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Material relating to the aquatic funeral of Mr A E G Thomas

Date: October 1901
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mary Shaw
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0206

User Terms

    This archive series includes a letter and newspaper clipping collected by businessman, entrepreneur and keen sailor Mark Foy relating to the aquatic funeral of Mr A E G Thomas in October 1910.

    The letter from the Sydney Flying Squadron was issued to Mark Foy and other members who were participating in the funeral procession, detailing the order of the 22 boat convoy escorting the steamship GARNET which conveyed the coffin from Clark Island to Watson's Bay. The newspaper clipping from White Wings dated 26 October 1901 reports on the funeral and lists the relatives and friends of Mr Thomas who boarded the steam launch AGENORIA which followed the GARNET. The material was donated by Foy's granddaughter Mary Shaw.
    History"Who cares who wins when no-one knows? And the kernel of this sport is always wasted, not only to the spectators but to the competitor... who cares what the boats are doing when they sail out of sight?"

    In 1895, entrepreneur and founding Commodore of the Sydney Flying Squadron Mark Foy (1865-1950) wrote this about the manoeuvres of the big yachts in regattas. He preferred the potential of Sydney's smaller open boats. Open boats, or skiffs, were beamy boats with huge sails - and large crews of waterfront workers for ballast. Based on workboats from six to 24 feet (1.8 - 7.3m) long they were a spectacle on Sydney Harbour. Skiff racing was a tough working-man's sport.

    Foy introduced rules to make the sport more lively - coloured emblems for the sails, a short triangular course with handicapped stat, large prize money and spectator ferries with punters following the races. By the 1920s the open boats were standardised as 18-footers and were racing in Western Australia and Queensland.

    In 1898 he challenged the Medway Yacht Club in England to a match race series entitled the Anglo Australian shield. Unsuccessful, he challenged again in 1898.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Material relating to the aquatic funeral of Mr A E G Thomas


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