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.

6 July 2017

On this day. Huskisson 1936

Today I was fortunate enough to run into John Settree, son of the late Alf Settree the last wooden framed boat builder to build vessels at Huskisson. The conversation was short as John had other commitments.  He spoke about the vessels using shipbuilders terms, many of which I was unfamiliar with, but were a natural part of his language.  He talked about some the vessels his grandfather and father built and what he knew of their history.  One of those vessels was the MV Myall which was launched 81 years ago, Thursday 26th June 1936.

The launch of the MV Myall.

The 220 ton Myall was the largest vessel built by A.W.M. Settree on the banks of Currambene Creek.
She was a twin-screw steam lighter, measuring 120ft long, 25ft beam and a draft of 6ft.
The christening was carried out by Mr Settree's wife. 

An interesting launch.
When the Myall slid into the water it was said it was like one hundred garden sprinklers had been turned on inside her. Fine sprays of water were coming from everywhere. Manning Davis had provided Wool Butt timber full of tiny worm holes that went right through the planking. Pop Settree was a very unhappy man. He had the lighter hauled out of the water and went off and bought a huge box of brass boot sprigs and got everyone (including the cook) to sit in her,  screwing a sprig into each hole. He never really forgave Manning Davis even though he acknowledged he should have noticed the wood was holey when he was working it.  The boot sprigs obviously succeeded because Myall worked for the next 60 years on Sydney Harbour
Ref: Huskisson Ships and their Builders, Bridget Sant.

She was made to carry heavy deck cargos in Sydney Harbour, where she became a familiar figure.

Taken shortly after the launch.  The final fittings are yet to be carried out.

766-Alfred-William-Morrow-SettreeAlfred William Morrow (Pop) Settree

720-Alf-SettreePop's son Alf Settree,  the last of the wooden frame boat builders of Huskisson is seen here on the grounds of the museum showing some of the tools used in the production of wooden ships at Huskisson.

Alf was a key figure in the restoration of the Lady Denman. Towards the end of his life his work and community service was recognised when he was awarded an Order of Australia Award.


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