HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

24 November 2016

A captain named Bishop.

A life on board any sea going vessel in the days before radio communication was possible between ships, and ship and shore, meant men had to be  resilient, brave and self reliant.


In 1917 a seaman known as Captain Bishop died quiety in Sydney,  captain Bishop was remembered as a fine captain and was very popular with other skippers and the travelling public who put their lives, hopes and dreams in the hands of the crew everytime they boarded a vessel and put to sea.

Captain Bishop spent many years in the service of the Illawarra and South Coast Steam Navigation Company.  This meant he was a regular visitor to many of the coastal towns on the south coast,  transporting valued cargo, livestock, and people between ports.

In a long career at sea he would have had many adventures,  and I'm sure he would have been a very interesting man to talk to.

Proper preperation is essential to conduct a safe trip at sea, foremost the captains were reliant on fair weather, which in those days was more based on a captains experience and knowledge than the accurate forecasts we have today. Well maintained machinery and an experienced engineer were essential to get to their destinations.  In what could either be described as bad luck or good luck depends on how you look at it,  not everything went to plan for Captain Bishop.

He was involved in a series of dramatic incidents during his days on the south coast run.

He was chief officer on the Kameruka when she ran aground at Broulee near Moruya,  and became a total wreck 1897;
He was the skipper of the Bega when she mysteriously foundered near Tathra in calm conditions 1907; at the time of the sinking he had been at sea for 50 years, in command for 27 years and master of the Bega for 10 years.
And was the skipper of the Eden when she had a lucky escape after running into St Georges Head at Jervis Bay in 1909. 

Maybe thinking his good luck  might have run out,  he dropped anchor and gave up the sea after the last incident,  and for some years conducted a produce business at Balmain.

Whichever way you look at it, Captain Bishop had an exciting life, Im sure there were times of monotony,  but Im also sure the majority of his life at sea was a combination of adventure, excitement, trepidation and satisfaction.

Continue reading the stories about the S.S. Kameruka and the S.S. Eden

Evening news Sydney 1909


S.S. Kameruka


S.S. Eden



No comments :

Post a Comment