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Wanted: 'Thistle"...reward: $2,000



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MEWS SE1I&S1

MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS A N D ENVIRONMENT

WANTED: ‘ THISTLE1 . . . REWARD: $2,000

The Commonwealth Government is to reward two V i c t o r i a n s c u b a -d iv e rs w ith

$2,000 f o r t h e i r p a r t in lo c a t i n g the wreck o f the vessel which c a r r i e d

the f i r s t permanent European s e t t l e r s to V i c t o r i a 150 years ago.

Announcing the reward today, the M i n i s t e r f o r Home A f f a i r s and Environment,

Mr Barry Cohen s a id , "The d i v e r s , Mr T e r r y A r n o t t o f Geelong and Mr Harry

Reed o f Q u e e n s c l if f e , located the Henty B r o t h e r s ' ship ' T h i s t l e ' on 1

September 1984. As a r e s u l t o f p r o v id in g me w i t h in fo r m a tio n on the

lo c a t i o n o f the wreck, the remains and r e l i c s o f ' T h i s t l e ' are from today

p ro te c te d under the Commonwealth H i s t o r i c Shipwrecks A c t " .

"This d e c l a r a t io n w i l l pe rm it d iv e r s and oth e rs t o in s p e c t the wreck

o f the ' T h i s t l e ' at Port F a i r y but not t o remove any tim b e r or o th e r

items from the w r e c k s i t e " .

The ' T h i s t l e ' was purchased by the p io n e e rin g Henty f a m i l y , and brought

members o f t h a t f a m i l y t o P o rtlan d on 19 November 1834.

The M i n i s t e r added, "A Commonwealth g ra n t o f $10,000 f o r 1984-85 would

enable the V i c t o r i a A rc hae olo gic al Survey t o in s p e c t and survey the

remains o f the ' T h i s t l e ' along w ith o th e r shipwrecKs around tne V i c t o r i a n

c o a s t l i n e " .

A d d it io n a l Commonwealth funds o f $4,000 would be used by V i c t o r i a to

undertake s i t e work, recovery and c o n s e rv a tio n on another Henty v e s s e l,

the ' C h i l d r e n ' , which was located near Port Campbell and had been

pro te c te d under the Commonwealth H i s t o r i c Shipwrecks Act f o r 2 y e a rs .

These funds would also be used f o r s i m i l a r work on other· h i s t o r i c

shipwrecks in the area in c lu d in g 'Loch A r d ' , 'Schomberg' and 'La B e l l a '

at Warrnambool.

Canberra, 22 November 1984

Further in fo r m a tio n : J e n n if e r Amess (Mrs)

(062) 467289

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND ON THE ‘ THISTLE1

W hi le t h e ' T h i s t l e 1 was b u i l t in Bengal ( I n d i a ) in 1825, she was purchased

i n Frem an tle in 1831 f o r £ 650 by th e Henty B r o t h e r s , James and Stephen.

James Henty a r r i v e d a t t h e Swan R i v e r S e t t l e m e n t in 1829 b u t the land

g r a n t r e c e i v e d was o f poor q u a l i t y c o u n t r y .

Looking f o r a b e t t e r g r a n t , th e H e n t y ' s moved t o Tasmania so t h a t the

' T h i s t l e ' was r e g i s t e r e d a t th e p o r t o f Launceston on 7 August 1832.

On voyages t o F r e m a n t le , t h e ' T h i s t l e ' c a l l e d a t P o r t l a n d Bay and the

c o u n t r y s i d e t h e r e impressed Edward and Thomas Henty.

On 13 October 1834, t h e ' T h i s t l e ' s a i l e d fro m Launceston w i t h Edward

He nty, a number o f s e r v a n t s and th e n e ce ssa r y s t o r e s t o s t a r t a

permanent s e t t l e m e n t a t P o r t l a n d Bay. S i x tim es the ' T h i s t l e ' s t r u g g l e d

t o w i t h i n a few m i l e s o f P o r t l a n d b e f o r e being blown back t o s h e l t e r ia t

King I s l a n d in Bass S t r a i t . A f t e r 34 da ys, t h e ' T h i s t l e ' f i n a l l y

a r r i v e d a t P o r t l a n d on 19 November 1834 b r i n g i n g the f i r s t oermanent

European s e t t l e r s t o t h e r e g i o n .

D u ri n g th e p e r i o d 1835-37 t h e ' T h i s t l e ' p l i e d the w a ters o f Bass S t r a i t

between Launceston and P o r t l a n d w i t h cargoes o f whale p r o d u c t s , the

f i r s t f i n e m eri no wool fro m t h e new s e t t l e m e n t and on Christmas Day 1837,

when she was wrecked, a cargo o f b a r k .

Over t h e y e a r s t h e remains o f t h e ' T h i s t l e ' sank i n t o th e sand. Her

upper works were g r a d u a l l y broken away both by n a t u r a l f o r c e s and

o c c a s i o n a l l y t o form p a r t o f t h e houses o f t h e growing s e t t l e m e n t o f

P o r t F a i r y . Today t h e remains o f th e ve s s e l l i e almost c o m p l e t e l y

covered by sand where she sank n e a r l y 150 y ea r s ago.