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17 November 2016

Jervis Bay Naval College.1911.

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Today,  November 17th marks 105 years since the decision was announced by the Prime Minister to build the Royal Australian Naval College at Captains Point Jervis Bay.

1911 Prime Minister Andrew Fisher.


imageIn what was to be one of the most significant events to occur in the developement of Jervis bay  Australian Prime Minister Mr Andrew Fisher announced in the House of Representatives the decision to build the Royal Australian Naval Colledge on land at Captains Point Jervis Bay.

There were three locations short listed as possible sites for the college, Middle head Sydney Harbour, Burraneer Bay inside Port Hacking and Jervis Bay.

Burraneer Bay
Middle Head Sydney Harbour

The Government went against the Navy’s recomendations and decided on Captain’s Point Jervis Bay.
Jervis Bay was the Capital port and with the new railway line promised to connect Jervis Bay to the Capital and an extension of the railway line from Bomaderry to locations around Jervis Bay, the Government of the day went against naval and financial experts, in what was regarded as a purely political decision.

The Jervis Bay decision angered some politicians with Mr. W Kelly and Mr. W. E. Johnson making a bitter attack on the Minister for being led by a section of Victorian Labour members.

”Mr Fuller considered Jervis Bay far better than Burraneer Bay. He created some laughter by calling the latter “Buccaneer Bay”

The Prime Minister said, ; “ the experts placed the two bays at the same level,  but declared Jervis Bay was the more convenient.”

Mr. West:  “It was a mistake to go to Jervis Bay.
Mr. Bruce: “Why worry about it! It’s settled.” (“ Here, here.” and laughter.)

Construction of the main college buildings was completed in 1915.
The first entries of 28 cadet midshipmen aged between 13 and 14 arrived in March 1915,  the college was designed for up to 300 cadets,  the first graduation occured in 1916.

On completing thier training most of the young graduates went immediatly into the first world war and served on many fronts,  that is a whole other story to be explored later.

The estimated cost of building the college at the time was 120.000 pounds.

Sydney Morning Herald 1916.


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