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1863

  • The South Australian Gas company establishes gas works at Brompton; first Adelaide businesses are lit by gas in June.
  • July: Northern Territory acquired by South Australia (previously controlled by New South Wales) and land sales begin.
  • 11 July 1864 steamer Marion went ashore near Cape Spencer at the foot of Yorke Peninsula. Crew and passengers landed safely and were subsequently rescued by S.S. Lubra. 14 January schooner Agenora drifted ashore in calm conditions at Port Willunga and broke up. The cutter Breeze was driven south by a storm in Gulf St Vincent and wrecked in Pelican Lagoon, Kangaroo Island, 5 July.
  • One of the most famous shipwrecks during this era was that of the Star of Greece, which was wrecked off Port Willunga 1888.

For more information see The Foundation of South Australia: 1852-1883, Key events and issues and SA Memory: Wooden Walls and Iron Sides: Shipwrecks and sea rescue: Shipwrecks 1863-1873.

Star of Greece
Title : Star of Greece Star of Greece
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Creator : Gregory, G. F., artist
Source : Artwork Collection
Date of creation : ca. 1888
Format : Artwork
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Artwork depicts the Star of Greece breaking up close to the shore at Port Willunga. The artist has included figures on the beach in the foregroud, and others being washed ashore along with fragments of the ship. Escarpment and jetty are illustrated in the distance to the left. Star of Greece was a 3 masted iron ship of 1,257 tons. Built in Belfast in 1868, the Star of Greece, laden with 16,000 bags of wheat, was wrecked in a violent storm off Port Willunga on the 13th July 1888. She sailed from Port Adelaide with a north-westerly behind her. However during the night the wind changed direction and the storm arose with squalls and rain. The ship was driven off course and ashore at Port Willunga. It is estimated that up to 18 seamen lost their lives when the vessel broke up, or in attempting to swim ashore. A marble obelisk marks the grave of the eleven seamen whose bodies were recovered and buried in the cemetery of the Aldinga Methodist (now Uniting) Church.

The site of the wreck lies close to suburban Adelaide making the wreck site one of the best known and most accessible in South Australia. It is marked with a buoy visible from the beach. The ship was only 200 metres from shore when it broke in two amidships at 2.00am.The alarm was raised at 7.20am by a young boy taking his morning walk but because the Willunga telegraph station did not open until 9.00am, the harbourmaster was unable to contact authorities to begin rescue operations.

The appalling nature of this wreck revealed the flaws in the state of the lifeboat rescue network. As a result early in 1889 the task of managing it was placed in the hands of the colonial navy under Commander Walcot and the crew of HMCS Protector. Immediately training and practice drills were set in place and regular inspection and maintenance of lifeboats and other equipment undertaken.

Subjects
Related names :

Star of Greece (ship)

Coverage year : 1888
Period : 1884-1913
Place : Port Willunga
Region : Fleurieu Peninsula
Further reading :

Manning, Geoffrey H. The tragic shore: the wreck of the Star of Greece and a history of the jetties of Port Willunga [Willunga, S. Aust.]: National Trust of South Australia, Willunga Branch, 1988

Sexton, Rae. Before the wind: tracing the impact on a small community and shipping company by the shipwreck in 1888 of the 'Star of Greece' Magill, S. Aust.: Australasian Maritime Historical Society, 1982

Loney, J. K. Wrecks on the South Australian coast: including Kangaroo Island Yarram, Vic.: Lonestone Press, 1993

Rogers, Tony South Australia's extreme weather: its human impact / Tony Rogers; additional writing and research: Judy Ferrante, Alan Holmes, Rod Mallard; consultant meteorologist: Paul Lainio Kent Town, S. Aust.: Australian Meteorological Association, 2009 The foundering of the Star of Greece 13 July 1888 pp. 17-31

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-


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