This story has no relevance to my own family history, but is significant in that it is an important part of the history of the town I currently call home.
Photo of memorial card reproduced on Historical Society information board
125 years ago today the community was devastated when 15 members of their football team drowned in a boating tragedy on Port Philip Bay. The newspapers of the day carried the story, the first headlines making the news on Monday 23rd May.
NEWS OF THE DAY. (1892, May 23). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 4.
Retrieved May 21, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199331629
A more detailed account of the tragedy appeared later in the paper, and also in The Argus.
SHOCKING DISASTER IN THE BAY. (1892, May 23). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved May 21, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8422813
A Disaster Fund was set up to provide for the widows, children and elderly parents who had been left without support. For a few months after the event, newspapers throughout Victoria carried articles about charity matches and benefits held in all communities to raise money for the fund.
Memorial to Mornington footballers who died 21st May 1892
on corner of Main St & Esplanade, Mornington
Mornington & District Historical Society information board erected 2012
©Kaypilk 2017A wreath of beautiful native flowers had been placed there today by the Historical Society, marking the 125th anniversary of the event. Other floral tributes were from the Mornington Football Club, and another from A & E Caldwell – no doubt relatives of the three Caldwell brothers who died in the accident. A couple of other people came while I was there and placed small bunches of garden flowers. It seems that despite the passage of time, this community has not forgotten.
From Mornington looking north towards Pelican reef where the boat capsized
©Kaypilk 2017This poem appears on the information board at the memorial, written soon after the accident by J. S. Adams, jnr, 18th June 1892.
photographed from information board ⓒ2017
Charles ALLCHIN (20)
James CALDWELL (21) brother
William CALDWELL (19) brother
Hugh CALDWELL (17) brother
William COLES (23)
John COMBER (31)
James FIRTH (17)
William E GROVER (25) uncle
William GROVER (17) nephew
Charles HOOPER (35) father
Charles F HOOPER (14) son
John KENNA (18)
Alfred LAWRENCE (19)
George MILNE (36)
Charles WILLIAMS (23)