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Hera Roberts posing on the deck of HNLMS JAVA

Hera Roberts posing on the deck of HNLMS JAVA

Date: 10 October 1930
Medium: Glass plate negative
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00034778
Place Manufactured:Circular Quay

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    Description
    This photograph depicts the painter, illustrator, designer and Sydney socialite Hera Roberts posing on HNLMS JAVA. This image of her was published on page 52 of the November edition of 'The Home' magazine, a publication for which Roberts regularly produced cover designs.

    The Koninklijke Marine (Royal Netherlands Navy) including HNLMS JAVA, HNLMS EVERSTEN and HNLMS DE RUYTER arrived in Sydney on 3 October 1930. The ships berthed in West Circular Quay and The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the 'unfamiliar spectacle' of the Dutch squadron arrival. On 10 October, the squadron hosted a reception on board JAVA 'as a return for the hospitality they had received while in Sydney'. The SMH reported that distinguished guests were greeted by the Dutch Consul-General Petrus Ephrem Teppema, Madame Carmen Delprat Teppema and Rear-Admiral Kayser.
    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.
    HistoryIn September 1930, Rear-Admiral C C Kayser and his squadron of the Royal Netherlands Navy arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia. The Register News-Pictorial in Adelaide reported that Dutch sailors were presented with a dingo as a gift from the city of Fremantle. The squadron then sailed to Adelaide on 19 September with the band from JAVA performing for curious onlookers.

    On 3 October 1930, the ships sailed into Sydney Harbour and berthed at the Oceanic Steamship Company and Burns Philp and Company Wharf in West Circular Quay. The SMH provided an itinerary of events and reported that JAVA was to fire a 'salute of 21 guns' once the squadron passed Middle Head and 13 guns in salute of Rear-Admiral Adams of the Royal Australian Navy. Once the squadron moored at the quay, they were to be greeted by a guard of honour provided by the RAN.

    A civic reception was then held at Town Hall, followed by a Ministerial luncheon and a ceremony, whereby Rear-Admiral Kayser placed a wreath on the Cenotaph at Martin Place. The following day, Rear-Admiral Kayser and his commanding officers were received by the Governor at Randwick racecourse. A luncheon was also held at the famous Millions Club on Rowe Street and the Commodore of the Royal Motor Yacht Club also entertained a party of officers on a harbour excursion. Officers and ratings were granted free transport on Sydney trams and ferries and free entry to theatres across Sydney and Taronga Zoo

    The visitors even played a football match in Easton Park, Rozelle with a Sydney team. They were defeated by the Australian side and later a reception was held in Smith’s Hall by the Metropolitan Association and the Balmain Football Company. Whilst many of the officers and sailors attended dances and dinners in Sydney, Rear-Admiral Kayser and commanding officers, along with Dutch Consul-General Teppema, paid 'an official call on the Federal Ministry' in Canberra.

    On 10 October, the squadron hosted a reception on board JAVA 'as a return for the hospitality they had received while in Sydney'. The SMH reported that distinguished guests were greeted by the Dutch Consul-General Petrus Ephrem Teppema, Madame Carmen Delprat Teppema and Rear-Admiral Kayser. Sydney's socialites, including Miss Nancy Bavin, Miss Hera Roberts and Miss Hilda Marks, graced the social pages of the SMH and 'The Home' magazine. Detailed descriptions of baku hats, chiffon dresses and fox furs were relayed, before the squadron departed Sydney for New Zealand the following day.

    Artist, designer and Sydney socialite Hera Roberts is seen here posing on HNLMS JAVA. Roberts was born in 1892 in Dubbo, NSW and trained under her cousin who happened to be one of Australia's most famous artists - Thea Proctor. In 1924, the Australian portraitist and war artist George Lambert produced his painting 'Hera', now held in the National Gallery of Victoria collection.

    This image of her was published on page 52 of the November edition of 'The Home' magazine, a publication for which Roberts regularly produced cover designs. Active between 1927 and around 1949, she also established her own millinery shop in Pitt Street, Sydney. Roberts was widely acknowledged to be an arbiter of taste and style, especially in interior decorating. Over her career she was also photographed by other renowned Australian photographers including Max Dupain and Harold Cazneaux.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Hera Roberts posing on the deck of HNLMS JAVA

    Assigned title: Woman leaning against pole on upper deck

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