February Lecture – Alan McLean

the 1891 disaster off Moonlight Heads

The Wreck of the Fiji

Alan McLean spoke to us about the wreck of the cargo ship Fiji off Moonlight Heads in 1891. His interesting and informative presentation discussed the cause of the wreck and rescue of the passengers and crew. He presented the facts from the view of a survivor who had a connection with Geelong.

Alan also spoke at length about the ship’s anchor concreted into the bedrock shore and the monument at the top of the hill marking the name of souls who perished. His story explained, in detail, how the news of the wreck was communicated to local residents and their attempts to rescue passengers using a cable and pully apparatus from the shore. Negotiating the steep cliffs and the dense bush hindered the operation.

Alan suggested we should remember the hero Arthur Wilkinson who lost his life while herorically saving others. He is buried in the Herne Hill Cemetery.
Review written by Harry Roberts

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