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Pen and ink colour cartoon drawing of Bruce Greentree towing a pint-sized steamship with his Howard Smith company work launch No. 549.

Date: c 1928
Dimensions:
Overall: 143 x 177 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Alison Borrowman
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Cartoon
Object No: 00048065

User Terms

    Description
    Pen and ink colour cartoon drawing of Bruce Greentree towing a pint-sized steamship with his Howard Smith company work launch No. 549.
    SignificanceGreentree's work launch was typical of the many now largely forgotten small launches on Sydney Harbour during the twentieth century.

    Greentree was in his Howard Smith company work launch No. 549 when he performed the harbour rescue that saw him awarded the certificate of bravery by the Royal Shipwreck Relief and Humane Society of New South Wales 'for saving a number of persons from drowning through the capsizing of a boat in Rose bay on 10th January 1928.'
    HistoryThis cartoon of Bruce Greentree towing a pint-sized steamship with his Howard Smith Lines company work launch No. 549 was drawn by a former colleague of Greentree's, a crew member of the SS MAKURA - a Union Steamship passenger liner that sailed between Australia and New Zealand between 1908 and 1936. Greentree had sailed as a Brass Boy and an Ordinary Seaman on the MAKURA.

    Greentree was in his Howard Smith company work launch No. 549 when he performed the harbour rescue that saw him awarded the certificate of bravery by the Royal Shipwreck Relief and Humane Society of New South Wales 'for saving a number of persons from drowning through the capsizing of a boat in Rose bay on 10th January 1928.'

    The certificate was awarded on the 12th of April 1928, at the same ceremony as awards for the GREYCLIFFE Ferry disaster of 3 November 1927 - which seem to have somewhat overshadowed Greentree's remarkable rescue efforts.

    Greentree's work launch was typical of the many now largely forgotten small launches on Sydney Harbour during the twentieth century. According to Greentree family history, it was used for 'running lines and carrying workmen and crews' and 'helping moor the ships at the foot of King Street' for the Howard Smith company.

    The Royal Shipwreck Relief and Humane Society of New South Wales was an important organisation in disaster relief and bravery awards for many years, and continues today as the Royal Humane Society of New South Wales. The society was established as a result of the loss of the paddle steamer SS YARRA and its 17 man crew in a gale on 15th July, 1877 while attempting to re-enter Newcastle Harbour. Four days later, a public meeting in Sydney decided to form a society 'for the relief of the widows, orphans and others dependent upon men lost in the marine service of our coast, or elsewhere...'

    The society's first meeting, under the presidency of F. H. Dangar, was held on the 27th July, 1877, with initial subscriptions exceeding two thousand pounds. In 1902 King Edward VII gave permission for the Society to be known as the Royal Shipwreck Relief and Humane Society of New South Wales. In 1968, Queen Elizabeth II approved the change of name to the Royal Humane Society of New South Wales.


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