November 26 - December 2, 2017: Issue 339

Pittwater Fishermen: The Sly Family

This postcard is titled ‘The Lifesavers, Manly’, and is likely referring to the Sly brothers. The Sly brothers were fishermen from Fairy Bower, who, in 1903, received funding from Manly Council to build a modified whaleboat to patrol Manly and nearby beaches. This shallower version was replaced by a brand new open whaler, the second boat that was launched in 1907 - see below. The image used for this postcard was taken by William Hall photographic studio, Sydney. It was possibly a means to advertise that Manly, now that people may swim in the daylight from this year on, had safety measures in place for inexpereinced visitors who wished to 'bathe' or go 'surfing'.  Courtesy Australian National Maritime Museum collection.
From earliest settler times fishing as a means for people to eat, to save them from starvation, was something learnt from, in terms of where to fish and even getting fish from, the original custodians of this land. The earliest colonists certainly knew how to fish, they came from a land of great fishing people, and applying that here must have seemed a natural step.

Since those earliest times, and in early newspapers the coasters that traded from Pittwater to town carrying shells, timber …and fish. 
Early Excursionists  aboard Steamers came here to fish, the reports of such voyages, when they appear, all mention this, whether people are disembarking at Barrenjoey or Newport and staying on the estuary to fish or going over to the beach to collect oysters or try their luck from the sand or rocks for other noted fish that may be caught.

Charles de Boos, in My Holiday, serialised in 1861 and originally printed in Sydney Mail on Saturdays and republished in Sydney Morning Herald two days later – on Mondays, speaks of fishermen here when on his approach to Barranjoey after the long trek from Manly:

(From the Sydney Mail, September 7.)

Long before our arrival at the tents, if we had had any doubt with respect to the correctness of our surmise, our noses would have at once dispelled it; for the strong smell of the fish, cured à la Chinoise, that saluted our olfactories was so overpowering as to cause us to hesitate whether we should run the gauntlet of the tents, or whether we should give them a wide berth by making a detour. As it happened, however, that we required to replenish our stock of tea and sugar, it became absolutely necessary that we should visit the tent, these enterprising foreigners keeping the only depot on the Peninsula for the sale of these articles; and, consequently, "the ancient fish-like smell" had to be encountered.

Chinaman's or Snapperman Beach and Observation Point, Palm Beach, Newport Digital Order Number: a106120 circa 1912, Broadhurst Image, courtesy State Library of NSW.

As we approached we met with all the materiel of a fishery. First, a long and apparently valuable seine was spread out on the grass a little above the beach to dry, and a boat hauled up on the sand showed that it had been recently used. Another, and a somewhat smaller, boat was moored out in deep water ready for use. A little further on, about ten or a dozen bushels of guardfish were spread out on the grass to cure, with small hopes, as I should imagine, of their drying under the influence of the weak and wintry sun. Next a small tent full of barrels of all kinds, but principally the light American oak flour barrels, showed the preparations for packing the fish obtained and dried during the summer season. Ten or a dozen yards further on was another tent,-the fish store-in which were piled up heaps of snapper and large-sized bream, all cured and ready for the Celestial consumption for which they had been prepared; and here we found the two Chinese, master and man, who owned the location. The master appeared a tolerably decent looking and intelligent man, who spoke English sufficiently well to be understood, and who very readily gave us all the information in regard to his fishery that we demanded from him.

Their mode of procedure is this:-they fit out boats for persons willing to fish for them, of course keeping an account against them, for materials, rations, &c, supplied, and taking from them all the fish they catch suitable for curing, at a certain fixed price. The smaller fish they allow them to take into the Sydney market. In the season they have from fifteen to twenty boats at work fur them, principally manned by Europeans, besides which they buy from all who choose to come to them, offering to the fishermen the further convenience of the store they carry on, and from which they supply tea, sugar, and biscuit at a very small advance upon Sydney prices. We bought, at 3s. per lb., some really fine black tea, very much superior to any that is to be procured ordinarily at the grocers' shops of the metropolis. Sugar was 6d. per lb., similar to that for which 5d. is paid in Sydney ; whilst Wilkie's best cabin biscuits are retailed at 4d. per lb. As soon as the fish are procured they are cut open and gutted, lightly rubbed with salt, and then spread out in the sun to dry. In the summer this is very speedily and effectually done, although not without the fish obtaining that peculiarly rank and offensive smell that all who have passed by a Chinese store must have noticed. The supply of fish is allowed to accumulate during the summer, heaped in a tent devoted to the purpose, the heaps being occasionally turned, and every care taken against damp and wet; and so soon as the drying season is over-when the sun ís too far from the zenith as to have lost his power-the packing is commenced. No further trouble is taken in the packing, than to lay them in the barrels as closely as they can be got, and to press them down as hard as can be done with the hands. They are then headed up and forwarded to Sydney, to be distributed all over the interior wherever Chinese most do congregate. This season they had obtained about two hundred barrels of fish.

Besides this fishing station on Pitt Water, there are also others at Brisbane Water, on Tuggerah Beach Lake, and on Lake Macquarie, all carried on by Chinese. There are several others also to the south-ward of Port Jackson, though my Chinese informant could not give me the names of the places where they ore established. All these fisheries have been formed by Chinese merchants resident in Sydney; that at Pitt Water belongs to a Chinese merchant in George street, whose name I could not make out, although I tried very hard to do so. The Chinese from whom I had these details was a kind of superintendent or manager of the fishery, keeping accounts against the fishermen with perfect correctness, and keeping the books of the station in the same way as an English storekeeper would do. He showed his board of colored beads by which he did all his reckoning, his multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction ; but after about half-a-dozen explanations, which he went through with most exemplary patience, neither of us could make head or tail of it, albeit Nat, who considers himself exceedingly clever at accounts, said he thought he saw what the plan was.

Having purchased our stores, and obtained all the information we could from the boss, we filled our billy with water, and, obtaining the permission of the locataires, put it over their fire. When they found that we were going to take our midday repast, they brought out biscuit and butter and spread them before us, and when our pot boiled, produced their own tea and sugar for our use, thus performing the right of hospitality in true bush fashion. We were rather pleased at this, as we had previously imagined that the very last place to go to for a feed would be a Chinese tent. We made an excellent meal of biscuit, butter, and watercresses, and I think rather astonished master John at the quantity of comestibles that we managed to stow away. They had pressed us very hard to try some of their fish, and they certainly had a string of very fine fat mullet hanging up in their private tent, no doubt as a special delicacy, but neither of us could stand the odour, which nothing but long habit or absolute starvation could have overcome.

All the stronger for our meal-snack, Tom called it-we lighted our pipes, resumed our loads, and bade adieu to our entertainers, thanking them for the kind hospitality which they had furnished, the more particularly as it had been unsought on our part.

Crossing a bright clear brooklet that ran close to the rear of the tents, a couple of hundred yards brought us to a rocky headland forming the northern boundary of the cove on which the Chinamen were located. This we crossed by a miserable track knee deep in mud, and, arrived on the other side, we had Barranjuee full in front of us, about three quarters of a mile distant, with a long cleared flat, that had the appearance of having been at one time cultivated, lying between us and the mountain. This flat, which now intervened between us and Barranjuee, was scarcely two hundred yards across at the widest part dividing the Pacific from Pitt Water, and joining Barranjuee to the main. It is very low, and is fully exposed to whole sweep of the south-eastern gales that at some seasons prevail upon the coast, throwing up the waves in watery mountains upon the long beach that faces seaward, and scattering the spray in drenching showers right across into the bay. A dense scrub of ti tree and honeysuckle grows on the seaward side of the flat, forming a thick protecting belt almost up to the mountain, and this Nat and I determined to push through, whilst Tom went on ahead to the Customs stationwhose white cottage we could see glistening brightly against the dark back ground of the vast cliffs of the mountain.

We had been led to expect that on the edge of this scrub we should put up any quantity of wonga wongas, and as Nat and I were desirous of making a triumphal entry into the station with a brace or two of these fine birds hanging at our girdles, we determined upon trying our luck. Carefully, and in a most sportsmanlike manner did we stalk along through the fern, which here grew as high  as our waists, and formed an excellent cover for birds if they would but have come there. I fully expected every minute to put up, if not a wonga wonga, at all events a brace of quail; but we went on and on, and still nothing appeared. Nat audibly gave vent to his dissatisfaction, and stated as his private and particular opinion, that we had been humbugged. He uncocked his piece and threw it over his shoulder, whilst I was in the act of doing the same thing, when whirr !-up with a loud flapping of wings, that from its suddenness quite unnerved me and threw me off my guard, rose a magnificent wonga wonga, which in my agitation appeared to me as big as a turkey. It  heeled round leisurely in front of me and lodged in the branches of a honey- suckle, full in sight, though out of gun-shot from where we stood, whilst I stood with mouth and eyes open, incapable of doing anything but watching its flight.

"What the mischief was that?" said Nat, in evident astonishment at the sound.

“Didn’t you see it? " I asked.

" Not a bit," he replied.

"It was a wonga, and as large a one as ever I saw. See, there he is on the honeysuckle vender, the fourth bough from the top."

"I see him," shouted Nat, as he darted off into the bush. ....MY HOLIDAY. (1861, September 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

Another appears in 1879 and 1880 reports of that most northern extremity of Pittwater, only in those it seems to be the Arblaster family, living under Barranjoey's western point, who are mentioned.

South of these destinations for those having a half-day-holiday and catching a steamer here, was Narrabeen Lagoon, a place the Sly Family, of Manly were fishing in. It is a Family from South, compass-wise, who runs first in this round of early Pittwater fishermen.

George Sly, the patriarch, was born about 1807, mother unknown but father was one John Sly (1767- 1829) transported here for; "coining offences, 1st November 1809."
849. JOHN SLY was indicted for that he on the 9th of September, in the 49th year of his Majesty's reign, feloniously and without any authority in writing for the purpose from the governor of the bank of England, did engrave and cut and knowingly aiding and assisting in engraving and cutting in and upon a certain plate of copper, a certain note purporting to be a bank note for the payment of one pound.
To this indictment the prisoner pleaded GUILTY.
Transported for seven years .
Second Middlesex jury, before Lord Ellenborough.

He was sent out to New South Wales aboard the Admiral Gambier and Friends, one of 299 convicts - date of Departure: April 1811.
Before leaving he remarried: 
Text: John Sly of this parish a widower and Elizabeth Flamston of this parish a spinster were married in this church by banns this 10th day of February in the year 1810. Citation details: City of London St Sepulchre, Holborn 1810; No. 12 (pages 63 and 84)

Elizabeth was also being transported, for fourteen years, for "coining offences, 1st November 1809."
847. ELIZABETH FLAMSTON was indicted for that she on the 12th of Septs feloniously, knowingly, and without lawful excuse, had in her custody and possession divers forged and counterfeited bank notes for the payment of one pound: she well-knowing the said bank notes to be forged and counterfeited .
To this indictment the prisoner pleaded GUILTY.
Transported for 14 years .
Second Middlesex jury, before Lord Ellenborough.

It's unclear why Elizabeth received twice John Sly's sentence, however, they were clearly partners in crime. They had two daughters and a son born here, Louisa (born 1816), Harriet (born 1819) and John William (born 1824).

John Sly did not give up his old tricks once here and in 1929 they proved his undoing in a place where offences and re-offending were punished harshly, despite an appeal to the governor for remission of the sentence due to his 'large family' - although this item states only one son visits him while in gaol awaiting his fate as the Census of 1828 names Sly, George, 20, ... 1809, baker, Wm. Willson, Liverpool:

Sly, the forgerer, suffered death at last on Monday morning. Before the fatal warrant reached him in his condemned cell, now nearly a fortnight back, so long was he left to doubt and repentance, that the miserable man entertained confident hopes of a remission of sentence, now were those hopes renounced even to the very morning of his execution, when he denied being guilty of the forgery he was convicted of as stoutly as ever.Sunday, and Sunday night the culprit passed chiefly in prayer. He slept well and looked better next morning, when his son and daughters took their leave of him, than ever he did in Sydney of late years, when at liberty and following his avocations, which he might had he chosen, have pursued, with credit and comfort to himself and family. But though an excellent engraver, Sly was an incorrigible drunkard, and felt quite contented on an average to work two days in the week only out of the six. Sly could not be far short of 65, a time when there is ' no dallying with-life.' He is said to have executed a counterfeit plate of the Bank of England so admirably, as almost, to defy detection, and when transported to this country probably upwards of a score years ago, he obtained extra rations, and some other consideration's for giving up the plate. He was a spare dark man, and seemed to be either very near or very dim sighted. On Monday morning he was attired in cleaner apparel than ordinary, in white trousers, shirt, and blue cloth waistcoat. He expressed a wish to see two or three persons, but on their calling he preferred being left to his private meditation. For an hour or so he paced up and down his cell, the ponderous leg irons being struck off on the morning of execution perusing a prayer book and quite composed in his demeanor. The arrival of an officer's guard, the congregating of spectators outside and inside the goal wall, and the low mysterious busy hum which buzzed through the execution yard, all announced the fatal moment to be approaching. At length about 9 the culprit made his appearance, attended by the Rev. W Cowper and Dr. Lang, with the executioner and his assistant, Governor of the Goal, Under Sheriff, goaler, and assistants. Sly kneeling near his coffin on a seat, the Clergyman being accomodated with one a piece, heard a long prayer from the Rev. Mr. Cowper and an extempore one from the Rev. Dr. Lang with deep attention, and on rising walked up to the drop with a firm, and rather swift step. -—Some minutes of suspense ensued, during which the poor condemned individual put forth fervent ejaculations for mercy to the throne of the Almighty. At a given signal by the Under Sheriff, the spring sustaining the drop was withdrawn— the culprit fell to the length of his rope— and soon his convulsed frame ceased to exhibit signs of animation. The guard drew off— the spectators gradually followed— and the body, after being apost of the winds during the usual period, was lowered into the rude shell prepared for its interment. Thus died John Sly, engraver. However, his life may have been regulated, yet, in the closing scene of existence, he displayed a fortitude which would have become a philosopher, united to the decent devotion of a sincere Christian. EXECUTION. (1829, December 31). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), p. 3. Retrieved from

The above was preceded by:

On Tuesday a man named Sly, was fully committed to take his trial for forging the signature of " Cooper and Levey " to a quantity of notes of one pound each, purporting to be Waterloo Ware-house stock, a man named Byfield (the approver) was admitted to bail in his own recognizance of £100.Domestic Intelligence. (1829, November 21). The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 - 1838), p. 3 (AFTERNOON). Retrieved from

EXECUTION. — John Sly, convicted of forgery on the Waterloo Company, underwent the sentence of the law yesterday morning. The unfortunate man was attended in his cell and on the scaffold by the Rev. W. Cowper, and the Rev. Dr. LANG ; and, though he indulged the hope of a reprieve up to a late hour on Sunday night, appeared very penitent. Shortly before he was turned off, he addressed the spectators in a few words, acknowledging the justice
of his sentence, and earnestly entreating them to take warning and avoid transgressing the laws. Sly was by profession an engraver, and is said to have possessed considerable talent in his business. He was originally transported for life to this Colony for a precisely similar offence to that for which he at last paid the forfeit of his life. CHRISTMAS EXAMINATIONS. (1829, December 29 - Tuesday). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from

Several persons have been apprehended during the week for the passing of forged bills ; and J. Kertain was on Wednesday committed for the offence to take his trial at the next Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, under the following circumstances :— It appears that the wife of John Sly, an engraver, in whose house the prisoner lodged, was on Tuesday, taken into charge by a constable for utilising a forged ten shilling bill — which she said was the property of Kertain, who employed her to get it changed. Kertain was in consequence also apprehended, and both were detained until the following morning, when they were taken to the Police Office for examination on that single charge. At about ten o'clock, however, a woman residing at the Cow-pastures tendered two forged ten shilling bills to a shop keeper in George street, which proved upon comparison to be exactly of the same tenor and im-pression with that for which the two persons above mentioned were held in custody ; and being inter-rogated as to the person from whom she had received them, she said they were paid to her by a man of the name of Kertain, who had bought fowls of her at the Cow Pastures : She was in consequence taken before the Superintendant of Police, where the man she accused was already in custody. On exami-nation the prisoner acknowledged having paid the woman three ten shilling bills ; and the latter swore positively that the two forged notes now produced were among the number. The prisoner stated in extenuation that he had taken those bills in a payment of 20l from a publican in Pitt street; but the account not being satisfactory he was committed upon the charge. Sydney. (1815, October 7). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from

Elizabeth remarried the year after John Sly lost his life to the penalties imposed then, joining her lot with James Chard, one of 180 convicts transported on the ship Ocean, August 1817. James was a widower too then, his wife Rebecca having passed away in 1836, aged 57 (came free, per Jupiter, 1823, wife of James Chard, Liverpool with sons John and Thomas). Interestingly her two daughters married his sons:

78/1830 V183078 14 CHARD JOHN SLY LOUISA CA
147/1836 V1836147 20 CHARD THOMAS SLY HARRIET CJ
1457/1837 V18371457 21 CHARD JAMES SLY ELIZABETHCJ - From NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

George Sly married Ann Hely on January 31st 1835 at St Philips, Sydney. By 1848, going via the notice published at his passing in 1881, he had moved to Manly, where he continued working as a baker, at Aurousseau’s Baker on the Corso, per some records, and in the 1870s at the Quarantine Station and are stated to have been the sole family residing at the Fairy Bower prior to the Darley-Bassett estate subdivisions. The 'Fairy Bower' derived its name from the hopeful Charles Hemmington and were opened in 1859 prior to his Chowder Bay venture.

Other records show George Sen.s sons Charles Sly lived in Osborne Road and William Sly in Addison Road. Charles is listed as an owner of a property in Vivian Street Manly in the 1890 collection of sigantures requesting, since the population now has reached and exceeded one thousand Manlyites, that the local government Manly area be split into wards.

'Approach to Manly Beach near Sydney' [picture] / S.T.G, lithograph by Sydney : Allan & Wigley lith., [1856] courtesy National Library of Australia.

Photo 47a. ‘at Manly the Corso’ from Album "Views of Sydney and its streets, 1868-1881 / compiled by John Lane Mullins". Image No.: a1939111h, courtesy State Library of NSW

George and Ann had at least five sons and two daughters, two or more of these boys going into the fishing trade - George (born 1832 or 1838 - birth registered in 1838) and Charles (born 1839). Another son, William, also worked in aquatic circles at Manly. As these sons also named their sons George and Charles etc. this record will examine just the first two generations.

George jun. first turns up where we may glimpse him in a little early Narrabeen Lagoon fracas which had preceded by the Mullet Season:

It might be taken for granted that every variety of fish has its season, but that it is hardly safe to take anything for granted ; and so wisdom is wooed on this point, and it is made known by result, that there is a special season for mullet, and that season having set in about the beginning of February, (Sly and Mileswater being the fishermen who brought in the first glut about that time,) is now, and has for a fortnight been at its height of productiveness-the supplies of mullet to the two stations averaging about twenty- five bushels daily. But it appears that all other descriptions of edible fish are in season through-out the year, and are only more abundant at one period than at another. The most abundant varieties during the current season, are mullet and whiting. The price took on at 11s. per bushel ; supplies increased, and it dropped to 10s. Whiting being, with guard fish, an esteemed sort, maintains its better price throughout the year but mullet at length comes very low, and the retailer can afford a good sized one, a foot long ,and fit for eating, for 4d. at the present time. When the fish is large, it is given out to him as it is received-by tho dozen, and not by the bushel
Lobsters (alias Crayfish) usually come in on the Monday, from Broken Bay, in quantities of about fifteen dozens. A good lobster (or cray fish) is said to be worth Is. We are not Afrikanders, buying them for 3d. out of Table Bay, but in our amiable weakness we think it a bargain to get a good one for 4s. 6d. (46cents)
SCHNAFFER has no circumscribed empire, but ranges the coast and penetrates each creek. There is some uncertainty of finding schnappers, however, and when found they are mostly in shoals. A few dozens may occasionally be caught outside the Heads, and within near the lighthouse, but in cooler weather they are conveyed eighteen miles, from Broken Bay. Eighty dozens of schnappers were brought in from that bay about two months ago, but owing to the want of a means of preserving them the bulk of them was lost to the fishermen, for it was not in the power of the retailers to dispose of such a stocks. The last fort-night has yielded a few good draughts of schnappers.
SYDNEY FISH SUPPLIES. (1857, April 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

WATER POLICE COURT.-Tuesday. BEFORE the Water Police Magistrate, Mr. Deloitte, and Mr. Cooper. Thomas Collins, of Narrabeen, was, upon the information of Martin Wilson, fined £5 with 6s, 6d. costs of Court, for employing Olaff Olson ; £10 with costs, for employing Gustave Berry, and the same penalty for engaging Charles Jackson, the employees being deserters from the AEtos. A similar charge against the same party was withdrawn. WATER POLICE COURT.—Tuesday. (1860, March 7).Empire(Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 5. Retrieved from

This is the same Thomas Collins later named in connection with the murder of David Foley - as written of by Shelagh Champion OAM, in Issue 68

James Wheeler, another early settler was amidst the fracas:

A female lyre-bird (menura superba), from Pittwater. Mr. James Wheeler. DONATIONS TO THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM DURING AUGUST, 1856. (1856, September 8). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

A White Heron (Herodias syrmatophorus) from Pittwater, by Mr. James Wheeler, St. Leonard's. DONATIONS TO THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM DURING SEPTEMBER, 1858. (1858, October 8). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

James Wheeler, farmer, Narrabeen Lagoon, was on the information of John Redman, farmer, residing at Pitt Water, charged with having wilfully removed certain Government landmarks, namely, a corner-pin  or stake from certain ground near Pittwater, this  landmark having been erected by a licensed surveyor, and it not being necessary to re-move it for fencing or improving the land. Mr. W. Redman appeared for informant, Mr. Burton for defendant. It appeared from Redman's evidence that the peg in question was placed at the corner of defendant's land, and formed one of a line separating witness' land and land owned by defendant. Red-man did not see Wheeler pull up the peg, but when he told Wheeler that he should proceed against him for doing so, Wheeler said if he had been present when Mr. Neal (the Government surveyor) put it down he would then have pulled it up. There was another peg close to the corner peg pulled up, Redman's reason for instituting this proceeding was because defendant was trying to encroach on his land by claiming a line of eight feet in advance of his proper boundary. Several witnesses in corroboration of this evidence, and others in defence, were heard; when their worships considered the charge was made good, and fined defendant 40s., with costs of Court and professional costs of prosecution. WATER POLICE COURT. (1860, March 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

And were these 'law unto ourselves' types fishing?; some of them were, or trying to, as were others;

METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COURT. MONDAY BEFORE Mr District Court Judge M'Farland and a jury of four.  

Skinner v Wheeler    

This was an action to recover damages for maliciously destroying the fishing nets and sinking the boat of the plaintiff. Damages were laid at £200. The defendant pleaded a number of defences, the principal of which amounted to averments that the lagoon where the plaintiff was fishing was not an arm of the sea, that the land where the alleged trespass was committed was the property of the defendant, and that the defendant was not guilty of the acts set forth in the plaintiffs declaration.  Mr Fisher and Mr Pilcher, instructed by Mr Dawson, appealed for the plaintiff, and Mr Redman for the defendant . The plaintiff was a fisherman, living at Manly Beach and the defendant was a farmer, living near the  Narrabeen Lagoon, situate between Manly Beach and Pitt Water. The plaintiff, at certain periods of the year, sent fishermen with a boat and nets to the lagoon. For some months, as he alleged, the fishing on the lagoon was very good, and at those times, his average profits from this source were £1 10s a week. The plaintiffs boat was sunk in June, 1867. Plaintiff was informed by the defendant in a letter that the latter suspected foul play and recommended him to come to the lagoon to look after his boat. Plaintiff, on going to the lagoon, discovered his boat by part of his fishing net floating on the surface. The other portion of the net was battened down in the bottom of the boat, which had been filled with stones and sunk in twelve foot of water. Plaintiff's man borrowed defendant's punt to look for the boat, and in it there was some sawdust of timber corresponding to the wood of the battens fastening the net in the boat, and one of the witnesses for the  plaintiff stated that, on his way to the defendants, he saw pieces of wood, the sawn ends of which corresponded to one or two of the pieces in the boat. In June, 1868, the plaintiffs men began to fish there again. At first there was nothing in the bed of the lagoon to impede the sweep of  their nets, but afterwards the lagoon was filled with snags, and some thirty times or more the net was injured. One of the witnesses for the plaintiff swore that  the defendant told him that he would not allow him or  Skinner to fish in the lagoon, and that if he could not prevent it by fair means he would by foul. According to this witness (Eaton) - and his evidence in what follows was corroborated by a man named Pashley, and by the defendant's son - on the 23rd of July, he, Pashley, and Skinner, junior, were fishing on the lagoon, when they saw the defendant and his son in a boat. They saw Wheeler throw five snags from his boat into the lagoon, in different places where they usually dragged the nets. The defendant and his son then rowed to the shore, cut down three other small trees, carried  them down to the boat and cast them into another part of the lagoon. The plaintiff's boat was at this time about fifty yards away from the last of  the five snags, and about four hundred yards away from the last of the three. Two specimens of the snags were brought into Court. They were young forest oak trees, about ten feet long, and the boughs were pointed, apparently, with a tomahawk. The defendant and his son swore that they did not throw the snags into the lagoon, and that on that particular day, the 23rd July, they were engaged in cutting shingles. Defendant also alleged that in June, 1867, he was out shooting when he happened to see the plaintiff's net on the water, and he went out of his way to tell him of it. There were two or three other punts in the neighbourhood of the lagoon in June, 1867, one of which defendant believed was actually on the lagoon at the time. His own punts were often taken away and used without his permission. Evidence was given to show that the trees produced might have been washed into the lagoon by floods, and that they might have been cut down for the purpose of forming a cockatoo fence. Defendant called witnesses to discredit the character of the witnesses called for the plaintiff. One of these witnesses confessed that he had himself been charged with murder. The evidence as to the value of the boat and the nets, as well as to the nature of the fishery, was contradictory. There was evidence to show that the Narrabeen Lagoon was affected by the ebb and flow of the tide; and the defendant's plea of locus in quo was disallowed, on the ground that it was tantamount to a justification, and was, therefore, one of those defences which were not admissible excepting on five days notice being given. The jury found a verdict for the plaintiff, and assessed the damages at £10.METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COURT. (1868, October 20). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

Enlargement of peice of Parish of Narrabeen, County of Cumberland [cartographic material] : Metropolitan Land District, Eastern Division N.S.W.
1886. MAP G8971.G46 svar (Copy 1). Showing placement of 'Collins' Lagoon side and 'Black Swamp' - Mona Vale (Turimetta).

James. Wheeler, the elder, James Wheeler, the younger, and Frank Poyner appeared pursuant to summons wherein they were charged that on the night of the 5th instant, at Narrabeen Lagoon, near Pittwater, they did wilfully and maliciously destroy a fishing net, the property of James Wilson. Mr. Gannon appeared for the complainant, and Mr. R. Driver for the defendants. Several witnesses were examined for the complainant, and the case was adjourned till tomorrow week. WATER POLICE COURT.—MONDAY. (1871, October 24).Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 2. Retrieved from

Destroying a Fishing Net. — The Pitt Water People Again

James Wheeler, the elder, James Wheeler, the younger, and Frank Poyner were charged with having, at Narrabeen Lagoon, near Pitt Water, destroyed a fishing net of the value of L5, the property of James Wilson. Mr. Gannon appeared for the complainant, and Mr. Driver for the defence. The evidence disclosed that on the night of the 5th instant, between 10 and 2, the fishing party, consisting of Wilson, Sly, and Pashley, were camped in a gunyah on Miss Jenkins's property, which runs down to Narrabeen Lagoon. Pashley was aroused by hearing a peculiar whistle, and called Sly, who aroused Wilson. Pashley and Sly went out through some rushes to where the net with which they were fishing was stretched out to dry. They there saw the two Wheelers and Poyner standing on the net. The younger Wheeler came off the net and walked towards them, close to the rushes.            

They saw Poyner with a can or jar in his hand. He poured something out of the can on to the net. They were on the net about ten minutes, and then went away. When Sly called Wilson, he (Wilson) went in the direction of the only path anybody could take from the net, to get away from the lagoon, and saw the elder Wheeler running away from the net. He also saw two other men, but could not tell who they were. In the morning they examined the net, and took it up in their hands, but it fell to pieces. Evidence was given that sulphuric acid (oil of vitriol) had been poured on the net. The defence set up was that Wheeler and his son never left their house, at Narrabeen on that night, and that Wilson stated he did not know whether it was old or young Wheeler that he saw. The witnesses for the complainant were Wilson, Pashley, Sly, and Mr. Watt, Government Analytical Chemist; and for the defence, Mrs. and Miss Wheeler, John Farrell, Mileswater, and Skinner. — The bench disagreeing, there was no adjudication. Thomas Wilson, of Mona Vale, Pitt Water, complained that on the 6th instant, Sarah Farrell temporarily  impounded four head of cattle, and neglected to feed and maintain them. — The case was not concluded when we went to press. — Mr. Redman appeared for the complainant, and Mr. Driver for the defence. Police Courts, This Day. (1871, October 31). Evening News(Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from

Before Mr. Hale.  James Thomas Pashley was charged by James Wheeler, the elder, of Narrabeen, farmer, for that he did on the 23rd day of October, at the Water Police Court, during the hearing of the cause Wilson v. Wheeler and others, falsely, wickedly, wilfully, and corruptly commit wilful and corrupt perjury. The information further stated that prosecutor had reason to believe that defendant was about to leave the  colony. Mr. Hellyer appeared for the prosecution; and defendant, who pleaded not guilty, was represented by Mr. David Buchanan (instructed by Messrs. Gannon and Curtis). James Wheeler, the elder, deposed : I am a farmer and house proprietor, residing at Narrabeen; I have lived there about thirty years, and was there on the 5th October last ; on the night of that day I was at my residence, and did not see Pashley at all during the day ; the nearest part of Miss Jenkins's property is about a mile and a-half from my house; there is a place called the Fisherman's Hut, on Miss Jenkins's property; I remember seeing a net there on the Thursday; I was charged before Mr. Cowper and Mr. Williams with destroying the net ; the net covered 500 yards from one end to the other; on the 5th October I was not at the Fisherman's Hut, either at dark or at any other time; my wife, daughter, and sons, were stopping with me that night, and Poyner was on the premises that day, having come there the previous night ; Poyner was there on the night of the 5th ; Poyner left my house on the night of the 5th October to go to the net house, where he slept, and I did not see him after that ;my son James Wheeler was at home on the night of the 5th October, and went to bed before I did ;he retired somewhere about 10 o'clock ; I was not out of the house after 10 o'clock that night ; on the night of the 5th October I was not off my premises with at the said Frank Poyner ; I did not go to Wilson's net ground of Miss Jenkins, near night ; I was not on the night, nor was I on the net; I was not on the net with Frank Poyner that night, nor did I on that night say to him while standing on the net, " Here's the bunt, Frank ; "  the night of the 5th October was stormy, and bad weather. James Wheeler the younger, son of last witness, gave evidence in corroboration of prosecutor's statement that neither he nor his father left the house on the 5th October after going to bed, and did not see a net at the  fisherman's hut on Miss Fisher's property on the 5th October. Francis Poyner gave similar evidence, and the case was adjourned until Friday next. WATER POLICE COURT. (1871, November 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from



This was an action for malicious prosecution, in which the plaintiff, James Wilson, sued the defendant, James Wheeler, for £200 damages. Both parties resided near Manly Beach, at a place called Narrabeen, to the north of Manly. The plaintiff, who carries on business as a fisherman, went, on the 5th of October last, to a lagoon near defendant’s residence, with three other men, for the purpose of trawling a net. About an hour before sunset, the net having been taken out of the water, was spread on the grass to dry ; and plaintiff and his companions lay down to sleep (camping out) about8 or 9 o'clock. In the middle of the night, plaintiff's attention was called by one of the men with him named Pashley, to something going on in the vicinity of the net. Wilson, Ashley, and Sly got up, and went to see what it was. A  boy who was with them did not go to see the net. Plaintiff then saw defendant and some other men running away. On examining their three nets immediately afterwards, portions were found to have been destroyed by some kind of acid. Plaintiff summoned defendant and his son to the Police Office for wilful destruction of property, and they were ordered to pay a fine, together with the cost of proceedings. Some time after (in November last) the defendant in this case took proceedings against the plaintiff,and the two other persons (Pashley and Sly) for perjury. Plaintiff was accordingly apprehended at Manly Beach on a  warrant (the defendant having sworn that the plaintiff was about to leave the colony), lodged in the lock-up at Manly,  brought to Sydney, and lodged in the Cumberland-street  watch-house. Having been brought before the Central Police Court, Wilson was committed for trial. He was not tried, however, as the Attorney-General declined to prosecute. Out of these proceedings for perjury the present action arose. It being necessary in actions of this nature  to prove the " determination " of the previous case, a question arose as to the admissibility of the formal memorandum of nolle prosequi endorsed on the back of the copy of proceedings forwarded from the Police Office. The counsel on one side contended that the endorsement of the Attorney-General would be sufficient proof of the " determination " of such a case ; and the learned counsel for the defence (Mr. Butler) denied that such determination could be proved otherwise than by direct evidence. The Judge said that his impression was that such an endorsement would not be evidence ;at the same time supposing the Attorney-General was not in Court, he (the Judge) did not see how the matter could be proved in any other way. He could see very great inconvenience resulting from proposing to call on the  Attorney-General in such cases. He ruled that the evidence produced to be tendered was admissible, until    cause to the contrary should be shown. The man Pashley gave evidence confirmatory of the evidence of the plaintiff.

Mr. Plunkett (secretary to the Attorney-General), having been called, was asked several questions by the counsel for the plaintiff as to the memorandum endorsed on the record of evidence (taken at the Police Office) when the Attorney-General declined to prosecute. These questions were all objected to by Mr. Butler, whose objections were sustained by the Court. Mr. Plunkett stated that a memorandum was made in the " Deposition Book" in all cases when the  Attorney-General declined to prosecute. That book was kept by a clerk, as a matter of reference. The book was produced, but the making evidence of the  entry therein as to the determination of the case alluded to was objected to by the counsel for the defence. The witness was then asked by Mr. Salomons, whether the Attorney-General had directed a letter to be written to the  Bench of Magistrates stating that the Attorney-General did not intend to prosecute in the case of the Queen v. Wilson, for perjury. The witness answered (subject to objection)that he had received written instructions from the Attorney-General to write the letter produced. This answer was  objected to by the opposing counsel, and rejected as evidence by the Court. There was no other memorandum made but that on which the letter had been written, according to the practice of the last eighteen years. George Sly's evidence was corroborative of that given by Wilson and Pashley about the net. The case was not terminated when the Court rose at 4.30 p.m.  METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COURT. (1872, March 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

In another of these cases an indication of James Wheeler's sense of ownership of the lagoon and all in it surfaces as well as George Sly now working for Mr. Wheeler and getting toi spend Christmas in gaol as a result:

Breach of the Fisheries Act.

Two men, named Joseph Foscatier and George Sly. were charged  before Messrs. Marsh, Field, Hale, and Solomon, at the Water Police Court, with a breach of the Fisheries Amendment Act, 21 Vic, No. 10, section 2. Constable Skinner deposed that, on November 18, he saw the defendants leave Mr. 'Wheeler's residence and row about a mile down the Narrabeen lagoon and commence fishing. As they were drawing in the net with about 3 1/2 bushels fish, he charged them with a breach of the Act by using over 90 fathoms, and meshes less than 4 inches. The net they were using was about 200 fathoms, with meshes about 2 1/2 inches in size. When apprehended, they said they were sent by Mr. Wheeler. [Case proceeding.] Breach of the Fisheries Act. (1880, December 2). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from

This case was also reported in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate on December 7th and was referred to as a 'case of some importance'

Breach of the Fisheries Act.

Two men, earned Joseph Forestier and George Sly, were charged yesterday morning, on remand, before Messrs. Marsh, Field, and Neale, at the Water Police Court, with a Breach of the Fisheries Act, Amendment Act 31 Vic. No. 10, Section 2. Mr. J . M. Curtis appeared for the defendants, and Messrs. Lowe and Clayton for the prosecution. The offence consisted in fishing on November 18 in the Narrabeen Lagoon with nets of 200 fathoms in length and meshes of 2 1/2 inches, in contravention of the Act, which certifies that 90 fathom nets should be used, with meshes no less than 4 inches. Constable Skinner proved the case. Considerable discussion took place as to whether the lagoon was an estuary of the sea, and the bench ruled that the question had been settled in a case previously tried, when it was decided that it was an estuary of the sea. Mr. Curtis stated that a question of title was involved, and that Mr. Wheeler was the owner of the lagoon, and the defendants were employed by Wheeler and had a perfect right to fish in the lagoon with any sized nets they chose to use. As there were several witnesses to examine for the defense, the bench remanded the case until Thursday next. Breach of the Fisheries Act. (1880, December 10). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from

The case against Joseph Forestier and George Sly for a breach of the Fisheries Act Amendment Act, 81 Vic, No. 10, section 2, was resumed at the Water Police Court, yesterday, before Messrs. Marsh and Field. Water police constable Turner gave evidence corroborative of that of constable Skinner, and sketches of the lagoon were produced. Mr. J. M. Curtis, for the defendants, took an objection that Narrabeen Lagoon, where the offence was alleged to have been committed, was not an estuary according to the real definition of the term; but the Board overruled the objection. The point had been decided in a previous case in the affirmative. Mr. Curtis also raised the question of title. Mr. Wheeler was the owner of the lagoon, and the defendants were employed by him, and had a perfect right to fish in the lagoon with any sized nets they chose to use. At this stage the case was again postponed for a week.NEWS OF THE DAY. (1880, December 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

THE case against Joseph Forester and George Sly for a breach of the Fisheries Act Amendment Act, 31 Vic, No. 10, section 2, was resumed at the Water Police Court yesterday before Mr. Marsh, P.M., and Mr. Field, The defendants, on an information laid by Mr. sub-inspector Donahue, were charged with using an illegal net, viz., 200 fathoms long, in the Narrabeen Lagoon, the meshes of which were, when wet, less than four inches across. The case for the prosecution having been concluded, Mr. J. M. Curtis, who, with Mr. Armstrong, appeared for the defendants, set up the defence that the Narrabeen Lagoon was not an estuary of the sea, as was claimed on behalf of the prosecution, and Title deeds were produced to show a right of the defendants to the waters of the lagoon. The case was further adjourned for a fortnight, Mr. Clayton conducted the case for the prosecution.NEWS OF THE DAY. (1880, December 24). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

Joseph Forestier and George Sly, who a fortnight ago were found guilty — on the prosecution of subinspector Donohoe — of committing a breach of the Fisheries Act Amendment Act (31 Victoria, No. 10, sec. 2), by using, in the Narrabeen Lagoon-a net, 200 fathoms long, whose meshes were of an illegal width, being under 4 inches, were this morning sentenced by the bench (Mr. Marsh, W.P.M., and Mr. Field, J.P.) to be fined each £2 with 8s 3d coats and £2 2s complainant's costs — the net used to be forfeited and destroyed. It will be remembered that sub-inspector Donohoe, acting on information obtained, sent early in November; last water police constables Skinner and Turner to the Narrabeen Lagoon, where they discovered the prisoners making use of the illegal net. They were summoned to the Water Police Court on November 18, and the case was postponed from time to time until a fortnight ago. when it was brought to a termination with the result as stated above, the judgment being given this morning. Messrs. & Lowe and Clayton appeared for the prosecution, Messrs. J. M. Curtis and N. W. Cooke for the defence. Police Courts. (1881, January 6). Evening News(Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from

The Old Homestead, Lake Narrabeen, from the Broadhurst Scenes of Narrabeen Album, Image no.: a106064h, courtesy State Library of NSW.

Wheeler Creek forms part of the border between the suburbs of Oxford Falls and Cromer. The name of the creek and the nearby suburb of Wheeler Heights is taken from a pioneer European settler, James Wheeler, who purchased land here and built a home for his family near the creek in 1836.

FRASER.—WHEELER—April 16, at the residence of the bride's parents, by the Rev. Alfred Lloyd, John, eldest son of Mr. David Fraser, of Manly Beach, to Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. James Wheeler, of Eagle Vale, Narrabeen LagoonFamily Notices (1877, May 19). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 634. Retrieved from

WHEELER.— June 29. at Prince Alfred Hospital, James Wheeler, sen., of Narrabeen, aged 83 years. Family Notices (1890, July 5). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 54. Retrieved from

THE Friends of the late JAMES WHEELER, Sen., are respectfully requested to attend his Funeral ; to move from the Church of England, Corso, Manly, at 11.15 a.m., for Narrabeen. T. WAUGH and Co., Undertakers, Manly. Advertising (1890, July 2). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 8. Retrieved from

Mr. James Wheeler, sen., of Narrabeen, died on Sunday, at 3 o'clock, after a lingering illness. For the last six months he became more and more enfeebled, and while conversing with two friends on Sunday afternoon expired from disease of the right side of the heart, with kidney disease and dropsy. The deceased gentleman arrived in the colony in the early days, being one of its oldest pioneers. He was 80 years of age, and leaves a widow and nine children, and thirty-nine grandchildren. Mr. Wheeler, who spent his lifetime at Narrabeen, amassed a considerable fortune. Two sisters of the deceased are living in the colony. Sydney Hospital. (1890, July 2). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from

WHEELER.--In sad remembrance of my dear father, James Wheeler, of Narrabeen, who died on the 29th June, 1890, aged 80 years. Inserted by his daughter, M. Mahony, 185 William-street, city. Family Notices (1891, June 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

WHEELER. — May 9, at her daughter's residence, Narrabeen, Elizabeth, relict of the late James Wheeler, sen., aged 92 yearsFamily Notices (1905, May 11). The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 4 (FIRST EDITION). Retrieved from

MRS. HANNAH WHEELERMrs. Hannah Wheeler, wife of Mr. George Wheeler, one of the older residents of Manly and district, died recently at her home Delmar, Pittwater-road, Deewhy. The Wheeler family have been landholders in the Manly, Deewhy, and Narrabeen districts since 1836, where the late Mr. James Wheeler made extensive purchases, the family being established at The Homestead, at the top of Narrabeen Lake. Mrs. Wheeler went to reside at Deewhy many years ago, when the coach was still the principal means of communication in the Warringah district. She leaves six sons and four daughters. The interment took place in the Manly Cemetery. MRS. HANNAH WHEELER. (1930, August 2). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 20. Retrieved from

George Wheeler, was a Somerset farmer who was a weaver by trade. He arrived in Sydney in 1817 to work at Simeon Lord's mill at Botany. He remained seven years before setting up a soap and candle factory in Kent Street with his two sons. Soap manufacture had little appeal and son John took up farming at Watson's Bay and James entered the hotel business.

In 1836 James Wheeler boarded a cutter bound for a shooting expedition at Tuggerah Lakes. A gale blew them ashore at Long Reef where they were forced to remain for 2 weeks. During that time James explored and fell in love with the district. The Jenkins family were the only residents and the place was alive with game.

Wheeler applied for and received a grant of 100 acres at Dee Why, but it was found most of the land was already promised to the boatbuilder, William Cossar, years earlier. As a consolation Wheeler was granted 86 acres at Fox's Flat on the north side of Narrabeen Lagoon facing Pittwater Road. He later acquired land south of the Lagoon and built the Homestead on the banks of South Creek. Wheeler cultivated potatoes and cabbages and these were sent to Sydney markets via boat from North Harbour, Manly.

Concerned about educating his children, James Wheeler returned to live in Sydney for the next few years and then moved to North Sydney where he built a row of terraced houses adjoining the post office. James was 80 when he died in 1890. His son James Jnr, unable to resist the rustic charm of Narrabeen, had returned there permanently in 1878. In May 1926, members of the Manly-Warringah and Pittwater Historical Society made a pilgrimage to the Wheeler's old homestead and family vault.


Members of the Manly, Warringah, and Pittwater Historical Society on Saturday afternoon made a pilgrimage to Wheeler's old homestead and vault at South Creek, Narrabeen Lakes. About sixty people assembled round the vault, and the president of the Warringah Shire (Councillor A. G. Parr) spoke of the work of the members of the Wheeler family and the part they played in the early history of Narrabeen.

Mr. P. W. Gledhill, honorary secretary of the society, read a paper, in which he gave details of the life of Mr. James Wheeler, who settled at Narrabeen in 1836, and lived in the district throughout his life. He died on June 91, 1890, at the age of 80 years, and at his request was buried within a short distance of the old homestead.

It was announced during the afternoon that Mr. James Wheeler, a son of the pioneer, had promised the Rev. N. M. Lloyd, rector of Narrabeen, to give a portion of the land surrounding the vault as a site for a church, on condition that the vault was not removed, and that it was cared for. The church when erected would be known as St. James' Wheeler Memorial Church.

Other speakers were Captain J. H. Watson (president of the Royal Australian Historical Society; Mr. D. Hope Johnston (president Manly, Warringah, and Pittwater Historical Society), the Rev. A. R. Ebbs (rector of St. Matthew's, Manly, and Mr. P. Nolan. NARRABEEN PIONEER. (1926, May 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved  from

Reports of all the fish caught, of a large size and in masses, by the Sly family, make regular appearances in the papers of yesterday.

What also regularly appears is their attempts to save people or that they are the ones who find people lost at sea and all members of the family being involved with the early life saving movement at Manly - this was something the children of George Sly the Baker and his grandchildren all contributed to in one form or another:

About half-past 3 o'clock in the afternoon a feeling of alarm was experienced amongst the visitors on the wharf and harbour reserves when it was observed that a pleasure boat was drifting on the waves between Smedley's Point and Dobroyd Point, and apparently unoccupied A boat was immediately put off by Inspector Skinner and Charles Sly. These men brought the drifting boat to Manly, and reported that they had found it empty- a collection of wild flowers and bulrushes denoting however, that it had been recently occupied A pair of odd oars were in the boat, which is an ordinary skiff, some 18ft in length, with centreboard, and varnished inside and out. It is conjectured that the boat must have been left behind unnoticed by a yacht to which it had been insecurely fastened, or that it had drifted away from one of the many beaches on which pleasure parties had landed. MANLY. (1893, October 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from 


As briefly reported in our last edition of yesterday, a sad boating accident occurred near Manly, when a boy named 'William Henry Norton, 8 years of age, lost his life. About 3 o'clock Mr. Charles Walker engaged a boat from Charles Sly at the Manly Wharf to go to Middle Harbor. In the boat were also Mrs. C. Walker, Mrs. Norton, and her son, William Henry. About 4' o'clock the boat got in the 'bambora' off Dobroyde Point, and was struck by a sea and capsized, throwing the occupants into the water. Mr. Walker seized Mrs. Walker and got her safely to the rocks, and' on a second attempt also rescued Mrs. Norton ; but the boy was not seen after the craft turned over. The spot where the disaster occurred is a very dangerous one, and boating men always gave it a wide berth. The heavy seas rolling m yesterday completely smashed the bout on the rocks, and Mr. Walker was cut and scratched all over.. A boat from the ' Pirates' ' camp at Forty Baskets Beach conveyed the party to the Manly Wharf, and they were in a pitiable plight. Mr. Walker was without a coat, none had hats, and one of the ladies had only one boot, and all were, of course, wet to the skin. Constable Taylor procured stimulants, and did all that was possible before they left for town at 6 o'clock. All the parties live at 33 Forbes-street, Redfern. The boy lost is an only child. The water police, on being-informed of the disaster, immediately proceeded 'to the spot and made a search for the body of the child, without, however, finding it. This morning the quest was renewed. It is feared that it has been swept out to sea. BOATING ACCIDENT NEAR MANLY. (1898, February 9). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from 

Another Manly Rescue.

At the time of the Smallpage— Miss Thorpe drowning case at Manly we published a photograph showing two Manly fishermen, George and Eddie Sly, successfully running their boat through the breakers as evidence of what could be done were a rescue boat available. The brothers have rescued several people from drowning, the last instance being; on Monday morning, when, while fishing off the Quarantine Station at North Head, they noticed some object in the water near Blue Fish Point. At considerable personal risk owing to the heavy swell they reached the spot and rescued a young woman in an unconscious condition. They took her round to Fairy Bower, whence the police conveyed her to the hospital, where she is recovering. She is stated to be a Miss Florence Simpson, 19, of North Sydney, but declined on Tuesday to state how she got into the water. Another Manly Rescue. (1903, January 21). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 148. Retrieved from 


Florence Simpson, a domestic servant, aged 18, was charged before the Water Police Court yesterday with attempting to commit suicide by drowning herself. The evidence was that George Sly, a fisherman, was fishing off Blue Fish Point, at Manly, on Monday last, when he heard screams. He pulled in the direction of the sound, and saw a woman struggling in the breakers. With some difficulty he managed to rescue her from her dangerous position. She was then quite unconscious. Subsequently she was taken to the Manly Cottage Hospital, where she remained until yesterday. Constable Gippel went to the spot at which she was rescued, and later on charged her with attempting to commit suicide. She had gone over the rocks from a height of about 20ft. An hour's imprisonment was ordered by the Bench formally, and the girl was taken away by some friends. THE MANLY MYSTERY. (1903, January 23).Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from 


The City Coroner held an inquiry to-day into the circumstances surrounding the death of an unknown man whose body was found at Manly on Wednesday. William Sly, a wharf labourersaid that about 6.15 a.m. he was going to work at the Manly Wharf, and on the harbour beach, below the high water mark, he saw the body, lying face downwards. Dr. Jamieson .examined the body, which was that of a man about 55 years of age. He had been dead from 24 to 86 hours. There were no marks of violence except some scratches and abrasions about the forehead; and they were apparently caused after death. The body presented the characteristics and outward appearances of death from asphyxia by drowning, end that, in his opinion, was the cause of death. Constable Jones stated that the man's clothes contained 2s 10d, a red crocodile skin tobacco pouch, and a white handkerchief. William Walton, a watchmaker, residing at Manly, said that about 9.30 p.m. on the 19th instant he was fishing off the cargo wharf at Manly. He saw a man come along- towards the harbour end of the wharf.- The clothes he had seen at the morgue and those the man was wearing were similar. Witness was there about 10 minutes, and did not see anyone return, but shortly after the man passed he heard a noise as if someone had slipped on a gangway on wheels. He went to the end of the wharf, and in his opinion the man must have got into the water, or gone away in a boat. There had been a boat moored there previously. He had heard some voices, and thought it must have been someone in a boat When he (witness) went to the end of the wharf he saw no person and no boat. An open finding was recorded. THE MANLY MYSTERY. (1904, April 21).Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 5. Retrieved from 

SILVER MEDALS. William George Sly.— On May 15, 1908, shortly before midnight, a man named James Davidson fell Into the water from the passenger wharf. Manly. William Sly, who was on the wharf at the time, dived, fully dressed, into the water, and reaching Davidson held him up, at the same time calling out for asistance. His cries attracted the attention of Stanley Wild, who assisted Sly out of the water, and Davidson was got on to the wharf by means of the line which Sly had previously tied round him; but after prolonged efforts had been made by Dr. Hall and others to restore animation, lite was pronounced extinct. 
ROYAL SHIPWRECK RELIEF AND HUMANE SOCIETY. (1908, September 2). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 621. Retrieved from

About six o'clock last evening a boy named R. White, residing in Cliff- street, Manly, fell into the water while fishing, A wharf-hand, W. Sly. who is employed at Manly, immediately jumped in, fully dressed, and rescued the boy, who was none the worse for his experience. RESCUE AT MANLY. (1909, September 25). The Star (Sydney, NSW : 1909 - 1910), p. 8. Retrieved from 

The Daughters of the family had sea knowledge too

Surf-bathing - girls' life-saving team' by Percy Spence. Australia beach, 1910
CAPTION PRINTED BELOW PICTURE: 'Surf-Bathing-Girls' Life-Saving team at Practice'
Antique colour print from a watercolour painting - Published by Adam and Charles Black, London

Fancy Dress Procession.
The Manly surf carnival yesterday drew an enormous crowd to the village by the sea. A fine, warm day smiled on the proceedings, and surf conditions were good. The southern end of the ocean beach was thronged by holiday-makers, and on the hill overlooking the scene were several thousand persons, clustering on the various points off vantage. 

The proceedings began with a procession, the feature of which was a display supposed to show the arrival of Lieutenant Shackleton and party at the South Pole.'The Amateur Fishermen's Association had a good display, and a good setting was provided in the "Early Settlers' Camp" and the "Surf banner," upheld by a girl in flowing robes, who was surrounded by lusty children in bathing dress. On the banner read, "Health greets the surfer." The local fire brigade appeared in their turn-out, and the various competing surf clubs in costume, with the residents of Manly, in motor-cars and carriages, made up a really interesting procession. 

The procession over, the surf competitions and displays were begun. 

The results were as follow— Alarm Reel Race. — First heat, Thirroul; second heat, Manly; third heat, North Steyne; fourth heat, Maroubra. . Final: Manly, 1; North Steyne, 2; Merubra, 3. Wheelbarrow Race.— Brown and Johnson (Coogee). Surf Race (five competitors).— Cecil Healy, L. Solomons, S. M'Kelvey, T. S. Smith, and l A. Wright. Result:— Cecil Healy jumped in, and was followed by Smith, and then came Solomons. Smith put in a fine effort, and just missed a shoot that might have taken him to victory. It was the only chance. 
Rescue and Resuscitation Competition.— Bondi, 1; North Steyne, 2; Coogee, 3. Cock-fighting.— A. T. Browne and C. Mondel (Coogee). Inter-club race and Resuscitation Competition.— Little Coogee, 1 ; Manly No. 1, 2; North Steyne, 3. 

During the afternoon a fine exhibition of life-saving was given by the following team of ladies:— Patient, Miss Aggie Sly; support, Miss Dorothea Cracktanthorp ; belt, Miss Dot Wessberg; 1st line, Miss Amy Cox; 2nd line, Miss Joyce Wessberg; 3rd line, Miss Flora Glen; reel, Miss Nellie Kuhl; nurses, Nurse Alice Glen and Nurse Jessie Sly

In the surf-shooting R. M'Kelvey made some beautiful runs, but had a board. J. Holland and C. Healy also gave an exceptionally fine exhibition.  The Misses Jessie and Agnes Sly and Miss Lemers were little behind the men in this exhibition. Manned by Stan.. Jones (capt,), A. A. Watson, A. W. Bye, V. Rowlands, and W. A. Kellner the surf boat shot in in the breakers in fine style, and drew enthusiastic applause from the crowd. 

A spectacular feature of the afternoon was a grand display entitled "Arrival of raft with shipwrecked crew, attack by cannibals, and rescue by men-o'-war." It was carried out very successfully, and created considerable amusement. Owing to lack of time many events were dropped, the Iast decision not being given till nearly 7 p.m.  MANLY SURF CARNIVAL. (1910, March 20). The Sunday Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1903 - 1910), p. 1. Retrieved from


MANLY SURF CARNIVAL. (1910, March 22). The Star (Sydney, NSW : 1909 - 1910), p. 2 (LATEST EDITION). Retrieved from 

The above may also be the Newport Surf Club Girls:

The three Hope sisters and Vera Lewis - one of the first in the world girls life-saving team, 1910; Women in at the beginning of Newport Surf Club - Annie Brennan, Elsie Brennan, Muriel Bulfin (Newport Hotel), Alto Corner, Olive Corner, Doris Hope, Francis Hope and Winn Hope - to name a few!

Manly Surf Carnival. 
SYDNEY,- : Monday;-An .enormous crowd assembled on Saturday at: Manly to witness the - Surf Carnival, which proved a great success. 
Tho procession Included "displays, representing the arrival of the Shackleton party at the South-Pole, an early settlers' camp, etc. Mr. Leslie Curnow won the group prize, in which a figure representing the Goddess of Health was surrounded by a number of little girls in bathing costumes lying about as though on a beach; the background showing a picture of the sea with the surf breaking at sunrise. The Life Saving Clubs, with their reels and life lines, created an impression. 
There were a large number of humorous characters. A prize was awarded to George Hell, who appeared as Professor David, a special prize being given-, to Naughty Tottie, a young surf bather from Newcastle, who appeared in a fashionable-lady's costume. The competitions were contested with keenness characteristic of the Surf Club's interest, and the spectators' enthusiasm was aroused at the start and maintained to the finish. A fine exhibition of life saving was given by a team of ladies. Manly Surf Carnival. (1910, March 22).Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 - 1915), p. 5. Retrieved from 

The body of Nicholas Chelas, 22, the Greek lately employed at the Manly oyster saloon Corso, Manly, who was drowned with his employer, Peter Bungan off Blue Fish Point, Manly, on Tuesday evening last, was recovered early this morning. It will be remembered that the disaster was marked by the heroic conduct of Arthur Leslie Hunt of 34 Whistler Street, Manly, who, after vainly endeavoring to save all three Greeks who were capsized with him from the boat, managed to swim and paddle the boat ashore with a boat stretcher and thus save the life of Austenie Karatgas, being nearly two hours in the water in the attempt. Since the accident, a close watch has been kept for the bodies. The Sly brothers, notable Manly fishermen, kept a particularly sharp look-out and this morning found the body of Nicholas Cholas, in deep water, close to the spot where the men were drowned. The brothers, after considerable difficulty, recovered the body with a drag and handed it over to the Manly police.MANLY BOATING DISASTER. (1912, March 16). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 5. Retrieved from 


Yesterday afternoon two visitors to Manly had a lucky escape from drowning off the Ocean Beach. The men hired a pulling boat at Shelly Beach and went out about half a mile to fish. Later on big seas came in, and it appears the men in the boat became seasick. They were drifting helplessly about when they were noticed by Edward Sly and Jacob Eneko, the Manly fishermen, who got a boat and rowed out to their assistance. It was a hard pull with the big seas prevailing, but the rescuers reached the men Just in time, as the boat was dragging right on to Bombora, where It would inevitably have been swamped. The men, who were exhausted, were brought back in safety to the beach. JUST IN TIME. (1912, September 21). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 9 (FINAL SPORTING). Retrieved from


The body of a man apparently about 40 years of ago, was found early yesterday morning floating about a hundred yards off the beach near Fairy Bower Point, Manly. Edward Sly and Reginald Roberts, who made the discovery, brought the body ashore. Tho man had evidently been dead for some hours. The body was later identified by' his brother as that of Martin Kinnane, a railway employee. FOUND DROWNED AT MANLY. (1914, October 28).The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 10. Retrieved from

First Local Surfboat

Manly Council was among the first to develop and appoint surf lifesavers when in 1903 they supported two fishermen, the brothers Charlie and Eddie Sly, to use their modified whaleboat to patrol Manly and its nearby beaches. From these humble beginnings, the modern Manly Life Saving Club developed.

George Sly is of course the father of the Shelly Beach Fairy Bower residents who were responsible for the advent of early fishing boats and whalers being used as rescue boats on Manly Beach, and over a hundred years of surfboat history since...See: Surf Bathing and the Advent of Manly’s First Surf Carnival - 1907 

The Manly surf boat.

Arrangements have been completed for the construction of the surf boat to be used in rescue work in the breakers at Manly. The boat will be moored at Fairy Bower, and in order to ensure expedient launching in case of emergency an electric alarm is to be connected with the bathing, shed at the ocean beach. THE MANLY SURF BOAT. (1907, January 28). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 9. Retrieved from

Postcard with a colourised photograph of 'LIFE-SAVING SURF BOAT, MANNED BY THE SLY BROTHERS, MANLY.'. It has a message on the reverse and it is dated 17 May 1907. from Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1 courtesy National Museum of Australia.


The surf boat for the patrol of the ocean beach at Manly has been built, and was yesterday taken to Manly, in charge of the Messrs. Sly.The new craft is a double-ender, pair oared, and is covered in for a couple of feet at each end. She 'rides' very lightly, and is a handsome craft. 'She is to be launched on Saturday, with ail flue ceremony. There is to be a surf-bathers' parade, with prizes for the best ladies' and gent's costume; ladies' surf wading race; display by 'Seagulls;' cigarette swimming race; and a display' by 'Happy' Eyre. The Manly Band will be in attendance. The committee have as-hon. secretaries Messrs A. Rosenthall and W. Fraser, and Mr. M. A Roberts as treasurer. THE MANLY SURF BOAT. (1907, March 13). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from


The Manly surf boat made its first public appearance in Manly on Wednesday evening. The craft, which was built to the order of the Manly Council at a cost of £31, was paraded through the streets on a waggon drawn by two horses. The boat is to be used for life saving purposes in the breakers at Manly, and will be manned by a crew under- the direction of the Brothers Sly. THE MANLY SURF BOAT. (1907, March 22). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 8. Retrieved from

The crowd for the launch of this first Manly Surfboat and the attendees at the Carnival it formed part of, was estimated at 12 thousand in some reports:


Launching the- New Boat

Most of Manly and a large portion of Sydney turned out yesterday afternoon to witness the launching of the new surf boat in the breakers on the ocean beach. A large number of people voyaged from the city and took up positions around a small roped-in space on the sands where the boat was. The day was perfect. The surf boat, a beautifully-constructed rower, whale-built, with a long steering sweep, was manned as under:— 

Coxswain, C. Sly; stroke; Alfred Sly; No. 3, Joseph Sly; No. 2, Edward Sly; bow, N. Norgreen. She was launched quite easily, and slid into the water at the willing hands of half a score. The crew rowed her out over the big waves and away to sea with an ease which spoke well for their training and the build of the boat under them. 

The Mayor of Manly (Alderman Alex.-Learmonth) was present with the aldermen, and the director of the carnival, Commander Roberts, was assisted by Messrs. Fred Grey, Quirk, and some others. The judges were Alderman E. W. Quirk.- Mr. W. Tonge (secretary), and Mr. Fraser. (assistant secretary); beach directors, Messrs; Fraser, Ellison, and Arthur Rosenthal. The Manly Brass Band, gave its services gratis, and- played during the afternoon. . ' . The Mayor spoke a few words in honour of the occasion. 'They had met to celebrate a very important occasion, namely, the ceremony of launching the surfboat. It was a much-talked-of boat, and some people had blamed the local council for having used the public money to build it, but he assured, them that such was not the case. Even if, however, the council had done so, and one life had been saved by its means, that would have fully compensated for the expense. But the public had voluntarily subscribed the cost.' 

The Attorney-General (Mr. Wade) spoke at some length on the subject of the advancement of the suburb. He recognised the Importance of the ceremony of launching the boat. It would be a means, should the occasion ever arise, of saving lives of persons in danger. Surf-bathing at Manly had become a success, and it was so largely indulged in that the place was becoming celebrated for it and not only hundreds but thousands were attracted to the suburb for that reason alone. Surf -bathing deserved every support, and he was happy to say was receiving it The surf- boat was manned by a competent crew, and was always ready to go to the rescue of bathers and others in peril. There was much satisfaction to be derived from this fact alone, which was a matter inspiring confidence in the timid bather. IN THE MANLY SURF (1907, March 24). The Sunday Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1903 - 1910), p. 1. Retrieved from

Launching the Surf Boat at Manly, March 23.

General View of the Crowd on Manly Beach.

Listening to the speech-making - The Attorney General (Mr. Wade) Addressing the Crowd

Launching the Surf Boat at Manly, March 23. (1907, March 27).Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 20. Retrieved from

DANGERS OF SURF-BATHING. (1907, March 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from


There was a big crowd at Manly, on Saturday afternoon to witness the launching of the surf boat. The Mayor Alderman Learmonth presented Mr. C. G. Wade with a pair of silver scissors, and asked him to set the boat on its life of-usefulness. The Attorney-General made a characteristic speech, in which he commend ed the Manlyites on the way they had brought surf bathing to such a pitch of excellence. Amid hearty cheers, the boat was run down the beach, manned by the Sly brothers, and safely taken, through the breakers, after encountering three big rollers, that sent the spray over the new boat. Later on, it was brought back to the beach in a way that proved that those in charge were equal to any emergency. The enormous crowd of spectators greatly hampered the committee in its work in getting through the programme of events, but it was carried out with the result that the Parade for Gentlemen was won by "The Knight of the Bath'' J. Harris, "Geo. H. Reid," 2; "Johnson Fishing for Squires," 3. The Ladies' Parade was won by Miss G. Morgan; with Miss K. Monks second, and Miss de Plater third. 

Miss J. Sly won the Umbrella Race; and the Cigarette-smoking and Wading events resulted, A. E. Luker, 1; G. Tartakover,2. Messrs. 

W. Fraser and W. Tonge (hon. secretaries), M.A. Roberts, E. von Tossau, E.W. Quirk, J. Ellison, Croft and A. Rosenthall worked hard to make the programme run smoothly. During the afternoon, diving dis-plays from a specially erected platform out in the'surf were given by the Seagull Club and the Rubiana Club, and all the time the surf was full of bathers. The Manly Band, in charge of Mr. Hawken. by their performances added to the enjoyment of the afternoon. An adjournment was made to Byrnes' New Brighton Hotel, where the Mayor of Manly pro-posed the health of Mr. Wade, who suitably re-sponded, and complimented the Manlyites on the day's programme. He said that what he had seen that day was a credit to Manly's self-reliance and progress. The other speakers were Alderman King, Mr. M. A. Roberts, Dr. Arthur and Mr. Oakes, Ms.L.A.MANLY SURF CARNIVAL (1907, March 25).Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from


The water carnival was held last Saturday at Manly, Sydney Harbour and was a great success. It was organised for the purpose of launching the recently-built surf boat. which, under the control of the Messrs. Sly Brothers, will patrol the water fronting the Ocean Beach during the bathing season. Many thousands of people were present. During the afternoon "Appy Eyre." the present beach custodian, and Mr. Von Tossau gave a display of life-saving. Eyre entering the water and effeected a rescue, after which the usual methods of rescue were adopted. The Seagull and Messrs Chambers. Lane, Rosenthall, Wickham. and Trielonel contributed a diving display from a pedestal erected in the sea. The Manly borough band played selections during the after noon. Results of competitions were: -

Men's Parade.-Knight of the Bath; 1 J. Hargraves 2. Fishing for Squires, ' 3.

Ladies Parade.-Miss G. Morgan, 1; Miss K. Marks 2. Miss de Plreter. 3.

Crowd on the beach watching the Sports.







MANLY SURF CARNIVAL. (1907, March 30). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 27. Retrieved from

This was preceded by a lot of the same prior to the advent and rise and rise of surf life saving. This misspelling is likely to refer to the Sly family members:


SYDNEY, November 11.

A sad boating fatality occurred yesterday afternoon outside Port Jackson Heads. Four youths, named Willis Hall, 16, Arthur Pecke, 15, Wellington Vitely, 18, and Bulgin, 18, left Rushcutter's Bay in an eighteen-foot boat. They sailed out through the Heads to Cabbage Tree Bay, off Manly, and reached that place safely. Having had lunch, they started to return, but, when attempting to jibe, a squall struck tbe boat, capsizing it. Hall clambered on to the keel, while Pecke struck out for shore, 500 yards distant, partially undressing in the water. When he was about half way to the land, however, the current appears to have been too powerful for him, and he turned round and headed for the boat, but when about twelve yards off he sank. Hall, being unable to swim, did not dare to go to his assistance. Vitely and Bulgin disappeared immediately the boat upset.

Two fishermen named Ply, who witnessed the occurrence, pulled out from the shore and rescued young Hall in a most distressed condition. None of the bodies have yet been recovered. A SAD BOATING FATALITY. (1895, November 12). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from


There is no man more in the public eye at the present time than Edward, better known as ''Happy,' Eyre, the official who keeps an eye on the destinies of surf bathers at Manly, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. No man knows more about Manly Beach than he, for his experience has been gained battling with the breakers in two capacities for three years past.

Eyre, who is a fine, upstanding, athletic man, in his 37th year, having been born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1869, has saved no fewer than 46 persons from drowning in the breakers at Manly in two years, and it is pretty certain that if the impetuous foolishness of bathers who come from the city and suburbs is not restrained, he will soon top tie half century, and be well on the way for a hundred. 'Happy' has some very decided opinions, based upon experience, regarding surf bathing at Manly. Those who got into trouble were visitors who did not know the beach. He had a few 'pointers' to give, and if they were recollected the risk was practically nil. 'The danger,' said Eyre, to an ''Evening News' reporter, 'lies between the flood and the ebb tide, and the dangerous spot is Just opposite the ladies' dressing reserve. All the fatal accidents have happened at this place, and I had one of the hardest struggles of my life there, when I was in for three quarters of an hour after a Boy. You 'see, the northerly current sweeps in and washes out a deep channel and leaves large holes, especially in north-east weather. Going into one of these holes is just like stepping off a table on to a floor of a room. At low water, it; would be about 20 yards out.' 

What is the result when a bather gets .into a hole?

Well, the current drags him from the hips — at least, that's my experience — and instead of 'keeping his block,' and trying to swim across where he would strike one of the banks, the bather will try to swim straight into the beach. That's fatal to his chance, at once.' 

'And then you come in?' 


'Is there a suction in the current?'  

'Yes, there is; that keeps dragging the bather down. I tell you the Sydney bathers should be warned, and warned very straight, not to go in too far. Up to the first breaker is quite far enough. When they get out' too far, then they are in trouble. Those who are with them see it, and they go to their assistance, and they can't get back. Then the whole lot are in danger. That's what causes all the trouble. I tell you. It is the people who come to Manly who have narrow escapes. The Manly bathers know the beach, and consequently know what to do.' 

'What is best to be done when the bather is in danger?' 

'Well, when a bather does get into difficulties, all he wants to do is to keep his head, and we'll get him.' 

'Happy' was quite confident in that respect, and his record is a sufficient warranty for it .

'How do I work the life-saving? Well, I have a belt and about 200 yards of ½ inch line. I slip into the belt in a minute, hook it over my shoulders, and go out. And, while I am on that subject, I may say that the going out is not the worst — it is the coming in. Last Sunday I got a terrible doing with the people pulling the line in. You know when about 25 of them are hauling at the line, they pull it in so quickly that I go right underneath. On Sunday they pulled me under, and away from the bather three times, and I had to go back each time and get him.' 'Did I swallow any salt water? lots of it.' 


 'What is the toughest time I ever had* -'Well, it -was last February twelve months, when I went In after young Mulqueeny. I was in for three-quarters of an hour in a big nor'-easter. The line got tangled up with seaweed. They managed to drag me in; but I didn't get the boy. Poor chap, he was gone. Have I anything to suggest to improve the beach; Well, I think the best thing to do is to leave it as it is. If any buoys, or anything of that kind, were put in the water the bathers would only swim out to them, and then they would not be able to get back. One thing I would like to say is this, A lot of the local bathers, who follow their way about, go in too far and they entice others to do the same. We save the women ...

do in other 'parts of the world. The women, too, stay in too long. They, stop in. three times as long as the men.' - : 'About night bathing? Oh! I don't approve ! of that. There is too much risk in it. When the beach is dirty, and it keeps- -working, these people will walk right into trouble. I am not on- duty at the beach after 5 p.m.; but I often walk down to see how things- are. ? Am I the official of the Life-saving Society? Well, not exactly. I am paid by the bathers by voluntary subscription, and the money has not been coming in too well this last month. No; I have never got a medal, and although I have been instrumental in saving the lives of 46 persons, in only one case have I ever received anything. That was from Mrs. Roberts and her daughter, and Miss Fox, whom I saved. Mrs. Roberts sent me a sideboard, and her daughter gave me a little present. You have heard I have been rather shabbily treated by some? So I have, and one-was only the other day. But I don’t want to say, anything more about: that. I have been handsomely treated by the' Manly ? residents, however. They gave me a benefit quite recently.' ? 


Eyre, who is a painter by trade, is, like all New Zealanders, a football enthusiast. After coming to Sydney he played with the old Zealandia Club, then With the Pirates, and lastly with the Glebe- in every case he was in the forward division. Usually speaking, 'Happy' has 'followed wharf labouring' for a living; but he has also done a little painting. He drifted into the life-saving business by accident. Having gone to Manly some three or four years ago he became associated with the Slys in fishing, and then a proposal was made to have a surf boat from 6 to 8 a.m. for the protection of bathers. The boat's crew, four in number, of whom ‘Happy' was onewere to 'receive £10 a month; but after a time it was not supported. Mr.D. Hogan, the council clerk, who started that movement which was called the 'Manly Life-saving Association, substituted the line and belt, and 'Happy' was appointed to the position which he has filled so well. 

'Happy's' list of lives saved is actually 47, for a couple of years ago he snatched a man from 'death at  the AUN. Company's Wharf, where he used to work. The man was intoxicated, and fell into the harbour at midnight. ,...

his remarks regarding what bathers should and should: .not do are spoken in their own interests. Surf bathing, he considers, is a splendid thing, and all that is needed to make it still more popular is for bathers to recognise that foolhardiness may cost them their lives, and that just as much pleasure may be obtained by keeping in as by going out, and without the risk.

'Happy' Eyre. (From a recent photo.)

"HAPPY" EYRE. (1906, March 15). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 7. Retrieved from 

Despite the 1903 flop of installing a surfboat at Manly, the idea was renewed an a brand new open whaler built for the first Manly surfboat crew:


Mr. A. W. Relph writes: — Surf bathing has become such a popular pastime at Manly that even the most prejudiced persons will admit that Manly as a. suburb owes its wonderful progress more to that fact than any other, and the great majority of surf bathers are not by any means permanent residents of Manly.; but are mostly visitors from the city, other suburbs, and the country. Therefore, Manly, as a suburb, owes something to the surf bathers, and in this probably all the reasonable minded residents and owners profoperty in Manly will agree. 

The Municipal Council of Manly, as the representatives' of the residents and property owners, have to some extent recognised this fact, and have built some conveniences for the accommodation of the bathers; yet hitherto that accommodation has been of a very meagre description, and has not been equal to public requirements, and the council has not yet awakened to the true extent of its own responsibility to the public, or even to the advantages that will accrue to itself by grappling seriously with this question and offering proper inducements and attractions to their visitors. Yet the council cannot altogether be blamed in this matter, for the surf bathers have done very little indeed, if anything, to help them selves, and the responsibility of organising the surf bathers and improving their lot lies more with themselves than wiih any other body. And, indeed, it is wonderful that surf bathing has become such a popular pastime when one realises what difficulties have attended it in the past, and how little the bathers them selves have contributed towards its success by means of any organised effort. Surf bathing is the healthiest sport of the present day. - All who have tried it assert that there is no comparison between bathing in calm water or fresh water and bathing in the open- surf. I have known very many people, who opposed surf bathing for various reasons, and were strongly prejudiced against it, and who, when prevailed on to try it only once, became fast converts, and thenceforth loudest in its praises. Swimming is encouraged else where by the erection of baths at the public expense, athletics by the erection of proper grounds and of gymnasiums. Therefore, this pastime of surf bathing, which boats all other forms of exercise, should be properly encouraged and organised, if only with the object of improving the public health. My chief object in writing this letter is to propose that the surf bathers themselves should unite together, and form a club, with the object of organising the pastime, of freeing it from certain, abuses, of assisting the council to control the bathers and their dress, of assisting- towards the erection of suitable dressing-rooms and conveniences, and generally controlling the bathers and the public lookers on, and of devising and putting into practice a means of rendering, surf bathing safe, and also a speedy means of saving lives when in danger. Hitherto the bathers have not been called, upon for any regular contribution. Sometimes a box has been taken round, and subscriptions nave been invited; but though most . of the bathers are only too willing to contribute something towards their betterment, few people will subscribe when there is no recognised control' over the money and its method of collection. Two thousand bathers- (and this is only half the number of regular bathers), forming a club with a subscription of 2s . 6d- per annum, would control the spending of £250 per annum for the benefit of surf bathing every year; and this is but a minor matter to the advantages that would accrue to the bathers in other directions as a result of proper organisation and control. Last season the pastime became so popular with the public that thousands of people used to journey to Manly just to look on at the bathers. Many of the people, through lack of proper control, used to encroach on the bathers reserves, or what should be recognised as reserves, and no one more than the bather themselves resented this encroachment. All regular bathers (and there are thousands) would welcome a proper system of control and organisation, so that there would be nothing about the pastime to offend anybody. All would welcome an efficient means of saving life, and the adoption of conditions for the general safety of the bathers. All would welcome proper bathing sheds and accommodation. But all these will only come when the surf bathers help themselves; and it is quite time they commenced. PROPOSED SURF BATHERS' CLUB AT MANLY. (1907, July 4). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from

The gentleman in white with white hat in the photograph below must be a Sly family member.

Sensational Happenings at Manly Beach.
A SENSATIONAL surf-bathing incident, which we illustrate, occurred at Manly on Sunday last. A young man named John Hackett, residing in Carabella-street, North Sydney, was swept off his feet and carried seawards at a rapid rate. Seeing Hackett's predicament. Messrs. Gus Tartakover, A. Bowden, and A. W. Relph immediately went to his assistance, two of them taking a life-buoy and line. After considerable difficulty they reached Hackett, and all four were swinging to the life line or buoy, when the line suddenly parted, and they became separated, and drifted seawards. Hackett, however, was caught by a huge wave, and landed in shallow water, where he was seized by other bathers and taken to the dressing room in a very exhausted condition In the meantime the others, finding them selves in a dangerous position, did not at tempt to make the shore, contenting themselves with clinging to the life-buoy which each had managed to get hold of. 

Word was sent to Fairy Bower, and Messrs. Sly Bros, quickly launched a boat, and, although the water was decidedly rough, succeeded in getting the men into the boat and landing them at Fairy Bower.

Another man, a resident of Manly, also went to the assistance of Hackett, but after battling with the waves for some time, and seeing that, as he thought, the latter had got ashore, he endeavoured to return, but it was only with the utmost difficulty that he got ashore, being caught by a big breaker and landed on the beach. There were about 1000 bathers In the water at the time of the incident, and perhaps twice the number of spectators on the beach, and the greatest excitement prevailed.

'Happy'' Eyre was as usual, promptly to the fore when the alarm was raised, and endeavoured to get out with a life line to the men's assistance, but he was unable to reach them, and had to return to the shore in an exhausted condition. In the afternoon two other young fellows got into difficulties, and were gallantly rescued by Mr. A. Rosenthal, who went out with a life-line to each, and succeeded in dragging them ashoreA third man also was swept out by the current, and Mr. Rosenthal again essayed the task of rescue, but a wave carried the man back on to the beach,.


This was a time of great excitement. The picture shows one of the rescued men in the boat. The rescuers are moving towards the other two who are in the trough of a wave, the photograph by no means suggesting the big sea.

They have effected many rescues, and have now been commissioned to protect bathers by keeping watch off the beach during bathing hours. Mr. Charles Sly has been for 30 years a fisherman at ManlySURF BATHING: (1907, January 23 - Wednesday). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 222. Retrieved from 

The above boat is noticeably deeper than the 1903 version - styled, as stated, along open whaler lines as a 'lifeboat' that was the first to be called a 'surfboat'. Compare:

This photographic postcard is titled ‘The Lifesavers, Manly’, and is likely referring to the Sly brothers. The Sly brothers were fishermen from Fairy Bower, who, in 1903, received funding from Manly Council to build a modified whaleboat to patrol Manly and nearby beaches. The image used for this postcard was taken by William Hall photographic studio, Sydney. The photo was taken in 1903. Object number: 00001991, courtesy the Australian National Maritime Museum’s William J Hall collection. 

The girls names keep popping up too - they clearly had good water knowledge and skills:

The Freshwater Sari Club held Its fourth annual carnival at Freshwater Beach yesterday in the presence of a big gathering. Large entries and keen contests characterised the function, which was well managed by the officials. Twelve clubs took part in the parade, and made a fine spectacle.Excellent displays were made on the surf board and by the surf boats. Results:— -GRAND PARADE OF CLUBS.— Cook's Hill, 1; Freshwater, 2. LADIES' SURF RACE.— Miss A. Sly (Manly), 1; Miss L Lowers (Manly), 2. Time, Ozziln. 64 2-SseQ. "DUKE" SURF BOARD DISPLAY. — T. Walker (North Steyne), 1; G. West (Freshwater), 2, SURF LIFEBOAT RACE.— Freshwater, 1; Dee Why, 2. JUNIOR CANOE RACE.— G. Gilford (Freshwater), 1.1000 1000 YARDS SURF RELAY RACE, for Griffith Trophy, value £10 10s, presented by Mr. Arthur Griffith. Ten men in each team, each man to swim 100 yards. — Manly Life Saving Club (A. W. Barry, H. Hay, G. Wyld, J. Huie, J. Brown, R. Brown, S. Wright, N. M'MuIlen, C. D. Bell, N. Smith), 1; Coogee, 2; Bond!, 3. Won easily. An exciting finish between Coogee and Bondi for second place. Manly Club having won the contest last year the shield now becomes Its permanent property. CHAMPIONSHIP PENNANT, Surf Bathing Association of New South Wales.— Semi-final: Bond! (69.43 points), 1; Cook's Hill (66.49 points), 2; Coogee (64.91 points), 3; Manly (64.67 points), -4; Cromilla (63.10 points); 6; North Wollongong (48.19 points), 6. The final for the competition will be contested between Bondi, Cook's Hill, and Coogee at the Bondi Surf Carnival next' Saturday. FLAG RELAY RACE. — North Steyne No. 2 (L. Williams. J. E. Nicholls, H. Nlcholls. N. Lyons), 1; Cronulla No. 2 (R. Whitfield, H. Duckworth, F. Moore, J. Dillon), 2. A close and exciting finish. NOVICE ALARM REEL COMPETITION.— Manly (J. Brown, A. Rein, A. Childers, G. Cruickshank, J. Caswell), 1. Time, 2min. 27 26scc. SENIOR ALARM REEL COMPETITION.— Manly No. 1 Team (H. Hay, C. D. Bell, J-. Hole, O. Mater, L Duff), 1. SURF RACE.— H. Fletcher (Bondi), 1; N. Smith (Manly), 2; C. D. Bell (Manly), 3. OBSTACLE, RACE.— R. Shelly (Collaroy), 1; T. Smith (Collaroy), 2. WHEELBARROW RACE. — E. Sutton and Bonny-man (Stockton), 1. FRESHWATER SURF CARNIVAL. (1915, March 14). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

Most of the surf clubs along the beaches north of the Heads now have surf boats, with ambitious and capable crews. The value of the boat and the ability to use same to advantage is an asset that every beach should possess, and some of the crews are now getting so expert that there is talk of a challenge going forth from one to the other. "We will race anything along the coast," said a prominent Freshwater man, a member of the boat crew, to me, the other day. Manly, Dee Why, Collaroy, and Narrabeen are said to be just as anxious for a meeting if it can be arranged. Thus there is the foundation for a real fine test of crew work with the headlands crowded with the supporters of the various clubs. A race followed by a test in the breakers would make a fine con-test, and the Surf Bathing Association might, in order to develop proficiency in boat work, take the matter up. There was a time when the Sly Bros. and Fred Notting had a monopoly of the surf boat control, but now it is different, and each beach could send a strong crew to carry its colors, if such a competition could be arranged. 
.... SWIMMING AND SURFING (1915, November 17). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 13. Retrieved from 

The Fish And Fishing: Masses Of Fish

Manly by Charles Bayliss, 1850-1897, circa 1880, Image No.: a089684h, courtesy State Library of NSW

The Sly family of brothers were expert sailors, seemed bent on hard work with some plying their trade as guides or working on the Manly wharf, such as William and Charles did, clearly hiring out boats alike those that can be seen in the Manly Regatta photos below or in the wonderful imafges captured byWilliam Joseph Macpherson during this same era. As well as fishing when they knew there was fish to be caught, records indicate they had great sailing skills, joining in in Manly Regattas, and were always on the lookout to find ways to increase their means for the many mouths that could not be looked after through bread and fish alone.

Their names appear in regular reports on what fish was caught by whom when, which may have been another source of income as not too many professional fishermen will share what to catch where and when unless they're acting as guides for clients. The published reports themselves may have also earned a pot or two of beer.

One example of an extra income:

Custom House, Sydney, New South Wales, 
3rd April, 1901. 
RETURN of Licenses for the Sale of Tobacco, Cigars, and Cigarettes, under the Tobacco Act of 1884, issued at the Custom  House, Sydney, during the month of March, 1901. 
Acting Collector of Customs. 
Sly, George Jun. Fairy Bower, Manly. Government Gazette Notices (1901, April 12). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales(Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 3014. Retrieved from 

Just one example of why the harmless grey nurse shark is not critically endangered and also an indication of the knowledge gap between what was knwon about species then - even among those who lived with these creatures for decades and generations:

The Brothers Sly, the local fishermen- who rendered such excellent, service in the rescue of Mr. George Brown at Manly on Friday, had another exciting experience on Saturday morning. A large shark of the grey nurse species was observed to be swimming off the pier, probably in waiting for some unsuspecting bather, when ways and means of capturing him were devised. A most tempting bait was set for the monster, and after a reasonable space of time he dashed for it and hooked himself. Then the shark went through a series of gyrations which were a terror to the onlookers, and after lashing the surf in his immediate vicinity into foam, gradually caved in, and was drawn ashore. Its length was 11ft. 6in., and girth 5ft., and altogether the monster furnished, a conclusive argument as to the dangers of bathing in the surf. CAPTURE OF A SHARK. (1903, March 16).The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 7. Retrieved from 

Mr. C. Sly, of Manly, reports the following catches: — Mr. C. Hamilton and party, fishing at Old Man's Hat ground, caught six dozen black bream. Mr. Bunting three dozen bream, Mr. E. P. Woolcott three dozen bream, Mr. P. Mullins two dozen bream, Mr. Williams two dozen red bream. Several parties, fishing In the vicinity of Gasworks. Point, secured good hauls. Mr. Ward has been having good sport off the Manly wharf.
FISHING NOTES (1907, February 17). The Sunday Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1903 - 1910), p. 16. Retrieved from 

Special Leases
Sly, Henry Charles, of Marine-parade, Manly. 
Below high-water mark Cabbage Tree Bay, parish Manly Cove, county Cumberland. Municipality of Manly. Area, 8/10 perches. Jetty. 1st April 1909 to 31st December 1913
APPROVAL OF SPECIAL LEASE APPLICATIONS. (1910, March 2). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 1339. Retrieved from

Sharks are making their appearance early this season. Mr. Charles Sly, fisherman at Fairy Bower, secured a large blue pointer in the vicinity of the baths on Thursday. The monster measured over 11ft in length. A chain was secured, and the shark taken alive in tow of a motor boat to Manly Beach. SHARKS AT MANLY. (1910, October 15).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from 

Two Manly fishermen, Eddie Sly and J. Sly, yesterday secured over a ton of trevally on Shelly Beach, this being a record haul. BIG HAUL OF FISH (1916, August 9). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

A record haul inspires an article on that fish - hat is equally amazing is the weight/size of the fish caught:

(By C. Thackeray)
Contrary to- all the anticipations of Como authorities, the rain of last week did not bring down enough mud to effectually cloud the water, but evidently the fish made the same mistake as the men who sought them, as they cleared away ahead of the threatened discoloration, and from the Moon ground to Solly Bottom Point no good hauls of black-bream were taken on Sunday. This is rather surprising, in view of the fact that on the Friday a catch of two and a half dozen was recorded at Salt Pan, which Is still higher up, and an all-night party landed back at a Como shed early on Sunday morning with 10 dozen. Bream are certainly going out of the estuaries now. The fact that a great haul of trevally, probably a record one, was secured by the Sly brothers in nets at Shelly Beach, Manly, last Tuesday evening draws the attention of sportsmen to these excellent sporting fish, The trevally is not valued enough in this country. In Tasmania It is thought much more of than bream. Last year nothing approaching the Slys' haul was recorded, but at Port Hacking specimens of great weight were caught by line fishermen on the bream grounds, and a good many broke away with tackle hanging to their jaws. Manly visitors should be on the look-out for trevally In the vicinity of the near shore grounds from about the Flagstaff to the Drip. Lang's Point is also an old favorite haunt of trevally, but it often happens that tho fish will be on one side of the harbor and not on the other. Practical experience alone will settle the question. . .» The Berowra Progress Association is drawing the attention of tho Chief Secretary to the excessive use of sunken nets at Berowra Creek. The association will have to produce definite evidence of harm done, and that will be hard to get. The only evidence fishermen can' give is what they personally secure, and as the conditions: of fish life are hidden, they will be rather stuck for what a court would accept as definite proof. Against that the records of net-fishers are always available, also inspectors' .reports. 
Dynamiting has been going on at Cowan Creek. It would be interesting to find out who owned the dynamite used. People one would not suspect of descending to the practice of dynamiting have been reported as engaging in it at Cowan.
A specimen of the red sea-perch (Lutianus macleayana), 23%. Inches long, was caught recently at the Gap, Ballina— a break between… 
Mr. J. Booth reports that Milton brothers, fishing off Little Head, Palm Beach, last Sunday secured seven nice snapper — four about 6lb and three smaller ones, and lost two larger. He also says that black bream are biting In tho corner of Palm Beach.
FISHING (1916, August 13). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from

Eighty-five 601b kingfish were caught at Manly yesterday. Messrs. Sly and Skinner, with several helpers, did the netting, and landed a fine hawl of big, hard fighters as the result of half a day’s watching.
The school of kingfish was located off Quarantine early in the morning, and was shepherded into one of the smaller of the northern- bays, where, with heavy nets waiting, the school was cleverly surrounded and made safe; Later in the day, after a struggle, the catch was drawn ashore, where the monsters breathed their last.  BIG FISH AT MANLY. (1919, October 8).The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 10. Retrieved from 

Demented Wanderer in the Bush.
The Manly mystery was solved on Monday afternoon, when the police found the man who was supposed to have suicided earlier in the day wandering in
a demented condition in the bush. About 3 o'clock on Monday morning, William Sly, a fisherman, saw a naked man behaving in a strange fashionon the rocks near the men's baths on the Harbor Beach, Manly. He rowed over, but before he could reach the man the latter had plunged into the water, and disappeared. Sly found a singlet on the rocks, and informed the police. A search was made for the missing man, and the water police spent several hours dragging. While these operations were being carried out, a message reached them that a naked man had been seen wandering in the bush at Brookvale, about 2½ miles from Manly. A party of police went out, and after a scrambling run through the bush they captured the man, who had apparently determined to lead the simple life. After providing him with some garments to cover his return to Manly, they moved him to the reception house. The poor demented fellow had apparently run from the beach to Brookvale in a nude condition. MANLY MYSTERY SOLVED (1910, February 24). Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

The Sly family were not only keepers of knowledge of where fish runs may be fond in each season, they also knew the 'seascapes' of where land mingles with saltwater 

(By Wobbegong) High tide in Sydney Cove to-day at 9.7 a.m. and 9.26 p.m. There will not be a big tide to-day, and the young ebb will be good for a trial on the flats at all the popular coastal resorts, especially at Brisbane Water and on the Hawkesbury shoals.
An interesting feature noted by fishermen at George's River is the large quantity of silvery weed on the bottom. An old friend who catches more fish that the average visitor to the river says he has never seen the weed so plentiful. 
A Manly and a Sydney fisherman had a hot argument the other day as to the exact locality of the flats. The Manly sportsman said it was two hundred yards on the seaward side of Flagstaff Point, and just off the hospital and its green patch of grass. The Sydney man said the flats were named because of the green weeds on the bottom about 50 yards eastward of the point on which the yellow flag is hoisted on a pole. Charley Sly, the well-known fisherman of Manly, agrees that the flats are well up in that angle, at least two hundred yards from the "Plate," which is one of the harbor marks on Flagstaff Point. FISHING (1919, February 2). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from 

Alfred passes away (death registered at Granville) and his leaving is marked by this notice:


HIS LAST NET (1922, September 18).Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from 

George Sly and William Harris, of Manly, caught a 14ft shark off Shelly Beach in shallow water, where children had been paddling a few minutes before. MANLY SHARK CAPTURE (1924, September 15). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from 

The above and below items point out that when you're on the water all day everyday you're more than likely to encounter all that's in the eater too:

A fine specimen of the paper nautilus, a shellfish rarely found on the New South Wales coast, attracted a great deal of attention yesterday at a Manly fish depot, where it is being displayed prior to being handed over to the Australian Museum.
The catch was made by Mr. George Sly, a local fisherman, at Shelly Beach. RARE SHELLFISH (1930, November 8).The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 4 (CRICKET STUMPS). Retrieved from 

There are a LOT of snippets and articles on the Sly family of fishermen catching record hauls, supersized fish or rescuing people while going about their work for more than that initial generation of sons:

ANGLING - - - - - -  George Sly
WELL-KNOWN Manly (N.S.W.) angler, GEORGE SLY, has put up many fine performances with a hand line, but what he regards as his finest  achievement was the catching the other day of a schnapper on the ground known as The Hat, near North Head, Sydney. Sly was fishing primarily
for black bream with a No. 3 gut line, with a still lighter cast, but the big red fish took the bait, a green prawn, arid it was not, in the boat until a quarter of an hour later. A cross tide made the feat more difficult. When weighed two hours later the fish scaled 141b. 4oz., so it must have been all out 151b. when hooked. Tom Setright, one of those rare -birds — a fisherman who never tells a lie — witnessed the fight and attests to the weight of the fish and the gear used. Meet the WINNERS. (1941, March 8).Smith's Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 - 1950), p. 17. Retrieved from 

Shenanigans and a tragedy - perhaps George inherited some of the characteristics one scribe noted in the grandfather he never met, also with a large dose of recovering from the personal toll exacted on those who go to save others or recover the bodies of those whose remains can be restored to their loved ones if life cannot:

Division of the WATER POLICE COURT.

George Sly, 51, fisherman, for being drunk and disorderly on the Esplanade, Manly, was fined 20s, or seven days. On a second charge of assaulting Constable Miller in the execution of his duty, a further fine of £3 was inflicted, with the alternative of two months' imprisonment. The sentences to be cumulative. POLICE. (1891, April 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

Sergeant Kenny reported at the Coroner's Court, on Tuesday morning, (says the Echo), that a woman named Jane Whaley, 63 years of age, the wife of John Whaley, laborer, residing at Manly, was found drowned in the water near the Manly Pier, at seven o'clock on Tuesday morning, by a seaman named Thomas Walker, on board the Fairlight (s.). Deceased was last seen alive about ten p m. on the 3rd instant, by a George Sly. There were no marks of violence on the body, which has not been, however, examined by a medical man, and it now lies, awaiting an inquest, at the residence of the deceased's husband. MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS. (1880, May 6). The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), p. 2. Retrieved from


An inquest was held by Mr. Shiell, City Coroner, at the Ivanhoe Park Hotel, Manly, yesterday into the cause of the death of Mrs. Janet Whalay, whose body was found floating in the sea on Tuesday morning by a sailor employed on board the steamer Fail-light. The jury having viewed the body, which had been taken to the residence of deceased's husband, the following evidence was given : — John Whalay, husband of deceased, stated that he was a labourer, residing at Manly. Deceased was 63 years of age, was a native of New South Wales, and had left a family of 12 sons and daughters living. Last saw deceased alive on Monday evening, between half-past 8 and 9, in a street at the back of the Pier Hotel. She did not appear to be altogether sober, and witness did not then speak to her. She was in the habit of drinking to excess very often. Next morning she was taken home dead. She was in the habit of frequently staying away all night with some of her sons-in-law who lived about Manly, and her absence on Monday night did not cause witness to lie alarmed for her safety. 

George Sly, a fisherman, living at Manly, deposed that deceased was his mother-in-law. At about half-past 8 or 9 o'clock, he saw her at the house of a Mrs. Lewis, at Manly. She was very intoxicated at the time. Occasionally she was "given to habits of drunkenness”. That was the last witness saw of her. To a Juryman: saw her about half-past 7 the same night at the Pier Hotel. 

Mary Lewis, a married woman, living at Manly, stated that she had known Mrs. Whalay for a long time. Witness lived about ten minutes' walk from the pier. Deceased was at witness' house on Monday. She left about 5 o'clock. Saw her about 8 at the Pier Hotel. John Whalay was drunk, lying in the street opposite witness's house. Witness was quite sober that evening, and went to bed about half-past 8. Witness and George Sly took deceased from the Pier Hotel and put her in the street by the side of her husband. Afterwards witness heard them quarrelling. George Fly remained some time. He also was drunk, hut' not so much so as she had seen him. Witness did not sec them leave. The last time slits saw George Sly that evening he was with Whalay and his wife in front of witness's house, they were all arguing together. To a juryman : Would swear she was not at the Pier Hotel about It o'clock. Witness did not go to the Hotel with deceased, but found her there with George Sly. Was only there once that night. George Sly, recalled, said he did not go to the hotel with Mrs. Whalay. She came in the bar while witness was there. That was about 7 or half-past. They had one drink together. She had tonic water and witness had whisky. She then appeared intoxicated, but did not want assistance. After helping Mrs. Lewis to take deceased home, witness went back to the hotel about 10. Would swear he did not go there until 11 that night. Mr. Crook, one of the jurors, and landlord of the Pier Hotel, said he could swear he did. 

Witness continued : Left Whalay and his wife sitting on the verandah at Mrs. Lewis' house. 

Thomas Walker, a deck-hand on board the Fairlight, proved the finding of deceased's body on Monday morning drifting close to the beach on life eastern side of the Manly pier. The Fairlight was alongside the pier all Monday night. Witness was on hoard, and heard no noise. The body was in the wash, about 30 yards from the pier. Dr. Halkett stated that he had examined the body and found no marks of violence, except on the left side of the face, where there was a mark or abrasion, evidently inflicted after death, and a few abrasions on the right, side, of her face inflicted during life. None of those had anything to do with the cause of death, which was asphyxia from drowning. The jury, having consulted, returned a verdict of found drowned, but there was no evidence to show how she became drowned. MYSTERIOUS DEATH AT MANLY. (1880, May 6). The Sydney Daily Telegraph (NSW : 1879 -1883), p. 3. Retrieved from 

Anyway you look at it this founding Manly family, who clearly came north enough to see here prior to many of us, held service to others and hard work in high regard. In just three generations a contribution made, perhaps to feed young ones and many mouths, shaped and helped establish a vital service that has been going on since people have gone in and on the water.

Their record fish catches give us an insight into what was then and what is now, not only in a diminished abundance of fish but the longevity of fish life such weight and size indicates. Their first foot north to Narrabeen, as well as being part of that first generation of people born here, next takes us even further north to those at the furthermost end of the Pittwater estuary, and piscatorial pursuits of then and there too.

"Surf boat on duty, Manly", ca. 1900-1910. "* Photo Co." -- at lower centre. Image No.: a116607 courtesy State Library of NSW
Some Family Notes

SLY.-May 23, at his residence, Addison Road, Manly Beach, George Sly, beloved husband of Ann Sly, after a short illness, leaving five sons and two daughters and a large circle of friends to mourn their loss. A resident of Manly for upwards of 33 years. Aged, 74 years. Family Notices (1881, May 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

Marriage of 1st George Sly: 
1130/1835 V18351130 19  SLY GEORGE HELY ANN CA

Death: his parent's recorded names are the same as he and his wife
SLY GEORGE 4340/1881  parents: GEORGE   ANN   MANLY

Children's Births that were registered - dates do not correspond with Death Notice ages (!):
SLY ALFRED 776/1847 V1847776 32A GEORGE ANN
SLY LUCY 2237/1842 V18422237 133 GEORGE ANNE
SLY MARY 1413/1841 V18411413 133 GEORGE ANNE
SLY GEORGE 100/1838 V1838100 20 GEORGE ANN
SLY WILLIAM E 838/1852 V1852838 38A GEORGE ANNE

Charles - born 1839

Ann passes away:
SLY.—November 6, at her residence, Osborne-road, Manly, Ann, relict of the late George Sly, resident for many years of Quarantine Station and Manly, in her 82nd year. Family Notices (1888, November 7). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

SLY  ANN 6260/1888 AGE 81 YEARS  DIED MANLY  MANLY so also born in 1807

George Jun.:

Death of Edward: (?)

Mrs. George Sly, one of the oldest pioneers of Manly Beach; to give the Brighton of Sydney its old name, died on Monday, at her residence in Raglan-street. She was born in Manly 72 years ago, and has lived there ever since. MANLY NATIVE DEAD. (1913, September 7).Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 

Sarah Death and parents
SLY  SARAH 19641/1913 Parents: JOHN SARAH - died at: MANLY

George and parents (? have mother wrong>?)

SLY.— 3rd December, 1927. at Manly Cottage Hospital, George Slybeloved father of Sly Bros., Shelley Beach, Manly, aged 95 years. Funeral Monday. Advertising (1927, December 4). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from

Born in 1832 per this, although his parents didn't marry until 1835 and his registered date of birth is 1838

Joseph Sly, aged 45, of Queenscliff-road. Queenscliff, was knocked down by a motor lorry in Collingwood-street, Manly, yesterday, and the local ambulance took him to' the Manly Cottage Hospital, where he was admitted by Dr. Ross. He had a fractured skull. PERILS OF THE ROAD (1927, June 19). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

William Death and parents
SLY  WILLIAM 9701/1913 Parents: GEORGE ANN E died at: MANLY

SLY.— On 2nd May 1913, at "Seymour," Windsor st, Richmond,-.N.S.Wales, Elizabeth Annie, beloved, wife of William Sly, In her 68th year. The funeral will leave her late residence at 4 o'clock this  (Saturday)for the Church of England Cemetery Richmond. Family Notices (1913, May 3). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 12. Retrieved from

JERDAN— SLY.— October 19, at St. Mary's, Waverley, by the Rev. Mr. M'Keown, Walter S. Jordan, of Hughenden, Queensland, to M. J. Sly, of Sydney. Family Notices (1888, October 27). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 897. Retrieved from


SLY—YOUNG—On the 25th April, at the Scots Church, by the Rev. George Graham, Charles Sly, to Elizabeth Young, both of Manly Beach, and natives of the colony. Family Notices (1864, April 26). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 1. Retrieved from

In the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
In the goods, chattels, credits, and effects of Elizabeth Sly, formerly Elizabeth Young, late of Manly Beach, intestate. NOTICE is hereby given, that at the expiration of fourteen days from the publication hereof in the New South Wales Government Gazette, application will be made to this Honorable Court, in its Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, that letters of administration of the goods, chattels, credits, and effects of the abovenamed deceased, may be granted to Robert Phillip Young, of Bourke-street, Sydney, the eldest son of the said deceased.— Dated the 15th day of June, A.D. 1874.
Proctor for the said Applicant,
129, Elizabeth-street, Sydney. ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION. (1874, June 16). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 1797. Retrieved from

Charles Sly - son of George and Ann

SLY.— October 3. 1910, at 62 Addison-rd., ManlyCharles, dearly beloved father of Charles, Mary, and George Sly, aged 71 years. Family Notices (1910, October 5). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 8. Retrieved from

SLY.-The Friends of the late CHARLES SLY are kindly invited to attend his Funeral; to leave his son's residence, 62 Addison-road, Manly, THIS DAY, (Wednesday), at 3 o'clock, for the Manly Cemetery. T. WAUGH and CO., Funeral Directors, Tel. 42. 92 Corso, Manly. 
SLY. -The Friends of Mr. and Mrs. .T. A. FERGUSSON, of Balmain, are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of CHARLES SLY. SEN., THIS WEDNESDAY, at 3 o'clock, for the Manly Cemetery.  Family Notices (1910, October 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 20. Retrieved from

Henry Charles Sly born 1863 (?) dies 1937

Accident at North Sydney.
Charles Sly, 74, of James-street, North Sydney, was knocked down by a motor car at the
intersection of Miller and McLaren streets North Sydney, last night.
He received Injuries to the head and left leg. The Central District Ambulance took him to the Royal North Shore Hospital.
North Sydney police arrested a motorist and charged him with failing to stop after an accident. MOTORIST ARRESTED. (1937, June 29).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from 

After an elderly man was critically Injured at the corner of Miller and McLaren Streets, North Sydney, last night, according to the police, a motorist set off In pursuit of another motorist and overtook him. Charles Henry Sly, of James Street, North Sydney, the elderly man who was hurt, was crossing the Intersection when he owns struck by a car. Suffering head Injuries. Sly was admitted to Royal North Shore Hospital in an unconscious condition. He was In a grave state early today. Later a man was charged with falling to stop at the scene of an accident. MOTORISTS IN PURSUIT (1937, June 29).The Labor Daily (Sydney, NSW : 1924 - 1938), p. 1. Retrieved from 

SLY.-July 1, 1037, at North Sydney (result of accident). Charles Sly, late of 7 Marine-parade, Manly, beloved father of Jessie and Aggie, aged 74 years.  Family Notices (1937, July 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from 

was Interred at Manly Cemetery 

"Borderline of Manslaughter."
"This is a case which comes on the border-line of manslaughter," said the City Coronet (Mr. Oram) yesterday, after hearing evidence that Henry Charles Sly, 74, of James-street, North Sydney, was killed by a car in Miller-street, North Sydney, on the night of June 28.
Witnesses stated that Sly, who was a retired fisherman, was crossing the road when a car driven by Woldemar Mae, an Estonian, who is a gardener, living in Awaba-street, Mosman, knocked him down. Mae did not stop after the accident, and was pursued by Maurice H. Nixon, of Arkland-street, North Sydney, who told the Coroner that he had to speed his car up to 45 miles on hour before he overtook Mae.
Constable Mackney said that when he asked Mae why he had not stopped, he said that he Intended driving round the street and returning to the scene of the accident. Asked why he did not pull up and walk back to where Sly was lying on the road, Mae said: "It was too far to walk back."
The Coroner said that he believed a witness when he said that Mae was crossing an inter-section in Miller-street at 40 miles an hour, which was an exceedingly fast speed. On Mae's own statements, he saw Sly 20 yards away before his car struck him, and then Mae told an extraordinary, story us to why he did not stop. He, however, travelled about three quarters of a mile before he was Intercepted.
A verdict was returned that Sly was accidentally killed when he was struck by Mae's car. Mr. Ewing appeared to watch the interests of Mae. MOTOR FATALITY. (1937, July 20). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from 

Extras And References

the tidal waters of Manly, Curl Curl, Deewhy, and Narrabeen Lagoons, together with all bays,' affluents and tributaries, have been closed against net fishing for two years. LATE GENERAL NEWS. (1894, February 24). The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW : 1894 - 1939), p. 1. Retrieved from 

Colonial Secretary's Office,
Sydney, 27th October, 1890.
HIS Excellence the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, directs the publication, in accordance with the " Municipalities Act of 1867," of the substance and prayer of a Petition from 203 ratepayers of the Municipal District of Manly, representing that the population of that Municipality now exceeds 1,000, and praying for the division thereof into three Wards.

The Petitioners state that the population of the Municipality is about 3,000, and that as it is according to the Municipalities Act entitled to nine Aldermen, they consider the interests of the ratepayers would be promoted by its division into three Wards.
The following are the boundaries of the proposed Wards:—
The Fairlight Ward.
The Fairlight Ward includes lands within the town of Manly and parish of Manly Cove, county of Cumberland, and is situated within the following boundaries: Commencing at highwater mark on the western side of Middle Harbour, Port Jackson, at its junction with a line along the centre of the main road from Sydney to Manly ; and bounded thence on the east, north-east, and north by that line along the centre of the aforesaid road from Sydney to Manly bearing generally northerly, north-easterly, and easterly to Sebastopol-street; thence still on the north by a line along the centre of Sebastopol-etreet and Fountain-street bearing easterly with its junction with the line along the centre of the Corso ; thence on the south-east by the line along the centre of the Corso and its continuation bearing south-westerly to the high-water mark of Port Jackson ; and thence on all other sides by the high-water mark of Port Jackson to Middle Harbour, at the point of commencement.
The Wentworth Ward.
The Wentworth Ward includes lands within the town of Manly and the parish of Manly Cove, county of Cumberland, and is situated within the following boundaries : Commencing at a point at high-water mark on Spring Cove, Port Jackson, being the western corner of reserve for quarantine and bounded thence on the east by the north-western boundary of that reserve bearing north-easterly to the South Pacific Ocean ; and thence by the high-water mark of that ocean northerly to its junction with the prolongation of the line along the centre of the Corso; thence on the north-west by that centre line and its continuation bearing south-westerly to the high-water mark of Port Jackson ; and thence on all other sides by the high-water mark of Port Jackson, to Spring Cove, at the point of commencement.
The Steyne Ward.
The Steyne Ward is situated within the t.mrn of Manly and. the parish of Manly Cove, county of Cumberland, and. includes all the lands within the Municipality of Manly not previously described as being within the Fairlight and Wentworth Wards.
" Wherefore your petitioners pray your Excellency to perform what acts the "Municipalities Act of 1867" requires to be done by the Executive authority in such case, and to proclaim in the Gazette that the Municipal District of Manly shall in future be divided into Wards as above and be governed by nine Aldermen."

W. H. Vivian, Alderman of Manly Municipality, freeholder, Manly.
T. M'Kelvey, freeholder, Manly.
Edward Badmington, freeholder, Manly. 
Thos. W. Line, land, agent, Manly. 
H. C. Moss, solicitor, Manly.
Thomas W. Craven, merchant. Manly. 
Wm. Thos. Shorter, solicitor, Sydney.
F. C. Passau, jeweller, Ashburner-street, Manly. 
Geo. Mops, freeholder, Manly.
Walter W. Smith King, solicitor, Manly. 
John J. Cousins, Manly. 
William Murray, Manly.
John F. Antrobus, Manly. 
Joseph Whitaker, Manly.
Gr. F. Wood, freeholder, Cohen-street, Manly. 
W. Mercer, freeholder, Cohen-street.
F. W. Heaton, freeholder Sydney Road.
 J. Pattison, householder, Balgowlah.
J. G. Heaton, owner, Sydney Road. 
J. S. Heaton, owner, Condermine-street. 
Frank R. Mercer, Balgowlah.
Thomas Mitchell.
J. Lewis, Middle Harbour Rd.
Mrs. E. S. Morton, householder, Cliff-street,
Joseph EdwinThorn, freeholder, Cohen-street. 
W. H. Dixon, Manly. 
H. Arronsean, Corso.
Paget Bayly, Short-street".
Amie Miles, Pittwater Road.
Sarah Crosland, owner, Pittwater Road.
G. Crosland, owner, Carrington Heights.
Thomas Collins, owner, Addiscomb Estate.
_____Griffiths, owner, Sydney Road.
Walt. H, Tibbits, owner, Ocean Beach.
Edwd. A. Hind, owner, Whistler-street. 
Walter Bevan, Ocean Beach.
Henry Jenner, owner, Victoria Parade. 
Jno. J. Fox, occupier, Addison Road.
C. G. Warburton, owner, East Esplanade. 
Charles Jenner, occupier, Darley Road. 
Jas. Marchel, owner, Addacomb Estate. 
Charles Sly, owner, Vivian-street.
Thomas Walters, occupier, Norton-street.
 John R. Fox, Addison Road, Manly.
Benjamin James, Manager, Anglo-Australian Investment, Finance, and Land Co. (lid.), 24, Hunter-street, Sydney. 
Robert Bone, printer, 15, Bond-street, Sydney.
James Eve, J.P., Mayor of Enfield, 149, King street, Sydney. R. F. Marks (Hoffnung & Co.), 167, Pitt-street. 
George Pile, Parramatta.
J. Daintrey, solicitor, 11, Castlereagh-st., Sydney. 
J. H. Kelly, merchant, 14, O'Connell-st. 
James Jones, mercht., Sydney.
F. Adams, Australian Joint Stock Bank, Sydney. 
D. Mitchell, merchant, Clarence-st.
J no. Lawler, merchant, George-st., Sydney.
Jas. T. Tillock, J.P., merchant, Kent-st., Sydney.
William M. Speer, Mt. Pleasant Coal Co., Exchange. 
Claude Underwood, Manly.
James Hunt, " Her Majesty's Hotel," Pitt-street, Sydney. 
A. H. Barclay, sharebroker, Pitt-st., Sydney.
Edmund Barton, Calahla, Woodland-street, North Harbour, Manly.
Thomas Moore, Park Road, Sydney. 
Harry B. Woods, Tarlee, Manly. 
F. C. Olliver, Manly.
A. Stephenson, freeholder, Manly.
H. E. Stevenson, Ashburner-street.
G. W. Murray, The Crescent, Manly.
William G. Wheeler, householder, Balgowlah. 
Robt. Pfoeffer, Pittwater Road, Manly. 
Allen Lakeman, M.P, Manly.
Geo. S. A. Wells, chemist, 619, George-st., Sydney. 
J. A. Wilson, freeholder, Manly. 
Robt. F. Royan, Manly. 
Jas. Walton, 7, Corso.
H. Bradstock, Manly Vale.
James Badmington, Whistler-street, Manly. 
Hector Campbell, Thornton Hill.
James Lauder, Francis-street.
William Rowlinson, Manly Vale.
William Williamson, Victoria-st., Manly.
Samuel x Bloomfield, Corso, Manly.
T. M'Auley, Wood-st., Manly.
A. Allbon.
M. Hargrave, Corso, Manly.
A. M. Carton, Fountain-street, Manly. 
E. A. Carton, Fountain-street, Manly. 
M. Carton, Fountain-street, Manly.
G. Warrington. Fountain-st., Manly. 
Ann Morrison, Whistler-Bt., Manly. 
Jesse Hack, Norton-st.
E. J. Thome, Kangaroo Hill, Manly.
George Badmington, Belgrave-street, Manly. 
John Franklin, shop, Corso.
 John Goss, freeholder.
M. J. Kenney, freeholder.
Hy. B. Booth, shop, Corso.
Benjamin Jones, freeholder. 
James Grant, Corso, Manly. 
M. Sutton, freeholder.
Andrew Mercer, sen., Electra-street. 
Stewart Gillian, Electra-street. 
Thos. Dalton, Gawlson.
Joseph Mildwater, Balgowlah.
James Verrall, North Harbour.
C. W. Prowse, shop, Corso, Manly. 
J. Jackson, shop, Corso, Manly, 
Alex. A. Currie, Darley Road. 
W. H. Negus, shop, Corso.
Philip Jenkins, freeholder, Manly.
Joseph Werrick, freeholder, Victoria Parade. 
Leslie Johnston, Esplanade, Manly.
Mrs. Moore, freehold, Francis-street. 
A H Ponton, freehold, Belgrave-st.
Jjrauk Tolhurst, freeholder, Belgrave-st.
Thomas Waugh, freehold, Ashburner-st. 
R. Frost, freeholder, Carrington Heights.
George Oliver, freeholder, Belgrave-street.
Mrs.Mild waters, freeholder, Whistler-street. 
Thomas Lewis, freeholder, Gilbert-st.
Robert Quirk, occupier, Denison-street. 
S. N. Ponton, occupier, Belgrave-st.
Janet Williams, freeholder, Belgrave-st.
Robert Mildwater, freeholder, Belgrave-st. 
D. Gray, freeholder, Wentworth-st. 
John Gray, owner, Whistler-st.
Fred. O. Underwood, Belgrave-street.
Miss M. Dervine, owner, Carrington Heights. 
R. Downes, pharml. chemist, The Corso.
John M'Comb, owner, Mount Pleasant, Middle Harbour. 
J. B. Meyer, leasehold, Gilbert-st., Manly. 
G. J. Sutton, Ashburner-st., Manly. 
W. Kelleher, Fountain-st., Manly.
Chas. Morgan, Fountain-st., Manly. 
A.. Love, owner, Wentworth-st.
S. Bathgate, owner, Clontarf Heights. 
G. Oantello, shop, Corso.
George Crossland, freeholder, Pittwater Road. 
W. H. M'Clean, freeholder, Middle Harbour.
 John Matthews, New Brighton Hotel, Corso. 
David Taylor, Denison-st.
W. J. Mason, freeholder, Arthur-st., Kangaroo. 
Ernest Jones, freeholder, Francis-street. 
Francis Hunt, Wood-st., Manly.
Wright Barden, leaseholder, Sydney Road, Manly.
William Harper, owner, Cohen-st., Sydney Rd., Manly. 
William John Orr, freeholder, Francis-street. 
Frank Meelit, leasehold, Corso. 
E. Adrian, freeholder, Corso. 
J. Adrian, freeholder, Corso.
Samuel Broom field, freeholder, Raglan-st.
Alfred B. Norton, freeholder, Corso, Manly.
John J. Dargan, freeholder, Raglan-street, Manly.
Richard John Wild, freeholder, Victoria Parade, Manly. 
Hugh Sweeney, freeholder, Manly Vale. 
William C. Mingay, Manly Vale. 
S. Bennett, leaseholder, Corso. 
M. Bennett, freehold, Manly.
M. Edminster, freehold, Manly.
Angus M'Fadyen, freehold, Manly, Francis-st.
George Darby, freeholder, Darley Road, Manly.
S. Jamieson, freeholder, Victoria Parade, Manly. 
Mark George, occupier, Denison-st., Manly. 
Alexr. Forrester, leasehold, Corso, Manly. 
Thomas Cripps, freeholder, Balgora.
J. G. Beddie, freeholder, Carrington Heights. 
Louis Alexander, leaseholder, Corso, Manly. 
Isaac Taylor, householder, Charles-street.
Patrick Purcell, freeholder, Vivian-st., Manly.
Joseph E. Black, occupier, stables, Gilbert-street. 
Charles F. Skinner, freeholder, Ashburner-st. 
John Skinner, freeholder, Ashburner-street. 
George Skinner, freeholder, Osborn-street. 
T. Fishbourne, freeholder, Osborne Road. 
Edward Allen, owner, Gunn-st.
John Farrimond, owner, Park View Road. 
James Blair, owner, Denison-street. 
A. J. Sims, owner, Francis-street.
Richard Worden, owner, Francis-street. James Clark, owner, Charles-Btreet.
Albert Neaton, leasehold, Manly Vale.
Samuel M'Connell, owner, Belgow Road.
Robert Fulton, owner, Addigcome Estate. 
Mrs. T. Fulton, owner, Marshall-st.
George Crosland, owner, Pittwater Road.
Thomas Millear, owner, Middle Harbour Road, 
Edward Mills, owner.
William Nicol, owner, Francis-street. 
Robert Collier, owner, Francis-street. 
G. Nicholls, owner, George-st.
Thomas Jennings, owner, Roseberry-st.
James E. Gordon, owner, Roseberry-et.
F. C. Parkin, owner, Sydney and Pittwater Road. 
Agnes A. Amaral, owner, Pitt. Road.
Joseph Neville, owner, Sydney, Pittwater Road. 
David M'Intosh, owner, Thornton-st.
F. C. Passau, owner, Ashburner-street.
Jno. S. M'Elveney, owner, Addison Road. 
J. H. Seamer, Middle Harbour Road.
I Geo. Williams, Savings Bank, owner, Wood-st.
H. Painter, owner, land, Sydney Road.
W. Voalar, owner, Buchanan Park.
J. Dyer, owner, Balgowlah.
J. F. Notting, owner, Cliff-street, Manly.
MANLY MUNICIPALITY.—PETITION FOR DIVISION INTO WARDS. (1890, October 27). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 8281. Retrieved from 

Manly Regatta, On January 19, 1907.

In the Yacht Race--Setting an Extra.
A Picnic and Regatta Combined.
Some Free Entertainments.
The Judge's Boat with Flag Up.
Launching a Competitor’s Boat in Lady and Gentleman Race.
Manly Regatta.
(See illustrations on page 21.)
For the third year Manly had a regatta on January 19. There was no doubt as to the success achieved from the attendance point of view. The shore, and pier were crowded with men, women, and children, and the steamer Brighton, which served as the flagship, had its full complement. The cove presented a fine picture, owing to the large flotilla of boats of all kinds.
Unfortunately Manly does not possess a good, course for races. There was a big sea on January 19, and it considerably interfered with the events.
GENT.'S CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLE SCULLS. -L. Murray, 1; H. F. Walsham, 2; R. Neave, -3. 
WHALERS (open to service boats of Royal Navy, Naval Brigade, and Metropolitan Fire Brigade).-Metropolitan Fire .Brigade (G. Cox, , bow, E. Baker, F. Pickering, O. Pickering, CV Riddell, stroke) ...scr, 1; Naval Establishment, .Garden Island (Pearce, bow. Russ, Morbuary, Last, Parsons, stroke), 15sec, 2.
SPECIAL RACE, NAVAL BRIGADE.-D Crew, 1; B. crew, 2; B crew, 3.
GENTLEMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE SCULLS.-J. Casey and G. Stephenson, 1; F. W. Neave and H. Stephens, 2; R. S. Neave and R. Dunlop, 3.
LADIES' AND GENTLEMEN'S DOUBLE SCULLS.-Miss JJ. Pearce and Mr. S. Pearce. 1;.Miss G. Lewis and Mr. F, Francie* 2: Miss W. Young and Mr. W. Ledger, 3.
LADIES* DOUBLE SCULLS CHAMPIONSHIP OF N.S.W.-Misses Gertie and Kitty Lewis, 1: Mrs. Woodbridge and Mrs. Hyde, 2; Misses E. and A. Grainger, 3. Won easily by six lengths.
HANDICAP FOR BOATS, 16ft AND UNDER. -Dart (J. Sharp), 1; Coquette (J. Crouch), 2; Esmerald (E. J. Armstrong), 3.
LICENSED FISHING BOATS.-The Admiral (G. Newton), 1; Agnes (C. Sly), 2; Ernest Pearce (H. Pearce), 3.
GENERAL HANDICAP.-Colleen Bawn (Dr. Dill Macky), 1; Lizzie (W. Heaton), 2; Carita (S. Hosking), 3.
14-FOOTERS.-Euchre (W. Douglas). 1; Cutty Sark (J. Audsley), 2; Clio (E. A. Clarke), 8.
SKIFF HANDICAP.-Isidore (C. PreSs). 1: Linnet (R. Beachel), 2; Dart (J. Sharp), 3.
YACHTS' DINGEYS.-Saionara. 1; Rocket. 2; Culwulla, ' 3.
ALL YACHTS; handicap at start. First prize, £5 and trophy, presented by W. Easy and Company; second, £3; third, £2. Course: From starter's boat, . Forty Baskets, round flagship, round Shark Island, and finish between judge's boat and flagship:-Ku-Kuburra (A. E. Cutler). Smln, 1; Fleetwing (E. Sayer), SOsec, 2; Cooya (A. W. Beach), 4min, 3. The other starters were: Sunbeam (A. W. Crane), scr; Scotia (T. W. Bremner and A. R. Marks). 2min. The other entrants were: Culwulla (W. M. Marks) and Magic (J. Murray), scr; Herreshoff (C. Duval), 4min. A very good start was effected in a nice topsail breeze. This proved the best contested sailing event of the day, the finish being most remarkable, the whole fleet finishing in a bunch.
Manly Regatta. (1907, January 23).Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 21. Retrieved from 

c071420007, c071420008, c071420009, c071420010, c071420026- Box 04 and Box 05- Glass negatives of Sydney regions, including Clovelly, Coogee, and Manly, ca 1890-1910, by William Joseph Macpherson, courtesy State Library of NSW
c071420007, c071420008, c071420009, c071420010, c071420026- Box 04 and Box 05- Glass negatives of Sydney regions, including Clovelly, Coogee, and Manly, ca 1890-1910, by William Joseph Macpherson, courtesy State Library of NSW
Pittwater Fishermen - The Sly Family - threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon 

Previous History Pages:  

Marie Byles Lucy Gullett Kookoomgiligai Frank Hurley Archpriest JJ Therry Sir Patrick Gordon Taylor Bowen Bungaree W. Bradley 1788 Journal Midholme Loggan Rock Cabin La Corniche La Corniche II Lion Island Bungan Beach Botham Beach Scarred Trees  Castles in the Sand Dame Nellie Melba lunches at Bilgola Spring, 1914  First to Fly in Australia at North Narrabeen  Mona Vale Golf Club's Annual Balls  Governor Phillip camps on Resolute Beach  Ruth Bedford  Jean Curlewis  Mollie Horseman  Charlotte Boutin  May Moore  Neville W Cayley Leon Houreux  Frederick Wymark  Sir Adrian Curlewis  Bilgola Heron Cove  Mullet Creek  Shark Point  Woodley's Cottage  A Tent at The Basin  Collin's Retreat-Bay View House-Scott's Hotel  Bilgola Cottage and House  The First Pittwater Regatta  Women Cricketers Picnic Filmed In Pittwater  Governor Phillip's Barrenjoey Cairn Waradiel Season The Church at Church Point  Gov.  Phillip'€™s  Exploration of Broken Bay, 2 €- 9 March 1788   Petroglyths: Aboriginal Rock Art on the Northern Beaches  Avalon Headland Landmarks  Steamers Part I Pittwater Aquatic Club Part I  Woody Point Yacht Club  Royal Motor Yacht Club Part I  Dorothea Mackellar Elaine Haxton  Neva Carr Glynn Margaret Mulvey Jean Mary Daly  Walter Oswald Watt Wilfrid Kingsford Smith John William Cherry  George Scotty Allan  McCarrs Creek Narrabeen Creek  Careel Creek  Currawong Beach Creek  Bushrangers at Pittwater  Smuggling at Broken Bay  An Illicit Still at McCarr's Creek  The Murder of David Foley  Mona Vale Outrages  Avalon Camping Ground  Bayview Koala Sanctuary Ingleside Powder Works Palm Beach Golf Course  Avalon Sailing Club  Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club  Palm Beach SLSC Part I - The Sheds Warriewood SLSC Whale Beach SLSC Flagstaff Hill Mount Loftus Pill Hill Sheep Station Hill  S.S. Florrie  S.S. Phoenix and General Gordon Paddlewheeler  MV Reliance The Elvina  Florida House  Careel House   Ocean House and Billabong  Melrose-The Green Frog The Small Yacht Cruising Club of Pittwater  Canoe and I Go With The Mosquito Fleet - 1896  Pittwater Regattas Part I - Dates and Flagships to 1950 Shark Incidents In Pittwater  The Kalori  Church Point Wharf  Bayview Wharf  Newport Wharf Palm Beach Jetty - Gow's Wharf  Max Watt  Sir Francis Anderson Mark Foy  John Roche  Albert Verrills  Broken Bay Customs Station At Barrenjoey  Broken Bay Water Police  Broken Bay Marine Rescue - Volunteer Coastal Patrol  Pittwater Fire-Boats  Prospector Powder Hulk at Towler's Bay  Naval Visits to Pittwater 1788-1952  Pittwater's Torpedo Wharf and Range Naval Sea Cadets in Pittwater S.S. Charlotte Fenwick S.S. Erringhi  P.S. Namoi  S.Y. Ena I, II and III  Barrenjoey Headland - The Lessees  Barrenjoey Lighthouse - The Construction  Barrenjoey Broken Bay Shipwrecks Up To 1900  Barrenjoey Light Keepers  Douglas  Adrian Ross Newport SLSC 1909 - 1938 Part I Overview  North Narrabeen SLSC - The Formative Years  Bilgola SLSC - the First 10 years   North Palm Beach SLSC    A History of Pittwater Parts 1 and 4 Pittwater Regattas - 1907 and 1908  Pittwater Regattas - 1921 - The Year that Opened and Closed with a Regatta on Pittwater Pittwater Regatta Banishes Depression - 1933 The 1937 Pittwater Regatta - A Fashionable Affair  Careel Bay Jetty-Wharf-Boatshed  Gow-Gonsalves Boatshed -Snapperman Beach  Camping at Narrabeen - A Trickle then a Flood Pittwater's Parallel Estuary - The Cowan 'Creek'  RMYC Broken Bay Boathouse and Boatshed Barrenjoey Boat House The Bona - Classic Wooden Racing Yacht Mona Vale Hospital Golden Jubilee - A Few Insights on 50 Years as a Community Hospital Far West Children's Health Scheme - the Formation Years  The First Scotland Island Cup, Trophy and Race and the Gentleman who loved Elvina Bay Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay NSW - Cruiser Division History - A History of the oldest division in the Royal Motor Yacht Club   Royal Motor Yacht Club€“ Broken Bay€“ Early Motor Boats and Yachts, their Builders and Ocean Races to Broken Bay, the Hawkesbury and Pittwater  The Royal Easter Show Began As the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales   The Mail Route to Pittwater and Beyond  The Wild Coachmen of Pittwater - A Long and Sometimes Bumpy Ride on Tracks Instead of Roads  The Fearless Men of Palm Beach SLSC's Surf Boats First Crews - A Tale of Viking Ships, Butcher Boats and Robert Gow'€™s Tom Thumb 'Canoe'  Furlough House Narrabeen - Restful Sea Breezes For Children and Their Mothers  From Telegraphs to Telephones - For All Ships at Sea and Those On Land Mona Vale Training Grounds - From Lancers on Horses to Lasses on Transport Courses  Fred Verrills; Builder of Bridges and Roads within Australia during WWII, Builder of Palm Beach Afterwards  Communications with Pittwater  Ferries To Pittwater A History of Pittwater - Part 4: West Head Fortress  Pittwater's Lone Rangers - 120 Years of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase and the Men of Flowers Inspired by Eccleston Du Faur  Early Pittwater Launches and Ferries Runs Avalon Beach SLSC - The First Clubhouse  Avalon Beach SLSC The Second and Third Clubhouses From Beneath the Floorboards at Hyde Park Barracks   Bungaree Was Flamboyant   Andrew Thompson - 'Long Harry'  Albert Thomas Black John Collins of Avalon Narrabeen Prawning Times - A Seasonal Tide of Returnings   Oystering in the Pittwater Estuary - Oyster Kings and Pearl Kings and When Not to Harvest Oysters Yabbying In Warriewood Creeks  Eeling in Warriewood's Creeks (Includes A Short History of community involvement in environmental issues/campaigns in and around Narrabeen Lagoon - 1974 to present by David James OAM) Eunice Minnie Stelzer - Pittwater Matriarchs  Maria Louisa Therry - Pittwater Matriarch   Katherine Mary Roche - Pittwater Matriarchs Sarah A. Biddy Lewis and Martha Catherine Bens Pittwater Matriarchs  Pittwater's New Cycle Track of 1901 Manly to Newport  The Rock Lily Hotel  Barrenjoey House The Pasadena Jonah's St Michael's Arch  The First Royal Visitor to Australia: the Incident at Clontarf March 12th, 1868  Pittwater: Lovely Arm of the Hawkesbury By NOEL GRIFFITHS - includes RMYC Wharf and Clareville Wharf of 1938 + An Insight into Public Relations in Australia George Mulhall First Champion of Australia in Rowing - First Light-Keeper  at Barranjuey Headland   Captain Francis Hixson - Superintendent of Pilots, Lights, and Harbours and Father of the Naval Brigade  The Marquise of Scotland Island   The First Boat Builders of Pittwater: the Short Life and Long Voyages of Scotland Island Schooner the Geordy  Boat Builders of Pittwater II: from cargo schooners and coasters to sailing skiffs and motorised launches  The Currawong: Classic Yacht  The Riddles of The Spit and Bayview/ Church Point: sailors, boat makers, road pavers winning rowers   VP Day Commemorative Service 2015 –  at Avalon Beach RSL Cenotaph: 70th Anniversary   Captain T. Watson and his Captain Cook Statues: A Tribute to Kindness   Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways; Hordern or Wiltshire Parks to McKay Reserve – From Beach to Estuary Pittwater Reserves, The Green Ways: Clareville Wharf and Taylor's Point Jetty  Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways Bilgola Beach - The Cabbage Tree Gardens and Camping Grounds - Includes Bilgola - The Story Of A Politician, A Pilot and An Epicure by Tony Dawson and Anne Spencer  Pittwater Reserves - The Green Ways: Mona Vale's Village Greens a Map of the Historic Crown Lands Ethos Realised in The Village, Kitchener and Beeby Parks  Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways; Bungan Beach and Bungan Head Reserves:  A Headland Garden  Early Pittwater Paddlers, Oarsmen, Rowers and Scullers: The Green Family  Elanora - Some Early Notes and Pictures  The Stewart Towers On Barrenjoey Headland  Early Pittwater Paddlers, Oarsmen, Rowers and Scullers: The Williams Family  Early Cricket in Pittwater: A small Insight Into the Noble Game from 1880's On  The Pacific Club's 2016 Carnival in Rio Fundraiser for Palm Beach SLSC Marks the 79th Year of Support  Bert Payne Park, Newport: Named for A Man with Community Spirit   Early Pittwater Paddlers, Oarsmen, Rowers and Scullers: The Fox Family  Surf Carnivals in February 1909, 1919, 1925, a Fancy Dress Rise of Venus and Saving Lives with Surfboards  Early Pittwater Paddlers, Oarsmen, Rowers and Scullers: The Paddon Family of Clareville  Mermaid Basin, Mona Vale Beach: Inspired 1906 Poem by Viva Brock  Early Pittwater Schools: The Barrenjoey School 1872 to 1894  The Royal Easter Show and 125th Celebration of the Hawkesbury Agricultural College: Farmers Feed Us!  The Newport School 1888 to 2016 Pittwater's Ocean Beach Rock Pools: Southern Corners of Bliss - A History The Royal Botanical Garden Sydney Celebrate 200 Years in 2016  The Porter Family of Newport: Five Brother Soldiers Serve in WWI Church Point and Bayview: A Pittwater Public School Set on the Estuary  The Basin, Pittwater: A Reprise: Historical Records and Pictures  Lighthouse Keepers Cottages You Can Rent in NSW - Designed or Inspired by Colonial Architect James Barnet: Includes Historic 'Lit' Days records   Bayview Days Ships Biscuits - the At Sea Necessity that Floated William Arnott’s Success  Mona Vale Public School 1906 to 2012   St Johns Camden: 176th And 167th Anniversaries In June 2016 - Places To Visit  Narrabeen Lagoon And Collaroy Beachfront: Storms And Flood Tides Of The Past  Avalon Beach Public School - A History   Muriel Knox Doherty Sir Herbert Henry Schlink  Shopping And Shops In Manly: Sales Times From 1856 To 1950 For A Fishing Village   Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's 150th Sailing Season Opening: A Few Notes Of Old  A Few Glimpses Into Narrabeen's Past Beauties  Dr. Isobel Ida Bennett AO   Taronga Zoo 100th Birthday Parade: 1000 Reasons To Celebrate  War Memorials: Manly, October 14, 1916  Avalon Beach Golf Links: Pittwater Fields of Dreams II  War Memorials - Mona Vale, November 14, 1926  Annie Wyatt Reserve Palm Beach: Pittwater Fields of Dreams II  Tumbledown Dick Hill  Waratah Farm and Narrabeen Plums: Pittwater Fields of Dreams II  Mark Twain, J.F. Archibald And Henry Lawson - Did They Go Fishing At Narrabeen In The Spring Of 1895?: Probably!  Bayview Baths Centenary Celebration in November 2016 hosted by Bayview-Church Point Residents Association  Dr. Jenny Rosen's Historical Timeline  Palm Beach RSL - Club Palm Beach Celebrating 60 Years  Early Years At Narrabeen: The Plane Sailing Day Of 1944 The  Five Ways- Six ways Junction; Kamikaze Corner - Avalon Bilgola  RPAYC Season on Pittwater and coming of Jubilees in Summer of 1938 Local Explorers’ Modern Day Discovery - Governor Phillip’s First Landing site, Campsite and contact with Local Aborigines in Pittwater: The Case for West Head Beach    Rendezvous Tea Rooms Palm Beach: links with 1817 and 1917: Palm Beach Stores  and Fishermen  St Cloud's Jersey Stud: Elanora Heights: Pittwater Fields of Dreams II  Roderic Quinn's Poems And Prose For Manly, Beacon Hill, Dee Why And Narrabeen  A Historic Catalogue And Record Of Pittwater Art I – Of Places, Peoples And The Development Of Australian Art And Artists: The Estuary  Celebrating World Radio Day: The Bilgola Connection With The Beginnings Of Radio In Australia  Emile Theodore Argles - champion of all Australians without a Voice - a very funny Satirist, Manly Poet and Pittwater Prose Writer and Litterateur  Sydney Harbour Bridge Celebrates 85th Birthday: A Few Pittwater Connections  Victor James Daley: A Manly Bard And Poet who also came to Pittwater and the Hawkesbury  Let's Go Fly A Kite !: Palm Beach Whistling Kites Inspire sharing How to Make Standard, Box and Whistling Boy Kites - school holidays fun with a bit of Australian and Narrabeen history  Clifton Gardens Mosman: An Eternal Green and Saltwater Space, and Of Many Captains   Historic Catalogue And Record Of Pittwater Art I: Coastal Landscapes and Seascapes  The Bayview Tea Gardens 1920 to 1923 When Run By Thomas Edward And Annie Newey (Nee Costello) An Australian and RPAYC Commodore Aboard an America's Cup Challenger of 1908 and 1914   Henry Lawson - A Manly Bard and Poet: on his 150th Birthday  Historic Catalogue and Record of Pittwater Art I: Artists and Artists Colonies  Opportunity To Visit Submarine War Grave Renews Memories Of 75 Years Ago  Early Bayview - insights courtesy Don Taylor and Margaret Tink   Retracing Governor Phillip's Footsteps Around Pittwater: The Mystery Of The Cove On The East Side   Early Pittwater Surfers – Palm Beach I: John (Jack) Ralston and Nora McAuliffe  Patrick Edward Quinn: A Manly Prose writer who gave us A Run To Pittwater (1889) and Songs for the Federation of Australia  Avalon Beach North Headland Indian Face 'Falls': An Everchanging Coastline  Nautical Treasure In Suburbia    Narani, Captain Cook Celebrations At MVPS And Elvina Bay Memories - 1970s  Early Pittwater Surfers – Palm Beach I: Alrema Becke Queen of Palm Beach  The Beachcombers Surfboard Riding Club: Palm Beach, NSW - 1959 to 1961 Year Dated Beer Bottles Found at Taylors Point  Early Pittwater Surfers: Avalon Beach I  - 1956: The Carnival That Introduced The Malibu Surfboard and Being Able To Surf Across A Wave Face - Reg Wood Anecdotes   Mona Vale SLSC To Be Completely Renewed + A Few Insights from the Pages of the Past  The Firecracker That Closed Narrabeen Hotel By Ken Lloyd (Savalloyd) + Narrabeen Hotel Licence Transfer Trail  Traces Of WWII Coast Watchers Found On Bangalley Headland - 1942   Early Warriewood SLSC insights per Norman Godden + Extras    The Macphersons of Wharriewood and Narrabeen: the photo albums of William Joseph Macpherson  Angophora Reserve Avalon Dedication  Avalon Preservation Association History by Geoff Searl   Pittwater Summer Houses: 1916 Palm Beach Cottage and Palm Beach House  Pittwater YHA: Some History