Propelled into history

In an earlier page I mentioned the VGSS Lady Loch; my great-grandfather John Slater Anderson was among those who designed and built it.

A spare propeller of about three tons weight was cast for the Lady Loch at the time of her construction in 1886. Lady Loch was a 487-ton steam vessel built in Melbourne by Campbell, Sloss & McCann in 1886 for colonial Victoria’s Department of Trade & Customs. She was used by Victoria as a lighthouse tender. With federation, care of lighthouses was transferred to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth bought the vessel and, presumably, the spare propeller. After a chequered history, Lady Loch became a mere hulk and was finally scuttled in Moreton Bay in 1962.

For some years, the propeller was displayed on the street frontage of a government building in Mort Street, Canberra. When the building was demolished and the propeller moved. I wrote to ask of its whereabouts.

Dr Steven Kennedy, PSM, Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, kindly replied that his department and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority had arranged for the propeller to be displayed in the newly established Seafarers Rest Park in Melbourne. The Park is being developed along the Yarra River in the heart of the city. The propeller is seen above on a truck as it arrived in Melbourne. The park is next to the heritage building of the Mission to Seafarers an active Christian ministry caring for merchant sailors who visit our ports.