March 17 - 23, 2013: Issue 102
The Kananook, 26ft., quarter - deck, centre - board boat, hails from Melbourne, where she was first known to us as the ' Mayflower,' successfully competing at the Victoria Regatta Carnival, in November, 1888. On arrival here, her name was altered, and although taking part in a number of Sydney and Botany races, she has not been victorious. Her owner is Mr. Mark Foy, the well-known draper of this city, who has enrolled the ' Kananook ' in the Sydney Amateur, Port Jackson, East Sydney, and Botany Sailing Clubs. AQUATICS. (1891, April 11). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63616436
Mark Foy in a sailing boat, circa 1898 - Maritime History Museum
In the life of Mark Foy is seen some of our pioneer Australian spirit, our impetus to get up and go, to create new frontiers where old class systems tried to place obstacles as we headed towards Federation by establishing sailing for all, especially the working man, and being the founder of the Sydney Flying Squadron in 1890 (some sources state it was 1891, others cite 1892) as well as introducing handicap racing, which was originally referred to as the 'Mark Foy System';
The Columnist Neptune encouraged the club to support the new Mark Foy system. Named for the Australian who invented it, this system of staggered start times according to handicaps, so that participants and spectators know exactly where the boats place without having to wait for the handicappers' report; Notes by "Neptune.". (1890, March 1). Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 38. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71108468
And he exemplified how business can be combined with pleasure and sportsmanship, whichever area or state of Australia you may be in, as the list of Mark Foy Cups or championships run in sailing and horse racing extended from Queensland to Western Australia and follows a pattern of introduction that aligns his setting up and opening of further Mark Foy stores in these same areas. Mark Foy is also one of the first people on record to ensure Pittwater’s beautiful spotted gums stayed where they belong; growing and stretching towards the sky.
SPOTTED GUMS AT BAYVIEW. Bayview, one of the most delightful of the many beauty spots round the waterfront at Pittwater, is more beautiful than usual today because of the presence of numbers of the young and middle-aged spotted gums on the roadside. Anyone, who has an eye for a tree trunk and a shapely headpiece, should see these hardwoods at work on their home holdings, over which Mr. Mark Foy and his neighbours hold sway. The grown trees are 30 and 40 feet in the barrel, and are quite perpendicular. All the young stock are lighter in body and shorter as well, but even the babies among these yellow-stemmed trees are as straight as a plumb line. Young trunks and old trunks, too, are coloured with unbroken bark of yellow-green pastel shade, blotched with spots of dull mauve, which clearly indicate the family to which they all belong. Only lately they were engaged in dropping their old bark in readiness for the work which has to be done during the year.
Thanks to Mr. Foy, Mr. Graham, Mr. Sinclair, and to the other tree lovers of Bayview, who are bent on preserving these native timber trees, visitors are able to enjoy from the roadside pictures which are too seldom seen on or near an outer suburban highway. In too many places all the native trees are cut down to make room for favourites from other continents. None of the Imported trees compare with those of our own wild land. Bayview's spotted gums stand head and shoulders above anything near them. While their present owners have power to protect them they are safe from the axemen. Recently, some splendid trees were taken off the roadside to make room for the electric light wires. Other trees were lopped or shortened for the same purpose. Many a bayside resident was sorry to see that work done. However, the chopping could not well have been avoided. The men who handled those spotted gums did their work feelingly, and saved every tree they could. SPOTTED GUMS AT BAYVIEW. (1930, January 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16615090
Mark Foy had a residence in Pittwater called The Cabin at 28 Bay View Road before this access was renamed 'Pittwater Road' by Warringah Council. Other family members also purchased property in Pittwater in 1926, which we will include, in turn, at a later date;
IN consequence of leaving for Algiers, Mr. Mark Foy's residence, EUMEMMERING HALL, Bellevue Hill, is to Let on lease for a term of 5 years: also a water-frontage seaside Residence, THE CABIN, Bayview, Pittwater, 6 rooms, motor garage, and boathouse and baths. SHELEAGH COTTAGE, Medlow Bath, tho mosthandsome cottage on the Blue Mountains, electriclight and water laid on, beautifully furnished', also GLENARA COTTAGE, Medlow Bath, unfurnished, anda dwelling-house at Blackheath, six rooms, unfurnished. THE BUNGALOW, In KANIMBLA VALLEY, also STOEWER OFFICE, 12 City road. Full particulars of all these propcrties at HOOAN'S KIOSK, VICTORIA ARCADE.Opposite the Australia Hotel. Advertising. (1914, April 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 25. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15500675
Mr Foy brought cars and car racing to Australia, was a proponent of motor boats and cruisers, and these were just a few of the investments he made in Australia. The list of health initiatives he contributed large sums to reflects early tragedy in his own life as much as a few personal health scares and an unceasing love of world wide travel paralleled bringing the latest and best back to Australia when people journeyed by ship.
MOTORING 'ON THE WATER.' The latest information received in Adelaide from England states that the Kingwho has always taken a keen interest in motoring on land, has recently entered with enthusiasm on the new development of the motor, which is seen now on thewaters along the English coasts. There does not seem to be any valid reason why South Australians should not enter heartily into the same sport, for there is ample sea space to practise on round the shore from Brighton to Largs Bay, while it is a very simple matter to run the motors into safe harbor when rough weather threatens. In European waters the oil launch-a dainty looking boat, containing an engine similar to that of the best French motor cars, capable of speeds running from ten miles up to 30 miles an hour-has long been popular, while of late years its vogue has almost rivalled that of the motor cars. In Sydney the European fashion has already been largely followed, and the Daily Telegraph states that there are today 300 oil launches on "the beautiful harbor." Mr. Mark Foy, a great patron of automobilism, was among the pioneers of the sport there. TOPICS OF THE DAY. (1904, September 21). The Advertiser(Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5007959
The note that resonates strongest from masses of material is a love of sailing and his favourite vessel, the Flying Fish, an earlier catamaran which he tried to find or rebuild once she disappeared.
The picture at left, courtesy of the Australian National Maritime Museum and dated 1898, is one version of this favourite. A story regarding her modifications from a gentleman known only as 'Clipper', who claims to have witnessed a SFS meeting, may be found in the Australian Historical Sailing Skiff Association Inc. August Newsletter 2012 HERE
Mark Foy was born at Bendigo on February 15th 1865 to Mark Foy and Mary (nee Macken). His father, a draper in his former home of Dublin, had moved to Melbourne by 1870 and set up a store in Smith Street, Collingwood that prospered and had become big enough to occupy six shops by 1880. He was already a keen sportsman winning medals in the United States of America for rifle shooting.
Fateful Toss By A. L. BRIENT . IN HIS ARTICLE on the origin of some of Melbourne's famous old stores (Week-end Magazine, 2/4/49), Ron Testro mentions the circumstances in which the Foy and Gibson partnership was dissolved. As two of Australia's leaders in the retail drapery trade were concerned, the story seems worth telling in greater detail. William Gibson; by the way, was a comparative latecomer into the business, which had been established by Mark Foy in the Victorian gold-digging days, first at Bendigo, afterwards extending to Greytown and Castlemaine (in partnership with a Mr Bentley), and finally to Smith st, Collingwood (1868). It was in Collingwood that Mark Foy's elder son, Francis, grew to manhood, and during his father's declining years (he died in 1882 while on a health trip in USA), became responsible for the conduct of the business.
These notices would have been placed by Mark Foy senior's second wife Catherine (nee Power);
MARRIAGES. DAVY—O'CONNELL.—On the 20th inst., at St. Francis's Cathedral, Melbourne, by the Rev. W. M. Finn, Mr.John Davy, merchant, Melbourne, to Mary Anne, only daughter of the late Mr. Daniel O'Connell, Melbourne. STOCK AND SHARE LIST. (1862, November 27). The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6481457
FOY-DAVEY.-April 18 at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, by the Rev. Father Byrne, Mark, second son of the late Mark Foy, Esq .J P., of Melbourne, to Annie, only daughter of the late John Davey, of Melbourne. Family Notices. (1888, May 23). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13687300
It seems the heartache was not over for Annie. A trip to England saw her leave but not return to Australia.
Foy, Annie, formerly wife of Mark Foy, of Crescent-road, Bournemouth, died 26th May, 1921. Next of kin wanted. £13,368 NEXT OF KIN. (1922, July 4). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20556969
In 2010, the Mark Foy Trophy will return to its birthplace in Sydney, Australia and will be run alongside the JJ Giltinan Trophy to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the world's most exciting skiff class. San Francisco in 2011 and Auckland in 2012 are then scheduled hosts for the Mark Foy Trophy.
Port Jackson Pleasure Fleets - 5. And 6
The Building Of Ships, Intercolonial Races, 22 Footers, 18 Footers And Mr Mark Foy
It may be asked where was the mosquito fleet all this time; what were the 'kids', doing with their canvas dingeys. The canvassers were the cradles of the successful sailing men of to-day, and some of the boats were really no bigger than a cradle. The youngsters built the frame-work of their tiny craft out of any odds and ends in the way of timber, they could pick up: the wooden hoops of casks often did duty as ribs; mother's clothesline supplied standing rigging and sheets; and those enamelled iron advertisements, which proclaim the virtues of Dr. So-and-so's pills or cough drops, made splendid fins or centreboards. Mother could generally be counted on for the sails, and the calico skin was acquired somehow or other. Out of Berry's Bay there sailed one Saturday afternoon a merry crew of three little boys in their home-made dingey, with their lunch made fast halfway up the mast to keep it dry; they 'skited' as little boys will 'skite.' and they boasted, of the speed and weatherly qualities of their little bark. No millionaire in his palatial, steam yacht was prouder of his vessel; no millionaire half so happy. They moored in a snug little cove down the harbor; they scampered on the white beach; they bathed in the clear water, and then lunched in the shade of the sandstone rocks.
The nor'-easter was but half-hearted on the way home, and it died away altogether shortly after they had passed Pinchgut. Someone said something about a southerly 'buster,' but the urchin at the helm was not afraid of 'busters. 'Why, me and. 'Muzzy,' he said, scornfully, 'could bring her through anything.' The first puff heeled the dingey over, and she took a big drink over her gunwale; another puff, and she drank a deeper draught. The bailer was frantically at work, but the little boat, with fluttering sails, gradually settled down. On board H.M.S. Royal Arthur, a boatswain's mate piped a boat away, and the youngsters were soon taken on board, and sent forward, where kind-hearted tars' treated them to not cocoa and biscuits.When the time came to leave their new friends the little fellows pulled their forelocks to the spick and span officer of the watch:, and Muzzy, stepping forward, expressed his thanks for the rescue of 'me and my mates,' and a wish if ever the-Royal Arthur got into trouble; that they might be there to help.
One of the present members of the R.S.Y.S. tells of a canvas dingey that he and some of his companions built at Balmain, when they were children. With the hospitality which it is to be hoped is the characteristic of all yachting men, they yielded to the request of an admiring little boy to take him for a “ride”. His sister stood on the shore assuring him that he would be drowned; and what mother would say, as he had his best boots on!
A boatbuilder came that evening to complain that the boat had been left on his skids, and that people might think he had built her, which so hurt the 'owner's feelings that he accepted an offer of 7s 6d from the butcher boy, who took the boat away on his horse, but space must be found later for the doings of the small fry.
Waitangi and Electra.
A CHALLENGE FROM VICTORIA.
When the racing for first-class yachts was on the wane, the second and third classes were fairly busy. Jack Want's Longford-designed and built Guinevere, Mr. C. A. Benbow’s Harpy, built by George Ellis, Mr. Jackson's Violet, Mr. Knox's English designed Sirrocco, The Ione, the La Belle, the Doris, the Sao and the old Australian kept the pot boiling. The La Belle had been built by George Ellis, and was really an overgrown skiff, with a deck and a counter. A lump of lead on the keel was substituted for the centreboard of the skiff. She was undoubtedly fast and scored in the third-class. We now come to a very important period in Port Jackson yachting. A challenge from Victoria in 1886 awakened our first-class yacht owners. The public, whose faith in old champions is always strong, called for the Magic, but there were some who knew a little more than the public, and were not satisfied that the old boat could uphold the supremacy against Sir William Clarke's Janet. Mr. Alfred Milson commissioned Mr. Walter Reeks, a young English designer, fresh from home to put the Waitangi into shape. Persons passing Langford's shed In Berry’s Bay wondered what was being done to that boat. “They're chopping up- half her bottom for fire wood, and padding out the rest like a woman’s figger” said one. “They’re putting plumpers on her.” Said another, “you know what plumpers are; Innthorn-jawed women used to wear them to make their cheeks look plump.” ''She never was much good,” said a third, ''but she’s done for now.” and so on. It is strange how anything like a new idea is resented by the watersiders but are never they the slightest bit abashed when the idea comes off – they knew all along.
The Janet arrived in due course from Melbourne, and in the test races, which were all keenly watched by the public, sailed second to the Waitangi, whilst the Magic finished last, a very novel position for the old champion.
A FORTY-TON CUTTER.
Pleased with the success of the Waitangi, in her altered shape, Mr. Alfred Milson brought out the Era; (40 tons), from designs by Mr. Reeks. She was undoubtedly one of the handsomest yachts ever seen in Port Jackson, and was kept and run in faultless style. Many visitors to the colony were entertained on board by her owner, who besides being a keen and capable sportsman, has always been a charming host. If you bump up against a yachting man in England who has been in Sydney he is sure to inquire of Alfred Milson, and tell you of the jolly time he had on board the Era. She completely out classed the old boats, but there was on the stocks a vessel, also after Mr. Reeks designs, that was to give the Era some hard races and an occasional beating. The races between the Era and the Volunteer, will long be remembered by those who take an interest in yachting in Port Jackson. At the Centennial International Regatta, in Hobson's Bay, this State was represented by the Era, and the Volunteer. The Miranda left for Melbourne about the same time as the Era and the two yachts met in Twofold Bay, the latter having made the faster run down the coast. She was able shortly afterwards to take refuge, in Waterloo Bay, whilst the Miranda met the full force of a violent southeast gale, and after three days combat with it, during which she lost her supply of fresh water, and sprang a serious leak, it was decided to bear away for Eden. For a couple of days the ship's company had only soda water and whisky to drink, a state of affairs that was really worse than might appear to some, for there were several teetotallers in the crew. Jack Want was not on board; he was then looming big in the political world, and his increasing practice at the Bar made it difficult for him to devote much time to yacht racing, though he frequently continued to spend a week-end on the water.
Mr. Milson’s Era.
THE BULLY OF THE ROAD.
It was on one of these trips that he was nearly run down by a carelessly-steered steamer, and he expressed his feelings by styling her the bully of the road. The late Mr. Justice Windeyer, who was one of his guests, was rather taken with the epithet, and when Jack Want appeared in the Vice- Admiralty Court next day for a steamer, that had run down a sailing vessel, his Honor did not hesitate to refer to the former as the bully of the road. “He can thank me,” muttered the learned counsel, “for teaching him that word.”
But if the owner was not on board the Miranda of the memorable voyage, his boon companion, Mr. Jack Macdonald, represented him, so, though she had to give up the attempt, we can rely that no effort was spared to get the big centreboarder to Melbourne. The little Assegai arrived too late for the regatta. She also met with rough weather, and for two days her crew were without fresh water. On the first day the Iduna, a Reeks designed Sydney built boat, which was then a Victorian representative, gained first place on her time allowance in the race for yachts 20 tons and upwards, the Era and Volunteer being second and third, but owing to some mistake about the course the race was ordered to be re-sailed, with the result that the Era won and the Volunteer took second prize.
The Akarana, from .New Zealand, won the race for yachts between 5 and 10 tons; she afterwards came to Sydney, where she was the pioneer of the successful invasion of our waters by New Zealand yachts. Sir W. J. Clarke, with a view to afford the Assegai a chance of a race after having gone so far, gave a trophy, which, however, a Victorian yacht won. If there is one thing the Sydney sailing man is proud of, it is the centreboard boat of local design and build. On her own waters she has, except when occasionally taken down by a Queensland boat of similar design, held her own against all-comers On other waters she does not appear to be so happy. The story of the defeat of Mr Mark Foy’s Irex in England by the Maid of Kent is sad reading, and at the regatta in Hobson's Bay Mr Paul’s Varuna could get no nearer than third, while the late Mr. M'Murtrie's Ellie was unplaced. Shortly afterwards, Mr. P. W. Creagh's Aileen was badly beaten by the Victorian Mayflower, a boat that afterwards figured unsuccessfully in Port Jackson, under the name Kanahook. The writer has no wish to decry the undoubted qualities of the local boats, and, if he occasionally touches a minor key, it is to remind some of our younger boating men that there are good boats, good builders, and good sailing men elsewhere –
(To Be Continued,)
Illustrations: Waitangi and Electra. Mr. J Milson’s Era.
PORT JACKSON PLEASURE FLEETS. (1907, November 9). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113897607
1936’s Pittwater Regatta
PITTWATER REGATTA. UNFAVOURABLE WEATHER. SAILING EVENTS SPOILT. Unfavourable weather spoilt the Pittwater Regatta on Saturday. Clouds hung low over the hills surrounding the normally picturesque arm of Broken Bay, and rain swept over the water to the accompaniment of variable pull of wind from every point of the compass, until late in the afternoon when there was a dry spell. In the circumstances, the various sections of the regatta had a stiff task to instil life and colour into the scene. Aeroplanes provided the liveliest interlude After a delay, caused by bad weather, iii machines competed in a race from Mascot C. H. Fischer won by five seconds from R. It Hirst. The latter, with N. Mulroney and ' K. Swain, then gave a display of formation flying and aerobatics, after Mulroney and Swain engaged in a mock attack on a "warship." As missiles from the 'planes fell there were realistic explosions close to the target which finally burst into flames. Sjo-Ro, with a "sail-over" In the morning an only one opponent In the afternoon, was a dual winner. Ozone, against much stronger opposition also had two firsts, and Currawong, Alice, Cygne Pandora, and Sarita each had wins. Of the motor craft. Diana, with a win and dead-heat for first; Argo, a first and a thin Cariny a an equal first and a third, Wyvern and Sinabada. each a first and a second, and Zelma were most successful. Rowing events were Included In the programme amateurs rowing over a course from Newport to the flagship, and professionals from Church Point to the flagship. Although the rain made conditions unpleasant, comparatively smooth water allowed all events to be carried out without a hitch. The morning rowing event, the heavy boat championship of New South Wales, provided a great race, H. Robson, of Parramatta River, winning from M. Bell by half length. G. Cook being third, half a length further back. V. Fox won the outrigger handicap for amateurs, and he also rowed No. 2 In the winning unclassified four-oar crew.
SAILING. Mrs. E. G. Greig memorial handicap, for local boats, to 22ft overall length: Biirlta (R Jeffery), scr, 1; Frolic Junior (E. Bell), 10m. 2 won by lin 15s. Owing to the light wind, the race was shortened by eliminating the second round of the course. Palm Beach Handicap, for big class yachts, nominated or lady skippers, White Horse Whisks trophy. 9 miles: Sjo-Ro (Mrs. C. Plowman), lim, only starter. Sailed over course In lh 38m 45s. "Mischief" memorial handicap, for boats of Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, nominated skippers-women or men trophy presented by Captain S. Spain-6 nautical miles: Ozone (F. Barlow), scr. 1: Blue Peter (Ge«. Morris). 4m. 2; Caprice (J. Pfeiffer), 2m 3; Epacris (F. A. Moss), 8m. 4; Adina (J. Young). 9m, 5: St. Thais (J. Bridgland. 10m. 6. Won bv 5m 42s. with 8m 12s between second and third. Finishing times: Ozone, lh 15m 48s; Blue Peter í,1? 2Jfi,30s; i.""]'!"' 'i1 20m 4S" Epacris, lh .Uni los; Adina, lh 45m 15s: St. Thais, lh 4Bm 30s: Womerah lh 51m 10s. Light airs practically eliminated most of the time allowances. Blue Peter protested against Ozone for alleged breach of the port and starboard tack nile
Schooner Wanderer Handicap, for deep-keel cruising yachts, nominated skippers.-Currawong fÇoIIn Prlritîl. 4m. 1; Valiant (C. Foxall). 7m. 2 Allc« 'R. labor), scr.. 3. Won by 5m 23s. with sm, u,7s between second and third. Adiusted finishing times: Currawong, lh 42m 10s: Valiant, Matangl also started.
One-design Vee Jay Class Sailing Boats Handicap morning race, five miles.-Cygnet (P. C. Taylor), 7m. 1: Pandora I P. de. Burgh 2m. 2. Won Sv F'nl»hlnir times: Cygnet, 2h 8m; Pandora, 2h J3m. Five started. John Roche Memorial Trophy. Big Class Yachts Handicap. 1: Narburra (A. E. Glazcbrook). 2: Steady Hour (F. Harris). 3. "A. D. Walker" Speedboat Handicap (all comers). 3m-Wyvern (J. c. (Parramatta). 3.Mark Foy Men's Single Sculls Heavyboat Handicap, im.-First heat: G. Cool:, ls, 1; Gi'Ash, 11s. 2; H. Price. 30s, 3 Second heat: J. Dickens. 14s. 1: A. Evers, 6s. 2; J. Erickson, 2s. 3. Final: H. Price, 1; J. Dickens and G. Ash (dead heat), 2;' G. Cook, 4. Won by a length. Newport Women's Gladstone Skiff Handicap, J-3m.-Miss D. Hammond. 22s, 1; Miss J.Gilroy, scr.. 2; G. Stebbing,- 22s. 3, 1 . Hydro Majestic Women's and Men's Double Sculls, Miss G. Stubbing and G. Ash. 6s, 1; Miss M. Wilnon and C. Wilson, 2s, 2; Miss D; Hammond and H. Towns, 12s. 3.Newport Youths' Single Sculls Handicap, 5m.-P. Porter, 18s 1: W. Solomon, scr., 2;, G.' Wilson, 2s. 3. AMATEUR ROWING. Unclassified Fours. 3m.-Pittwater No. 1 (N. Fox, V. Fox. A. Fryer. C. Williams, B. McFec cox), I; Pittwater No. 2 IB. Hudson, H. Hickson, F. Smith. G. Hanlen. C. Hickson cox), 2. Men's Best and Best Handicap (outriggers). 3m. -V. Fox. 20s, 1: N. Fox, 12s, 2; A. Fryer, 30s. 3. Gladstone Skiff Handicap (A class), 3m.-F. Smith, 12s, 1; A. Fryer, 11s, 2; C. Williams, scr. 3. Gladstone Skiff Handicap (B class), lm.-G. Leach, scr.. 1: H. Shepherd, 7s. 2; T. Shepherd, 4s, 3. . AEROPLANE RACE. Aerial Derby, trophy presented by Charles E. Blanks (Mascot. Palm Beach flagship), 28m.C. H. Fischer (Cirrus Moth). 1: R. M. Hirst (Genalrco), 2: T. R. Swain (Gipsy Moth). 3; T. Mulroney (Gipsy Moth), 1: D. Macarthur Onslow (Hornet Moth), 5. PITTWATER REGATTA. (1936, December 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27988276
From - Historical Parish Maps – Narrabeen 1905 – updated 21st January, 1914 – signed by C G Ireland