Melbourne SS Glenelg Tribute

By Terry Cantwell

Pint on Punt pub, St Kilda. June 19th, 2010.

Almost 100 people attended an emotionally charged tribute evening at the Pint on Punt pub in St Kilda, Melbourne last Saturday to commemorate the victims of the SS Glenelg that sank in Bass Strait 110 years ago.

Representatives of the Boyd, Fyfe, Hatfield Lapthorne, Mauldon and Stephens families attended, along with almost the entire Southern Ocean Exploration dive and research team.

Many of those attending hadn’t met before, but all were united in a determination to see their relatives’ sacrifices recognised after 110 years.

The evening began with a short video tribute to the Glenelg victims. (takes a while to load – put on the kettle!)

This was followed by an introduction to the divers and a presentation by Southern Ocean Exploration leader, Mark Ryan about his team’s work.

SOE researcher and diver Martin Tozer then presented an underwater video detailing the wreck’s current condition.

Gordon Fyfe, great grandson of Chief Engineer David Fyfe, gave a moving speech about the deep impact this discovery has had for him and his family.

Essendon FC Director Beverly Knight, who lost three Stephens family ancestors and their close family friend on the Glenelg, closed the presentations with a rousing speech about her excitement for the project.

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The event was extremely successful and indicated to us that we are on the right track with the style and form of our documentary.

As the film evolves, we realise that a large community is emerging that wants the Glenelg victims to be recognised. The purpose of the gathering was to introduce relatives of those who perished on the Glenelg over 100 years ago to the divers who discovered the wreck last June.

We’d like to thank all those people previously mentioned as well as Mick Whitmore for his underwater footage and Evan, Sean and Gareth from the Pint of Punt for allowing us to thrash their great pub!

What was meant to be a short afternoon presentation, turned into a big night; with the last people leaving after midnight.

Terry Cantwell

Media about the Glenelg discovery

Glenelg discovered Canberra Times

Channel 9 News

Westernport News