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Chilean sailors posing on the deck of GENERAL BAQUEDANO

Date: July 1931
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: 00035049
Place Manufactured:Circular Quay

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    Description
    GENERAL BAQUEDANO was built in 1898 and was used as a training vessel for young sailors. In 1931, GENERAL BAQUEDANO visited Sydney during a training cruise of Pacific nations that included New Zealand and Suva, Fiji. One hundred days out of Valparaiso, Chile the training ship arrived in Sydney. GENERAL BAQUEDANO was commanded by Captain Luis Alvarez and his crew consisted of seventeen officers, three sub-officers and 292 men including a number of ratings.
    SignificanceThe Samuel J Hood photographic collection records an extensive range of maritime activity on Sydney Harbour, including sail and steam ships, crew portraits, crews at work, ship interiors, stevedores loading and unloading cargo, port scenes, pleasure boats and harbourside social activities from the 1890s through to the 1950s. They are also highly competent artistic studies and views - Hood was regarded as an important figure in early Australian photojournalism. Hood’s maritime photographs are one of the most significant collections of such work in Australia.
    HistoryThe GENERAL BAQUEDANO moored at East Circular Quay on 16 July 1931 and the crew spent two weeks in Sydney. The ship had previously visited Sydney in 1903. In 1931, the vessel was considered obsolete as a fighting ship, but very useful as a training vessel. In naval categories, GENERAL BAQUEDANO is known as a corvette (in Spanish corbeta), which is defined as a flush-decked ship with one tier of guns, a type replaced by the modern cruiser. Fully-rigged, the vessel was fitted with triple-expansion engines as auxiliary, and had a displacement of 2,330 tons. The visit attracted significant public interest and the daily activities of the Chileans were reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.

    The crew played a soccer match against members of the HMAS CANBERRA crew, laid a wreath at the Martin Place cenotaph, displayed their rigging skills while aloft and opened their vessel to the public. Captain Alvarez also hosted visits by the Governor of NSW Sir Phillip Game, the Premier of NSW and the Lord Mayor. The departure of GENERAL BAQUEDANO from Sydney Harbour was quite eventful, with one rating attempting to desert the ship and swim ashore, two sailors being left at the dock and transported to the vessel by police launch and another bewildered Chilean was found wandering the streets. He was later reunited with his fellow sailors in Auckland after transport was arranged on a departing cargo ship.

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