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Lecture: The Wreck of the Fiji
September 17, 2019 @ 5:15 pm - 7:00 pm$10 – $20
With the prospect of landfall in Melbourne just a day’s sail away, the sight of the Otway Lighthouse beacon must have been comforting for the 26 crew of the barque Fiji.
It had been 106 challenging days at sea since the British-built vessel had set sail from Hamburg on May 22, 1891, its cargo a disparate collection of goods including 260 cases of dynamite, crates of schnapps, whisky and gin, 400 German pianos, toys, iron and steel goods and candles.
For captain William Vickers and his international crew, putting down anchor in Melbourne couldn’t come quick enough.
Tragically, nearly half of them never lived to see Melbourne.
Within 24 hours, on September 6, 1891, one kilometre east of Moonlight Head on the aptly named Wreck Beach, the Fiji came to grief.
Historian and author, Alan McLean will tell us all he has uncovered about the wreck of the Fiji. There will also be an supporting exhibition in the Cabinet of Curiosities, curated by Cheryl Griffin, of items recovered from the wreck by Heritage Victoria and items from the RHSV Collection.
The RHSV serves drinks from 5:15pm until 5:45pm in the Gallery Downstairs when we move upstairs for the 6pm lecture. Please note that there is no lift to the first floor and it is not accessible for those in wheelchairs or for those who have difficulty in climbing stairs.
Alan’s book will be available for sale on the night.