Queenscliffe Historical Museum presentation

Queenscliffe Historical Museum

Dear Mac

Everyone enjoyed your lecture this morning. It was enlightening and amusing.

My eldest son was in  HMAS Arunta and loved his years in the Navy. I told him about the Great White Fleet and have given him your website. It is a fascinating part of our history. I loved the photos of Swanston St.

Marvellous Melbourne! Anyway it was a privilege to have heard you speak. I can't get those Ballarat boys out of my head. One of the volunteers from the Museum told me about one of the 'missing' crew, a black man, was hanged in Melbourne after getting involved with prostitutes and pimps in St Kilda.

Maria (Phillipps)


Thank you for your very generous comments on my presentation at Queenscliff this morning, on the Victorian Colonial and Royal Australian Navies and the visit of the Great White Fleet to Australia August 20th. to September 5, 1908.

I guess it was the 7th. time I have given it since early in August, but it was the most enjoyable of them all.

A lovely audience, and a nice number of people present, it was also good to have my wife Denise, my daughter Jayne, her husband Graeme, and my grandson Alexander in support, as he had set up the powerpoint presentation, but had not seen the result publicly.

The Great White Fleet paid such an important role in awakening Australians to the need for a strong Navy, and we have a lot to be thankful for to Alfred Deakin that he had the foresight to turn to Teddie Roosevelt, go against the British Colonial Office, and get those 16 battleships to visit our shores. Indeed a momentous visit, but sadly not well enough known in general. It gave me a great deal of personal satisfaction, to be able in but a small way to remedy that fact.

I served in the other two tribal class destroyers, sister ships to Arunta, Warramunga and Bataan they were great ships and I can imagine how your son enjoyed his stint in the RAN.

Maria thanks again for taking the trouble to write, a comment such as yours is most encouraging, and makes it all so worth while.

Kindest regards,

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