Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

NZ Shipwreck

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

NZ Shipwreck

Article excerpt

A SHIPWRECK on a stormy night on the east coast of New Zealand on February 4, 1868 had links to Gladstone's past.

The wreck was of the William Miskin, an iron-hulled steamship of 120 tons built in England in 1852 by William Pimm, of Hull, for H C Cheesewright and W T Miskin.

The steamship was registered in London, where William Thomas Miskin was a shipbroker and insurance agent.

The steamship was subsequently sold to the New South Wales Coal and Inter-colonial Steam Navigation Company in Australia, where it arrived on October 2, 1853.

It operated between Sydney and Morpeth for a short time but it was unprofitable due to cost-cutting by other steamship companies.

The ship was purchased by J C Rossiter for the Queensland service, carrying cargo and passengers from Brisbane to Wide Bay, and also Port Curtis.

The William Miskin's first voyage reached Gladstone on November 26, 1854, which was the first of its six-weekly voyages subsidised by the New South Wales government.

In 1855, a band of men was brought to Gladstone on the William Miskin.

They had been hired by the surveyor general of New South Wales, George Barney, to build a dam for the first water supply in Gladstone.

The dam was to be situated on Happy Valley Creek, about where Anzac (or Central) Park is, on the corner of Goondoon and Tank streets.

John McCray was one of the 16 men contracted as a miner and quarryman by George Barney to build the dam at Port Curtis.

Others in the group were the working foreman John Score Powe, carpenter William Powe, blacksmith George Bodimeade, mason and bricklayer John Donnolan, miners and quarrymen Frederick Butcher, Henry Friend, John Gilbert, John Depew, John Hitchcock, Ebenezer Johnson and George White, sawyers John Robinson and John Cooktile and bullock drivers Henry Walpole and John Crawford. …

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