Thursday, 21 May 2015

Waratah - Sabine visits St Paul island.

The Argus (Melbourne) Friday 1 April, 1910
Images of past tragedies were found atSt Paul Island (midway between Africa and Australia) which the vessel (Sabine) anchored and landed a party. Close to the landing place were five roofless huts, in the first of which were three white boats obviouslyfrom the vessel Reve from the Island ofReunion. ln a second hut were fiveunmarked boats, and one painted with thename 'Stella Maria'. Inside the door wasroughly painted, "Holt Hill, lost November13, 1889, 32 hands". The remainder of theinscription was undecipherable The landing party also discovered three letters, twoof which were addressed to 'Madam, thewidow of Felix Fleurie, St Dennis, Reunion," and the other to "Monsieur LeCommandant de Passage".  An inscriptionin illiterate French indicated that a boat in the hut had been built by the crew ofthe Reve in November, 1904 and therewas also a record of a visit to the island bythe s s Kent in January, 1907, in thecourse of her search for the missing dredge, Walrus.
'Nearby, ' the report proceeds ' there were three graves close together, surrounded with ship's cables and having wooden crosses erected near them. They bore inscriptions in French -
'Octave Potin, October 25 1903. Here lies Henri Modom, died......The owner of the ship Reve, Raoul Fleuriedied October 10, 1904 ' 
A wreath of everlasting flowers was secured to this last cross with wire" Some little distance away another grave bore a cross inscribed to the memory of 'Iracha, Joseph Emilion, died January 9, 1901 ' Close to it were two mounds bearing the appearance of graves and surrounded by a cemented wall but there were no crosses. In all directions were scattered iron bolts, blocks, wire, tanks, pots and small spars, and near to the landing place was an old marine boiler.
On the northern spit, which forms the entrance to Crater Lake, was found a squareblock of light blown stone on which thefollowing words could be distinguished -
"Coup de Venus of January 5, 1883 " Agranite block attached to this stone wascarved with the words (in French), 
"Transit of Venus, by the French Solar Observatory Expedition December 9, 1874"




to be continued.....

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