Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sepia Saturday: On the wharf

OK. What photos are there in our family's albums matching this week's Sepia Saturday theme?

First of all a photo taken in the early 1980s. There's me with my family on the main wharf in Portland harbour on Victoria's south coast. That's our car in the background and I wonder if anyone can casually drive onto the wharf like that now.

Portland, Victoria c1983
And see that little blondie in the middle? Here she is a few years later, on a flooded dam on our property, with a raft she and her siblings built. I look at this photo now and wonder what we were thinking, allowing them on that without life jackets! Ship ahoy.

Gemma having fun on the farm dam, 1980s.
On a more serious note, at an earlier time. In February 1918 my husband's grandfather, Roy Phelan, enlisted in the Australian army and embarked on the ship 'Nestor' for Europe. As you can imagine, the departure of a shipload of soldiers was always a big event - a sad event but exciting. The ribbons stretched and broke as the ship left the wharf.

The 'Nestor' departs Melbourne February 1918 with troops aboard bound for Europe.
Twenty years later, in 1937, in happier times. Roy Phelan was on another ship in Melbourne's harbour, the 'Orcades', with his wife and brother Gib and sister Ina. They were about to leave for a holiday in Tasmania and again the streamers are in evidence.

Roy (in the tall hat), Annie, Gib and Ina, on board the 'Orcades', Melbourne, 1937.
Do they still have streamers when passenger ships depart?


  1. Life on the wharf is wonderful!

  2. I was wondering about those streamers too. I bet the environmentalists have called a halt to all that because fish have choked to death on them. Just my guess.

  3. Love those streamers. About fifteen years ago my father left on a very small sailing boat to sail to New Zealand from Brisbane. We saw him off down near the botanic gardens in the city as he rowed out to the boat. We still chucked streamers! And he came back to us safely. Phew!

  4. I can remember driving onto Portland wharf - and seeing a ship stacked with sheep for live export! Is that car a Monaro? We had a Kingswood.
    I must take streamers when I go with mum on the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise in February!

    1. The car was a Holden Sunbird - a real lemon:)

    2. But we do have an HQ Kingswood in our garage waiting to be done up. My opinion is that the space could be better used:) Mr Boobook is very fond of it.

  5. I have such a streamers picture in my mind from my youth, but I think it must be imagined, as I don't think I ever saw such a scene.

  6. If ever I see anyone off on a sea cruise, I'll be sure to have streamers. The picture of the ship with soldiers headed for Europe had a sense of excitement to it. What times those were.

  7. An interesting array of old boats. The ship full os servicemen saying goodbye is exciting but sad. o many didn't come back. I don't think they have streamers anymore. They are mostly cruise boats rather than methods of transport.

  8. Gosh what a spunk that rafter was. Wonder if she is still as fashionable?
    Gee you look like anne in that photo - if only you would get your hair cut short like that now!! Look at dad's potbelly!!

  9. We weren't so tied up with health and safety in the 80s were we? I'm sure you'd have leaped in to save her should the need have arisen!

  10. Good to see the rafter enjoying herself. H&S has put a stop to to so (too) much.

  11. The things I did as a child, I would never let my children do now. Amazing that I am still here today!

    I recently went on a Genealogy Cruise but no streamers unfortunately. It would be considered littering today.

  12. A lovely collection of family photographs. My favourite the poignant 1918 one, when you think what those men were going to - and how many returned safe and well.

  13. The Nestor pic is a great one, most gripping;
    but I still prefer the circumstances on the Orcades!!
    You're not joking when you say a "tall" hat!!!


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