August 10 - 16, 2014: Issue 175

 The Good Ship Packham – Part One

 Waterman's Dock Hobart ca. 1870 unattributed, AOT Ref: NS1013-1-63

 The Good Ship Packham – Part One

Beginning in October 1907, and ‘written by Lanyard’ for the Evening News – Sydney (1869-1931) until December 1907, are twelve articles which give insights and illustrations into some of the early yachts and their sailors of Sydney. Broken Bay sailors are frequently mentioned, as are races to and from our auspicious body of water. Contained in these works are anecdotes and insights that although occasionally have minuscule inaccuracies in dates, show the wordsmith, or wordsmiths, had contact with an access to the records and even the people they spoke of.

It could simply be that Walter James Jeffrey, editor of the Evening News, and his association with sea faring writer George Lewis (‘Louis) Becke, with whom Mr Jeffrey collaborated on three novels, was responsible. He who was well known for steering the Evening News during his 1906 until his death tenure as manager and editor, to make the sheet more entertaining for its readers, but Becke was in London during this period and does not seem to have moved, or sailed, in the circles that had brought ‘Lanyard’ to Pittwater to visit friends at Bayview in A BRIEF RESPITE, OUR TRIP TO BROKEN BAY - Written for the Evening News by “Lanyard” and published in August 1907 – a precursor to the Port Jackson Pleasure Fleets series. Clearly it is in the details and looking at sailing records and who was on these vessels as well as the ‘social pages’ or notes of this time.

So whom had about them a bit of whimsy, a ken for poetry, a yearning to paint, and knew enough to come to Pittwater soon after the Roche-Taylor race of 1906 that began the second truer phase of Pittwater Regattas? Who had access to people who knew or had met the founders of the Prince Alfred Yacht Club before it became ‘Royal’ or the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and the captains of industry and their sons, all self-made men. 

Painting and poetry, sailing with the Prince Alfred Yacht Club as it was becoming Royal – meeting the captains of industry whose fathers were those who formed the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, and wanting to go to sea…to go sailing…

Wanting to go to sea….

A Brighton, Sussex man comes to Melbourne from Dunedin New Zealand with his building partner William Peardon Pearce (Born 1 Jan 1826 at St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, England) with whom he has become so famous as an engineer and builder in New Zealand that phrases are coined of them and their workings. While in Melbourne around 1860, he meets a local girl and marries.

On the 4th inst., at the residence of, and by the Rev. W. P. Wells, Samuel, third son of John Packham, Esq., of Brighton, Sussex, England, to Elizabeth  Minnie, eldest daughter of the late William Joseph Clarke, Esq., of Melbourne.  Family Notices. (1861, March 7). The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 4. Retrieved from

He returns to Dunedin, New Zealand, and there a son is born in 1863 – Peardon Pearce (Peri) Packham. Soon after the business in New Zealand and the partnership is dissolved. Both men come back to Australia; one returns, while the other tries his hand as a contractor in Melbourne, with a few problems:

INSOLVENT COURT. FRIDAY, MARCH 19.  (Before his Honour Judge Noel ) MR SAMUEL PACKHAM. An application was made by Samuel Packham, of East Melbourne, contractor, for a certificate of discharge from his debts. The insolvent alleged as the reason why his estate had not paid 7s in the £ that he had suffered losses through the incompetency of a person appointed by Government to superintend a  contract he had at the Albert Park Lagoon, and through other faults of the said person. The certificate was granted. INSOLVENT COURT. (1875, March 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 9. Retrieved from

And: Samuel Packham, of Simpson street, East Melbourne, late publican, now out of business Compulsory sequestration Causes of insolvency-Losses on contracts through floods in Gipps Land, bad debts, and losses sustained on the sale of the Reform Club Hotel Elizabeth street Liabilities, ...., £77 12s 7d , deficiency, £1328 38 … Mr Cohen, assignee NEW INSOLVENTS. (1879, September 6). The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 7. Retrieved from

While in Melbourne Samuel and Elizabeth have three daughters, Constance, Ada Florence and Yatala Adele and another son, Harry Cecil (Brutus). They also lost a child too: PACKHAM. -On the 19th inst., at his residence, Gora-street, Fitzroy, Adeline Ethel, the infant daughter of Mr. Samuel Packham. Family Notices. (1866, January 22). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 4. Retrieved from

Elizabeth Street, Melbourne: 1860s

The family then move to Sydney. Their sons, who would have been 17 and 10 years, and perhaps finishing school holidays at this time, arrive:

You Yangs (s.), 457 tons. Captain A. L. Edgar, from Melbourne August 12. Passengers: H. C. Packham, P. P. PackhamSHIPPING. ARRIVALS.—AUGUST 14. (1880, August 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

And one quickly shows signs of ‘wanting to go to sea’:

A NOVEL PROSECUTION. At the Water Police Court, yesterday, before Mr. Addison, S.M., certain criminal proceedings of an unusual character were brought to a close, so far as the magisterial bench is concerned, after several adjournments and a protracted hearing. The complainant was Samuel Packham, a contractor, residing at Nambrak, Potts Point, and the defendant was Edward French, a resident of the same place. The charge against the defendant was that he forged and uttered the signature of the complainant with intent to defraud. The document alleged to have been forged consisted of a note purporting to convey the consent of the complainant to his son's joining a ship. This proceeding is regarded with considerable interest as being the first case of forgery coming under the operation of common law that has yet been hand in the colony.

Mr. Farleton, instructed by Messrs. Gennon and M'laughlin, appealed for the complainant; Mr. Hellyer and Mt. Roberts, sen., for the defendant. The following evidence was taken :-Samuel Packham deposed that he had received from his son the following paper:-"Potts Point, Sydney, January 11, 1881. Captain Rogers, ship Kassa. My son, Harry Packham, has my consent to join your ship. Yours respectfully, S. PACKHAM. P.S.-As passenger to Newcastle."  

Edward Frear Ward, a clerk in the Commercial Bank was called, and identified the handwriting on this paper as the same as he had seen on cheques written by the defendant. Harry Cecil Packham deposed that he was a son of Samuel Packman; he was 14 years of age in August last; on Sunday, 6th January, witness had a conversation with the defendant; witness had expressed a wish to become a sailor; defendant said, " I'll get  you on board a ship ; " witness said, " I would like to go, and to get my father's consent; "defendant said, "That will spoil the joke:" defendant took witness on board the vessel Kassa (Captain Rogers) on Monday, 7th January, in the morning; the captain was not then on board; witness did not stop on board; the captain was there in the evening; witness was there then; the captain said to witness,"It is a hard life," and said to defendant, "Are you his father?’' defendant said, " Yes ;" it was proposed that witness should go to work at 6 o'clock in the morning; defendant proposed it; witness went to work; the captain made an appointment for witness to go the Shipping Office to sign articles; defendant was present; witness went to the Shipping Office on Friday; witness did not sign any articles; he left the Shipping Office and saw the defendant: witness said, " I must have my father's consent in writing;" defendant said, " I'll write it'" he went up to his residence, and came down again and said, "I don't care to write it" witness said, " I must go in and get my father's consent aud tell him all about it" defendant said, "Oh, there is no harm in it " defendant then sat down and wrote the consent (the paper which had been produced); witness saw him with it; the Kassa was then at Woolloomoolloo wharf ; she went to Garden Island on the Friday morning; witness knew a man named Ackroyd: defendant said "'Will  you take him over to the Kassa," meaning witness before witness went with Ackroyd defendant gave him the paper (produced), half -a-crown, and a box of clothing ; before witness signed he was to show the paper to the captain, and sign articles at Newcastle by the defendant's directions: when witness got on board the Kassa the captain was not on board; the mate was ; witness went into the forecastle, and afterwards went to bed; he was awakened, and the water police came and took witness aboard; Ackroyd was a man in the employment of  defendant; witness' father did not give his consent. By Mr. Hellyer: Witness had known defendant about 12 months; he had during that time been kind to witness; defendant never advised him against going to sea; witness pulled the boat to the ship with Akroyd, and the latter pulled it back; defendant's directions to Ackroyd were to bring witness to the Kassa; witness did express a wish to go to sea; witness said to defendant's son " I would liko to go to sea " witness never told the defendant of his father's treatment or that his mother wanted him to go away for two years in consequence of his father coming  home drunk constantly, and abusing him (witness) ; the consent was written in the shed; witness asked the defendant to put in the postscript; witness said to him, " You have left out about my going as passenger to Newcastle" witness did not ask defendant to write the whole of the paper; when defendant had written the postscript he gave the paper to witness; did not know what benefit defendant was to derive from the transaction; witness was going to sea to suit defendant's views, not his own, and not to comply with his mother's request to get away from home for two years; witness thought it would be a  benefit for him to go; he was goaded on by Mr.French; witness worked on board the Kassa on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday;  witness’ object in going to sea was to learn his profession: witness once told Frank M'Elhone he would like to be a sailor; that was about two months ago; witness had as a nickname that of "Brutus;" witness on one occasion told his mother a lie about some wages, which he represented he had lost;  had not talked with his father about this matter: never informed his father he was going to sea;  had still a wish to go to sea; witness put the consent in his box when he got on board ; his brother found the consent in his box; the letter was never delivered to Captain Rogers; witness' services were of no value to his father; witness did nothing at home, but had been going to school;  witness was anxious to get away from home to show his mother that he was not a "nuisance" had always agreed well with his father. Samuel Packham, the complainant, deposed that the consent was not in his writing, and that he did not consent to his son's going to sea, or authorised anyone to sign this document; Mr. French had admitted having assisted the boy away to sea, and said he thought he was doing witness a good turn; the boy always had a desire to go to sea, which witness discouraged; the boy never asked his consent to go to sea; witness never asked Dingwall to speak to Mr. French about settling the case. Elizabeth Packham, the boy's mother, also stated that he had gone to sea without her consent; had heard him say he would like to go; he was sometimes tiresome, and then she would say, partly in jest, that she wished she could get him away. Peardon P. Packham, son of complainant, deposed to having heard French admit being a party to the boy's leaving home; had got a letter from his brother in his box on the 11th, and gave it to his father next day-. The compliantant  recalled, again gave details to a series of questions relating to his having employed Dingwall to propose terms to French, and also denied that Dingwall had told him certain things; he denied having said that if he could not get it out of French's pocket he would get it some other way, or that he would serve French out for an insult; told Dingwall he would prosecute French criminally for forgery; the bailiffs were in witness' house for rent, because people thought he was going to run away owing to this action on the part of the boy; did not tell this to Dingwall; he would have proceeded by civil action if possible, in consideration for  French's wife and children. This closed the case for the prosecution.

Mr Roberts said he supposed that such a case had been hertherto unknown in the courts of this colony. He argued that the forgery was not of a punishable character. The prosecution were endeavouring to make it an offence at common law. He submitted, however, that the prosecution failed to prove any such intent to defraud on the part of the defendant as was necessary to secure a conviction. There must be intent to defraud. All the cases with regard to offences at common law had reference to the forging of deeds and instruments of a negotiable character with intent to defraud, such as a promisory note or a bill of exchange [Mr Addison: It might be intent to deceive, it has been decided that the words "intent to decieve" are covered by the words “intent to defraud ") It was an experimental proceeding altogether, which ought never to have been instituted. Because the prosecution had no civil remedy they had endeavoured wrongfully to move the criminal jurisdiction of the court. Packham had not suffered in any way, neither had he been prejudiced. If this were a forgery at all, the boy was liable to be indicted, because he was the person to be benefited. Defendant had no intention of depriving the Packhams of parental control with regard to the lad.

Upon the usual caution being administered to him defendant said that he and young Packham were  mates and had been out yachting together frequentlv during the last 12 months. Young Packham told him he had to meet the captain of the vessel at the shipping office.  Afterwards he returned to defendant's place without having seen the captain. Eventually, however the two met, and the captain informed young Packham he would have to obtain the consent of his father before he would ship him.

Upon hearing of this defendant said, "All right, you had better see your father" Packham replied that he could not find his father, and that the ship was going  away at once, and he then asked defendant to sign his father’s name. Defendant said he should not be nsked to do anything like that, because it was not right. The reply was that it would do no harm, and defendant might as well do it, and not let him lose his chance of going away. After some further conversation on the subject in defendant's garden and some demur on the part of defendant, Packham said that his father would only only laugh at it  and his mother would not cry. Packham cried, and defendant said, “All right, what vvill I say?”. And Packham then dictated the letter which defendant wrote. Defendant did not suggest anything in the matter, but Packham acted of his own free will, and called the defendant all the fools imaginable.  Defendant was quite friendly with the lad’s family, and he persuaded him all could be against the step he wads taking. 

John Dingwall, a boatbuilder, stated that Packham had said he was going to prosecute French, and asked witness to tell him so; witness told French who took no heed of it; he told this to Packham, who sent him again, with the same result; Packham said that, owing to French and his son’s going to sea, the bailiffs were in his house; the boy Harry came to witness, and, having asked him what he was going to say in the case, said that if witness adhered to his statement it would spoil his father’s case. Mary Ann Dingwall corroborated her husband, the last witness, as to Packham having twice asked him to go to French about settling the case. 

Frank M’Elhone, Joseph Hansen, William Gleeson, and Sigmind Mandelson were called to prove that Harry Packham had frequently expressed his desire to go to sea; that he was well pleased with his life on board the Kassa; that he went of his own freewill, and had given the captain the wrong age; that he said French had written the letter in kindness to him, not intending any harm to his parents; that he would rather go to goal for some days than see Mr French get into trouble; that he was ill-treated at home, and his mother wanted him to go into the country for a couple of years, and that he would leave again in another ship. Joseph Acroyd, an employee of Mr French's, stated that defendant had written something on a paper, apparently at the boy's dictation, the boy seemed to disagree with it, and the Defendant wrote something else; Young Packham then told Mr. French to sign ''Samuel Packham”; he pulled witness aboard the vessel, the witness going with him to bring back the boat. This closed the eveidence for the defence.

His Worship, in giving his decision, made the following observations:-The circumstances attending this present charge of forgery are altogether of so peculiar and exceptional a character that I have given my best attention to the proceedings, and esepcially to the arguements so ably put forward by the learned gentlemen for the defence. It appears to me that the evidence given does not support the offence of forgery punishable by any statute, so that the information must be dealt with as a forgery at common law, which has been defined as " the counterfeiting of any writing, with a fraudulent intent, whereby another may be prejudiced." After a careful examination of the law on this subject, as sat forth in " Rusell on Crimes,", “Archbold," "Roscoe" and other leading authorities, I have come to tho conclusion that all the ingredients necessary to a prima facie case of forgery at common law, as against the accused, have been made out. It is, therefore, my duty to commit the defendant for trial at Quarter Sessions, to be held at Darlinghurst on 28th February instant. Bail was allowed in defendant's own surety of £150, and another of the same amount, or two of £75 each. A NOVEL PROSECUTION. (1884, February 26).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

At the subsequent further trial Mr. French was acquitted. Reading between the lines a little it seems Harry may have had an artistic temperament, being nicknamed 'Brutus' – he certainly upset both his parents. His father, a few weeks after the second trail where Mr. French was found not guilty of anything, passed away:

Mr. Samuel Packham, manager of Cripp’s Coffee Palace Hotel Lower Pitt street, died suddenly on Saturday afternoon about 5 o'clock. Mr. Packham was apparently in his usual health, and had just finished paying his employees. He took a few steps upstairs when he suddenly fell forward, and after a convulsive sob, expired. NEW SOUTH WALES. (1884, March 22). South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889), p. 9. Retrieved from

PACKHAM.—On the 15th inst, at Sydney, N.S.W., Samuel Packham youngest son of the late John Packham, Esq., of Brighton, Sussex, England, aged 52 years. Family Notices. (1884, March 27). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 1. Retrieved from

It is apparent from Harry’s almost-adventure that Peardon had commenced work. Educated at Carlton College in Melbourne when Alexander Sutherland was headmaster, a gentleman renowned for his literary skills, the eldest son of Samuel would pursue a lifetime of literary pursuits perhaps influenced by Mr. Sutherland. 

Sutherland was an honorary secretary of the Royal Society of Victoria in 1878-85 and 1892, to which he read diverse learned papers. With his brother George he wrote a History of Australia … (1877) for schools; it sold more than 100,000 copies and remained a standard work for decades. He wrote the first volume of Victoria and its Metropolis (1888), and his The Origin and Growth of the Moral Instinct (1898), an attempt to establish that moral development conformed to evolutionary theory, won wide international acclaim and in recent times has been regarded by Morris Ginsberg as a pioneer work in the field. He contributed many articles to the Melbourne Review, of which he was a founder and for a time coeditor with H. G. Turner. He wrote biographies of Henry Kendall and Adam Lindsay Gordonfor The Development of Australian Literature (1898), which he also edited with Turner, and memoirs of Sir Redmond Barry and his old teacher, Edward Hearn. He provided the details about Victoria which Sir Charles Dilke used freely in his Problems of Greater Britain (1890). He published Thirty Short Poems (1890), wrote many short stories and left manuscripts of two unpublished novels. He also had a talent for sketching, a profound knowledge of music and a good baritone voice. (1.)

Mr Sutherland was also a fan of Shakespeare - wordsmith of the character of 'Brutus' in Julius Caesar:

Shakespeare's Characters: Brutus (Julius Caesar)- From Julius Caesar. Ed. Henry Norman Hudson. New York: Ginn and Co., 1908;  Coleridge has a shrewd doubt as to what sort of a character Shakespeare meant his Brutus to be. For, in his thinking aloud just after the breaking of the conspiracy to him, Brutus avowedly grounds his purpose, not on anything Cæsar has done, nor on what he is, but simply on what he may become when crowned. He "knows no personal cause to spurn at him"; nor has he "known when his affections sway'd more than his reason"; but "he would be crown'd: how that might change his nature, there's the question"; and, 

Since the quarrel

Will bear no colour for the thing he is,

Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,

Would run to these and these extremities;

And therefore think him as a serpent's egg

Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous,

And kill him in the shell. [II, i, 28-34.]

So then Brutus heads a plot to assassinate the man who, besides being clothed with the sanctions of law as the highest representative of the state, has been his personal friend and benefactor; all this, too, not on any ground of fact, but on an assumed probability that the crown will prove a sacrament of evil, and transform him into quite another man. A strange piece of casuistry indeed! but nowise unsuited to the spirit of a man who was to commit the gravest of crimes, purely from a misplaced virtue. And yet the character of Brutus is full of beauty and sweetness. In all the relations of life he is upright, gentle, and pure; of a sensitiveness and delicacy of principle that cannot bosom the slightest stain; his mind enriched and fortified with the best extractions of philosophy; a man adorned with all the virtues which, in public and private, at home and in the circle of friends, win respect and charm the heart.

Being such a man, of course he could only do what he did under some sort of delusion. And so indeed it is. Yet this very delusion serves, apparently, to ennoble and beautify him, as it takes him and works upon him through his virtues. At heart he is a real patriot, every inch of him. But his patriotism, besides being somewhat hidebound with patrician pride, is of the speculative kind, and dwells, where his whole character has been chiefly formed, in a world of poetical and philosophic ideals. He is an enthusiastic student of books. Plato is his favorite teacher; and he has studiously framed his life and tuned his thoughts to the grand and pure conceptions won from that all but divine source: Plato's genius walks with him in the Senate, sits with him at the fireside, goes with him to the wars, and still hovers about his tent. His great fault, then, lies in supposing it his duty to be meddling with things that he does not understand. Conscious of high thoughts and just desires, but with no gift of practical insight, he is ill fitted to "grind among the iron facts of life." In truth, he does not really see where he is; the actual circumstances and tendencies amidst which he lives are as a book written in a language he cannot read. The characters of those who act with him are too far below the region of his principles and habitual thinkings for him to take the true cast of them. Himself incapable of such motives as govern them, he just projects and suspends his ideals in them, and then misreckons upon them as realizing the men of his own brain. So also he clings to the idea of the great and free republic of his fathers, the old Rome that has ever stood to his feelings touched with the consecrations of time and glorified with the high virtues that have grown up under her cherishing. But, in the long reign of tearing faction and civil butchery, that which he worships has been substantially changed, the reality lost. Cæsar, already clothed with the title and the power of Imperator for life, would change the form so as to agree with the substance, the name so as to fit the thing. But Brutus is so filled with the idea of that which has thus passed away never to return that he thinks to save or recover the whole by preventing such formal and nominal change.

Peardon did the hard yards in some rural settings and was clearly very good at what he did as; 

Mr Peardon Pearce Packham, to be chief clerk in the Patents Office. GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. (1888, December 19). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from

Harry was the first to marry though:

PACKHAM-STAFFORD.- September 3, at St. Mark's Darling Point, by the Rev. Canon Kemmis, assisted by the Rev. Stanley Hinson, Harry Cecil (Brutus), younger son of the late Samuel Packham, of Sydney, to Mary Florence, elder daughter of the late Charles Stafford, solicitor, of this city. Family Notices. (1890, September 19). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

Of note:

STAFFORD-PACKHAM.-July 19, at St Mark's, Darling Point, by the Rev. H. C. Vindis, Louis Uathank, sixth son of the late Charles Stafford, solicitor, of this city, to Ada Florence, eldest daughter of the late Samuel Packham, of Sydney. Melbourne papers please copy.  Family Notices. (1893, August 5). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

The Stafford family were involved in the beginnings of what we now know as the AMP, and where Harry did work after his marriage:

AUSTRALIAN MUTUAL  PROVIDENT SOCIETY. The seventh annual meeting of the Australian Mutual Provident Society was held yesterday afternoon., at ...offices of the society, Mort's-buildings, Pitt street, " to receive and consider the reports of the Directors and Auditors on the business of the past year,to elect two directors in place of those retiring in rotation, and to choose three auditors." Messrs. M. E.Murain, and A. T. Holroyd, the retiring directors, had given notice, according to the rules of the society, that they intended to offer themselves for re-election, and Charles. Stafford, Esq., solicitor, a duly qualified member had also notified that he was a candidate for a seat at the board. From sixty to seventy members were in attendance, and shortly after three o'clock the chair was taken by Mr. T. Holt, who read the advertisement convening the meeting, and called upon Mr. B. Thomson, the secretary, to read the report. The SECRETARY read the following report: AUSTRALIAN MUTUAL PROVIDENT SOCIETY. (1856, January 30). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 4. Retrieved from

It also a watercolour by Harry of their home that lends support to his other artistic pursuits. : 'Lowlands' Watercolour by Harry Cecil Packham (Portrait), Location: 'Lowlands 41 William Street, Double Bay, Sydney, Australia Painting by Charles Stafford's son-in-law of the Stafford's home. The State Library of NSW also hold a picture of H C Packhams: Distant panoramic view of the City of Sydney, circa 1900-1910.

Peardon then married as well:

MARRIAGE. PACKHAM—RYAN.—February 28, at the Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Randwick, by the Rev. P. Treand, Peardon Pearce, older son of the late Samuel Packham, of Sydney, to Helena Margaret, daughter of the late John Ryan, of Wagga Wagga. Family Notices. (1895, March 9). Wagga Wagga Advertiser(NSW : 1875 - 1910), p. 2. Retrieved from

John Ryan of Wagga owned the Union Club Hotel as well as property at Coogee and Ewan's Terrace to which his daughter was entitled when she came of age.

In the meantime, both he and Harry were out and about on the water, and had been for a few years:

Prince Alfred Yacht Club. The members of the Prince Alfred Yacht Club celebrated the closing of the season on Saturday afternoon, by entertaining their commodore (Mr W M Maclardy)and vice commodore (Mr H S Hardon) at a return luncheon. At 1 30 p m a number of the yachts mustered in Farm Cove in answer to the signal" Form Squadron," flying on the Isea, on board of which was the commodore of the day, Dr F Milford. Amongst the yachts taking port were-Iolanthe (W M Maclardy), Geneviève (H S Hardon), Volunteer (W P Smarl), Sao (A J Soutar), Thelma (J F Hoare) and Awanui (A C Saxton) " Follow me in line " was the next signal to be obeyed, a very good line being formed ' Rendezvous at Vauclause" replaced the former signal, and headed by the Isea, a smart run was made for that place, where thesteamer Alathea, which conveyed the members and friends who did not go down in the yachts had already been brought to an anchorage. A sumptuous repast provided by the City Catering Company was then partaken of on board the steamer to which about 60 sat down, the chair being occupied by Dr Milford, who had on his right the commodore and on his left the vice commodore and among those present were-Commodore A G Milson  (Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron), Messrs. King J Jones, I Bennett, H Carpenter A. J Soutar, A A Griffiths, A F Smarl J G Smith, A C Saxton AKellerman, P Ward, H Packham AQUATICS. (1891, April 20). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

Above: Prince Alfred Yacht Club Regatta - 1895 (?) - Bronzewing and Althea (steamship in background) with yacht. BRONZEWING on the day and was accompanied by the flagship ALATHEA. ANMM Collection 00019553

SAILING. SYDNEY FLYING SQUADRON. The fifth of the Wednesday afternoon races promoted by the Sydney Flying Squadron was decided yesterday afternoon over the naual triangular course, three times round, starting and finishing at Clark Island. The result was a win for the rater Desdemona, with the 22-footer Keriki second, and Yankee, 3. The competing craft all carried the club's flag half way up the after leach of their sails, and the programmes were edged with black out of respect to the memory of the late Mr. A. E. G. Thomas, who for many years was a prominent member of the club. The club steamer Birkenhead, in charge of Mr. J. Bins, followed the races with a large number on board; The other officials were :-Starter and judge, Mr. R. Banks ; timekeeper, Mr. H Packham; and umpire, Mr. J. Robertson. The particulars are as follows:-Desdemona (A. Muston), li minutes, £6, I ; Keriki (Ohrit. Webb)scratch, £3,2 ; Yankee (J. B. Craig) … minutes,£1,3. Other starters : -Bronzewing III. (A. L. Lister), Willie (W. Messenger), and Flying Fish(Mark Foy). Southern Cross was also entered, but did not start. … Flying Fish, the only other boat to finish, was not timed. SAILING. (1900, December 13). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

Although Harry clearly knew Mark Foy, it is Peardon’s wife who is and keeps friends with this family. Her regular trips overseas with the sisters of Mark Foy and their husbands, as well as her stays at their Medlow Baths in the Blue Mountains continue until her own passing away:

The Winter Garden of the Hotel Australia was gay on Thursday afternoon, when a number of people entertained friends who were leaving Sydney afterthe festivities. Mrs. Edward Ward was hostess at a party assembled to wish bon voyage to Mrs. Allen Brown, of Auckland, who has been holidaying here for some time, as the guest of her brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Mason, of Darling Point. The table was decorated with roses and trails of shaded sweet pea. Among the guests were:—Mrs. Mackin, Mrs. Harold Mason, Mrs. J. J. Smith, Mrs. Packham, Mrs. F. Foy, the Misses Smith, Mrs. Cheffil, Miss B Moore.  TEA-TABLE GOSSIP. (1920, June 27). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 13. Retrieved from

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ward, accompanied by Mrs. Perie Packham and the Misses Doone and Sylvia Mackin, left by motor during the week to visit Mr. Clive Packham and Mr. Neville Mackin, who are on the land in the Parkes district. GRAND DUCHESS MARIE. (1920, October 31). Sunday Times(Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 13. Retrieved from

Mrs. Perie Packham is among those who are holidaying on the Mountains. She is one of Mrs. Edward Ward's house party at Medlow. SOCIAL GOSSIP. (1921, February 4). Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

Mrs. Perie Packham sends a very Interesting letter from the Hotel Schweizerhof. Lucerne, where she spent the end of July with Mr. and Mrs. Ward and Mr. Bud Macken. 'This is a most wonderful hotel, built just in front of the lake, and with the golf links quite near. We came to Switzerland via Paris, and from thence to. Geneva, through the Rhine Valley. Switzerland is, I think, the loveliest country In the world. Its mountains and lakes are of every color. Though the weather Is very hot. the mountains are snowcapped, and when the setting sun catches them the effect is wonderful. We made the ascent of the Right yesterday. It is situated between Lake Zue and Lake Lucerne, and is '6000 feet high, so you can imagine the railway. Journey Is thrilling, particularly when you go over spidery looking bridges at a height of 4000 feet. Looking down makes one gasp. It is such a wonderful feat of engineering. ... It is just a-'mass of snow, and sometimes one cannot see it at all, the clouds are so low. The' whole place teems with legends, which, of course, are related to the travellers as facts. We saw the home of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus). He was a married man and had ten children whom lit left when he was fifty and lived afterwards as a hermit. We are very much exercised to know why he has his present Job — It must be his punishment. We motored from Suhrlajten to Lucerne, and on the - way gave a lift to a padre. I was most anxious to find out some more about Santa, S3Inquired why he had deserted his family. He replied that God wished It, so'1 was no further ahead. From here we go to Canada and the States, and leave San Francisco about the end of September for home.'  –SOCIAL GOSSIP. (1923, September 15). Daily Advertiser(Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from

Mrs. Edward Ward, who, with Mrs. Perie Packham and Mr. Ward, returned to Sydney on Monday from a tour of Europe and America, is quite content with Australia, and is convinced that Sydney compares favorably with any 'if the cities of Europe or America.' The climate alone Is worth coming back for, and the girls are just as smartly dressed and as up-to-date as those in Paris or New York.' To celebrate the return of the travellers a dinner dance was given at Eumemering Hall, Bellevue Hill, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Foy. The reception rooms were decorated with palms and flowers. The hosts and hostesses for the evening were : Mr. and Mrs. M. Foy, Mr. and Mrs. Victor Macken, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Mason, and Mr. and Mrs. H. Maken. As Mrs. Burns had arranged a dinner party at her home, Oakley, Coogee, in honor of the return of her daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Packam were only able to join the party for supper.  Wonderful Buckingham Palace Royal Garden Party . (1923, October 21). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 18. Retrieved from

Mrs. Peri Packham has let her pretty cottage, Oaklands, Clovelly, to Mr. and Mrs. Sheekey (Wagga). Mrs. Packham has been staying at The Hydro, Medlow Bath, and her health has so much inproved that she intends to remain for three months. Her son, daughter-in-law and grandson, Bobbie (who live at Parkes),will be her guests at Christmas time. Mrs. Edward Ward, who has been staying with her son, Mr. Neville Macken, and his wife ..... has returned to her home, at Collaroy, where she will entertain numerous parties during the surfing season. Mr.and Mrs. Macken have taken the charming home, at Vaucluse, of Mr. Mark Foy, junior, who is Mr. Macken's cousin. THE HOME CIRCLE. (1929, November 28). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate(NSW : 1876 - 1954) , p. 2. Retrieved from

MRS. PERIE PACKHAM is making excellent recovery after her recent serious illness, and is finding the mountain air of Medlow most beneficial. She is permanently settled at the Hydro.  SYDNEY HOSPITAL KIOSK. (1930, January 26). Sunday Times(Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 21. Retrieved from

Mrs. Perie Packham, who has been in town for a few weeks, has to took to lier engagement book to make a'date,' bo many old friends are anxious to entertain her. On Monday. Mrs Mark Mongan, of Bradley's Head road, Mosman, gave a luncheon party, and many old Wagga friends foregathered. The eldest daughter of the house, Miss Frances, a slim fair lassie, is in her third years' arts at the university, and is looking forward to gaining fresh laurels this year. Frances' especial chum at the uni. is Miss Gertrude Nowland, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. H Nowland. and her mother (formerly Miss Ivo Foy) is an old friend of Mrs. Packham'sSOCIAL GOSSIP. (1935, February 8). Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

While all this socializing was going on, the association with Pittwater sailing men in Mr. Foy, John Roche ‘the father of the Pittwater Regatta’ and the Taylors of Bayview continued. While P Packham did publish stories on sailing, it is the register of this firm in 1916, just predating a number of articles then published under ‘H.C. Packham’ in the Referee

H C PACKHAM & COMPANY Publishers Agents, Elden Chambers 928 Pitt Street Sydney: 30 May 1916, PACKHAM, Harry Cecil; MINELL, Edgar Richard

The mystery further unravels:

PITTWATER REGATTA. There will be an exodus of sailing men from the city today for Pittwater where the annual local regatta, a popular year-end event, will be celebrated. The steamer Newcastle, which to do duty as flagship, will leave Sydney at noon conveying spectators, officials and sailing craft to the placid waters of Broken Bay. The secretary Mr. John Roche, has received record entries and, given a nice nor'-easter, he is confident the regatta will be even a greater success than that of previous years. 

THE HANDICAPS. Handicaps for the open boats have been framed by John L. Williams. Capt. P. G. Taylor, M.C., and W. D. M. Taylor as follow; HANDICAP FOR LOCAL BOATS, 18ft and under (to start at 10 a.m.).-Mascotte (R. Sinclair) 14ft 12min; Moonbeam (J. Muston), 2sec., Wybia(C. M. Williams) 15ft, Vimy (A. J. MacKellar) 16ft, Wild Rose (B. Maudsley) 14ft,Very (P. G. Taylor) 16ft, 6; Garret (F. Roche) … 90 sec, Lorelei (C. J. Saunders), 17ft, scr. 

14ft SKIFFS OF BIRCHGROVE CLUB (to start 210.45 a.m.).-Renown (J Hinchcliffe)min; Douglas (S. Johnson), 8 ½ ; Arawa (P. Pyne), 6; Plannet (C. Stanton), Sydney (F. Simmons), 5; Norma (R. Greenless) 3 ½ .,  Unique (L. Gooud), Wairrigal (J. Thompson), 1; Rona(F. Deady), 30se; .Shamrock (P.  Griffiths), Polygon (S. Greenless), scr.

14FT. SKIFFS OF BIRCHGROVE CLUB (to start at 2.5 p.m.).— Reknown 11; Douglas, 9 12/ ;Arawa, 7; Planet, Sydney. 0; Norma. 4 ½; Unqiue, Warrigal, 2; Rona 1 ½ ; Shamrock and Polygon, scr.

HANDICAP FOR LOCAL BOATS  (to start at 2.30).— Moonbeam (J. Muston), 22min, Wymia (C. M. Williams), Vimy (A. J. MacKellar).' 18; Query (P. G. Taylor), 17; Garret (F. Roche),Lorelei (C. J. Saunders), !); Nark (F. Wilson),scr.

THE OFFICIALS. The officials for the day are: Commodore, Mr. F. J. S. Young, Vice commodore, Mr. Arthur Bolson; rear commodore. Mr. Albert Mitchell; judge of sailing, Mr. F. S. Adams; starters, Capt. Stanley Spain and Mr. T. L. Mulhall; timekeepers, Messrs. S. D. McLaren, P. Packham, L. H. Simms and Capt. G. Tufnell. M.C .; umpire. Mr. G. Hawksley.  RACE FOR DUMARESQ CUP. (1922, December 29). Arrow(Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 11. Retrieved from

REGATTA FLAGSHIP AND OFFICIALS. The Newcastle and Hunter River S.S. Co. have placed the S.S. Newcastle at the disposal of the Pittwater Regatta committee for use as a flagship. She will leave Sydney on Friday, December28. and will return on the' following Sunday. Berths may be secured at the company's wharf, covering the three days. The following will act as sailing officials: Starters, Captain S. Spain and W. Douglas; judge, F. S. Adams : timekeepers, T. S. Mulhall and P. P. Packham umpire, G. Hawkesley ; and record-keeper, W. Maund.  THE YACHTSMEN. (1923, December 14). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 7. Retrieved from

Crew and officials on board a spectator vessel, possibly NEWCASTLE, during the Pittwater Regatta - Mr John Roche (front row right, seated on deck) was the honourable secretary of the Pittwater Regatta from 1906 to 1930. Mr F.J.S. Young is also identifiable, second row centre, white suit. The older gentleman standing in front of the lifeboat, bearded and looking away to the left, is Sydney Harbour identity David Carment. This photo is part of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s William J Hall collection. The Hall collection provides an important pictorial record of recreational boating in Sydney Harbour, from the 1890s to the 1930s –  Object no. 00012208

YACHTING  Scotia Wins Basin Cup Yachtsmen- spent r11 day yesterday at sea in the race.: for the Basin Cup, over a course of45 'miles, from Neutral Bay round Lion Island and back. The day was an ideal one, the breeze at the start being light from the east nor'east, but later it' freshened from the north east. An ebb tide 'prevailed, and on the journey back to port there was a rather nasty sea. Front- a flying start Rawhiti led, clearing Sydney Heads at ... 18min, followed by Bona,11.20, -Scotia at 11.35, and Aoma at 11. 38. White Wings also put to sea. but was not timed. Xanoya started, but retired early, and Ocnonc was an absentee. Rawhiti cleared Lion Island at 2.0, Bona 2.20.15, Scotia 2.43.30, Aoma at 2.49, and White Wings at 3.29. Positions were maintained on; the run back, and the finishing times were: Rawhiti, 6hr Omin 2?sec; Bona, C.23.12; Scotia,5.62.37; Aoma, G.4.37; White Wings was not timed. On the handicaps being adjusted the placings were:—Scotia (Douglas Brockhoff), 6&nln, cup valued at 25 guineas Bona (L. R. Patrick), 27mln, £5 ? ,.. 2Rawhiti (E. E. Sayer) scr, £3 ? It was a splendid' achievement for Scotia as it is the second occasion that young Brockhoff has been successful. Hr. was successful in1921-22.A number of yachtsmen followed the race on the flagship Gosford, as- the guests of Mr. S. M. Dempster. Those present included: Messrs. D. Carment, A. Boescn, J. Roche, J.Ferris, Peter Macdonald, J. Gray, E. Hungerford, R. Old, J. T. Pope, J. Buchanan. F. F. Buchanan, S. D. Wnnborn, T. L. Mulhall, P. P. Packham, Hays, Walter Dalgarno, Oscar Lind, Percy Usher, Russell, Marshall, H. Harper, C.T. Brockhoff, .7. St. G. George. Mr. F. Buchanan was the starter and judge, and Mr. John Roche, timekeeper.YACHTING. (1924, February 10). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 12. Retrieved from

Their influences in a literary sense may be seen in those they had access to and those whom they clearly learned much from and whose funerals they attended, George Hawkesly, Bertram Stevens, or the men they sailed with or rubbed elbows with on the harbour. These were men who also formed the beginnings of writers unions and the AJA - Australian Journalist's Association. More on how their aquatic passions wove the hundredth year of New South Wales writings and writers in Part Two - there are small insights under 'Extras'

So which was ‘Lanyard’ – or was it both, Peardon looking out for his younger brother even when they were grown? Or even a sister? Perhaps it is in the word itself – Lanyard - Nautical: a short rope or wire rove through deadeyes to hold and tauten standing rigging. A short rope or gasket used for fastening something or securing rigging. Or even: a white cord worn around the right shoulder, as by a military police officer, and secured to the butt of a pistol. Origin: 1475–85;  blend of late Middle English lanyer  (< Middle French laniere, Old French lasniere  thong, equivalent to lasne  noose + -iere, feminine of -ier -ier2 ) and yard.

The articles written by both these gentlemen are so similar in style, incorporating poetics and facts and names that it seems likely they were among the Double Bay/Rose Bay literati that gave us even our own Dorothea Mackellar. Peardon may have used the ‘Lanyard’ term early on as it would have have been unseemly for a man in Peardon's position to be identified as writing songs about sailing. There was, too, the association between gambling and skiff racing at this time and shortly before it which had besmirched in some ways, a wonderful sport. And one more growing factor which may have seen people deciding to use pen names under 'Gagged Electors' - see below.

Harry clearly had literary aspirations too and may have tired of being called 'Brutus', who, for all his passion and high minded literary sense, did after all, fall on his own sword. As Harry continued sailing, and his son, Clive Brutus was a sailor too decades later when Harry settled with him in Tasmania after his wife passed away, that here too the passion for sails and ‘white wings’ prevailed.

There is between them a sense of collaboration, an attention to details in one, and dreaming in both. However, it was Harry who knew the Taylors and John Roche prior to Peardon and who would quite happily have jumped at a quick and Brief Respite - Our Trip to Broken Bay. His brother most certainly helped him with the details, as did those he met, so perhaps it is more correct to say that one was the 'lan' as given above, and the other was the 'yard'; a cylindrical spar, tapering to each end, slung across a ship's mast for a sail to hang from.

At any rate, a beginning...


1. P. H. Northcott, 'Sutherland, Alexander (1852–1902)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published in hardcopy 1976

IN the SUPREME COURT of the COLONY of VICTORIA: in Insolvency.-In the Estate of WILLIAM PEARDON PEARCE, of Richmond, near the City of Melbourne, in the Colony of Victoria, Contractor.-Notice is hereby given, that the above named William Peardon Pearce intends to apply to the Chief Commissioner of Insolvent Estates for the colony of Victoria, on Monday, the eighth day of October next, at the hour of eleven In the forenoon, that a CERTIFICATE of DISCHARGE, under the Act of Council 7 Victoria, No. 10, be granted to him. Dated this 1st day of  September, A.D. 1860.  Advertising. (1860, September 1). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 3. Retrieved from

MR. P. P. PACKHAM. Mr. Peardon Pearce Packham, who died at Wagga on Thursday, was born at Dunedin,New Zealand, In 1863. Coming; to Sydney as a youth, he joined the New South Wales Public Service. He became chief officer of the Patents Office when it was established, and for a time acted as examiner of patents and registrar of trade marks and copyright in New South Wales. He represented New South Wales at the patents conference held in Melbourne in 1901. He retired from the service, but later rejoined as an officer in the Crown Law Department. At the time of his retirement in 1930 he was librarian in the department. In 1895 he married Miss Helana Ryan, of Wagga. MR. P. P. PACKHAM. (1935, June 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 19. Retrieved from

OBITUARY. MR. P.P. PACKHAM. The numerous friends of Mr. Peardon Pearce Packham will regret to learn of his death early yesterday morning at Lewisham Hospital. The late Mr. Packham was born at Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1863, and was the son of the late Samuel Packham, an engineering contractor. He was educated at Carlton College, Melbourne, when Alexander Sutherland was the principal. Going to Sydney as a youth he joined the New South Wales public service, and later became chief of the then newly established patents office. For a time he was examiner of patents and registrar of trade marks and copyright in the State. He represented New South Wales at the patents conference, held in Melbourne in 1901. After an absence from the service for a time the lateMr. Packham was appointed to a position in the Crown Law Department, and at the time of his retirement in 1930 was librarian.  He was well known in literary circles and was a contributor to the press in Sydney. He was very keenly interested in yachting. In 1895 Mr. Packham married Miss Helena Margaret Ryan of Wagga. Mrs. Packham is well known as the licensee of the Union Club Hotel. Two sons, Clive (Parkes) and Leo (Wagga), also survive. Mr Packham was a most interesting conversationalist and was held in high regard by a large circle of friends in Wagga. The sympathy of the community will be extended to Mrs Packham and her sons in the loss which they have sustained. The body was taken to Sydney last night by train, and the funeral will take place at the Rookwood cemetery at 2 o'clock this afternoon. The carriers at the Wagga railway station yesterday were Messrs. L.  Packham, L. M . Scott,R. Franklin, E. Wilson, J. M'Carthy, R. S. Kenyon, and J. H. Hall. The pall-bearers were Messrs. T. S. Sheekey, W. Hatton, R. G. Nesbitt, C.C. Walsh, . F. S. Middlemiss, H. J. Kennedy, and R. E. Cullen. Among the beautiful wreaths received were tributes from the Wagga Rugby League Waratah Football Club, Magpies Foothall Club, and the Australia Hotel (Mr. L. M. Scott). The funeral arrangements at Wagga were carried outby {Messrs. MCIntosh Bros.; Messrs. Wood Coffill Ltd. will handle the arrangements in Sydney.OBITUARY. (1935, June 28). Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

OBITUARY. MRS. H. M. PACKHAM. The death occurred at Lewisham Private Hospital, Wagga, yesterday of a very old and esteemed resident of Wagga, Mrs.Helena Margaret Packham, of the Union Club Hotel, at the age of 73 years. Last Anzac Day Mrs. Packham unfortunately fell and broke her hip, and had been confined to hospital ever since. She was a very activewoman all her life, and, despite;her age, toik part In many at-!fairs of the city. Mrs. Packham had been associated with the hotel business all her life, and had been with her son in the Union Club Hotel since 1926. Prior to that she was with her parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. John and Mary Ryan, who owned and conducted the Union Club Hotel for many years. She was born in Wagga, and was the widow of the late Mr. Peardon Pearce Packham, who predeceased her in 1935. Mrs.Packham was one of the first students of Mt. Erin Convent, and later attended the Loretto Convent at Ballarat (V.) for several years. During her long life in Wagga Mrs. Packham made many friends and was widely known in Victoria and New South Wales through her business associations. She was an active worker for the Red Cross, the School of Arts and musicales, and was a keen member of the Wagga, Bridge Club. Mrs. Packham is survived by two sons, Messrs. Leo and Clive Packham, both of the Union Club Hotel. The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon, the cortege leaving St. Michael's Cathedral at 2 o'clock for the Wagga cemetery. OBITUARY. (1948, June 14). Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

When Mrs. Perie Packham arrived at the Oceanic Hotel, Coogee, she was agreeably surprised to find some lovely flowers arranged in her room and 'an invitation to see 'Balalaika’ at the Theatre Royal for that evening. Later the party foregathered at the Australia, and wished each other 'all the best for 1938.' Now Mrs Packham is sampling the fishing at Forster, where her son, Mr. Clive Packham, has a fishing camp, but whether she has caught anything outsize has not yet been chronicled. SOCIAL GOSSIP. (1938, January 14). Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

BAKER-PACKHAM. - March 4, 1905, at St. James' Church, Sydney, by the Rev. I. Carr Smith, John  Arthur Charles, only son of the late John Richard Baker, of Shrewsbury, England, and Melbourne, grandson of the late Arthur Brenton Wells, CE.,  and stepson of Eugene C. Amsinck, to Yatala  Adele, youngest daughter of the late Samuel Packham, England, and Melbourne, and Mrs. Elizabeth Packham, Rossdhu, Darlinghurst-road, Sydney. Family Notices. (1905, March 11). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

DEATH OF MR. J. A. BARRY. The death occurred on Saturday morning of Mr. John Arthur Barry, a prominent Journalist, at his residence, Rheingold, Fitzroy-street, North Sydney. Mr. Barry, who established a reputation us a writer of bush and sea stories, was a member of the editorial staff of the "Evening News." He was a native of Torquay, and In 1863, when 13 years of age, was apprenticed to a firm of sailing ship-owners. He secured a chief mate's certificate, but owing to a defect in his eyesight was compelled to retire from a seafaring career after 12 years' service. Mr. Barry was at the Palmer Diggings in 1870,' and subsequently gained a good deal of experience In station life. Once more he returned to the sea, and was employed in steamers and sailing vessels trading on this coast, but responded to the call of the bush in 1879, and accepted a position as station manager. Among his best known stories are "Steve Brown's Bunyip," 1893; "In the Great Deep," 1895; "The Luck of the Native Bom," 1898; "A Son of the Sea," 1899 "Against the Tides of Fate." 1899;"Old and New Sydney," 1901; "Red Lion and Blue Star," 1902. The deceased journalist contributed many sketches to "Chambers' Journal," "Windsor Magazine," "Globe," "Pall Mall Gazette," and the "Graphic," and became connected with the "Evening News" in 1896. DEATH OF MR. J. A. BARRY. (1911, September 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

Walter James Jeffrey. Settling in New South Wales in 1886, Jeffery worked on the Illawarra coalfields, but by October 1887 he had begun a long career with the newspaper empire founded by Samuel Bennett. Employed as a reporter on the Sydney Evening News, he became in 1891 sub-editor of the weekly Australian Town and Country Journal and in 1893 editor. In the thirteen years that he presided over its fortunes the journal circulated widely in New South Wales and was a significant competitor of the more strident Bulletin. From 1906 until his death Jeffery was manager and editor of the Evening News. Under his management the paper made more effort to entertain its readers but did not altogether lose its nickname, the 'Evening Snooze'. In 1918 he played a leading part in the negotiations which transferred control of the News and the Journal from the Bennett family to a public company, S. Bennett Ltd. Widely respected in Australian newspaper circles, he was committed to the Anglo-Australian connexion, and attended the Imperial Press Conference in Ottawa in 1920.

In the early 1890s Jeffery met George Lewis ('Louis') Becke, a writer of sea stories. Between 1896 and 1901 they collaborated on three novels, A First Fleet Family (1896), The Mystery of the Laughlin Islands (1896) and The Mutineer (1898), the last focused on the Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian; a biography of Arthur Phillip (1899); a history, The Naval Pioneers of Australia (1899); and a miscellany, The Tapu of Banderah (1901), which reprinted some of the many sketches and stories contributed to the Fortnightly Review, the Pall Mall Gazette and other journals in London, where Becke was based in 1896-1902. Their correspondence reveals that the partnership was uniformly and unusually harmonious, with Jeffery completing most of the research and preparing initial drafts which Becke reworked and sold to London publishers. On his own account Jeffery also published a novel, The King's Yard (London, 1903), and A Century of our Sea Story (London, 1901), in which solid research and the telling anecdote are fruitfully combined.

In addition to his writings Jeffery compiled for (Sir) William Dixson indexes of references to Australasia in the journals and debates of the House of Commons and to other historical sources. He also campaigned vigorously for a statue of Phillip to be erected and for rescue of the anchor of the Sirius, a First Fleet ship, from the waters around Norfolk Island. He was a trustee of the Public Library of New South Wales in 1908-22. He died of Bright's disease at North Sydney on 14 February 1922 and was buried in the Church of England section of Rookwood cemetery. His wife and one daughter of their seven children survived him.

B. G. Andrews and Sandra Burchill, 'Jeffery, Walter James (1861–1922)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published in hardcopy 1983, accessed online 30 July 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, (MUP), 1983

Death of a Sailor - BREEZY GEORGE HAWKSLEY The remains of one of the best known men in the City's shipping circles were laid to rest in the Waverley cemetery last Saturday. They were those of Mr. George Hawksley, for many years shipping editor of the 'Evening News.' In his youth, George was a third mate in the  merchant service, where he gathered a fund of breezy anecdote which stood him In good stead when he left the bridge of a ship lo join the Inky Way. A big, robust man, with a cheery smile and a wealth of after dinner stories and with a rich bass voice which he knew how to use, Hawksley was one of the Harbour's land-marks. He had a wonderful memory for the names of ships, and was known by every skipper that entered Sydney Harbour for the last quarter century, just as he was known on the Exchange, and in the-shipping offices. He was one of the most versatile writers on the City Press and, although shipping was his speciality, he could turn his hand to anything, especially as a reporter of first-class sport. As a shipping expert, he probably pulled off more 'scoops' than any pressman in the city, and breezy sea articles flowed from his pen as freely as water from a tap. With all his manifold duties, George always found time to devote as an active citizen. He was analderman of the Waverley Municipal Council; a prominent Mason; a member of the Ancient Mariners' Society, and a member and one of the founders of the New South Wales Journalists' Association. High tribute was paid to the late sailor journalist at the funeral, which was attended by representatives of all sections of the community including pressmen. Members of Parliament, city and suburban aldermen, heads of the shipping offices, navigation department, the Exhange, police; progress associations; sporting bodies, warehouses and churches. An Impressive service was conducted at deceased’s home and at the graveside by Rev, J. Macauley, M.A.; and a Masonic service was conducted by Wor. Bro. H. G, Robinson, of Harmony. Thus was laid to rest, within sound of the roaring sea-spray he loved so well, a sailor, journalist and citizen. 'Echo' Joins with the community In extending its sympathies to the bereaved family.Death of a Sailor. (1925, December 4). The Blue Mountain Echo (NSW : 1909 - 1928), p. 9. Retrieved from

OBITUARY. MR. GEORGE HAWKSLEY. Alderman George Hawksley, of the Waverley Council, who was a well-known Sydney Pressman, died at his residence at Bronte yesterday morning. He had been ill for several weeks, but was on duty last week. Except for a period of four years, during which he was attached to a Newcastle newspaper, Mr. Hawksley had been a member of the staff of the Sydney "Evening News" since 1889. He was interested in many activities outside his profession. Besides being an alderman, he was president of the N.S.W. branch of the Australian Journalists' Association, a vice-president of the N.S.W.  branch of the Institute of Journalists a member of the Kuringai Chase Trust, and a prominent Freemason. He was a supporter of the Boy Scouts' Association. Always a sporting enthusiast, he was a keen footballer in his younger days.  Mr. Hawksley was educated at the Sydney Boys' High School. He leaves a widow (who is a daughter of Alderman E. M. Clark, of North Sydney) and two sons. OBITUARY. (1925, November 28). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 18. Retrieved from - HAWKSLEY, George (1875-1925), son of George HAWKSLEY and Mary REID; married 1902 Sydney to Agnes Mary Mason Ronald Mann CLARK. Picture: POPULAR JOURNALIST.(1925, November 28). Evening News(Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 1. Retrieved from

OBITUARY. ALDERMAN G. HAWKSLEY. The large crowds which assembled at Stretton, Nelson Bay-road, Bronte, his late residence, and at the Waverley Cemetery, where his remains were Interred on Saturday afternoon, bore eloquent testimony to the esteem In which the late Alderman George Hawksley, the well-known Sydney Journalist, was held. The Rev. J. Macaulay, who officiated at a short service at the house, and also at the graveside, said that in his work as a pressman, in his social and Masonic activities, in his civic life, and above all in his home life, George Hawksley had always tried to be a true mate to all. His fellow pressmen in Sydney had recognised him always as one who desired to give a helping hand, and many of the younger pressmen owed much to his friendly advice.

In his Masonic Lodges he was regarded with the greatest esteem, and the brethren of Lodge Harmony and Lodge Literature, with which he had been prominently associated, gathered at the graveside in large numbers. There were also many representatives from the Lodges In Randwick, Coogee, Clovelly, Bronte, and Waverley, and at the conclusion of the service by Mr. Macaulay a full Masonic burial was accorded the deceased brother, Wor. Bro. Robinson, of the Australian Lodge Harmony, carrying out the ceremony.

The principal mourners were Mrs. Hawksley (widow). Geoff and Bryan (sons), Mrs. Hawksley, (mother), Mr. J. Hawksley (brother), Mrs. Atkinson, Mrs. E. W. Barnes, and Mrs. Hutchinson (sisters), Miss Atkinson (niece),Messrs. J. H. and G. Hawksley (nephews),Mrs. J. H. Hilder (cousin), Alderman E. M.Clark (father-in-law), Mrs. C. Wilson, Mrs. W. Woolland, Mr. E. W. Barnes, Mr. W. Woolland, Mr. F. Wilson, Mr. J. Hutchinson, Mr. E. E. Atkinson.

The whole of the staffs of the "Evening News" were fully represented. Mr. Keith Bennett represented the directors, and others present from the staffs were Messers. K. O. Knox (managing editor), G. H. Goddard, W. Hands, F. Coleman, A. M. Pooley, G. L. Dwyer, W. A. O'Carroll, H. E. Young, E. J. Dempsey, A. G. Campbell, E. Collis, Harpur, S. Ferguson, H. Lindsay, R. Taylor, W. Lawson, C. Evans, J. W. Long, W. Moloney, E. Lacey, J. Dillon, A. Cook, H. Henley, L. Buckley, E. Selby, Payne, J. T. Watson, E. J. Hull, O. S. Benjamin, G. McKinnon, M. Mackie, Konny, Underwood, R. N. Ferguson, W. D.Fraser, G. A. Hills, A. Spence, N. Herbert, L. Lindsay, F. H. Cumberworth, and W. Henderson.

Others present were Messrs. C. Brunsdon Fletcher (president), T. Spencer and W. Farmer Whyte (vice-presidents) representing the Institute of Journalists, Messrs. A. Mitchell, W. Stirling, A. Wallace, W. A. Redmond, T. Gurr, J. Birch, W. F. L. Bailey, F. T. Smart, C. A. Lee, and G. Edgecumbe (secretary) representing the Australian Journalists' Association, Messrs. P. S. Allen, F. W Pile, F. Pascoe, R. Higgins (representing the "Sydney Morning Herald"), Mr. D. J. Stewart(representing the "Sydney Mail"), Messrs. J.R. Wallace (director), W. O'Neill, D. J. Quinn, and W. Somerville (representing the "Daily Telegraph"), Messrs. H. Mansell and G. N. Beunott (representing the "Sun"), Messrs. Auberry (representing Mr. A. S. Spedding), C.Lee, C. Nicholls, and J. Rodgers (representing the "Labour Daily"), Messrs. J. Dick  and Hamilton (representing the "Daily Guardian"), Mr. R. J. Moses ("Smith's Weekly"), Mr. J. H. Earnshaw ("Shipping News"),Mr. F. S. Boyce, M.L.C., Mr. R. E. O'Halloran, M.L.A., Mr. A. E. Cleary (Sydney Harbour Trust), Captains Peters (Morts Dock), Phillips (Union S.S. Co.), S. G. Green, and H. Rudder (Burns, Philip, and Co., Ltd.), Arkley Smith (League of Ancient Mariners), Messrs. W. Hunter (Australian Commonwealth line), A. Davidson (David Jones, Ltd., and Lodge Bronte), A. O'Connor (Bronte Progress Association), Ken. Charlton, W. Niland, G. Barrow, M. J. McCarthy, D. McCarthy, J. Corbitt, D. Levy (Clovelly Scouts, Parents and Supporters' Association), J. H. Hilder, C. T.Burfitt (Historical Society), Captain Brodie, Dr. F. Antill Pockley, Commander Spain, the Rev. A. J. B. King, Mr. A. Griffiths (Kuringgai Park Trust), the Mayor (Alderman Kavanngh), aldermen, town clerk, and startsof the Waverley Municipal Council, Alderman J. A. Bardon (Randwick Municipal Council),Dr. E. G. Byrne, Mr. E. J. Coote (Messrs Angus and Coote), Messrs. F. P. Packham and J. O'Grady (representing the Department of Justice and the Attorney-General’s Department), Mr. J. H. Davies (Government Savings Bank), Supt. Mankey, Inspector Spyer, Messrs.W. Hunt (Commercial Travellers' Association), Nobles Carter, H. Ford, F. S. Spurway, C. Duncan, Stavert, and others. OBITUARY. ALDERMAN G. HAWKSLEY. (1925, November 30).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from

JOURNALISTS- ASSOCIATION. Some months ago the question of the formation of a branch in Sydney of the Australian Journalists' Association was put to the New South Wales Institute of Journalists. A meeting was called, at which it was decided to take a vote of the members on the subject, the proposals including one to merge the N.S.W. Institute into the branch or the A.J.A. that was to be formed. There was another proposal that those voting should agree to join the A.J.A., quite apart from the institute. Tho first was negatived, but the proposal to form a branch of the association was Indicated as having been favourably received. A meeting convened recently was attended by 50 newspaper men, and the branch was formed. Forty-seven of those present voted for it, the objections coming from those who hold to the recently-formed Writers and Artists' Union as the most desirable association for press-men to join. The Sydney branch of the Australian Journalists' Association now has a membership of 112, the majority, it not all, of whom are connected with the daily and weekly journals of the metropolis. The number is still increasing. Formal acceptance of the district branch has been given by the council of the A.J.A., the headquarters of which are in Melbourne, Tomorrow at noon a meeting is to be held at the rooms of the Institute of Journalists to elect officers. JOURNALISTS' ASSOCIATION. (1911, May 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from

THE GAGGED ELECTORS. One result of the Federal election has been to accumulate In newspaper offices a mass of correspondence bearing upon the Issues before the people; but signed by the writers with pen-names, these were all futile letters 'to the editor,' because the publication of election comment without the name and address of the writer would have male the newspaper liable to a fine of £60 in each case. This will give the public a clear Idea of the effect of the provision for signed articles embodied In the Electoral Act. It did not prevent Journalists were sufficient to meet the various exigencies without placing any Journalist In a false position or burdening him with undue personal responsibility. But private citizens, who constitute the treat bulk of the public, were effectually gagged, as the mass of unpublished letter, testifies. The smothering of the voice of the people was the object declared by the Labor Party when, in 1911, It Incorporated that objectionable clause In the Electoral Act. The National Party is, however, now In power, and It will fail In Its duty to the electors If It does sot repeal this provision.[Written to express the views of the 'Evening News.' by E H. Cottis., 49 Market Street. Sydney.] THE GAGGED ELECTORS. (1919, December 16). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from

THE LATE MR. STEVENS. FUNERAL AT SOUTH HEAD. A large gathering of mourners yesterday attended the funeral of Mr. Bertram Stevens, which took place at South Head Cemetery. The service of the Church of England was read by the Rev. J. H. Cherry, of Watson's Bay. Many beautiful wreaths were laid upon the grave.

The Vicar-General (the Ven. Archdeacon G.D'Arcy-Irvine), in the course of an address, said:—"We meet today at the graveside of one whose name will be remembered for years to come in Australia and beyond her borders. He was one whose heart was very large—always ready to help young writers forward along a path where setbacks are many and along which there are always some ready to frown. Our friend, on the contrary, always offered the beginner his helpful aid, and readily assisted the development of merit. Others know even better than I the great personal interest he took in this giving of encouragement to young writers.Indeed, he belonged to all, and will continue to belong to Australia. And now he has passed, leaving, as we believe, an imperishable name in the history of our young country."

Among the mourners were the three brothers of Mr. Stevens, and his two sons (Garnet and Brian), Messrs. S. Ure Smith, Harry Julius, Albert Collins, Henry Lawson, J. Abbott, Roderick Quinn, Louis Stone, Greegan McMahon, Frank Weston, Will Ashton, A. G. Stephens, Martin Stainforth, G. Taylor, Dowell O'Reilly, Arthur Adams, T. R. Bavin, M.L.A.,H. S. Nicholas, John and Will Dalley, Rod. Thomas, Norman Carter, Percy Lindsay, John D. Moore, Les Robinson, W. J. Richards, J.O'Brien, W. R. Charlton, Ernest Blackwell, Frank Jones, Ernest O'Farrell, H. B. Bignold, Leon Gellert, C. Lloyd Jones, J. L. Forsyth, H. Daniel, E. J. Hyde, G. Dwyer, R. T. Hilder, Claude McKay, T. L. Kenway, Eric Birks, John Lane Mullins, M.L.C., Arthur Jones, J. Tyrrell, Camden Morrisby, G. H. Godsell, Arthur McQuitty, Ken. Austin, D. H. Soutar, S. Burton, F. H. Day, Frank Wilkinson, G. V. F.Mann, Ernest Watt, H. W. Hemsworth, J. N. Bell, W. S. Grubb, Harry Palmer, J. F. Clack, G. H. Patterson, P. P. Packham, T. J. Houghton, and W. O. Richards. The council of the New South Wales Institute of Journalists, of which Mr. Stevens was a vice-president, was represented by Mr. D. J. Stewart. THE LATE MR. STEVENS. (1922, February 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

Bertram William Mathyson Francis Stevens (1872-1922), literary and art critic, was born on 8 October 1872 at Inverell, New South Wales, eldest child of William Mathyson Stevens, an English-born storekeeper, and his wife Marian, née Cafe, from Queanbeyan. By 1882 the family had moved to Newtown, Sydney; he was educated at public schools. 

A founding member of the Dawn and Dusk Club in 1899 and of the Casuals Club in 1906, Bert was, as Lawson remarked, 'a Bohemian at heart', but 'didn't look the part, and couldn't speak the lines very well. He could relax with the rest of us, but he couldn't be reckless'. Stevens helped sundry ill and needy writers and their families. In 1903 he advised Bertha Lawson to seek a decree for judicial separation from Henry; he was later a force behind schemes to rehabilitate Henry at Mallacoota and Yanco. After John Farrell's death Stevens edited Farrell's My Sundowner and Other Poems (1904) and arranged government assistance for the family. As Victor Daley's literary executor, he edited Daley's verse as Wine and Roses (1911) and raised £30 for his widow which encouraged Alfred Deakin to form the Commonwealth Literary Fund. 

From and see more at: Ken Stewart, 'Stevens, Bertram William Mathyson Francis (1872–1922)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published in hardcopy 1990

'RPAYC' on life-ring - Image No. 0011775, courtesy Australian National Maritime Museum. 



''Heave O, my lads, and hearty,

The rolling seas we'll rove;

From port to port we'll wander, 

men steer for Sydney Cove.'

In the old days, when the waters of Rushcutters Bay  ebbed and flowed to and from the margin of West's Bush, and blacks made their camps at Rose Bay, and the surrounding country was dense with scrub and bracken, when St. Leonards reigned alone on the northern shore of the harbor, and the territory between the picturesque Parramatta and the fairy bowers of Lane Cove was rough, and unknown land save to a few, yachting was to Sydneysiders the favorite sport and the most popular recreation. And throughout the succeeding years which have witnessed the transformation of the bush lands into the populous suburbs of the harbor city the wholesome sport of sailing has claimed its fair share of devotees, notwithstanding the call of numerous other pastimes with all their excitement and attraction. And surely it could not have been otherwise, for Sydney harbor, with its islets, its estuaries and coves, and almost countless little bays, is a yachtsman's paradise. Many accounts have been written of this wonderful harbor, but it has never been adequately described. As no painting could present the whole of it, with its hundreds of miles of foreshores, so no mere pen picture could do it justice. Since Phillip sent his famous dispatch to Lord Sydney : 'I have had the satisfaction of finding the finest harbor in the world, in which a thousand sail of the line may ride in perfect safety,' this marvellously beautiful work of Nature has been a favorite theme with poets and writers of prose; but, like the personality mirrored in a charmingly expressive face, it defies Art. Those of us who have lived any considerable length of time by the shores of Port Jackson may imagine the wonder of Phillip and his men when they first viewed the scene in its virgin splendor. Less than thirty years ago much of the northern shore, from Middle Head to Neutral Bay, was still in its native state, while there were few' buildings between Point Piper and the Hornsby light.- Garden Island remained a bijou spot, in keeping with its name, and the bays beyond Balmain preserved their indigenous growths. But late years and the hand of man have wrought a mighty change. And yet, changed and all as it is, the noble harbor maintains its reputation for beauty.


In the long ago the country for miles around Sydney abounded in wild fowl, and the yachtsmen of the day on their excursions carried their guns as well as their fishing tackle, and the boats would return laden with game and fish. Between Manly and Pittwater was a great hunting ground, and the swamps around Botany provided excellent 'shooting. The earliest yachting in the harbor was furnished by the boats of the ships which visited the port. For racing purposes these boats were fitted with false keels to enable them to standup against a breeze, and the ships' crews, who originated the competitions, went to no end of trouble to increase the sailing qualities of their craft.' Short races in the neighborhood of the vessels were the order of the day, but these supplied salubrious sport and good-fellowship. The first privately-owned yacht in Sydney, we are told, was built for Mr. Robert Campbell, of Campbell's Wharf, in 1827. She was an open boat of about three tons, and carried sliding gunter sails. She was soon followed by the Eclipse, a 6-tonner, built for another member of 'the Campbell family, and a capacious pleasure boat. By 1836 there was quite a flotilla of pleasure and rowing boats, and in that year an association of yachtsmen was formed. Among the original members of this historic association were Mr. Barton Bradley, who owned a boat named the Swallow, and who was the commodore; Mr. James Milson, whose racer in those days was the Sophia; and Mr. John Ritchie, who owned the Ariel.


But the first official regatta eventuated as far back, as April 28, 1827, under the auspices of Captain Stirling, of H.M.S. Success, and Captain Rouse, of H.M.S. Rainbow. The Success was the flagship, and the band of the 57th Regiment, then stationed in New South Wales, played dance and other music on board for the pleasure of the guests of that auspicious day. It is stated that crowds of people — what a handful they would seem now — collected on Dawes Point and Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair to witness the races. The program consisted of one sailing and two rowing races. The first of these was over a course from Sydney Cove, round the Sow and Pigs and back, and the breeze was so light that the race, ?which was won by Lieutenant Preston's Black Swan, was not finished till late in the evening, and aftermost of the holiday-makers had returned to their homes. Among the possessor of well known Sydney- names at that regatta of the past, and the early days of this State, were Dr. Bland, Captain Piper, Mr. D'Arcy Wentworth, Captain Green, Mr. Richard Jones, and Captain Boyd.


The first Anniversary Regatta was held in1837, when the Colony reached its 49th year. The program contained races for both first and second class sailing boats. A. Mr. Looke was the most successful yacht builder in these parts in those times. He built Sophia for Mr. Milson, and a boat of the sliding gunter type, called North Star, for Mr. Harry Sawyer. These two boats were the cracks of the harbor. At the first regatta Sophia carried her owner's colors to victory, but the following year her rival turned the tables on her and won the big event. The first big yacht to make her appearance in Port Jackson was the Petrel, a roomy schooner, built by Brown, of Neutral Bay, in the 'thirties, for Messrs. Lord and Evans, of the Bank of New South Wales. She was staunch enough for ocean voyages, and her owners frequently took her cruises along the coast. She was not a racer; indeed, there were no boats at first to compete with her, so she cruised in and out of the bays of the port, and went her voyages on the Pacific seeking :

'A wet sheet and a flowing sea,

A wind that follows fast

And fills the white and rustling sails, 

And bends the gallant mast.' 


In the regatta of 1839 no fewer than seventeen boats started in the first-class yacht race. These included Haidee, owned by Mr. George Thornton. When the yachts were off  Shark Point they were struck by a southerly buster, and Haidee capsized and sank. Five out of her crew of six, including Mr. Thornton's brother, were drowned. About the same year another boat was capsized off Bradley's Head with fatal results. So in those early days the harbor claimed its toll, and local yachting found no beginnings without a heavy cost. It was in 1840 that Green, of the Parramatta, built the Friendship, she was a 12-ton decked boat, and meant for cruising, but Mr. James Milson bought and raced her, and in her day she was a champion. In the period of her success she was sliding-gunter rigged, but afterwards Mr. Milson converted her into a cutter, and put a cabin in her to improve her for cruising purposes. The new rig, however, interfered with her speed, and finally she had to forfeit pride of place to Mr. Thornton's Champion. The early 'forties welcomed another schooner, the Pearl, a 40-tonner, to the fleet of Sydney's pleasure craft. She was built for Messrs. Randolph Want and J. H. Challis, and was a splendid specimen of the boat-builder's skill. In her her owners went tar afield, and used to venture as far south as Wollongong and the shores of Illawarra. By the advent of the fifties there was a considerable fleet of yachts in the harbor, and sailing was the first among the local sports. In '55 Mr. Milson, who had been on a visit Home, as the Old Country was then called, returned, and with him he brought the Mischief, a 12-ton cutter. This was the first English built yacht to sail the waters of Port Jackson, and she came out with a reputation for speed, for she had won many races before her voyage south. And in Sydney she was famous. The next importation was the Surprise, which was owned and races successfully by Mr. Burt. Another boat from across the seas that showed up about the same time was the Presto, of 21 tons. She was American — the first centreboard boat to grace the harbor. Later on Mr. James Milson had the first Era brought from England. She was shipped in frames, and pieced together in Sydney. Era's early rival, was a boat — the Annie Ogle — built by Captain Rouhttee. In the first race in which they met the breeze was light and variable, and the latter won. But later, when they met again in a good stiff blow from the north-east, Era proved her superiority.


In 1856 the Sydney Yacht Club was formed. Mr. Hutchison Brown was the first commodore. And so from the smallest of beginnings the yachting of Sydney harbor grew year by year till in the later 'fifties the fleet contained, besides the fine sailers already mentioned, boats such as Mr. Ross Donnelly's 40-ton schooner Boomerang, Mr. Weiland's English cutter Ariel, Mr. Ralph Owen's 25-tonner Sylph, Mr. Thornton's Avenger, a 28-ton schooner built in Brisbane, and sailed from Moreton Bay to Port Jackson, the English-built Enchantress, of 20 tons, the Vivid, of 40 tons, and the 15 ton Why Not. Truly a fine showing for so short a period. And then, too, there was a fleet of small open boats of no mean proportions. These, then, were the substantial foundations of sailing as a sport and a recreation among our people. It is small wonder with such, and the great natural advantages afforded by the harbor, that Sydney ranks among the foremost yachting communities of the world. Genesis of Sydney Yachting. (1916, March 22). Referee(Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 16. Retrieved from



There is an Island fair, set in a Southern sea. 

Recently it was my good fortune to visit Hobart. The s.s. Ulimaroa, on which I was a passenger, rounded Cape Raoul, with its wonderful 'organ-pipe'formations, at six o'clock in the morning. When I went on deck the sun was just topping the horizon under a canopy of purple cloud flecked with crimson,and casting rays of golden splendor upon the shores of Bruni Island in the distance on our port side. 

"The sun came up from the ocean red with the cold sea mist, And smote on the limestone ridges, and the shining tree-tops kissed.'' 

To starboard, to the east, spread the jagged, irregular coast of Tasman's Peninsula. We were in Storm Bay, and within the wide, open arms of land that stretch out to the southward in the ocean as a guide and as if extending welcome to Hobart Harbor that lies within. Mount Wellington, like some mighty fortressed temple of the gods standing in majestic pride in guardianship over the port at its feet, with its neighboring hills, loomed splendid in the soft light of the morning in the North. In half an hour or so we were abreast of Derwent Lighthouse, familiarly called the Iron Pot, with Betsy Island to the right.Two ketches outward bound under full spread of canvas added to the brilliancy and spirit of the scene.Then the good ship forged her way between a long, narrow strip of land,shaped in the form of a hook with a spear-head at the foot, known as South Arm, and the entrance, to Brown's River on the western: shore. Later, passing between Mount Nelson, with its signal station, and Droughty or North Arm,we were in the estuary of the Derwent, or Hobart Harbor a broad expanse of water several miles in length and in

S.S. ULIMAROA - 1919; courtesy State Library of Victoria, Image no.: 068147, (Transporting troops at the end of World War I. From; Brodie Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.)

Sydney Yachting Enthusiast's Rhapsody:

A few days after my arrival for the first time saw the magnificent panorama, viewed from the heights of Mount Wellington.What a scene ! What a marvellously enchanting picture!.Some travellers, say it is the finest view In the world, and included in this Is Hobart Harbor,with its connecting and neighboring waters, hundreds of square miles in area, in labyrinthine entanglement with the shore. { 'Below the mountain and its buttress, Knocklofty, the River Derwent flows past the city to its' broad estuary leading between the hills to the blue waters of Storm Bay, and the South Pacific Ocean in the amethystine distance.-...breadth, with a depth of 60. feet at low tide at the wharves on the city front.All along, on either side of the harbor, the hills are dotted with dwellings,and chequered with paddocks under cultivation, orchards, pasture lands, and woodlands, with here and there thickly timbered patches until the suburbs with their many colored and frequently magnificent residences are reached — Sandy Bay, over and beyond the light Blinking Billy, on the western shore, and Bellerive on the eastern side.The River Derwent fringes trie city,and the Domain, Botanical Gardens, and Government House, with its spacious grounds, on the east. Lindisfarne, a suburb, is on the opposite shore, and further up stream, below Mount Direction, is Risdon Cave, the site of the first settlement in -1803. ,A few days after my arrival in Tasmania, I, for the first time, saw the magnificent panorama viewed from the heights of Mount Wellington. What a scene !. What a marvellously enchanting picture! Some travellers say it isthe finest view in the world, and included in this is Hobart Harbor, with its connecting and neighboring waters, hundreds of square miles in area, in labyrinthine entanglement with the shore. Below the mountain and its buttress Knocklofty, the River Derwent flows past the city to its broad estuary leading between the hills to the blue waters of Storm Bay, and the South Pacific Ocean in the amethystine distance.


To the right of the mountain, thousands of feet beneath the range, and mixed up with Bruni Island and the mainland, are North-West Bay, Barnes Bay, D'Entrecastreaux Channel, and Adventure Bay, where Captain Cook found anchorage in 1777. Then beyond the estuary, to the east and south, are Ralph's Bas and the wide deep waters of Frederick Henry Bay, with its canal at East Bay Neck leading to the East Coast of the Island. Beyond again, in the dim distance, but still within Tasman's Peninsula, is Norfolk Bay. Right across from Bellerive, behind Mount Rumney, and to the north of Frederick Henry Bay, the sapphire of Pittwater scintillates in the sunshine. Over the hills beyond Sorell, at the head of Pittwater, are seen the peaks of Maria Island, some fifty miles distant.In all these waters is abundance offish and oysters, scallops, and other bivalves in plenty. They say there are no sharks. Yachting, sailing, camping,and fishing are much in favor among the residents, and each of the harbor bays possesses its flotilla of sailing and other craft. Ideal camping places abound within easy distance of the city and among the coves of the bays farther away.Strangely enough, .although, since the early days of colonisation, sailing has always been a favorite sport with the Hobart people, and regattas were held on the harbor as far back a the thirties,the first local sailing club was not formed until comparatively recent years. The Derwent Sailing Boat Club, which was the earliest association of its kind in Tasmania, was the outcome of a meeting of boating enthusiasts held at Battery Point in June, 1874, when Mr. J. W. Tarleton was elected commodore, and Mr. A. T. Stewart vice-commodore. The Yacht Club, which, became the ROYAL YACHT CLUB OF 1910, was established in 1880, when Sir J. H. Lefroy, who was its patron, was the Governor of the island. The first officers were : Commodore, Captain H.J. Stanley, R.N. ; vice-commodore, H.S. Barnard ; hon. secretary, H. W.Calder; hon. treasurer, C. E. Webster;committee, A. W. Hume, W. Duffy, F.P. Wilson, and C. E. Webster. At first there were only four yachts on the register. Mr. C. E. Webster's Kittiwake,Mr. H. W. Calder's Syren, Mr. Fred Turner's Lilla, and Mr. A. Turner's Imp,all of which were I small boats. The following year saw the number of yachts on the register increased to nine. The new boats included Mr. H. W. Knight's Terra Linna, of the 28ft. class and whaleboat type, pointed at each end, and a very successful winner of trophies in her day. In 1884 Mr. A. G. Webster, who a few years before had ' bought the yacht Ella, built by Dan Stanley of Woolloomooloo Bay, Sydney, was elected commodore, Mr. C. E. Webster hon. secretary, and Mr. H. W. Knight hon. treasurer. In 1887 there were twenty-two yachts on the club's register, and much racing and keen sport were' indulged in by the members. Among the yachts of that period were : 'Whirlwind, Avenge, Ella, Mabel, Magic, Myrine, Edith,Milly, Hilda, 28-footers, and the Echo,Cygnet, Marie,, Daphne, Vega, Frolic,Claretta, Venus, Gladys, and Mischief,21-footers. In 1891 Mr. H. W. Knight succeeded Mr. Webster as commodore.


It was in 1890 that the famous yacht Volant was launched. She was built by John Lucas for, and to a model by, Mr.H. T. Dennc. She holds a unique place in Australian yachting as a - first-prize taker, and indeed her achievements entitle her to a gilt edged page in the history of yachting. The club house contains a picture of some of Volant's many trophies. , '. In 1898 the first of the great 100 miles ocean races round Bruni Island took place under the aegis of the club. These races have since become a feature of,and hold a high place in, Southern yachting, and are. not the less popular in that the whole of tile big course is within the view to be obtained on the mountains near Hobart.During the first decade of the century the club progressed by leaps and bounds,the commodore's pennant being flown in turn by Messrs. W. J. Watchorn, O. R.Tinning, G. A. Roberts, and P. C. Douglas. Another well-known and enthusiastic members who rendered the club valuable service during its early and later, days were Mr. J. W. Syme, who offered a prize of £100 for a yacht rate at an Intercolonial Regatta in the early eighties.- Mr. John Colvin, a keen sportsman and a chronicler of yachting, Mr.W. B.Townley, Captain M. McArthur, the esteemed harbor master, Mr. Alex Harley, who designed the Leighretta, Mr. A. Blore, Mr. Arthur Williams, Mr.Alex Hume, Mr. W. Guesdon, owner in the old days of Kearsage, and Mr. Frank H. Oldham.


In 1913 the flag officers of the club were Mr. P. C. Douglas, commodore;Mr. W. F. Darling, vice-commodore;and Mr. D. Barclay, junior rear commodore; and it was on March 3 of that year that the Governor, Sir Harry Barron, opened the new club house, which is owned by the club, and occupies a fine building at the corner of Davey and Harrington streets, close to the heart of the City of Hobart.On the ground-floor of the club house are a well-appointed hall, with broad stairway leading to the rooms above, a strangers' room, lounge-bar, and sitting,writing and committee rooms.Upstairs, under a high roof, are the billiard-room, members' lounge, and the refreshment room. All the rooms are furnished in excellent taste, but not at the expense of comfort. The walls are adorned with many pictures of famous'yachts and yachtsmen. A picture in colors called Life, representing a boat under sail in a sea, is deservedly thought much of by members, and is remarkable in that, whether looked at from the right or the left, the boat appears to be in the same sailing position in the water, that is, sailing away from the onlooker. Distributed about the rooms,too, are many handsome and valuable trophies, including' the Nellie Smith Cup,the Tasmanian 21-footers' Challenge Clip, the Challenge Shield, and the Cup presented by Sir Thomas Lipton. Including newspapers and literature,in the form of magazines and other periodicals, the club house is provided with many good things. But best of all the guest appreciates the unmistakable welcome he receives . from the members,who at once place him on a footing with themselves, and complete his programme with invitations. The visiting yachtsman is made to regard the clubhouse as his own for the time being,and, when he leaves Hobart to feel that he has been the recipient of a very liberal hospitality.


In 1914, Mr. W. F. Darling became commodore, and Mr. O. R. Tinning vice-commodore, Mr. Barclay, . Jnr., remaining rear-commodore. But in 1916 Mr. Darling retired, and the present Commodore, Mr. O. R. Tinning, was appointed for the second time. Mr. Tinning, who is famous among Australian yachtsmen, has continually held office in the club, either as a flag-officer ora committee-man for about 28 years. In his time he has owned and been associated with a number of yachts. His flagship to-day is a new yawl, the Valkyrie, , a handsome cruising boat of some 43 feet. Mr. E. A. Bennison, the vice commodore, was appointed also in 1916. He is another old and experienced officer of the club, and, of course, an enthusiastic yachtsman. He is the owner of the motor boat, Lady Betty,in which he does considerable cruising.The present rear-commodore is Mr.W. T. Beddome, who succeeded Mr. G.S. Crisp in 1919. Mr. Beddome owns Marina, a fine auxiliary yawl, and is also an 'old hand,' and expert sailing man. Mr. J. C. Gillott is the energetic and genial secretary of the club. He succeeded Mr. . W. E. Taylor in 1919. Mr. H. J. Townley is the capable assistant secretary, who has charge of the yachting side of affairs.During the war the club did its 'bit'with characteristic thoroughness. Out of a membership of 180 no fewer than 68 members went to the fighting line, the first member to lose his life at the front being Mr. D. Barclay, Jnr., who was rear-commodore, and a sportsman of the first rank. Yacht racing was suspended, and all the energies of the club were devoted to the cause of King and Country. It was during this period(in 1917) that Messrs. H. W. Knight and W. J. Gibson were elected life members for services rendered to the club.


Since peace was declared, and yachting came into its own again, things have prospered with the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. The number of members now on the roll is about 160,while there are 35 boats on the club's register. Last season the club organised 22 races, and the cash prizes, beside . valuable trophies and pennants,amounted to the substantial sum of £143. Four classes of races are held under the auspices of the club— the one design class, which include the yachts Weene, Pilgrim, Canobie and Vanity;A Class, which' includes Verona, Elf and Ootea; B Class, which includes Hedpa, Ventura, Crescent and Janet; and C Class, which includes Zonia, Star, Latona, Coe, Nautilus and Wingara. The winners ' of the respective champion pennants for the season were Weene,Elf, Redpa, and Zonia. At the annual distribution of club prizes in Hobart recently the commodore, who was in the chair, said that Mr. George Cheverton had presented the club with a block of land on the waterfront, at Sandy Bay, as a site for a club-shed, to be run as a branch of the club house. Mr. Tinning also said that, owing to the present high cost of building boats of a larger type, the question was being considered of creating a new dingy class for the benefit of the younger generation, and that he would undertake to provide a boat of the suggested type if several others would each do the same. Sydney Yachting Enthusiast's Rhapsody:. (1921, November 23). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 9. Retrieved from and HOBART HARBOR AND THE R.Y.C. OF TASMANIA. (1921, November 23). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 9. Retrieved from

 The Derwent Hunter at the Domain slip (Hobart) ca. 1900 with yachts in background, TAHO Ref: NS1013174.