Geoff Deed, who grew up at 41 Nott Street, offers this story from his boyhood in the fifties:
‘There was a family called Fletcher that lived in Rouse St – just the mother and the son. His name was Jeffrey – with a ‘J’. There was no father. (Maybe he was killed in the war?)
Through the window of their place you could see life buoys and life jackets. Each week the uncle would come – he lived in Graham St – to take supplies to the family living at Point Gellibrand lighthouse which was manned at that time.
The boat was the Ibis. It would leave from the eastern wing pier off Station Pier.’
The Ibis was one of at least 417 work boats built for the Army,RAN, RAAF or RN during World War 2. The boats were designed by Jack Botterill and C H Fraser in South Melbourne. Many of them were built in Fishermans Bend by GMH. At peak, GM-H were able to produce a boat every 36 hours.
Point Gellibrand Lighthouse
The light was manned throughout its 70 year life. The Taylor family lived there from 1934 to 1951. Could this be the family to whom the Fletchers took provisions?
On a foggy morning on 21 June 1976, the pile light was hit by the 7,000 tonne Melbourne Trader. The pile light was knocked sideways off its piles.
Too dangerous to repair, the light was set on fire.
Sources and further fascinating information
http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/VIC/Point%20Gellibrand/Point%20Gellibrand.htm viewed 22 07 2015
http://www.boatregister.net/WW2_ArmyWorkBoats.html viewed 22 07 2015