Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Menu for the Association of Draughtsmen Commonwealth Public Service annual reunion dinner held at the Carlton Hotel Sydney.

Date: 1932
Overall: 177 x 22 mm
Medium: Paper, ink.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Janice Webb
Object Name: Menu
Object No: ANMS0848[021]
Related Place:Cockatoo Island,

User Terms

    Menu for the Association of Draughtsmen Commonwealth Public Service annual reunion dinner at the Carlton Hotel, Sydney, featuring the Association's emblem and various signatures.
    SignificanceThis item was collected by Wesley Arthur Stanley, who was an employee at the historic Cockatoo Island Dockyard from 1909 through to the 1950s. This menu for a reunion of the Association of Draughtsmen Commonwealth Public Service, was issued only a year before the dockyard operations on the island were transferred from the Commonwealth to Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Company and as such, at a pivotal time in the history of Cockatoo Island Dockyard and in Stanley's lengthy career.
    HistoryWesley Stanley began his career at Cockatoo Island Dockyard as an apprentice turner and fitter in 1909. He completed his apprenticeship on 6 June 1914 and by September of that year he was working as a junior draughtsman. When the Australian Government closed down its operations at Cockatoo Island in 1933, Stanley, listed as a senior draughtsman, was laid off. However he was quickly hired by the company that took over the shipyard, Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Company. Stanley continued to work at the shipyard through to the 1950s.

    Cockatoo Island is the largest of eight islands in Sydney harbour. The land was first put to use by European authorities in 1839 as a penal colony, before a dockyard was added in the 1850s and by 1908 the island was operating solely as a dockyard. Originally the dockyard’s official title was ‘Government Dockyard – Biloela’, referring to the Aboriginal word for ‘black cockatoo’, however in 1913 the establishment was sold from the NSW Government to the Commonwealth and the name changed to ‘Commonwealth Naval Dockyard, Cockatoo Island’. Under the Commonwealth the facilities were used to build ships for the Royal Australian Navy, particularly after the outbreak of war in 1914, however the dockyards also serviced other government departments and private clients.

    In 1933 Cockatoo Island was leased to the Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Company Ltd for 21 years, with the lease being renewed several times through to 1991. Between 1933 and 1991 when operations ceased, the dockyards built ships, carried out conversions and re-fits, as well as performing engineering work such as building engines and boilers. Throughout World War II Cockatoo Island was the main ship repair facility in the South Pacific, and the establishment also served to convert merchant ships for military service. During its time as a working dockyard, Cockatoo Island saw thousands of people, such as Wesley Stanley, pass through the facilities as employees and at its height during World War I, the dockyards employed around 4000 people. For the last twenty years of operations Cockatoo Island completed 14 major refits of the Australian Navy’s Oberon class submarines.

    The dockyards worked on many notable vessels, including EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA and HMAS VAMPIRE, the latter of which is preserved on permanent display at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.