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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

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.

photo: The Register of Australia and New Zealand Ships and Boats
photo: The Register of Australia and New Zealand Ships and Boats

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

Lighthouses of Victoria: The Point Gellibrand Lightships & Pile Light viewed 22 07 2015

The 40′ Army Workboats of World War 2 viewed 22 07 2015


  • RobynS
    Posted March 3, 2022 8.36 pm 0Likes

    Good evening,

    Wondering what, if any, history you have on the PMYC and specifically the rejuevenation of their Jolly Boat fleet.

    Robyn Stewardson (nee Wain)

    • David Thompson
      Posted March 4, 2022 8.24 am 0Likes

      Hi Robyn,
      The Society holds some historical administrative records from PMYC including a series of images on CD entitled ’50 Years of Jolly Boats 1957 – 2007′.
      David Thompson
      Volunteer, PMHPS

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We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.