncheon by Admiral Sir George King-Hall. OFFICIAL VISITS. (1913, October 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15455496
While all these were calling greetings from on water, on Garden Island, still Sydney Harbour's and the east coast of Australia's principal RAN naval base:
Saturday morning, 4th of October 1913, gave way to Saturday night:
BALLET FOR AUSTRALIA. A COMPANY ENGAGED. LONDON, March l8. Mr. J. C Williamson has engaged Madame Adeline Genee, the well-known dancer, and a full ballet company for an Australian tour winch is to open on, June 21. The engagement of Adeline Genoe, the world's greatest dancer, by Mr. J. C. Williamson, for a season in Australia, is the result of prolonged negotiations carried on by Mr. George Tallis, during his visit to New York in December last, when the great dancer was appearing at the Metropolitan Opera House in that city, supported by two of her famous dancers, M.Volinin and Mille. Schmolz, with a full corps de ballet from the Imperial Opera House, St. Petersburg. There were at first many difficulties in the way of a. successful outcome of the negotiation- It was not a -question of money, for Madame. Genoe is a rich woman, and exceptionally high and tempting terms were offered by J. C. Williamson in Russia. It was a question at the time whether the Czar of Rus-sia, whose permission had been given to allow of M. Volinin and Mile. Schmolz and the Imperial ballet appearing in New York would consent to extending their terms abroad to enable a visit to Australia taking place. These obstacles, however, were removed, and Madame Genoe was to have her desire to visit a country concerning which she had heard a great deal from Madame Melba, who advised her to add Australia to her itinerary. The season, which will comprise twenty weeks, will commence at Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, next June, and the entire company will be transferred to Australia, the programme being exactly the same as presented at the Metropolitan Opera House,
Sunday 5th of October, 1913 - Image No. a3291052h from Album 62: Photographs of the Allen family, 11 May 1913 - 15 October 1913, courtesy State Library of NSW
Wednesday 8th of October 1913:
THE AUSTRALIAN FLEET. Another Batch Entertained.
Friday October 10th 1913:
1910. STARBOARD BOW VIEW OF THE SECOND CLASS PROTECTED CRUISER HMS CAMBRIAN, THE LAST FLAGSHIP OF THE AUSTRALIA STATION. NOTE THE 6 INCH GUN ON HER FORECASTLE AND THE 4.7 INCH GUNS TRAINED ON THE STARBOARD BEAM AWM image 302155
AUSTRALIAN FLEET. FESTIVIITIES ENDED.
Flagship of the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Australia, Sydney Harbour, circa 1913 by unknown photographer.
Spectators on the lawn of Government House view the arrival of the first Royal Australian Navy, Oct 1913, photo by Sam Hood Image No hood_08009, courtesy State Library of NSW. The photograph is taken from the lawn of Government House. The woman turned towards the camera is possibly either Lady Strickland, wife of the Governor, or Lady Denman, wife of the Governor-General, and her children. The steam yacht is the SMS Planet from Germany - Information supplied by John Jeremy from Australian National Maritime Museum negative no. 23833 (2008)
Australian Fleet Celebrations of October 1913 - A Week of Welcomes - threads collected by A J Guesdon, 2013.