Thursday, October 25, 2007

Friday's History Lesson: Station Pier, Port Melbourne...

Station Pier Today

Station Pier in the year 1910. Immigrants arriving in Melbourne.

History of Station Pier : Originally called Railway Pier, it was officially opened on 12 September 1854 and the 150th anniversary was celebrated in September 2004.
The pier played a pivotal role in Victorians’ lives from the time it was opened, particularly for the arrival of gold seekers and settlers throughout the mid to late 1800s.
In 1861, the original pier was extended, to more than 661 metres (2171 feet). Eventually, the original pier could not accommodate the increasingly large and more powerful steamships of the early twentieth century so it was realigned, extended further and renamed Station Pier.
The pier is heritage listed and the gatehouse at the entrance is of significant heritage and cultural importance.

The Gatehouse, Station Pier.
Comings and goings: In August 1899, the first contingent of troops headed for the Boer War in South Africa left from Station Pier. In October 1914, 16 ships left Port Melbourne carrying troops, horses and supplies as part of Australia’s contingent for the Great War (World War I). Station Pier was also the place of return for the military hospital ships.


The 1940s saw many troops embark for the Middle East, Britain and Singapore for World War II service.
Station Pier is intrinsically linked to Melbourne’s rich multicultural society with an average 61,000 overseas passengers arriving on an annual basis in Port Melbourne between 1949 and 1966. For many post-World War II immigrants Station Pier symbolises where their new life began.

HMAS Doomba, 1940. This ship was a training vessel aswell as a minesweeper.

Today, the pier has more than 500,000 local, interstate and overseas visitors, including migrant family and friends' reunions.

There is so much romance involved in the history of shipping, in the history of what went on, and what goes on today beside the waters at Station Pier. You really have to be there to acknowledge the fact. Sit, have a coffee, enjoy some seafood from some of the fine eateries just down from the Pier and won't be disappointed!


eric1313 said...

It's thursday night, yet I see into the ethers of the future, Cazzie!!! I hope your friday morning is treating you well.

And though I may be looking into the future, you show me and all of us glimpses into the past, and a beautiful one it was.

If ever there was a war that absolutely had to be fought, it was WWII. The madmen had to be stopped by the democracies of the world. Thank you once more for the view and your beautiful words.

Peace, forever...

rosemary said...

My mother's brothers were all sea the Navy and Merchant Marine. I always saw them as romantic/swashbuckling type men. The song of the siren maybe?

The Butterfly Bar said...

A siren's song... of course.

And the pictures tell us the words when they are drowned out by the waves.

G-Man said...

What a bunch of history all rolled up in one very special place!
I loved this story!!
Have a great week-end sweetie...Galen xox

Keshi said...

looks like a special place to check out next time Im there! tnxx Caz!

U hv a great wknd with ur lil babies!


Jay said...

Very cool! I bet my great, great uncle embarked from there when he fought in the Australian Army in WWI. I'll definitely have to visit that spot someday.

Steph said...

You missed your calling. You should have been a history teacher :)

general_boy said...

I really must pop down there next time I am in the windy city. :)

Cazzie!!! said...

Eric, I agree with what you say here for sure, thanks for the kind words.

Rosemary, Yes indeed song of the siren...

Butterfly, thaqnks for visiting.

Galen, I hope your weekend was wonderful also. It is gale force winds here atm!

Keshi, we have had an awesome weekend already, doing all things fun as a family.

Jay, it would be great to see him in uniform wouldnt i? Do you have any pics?

Steph, hmmm, I dunno bout that :)

GB, windy, it sure is today!!!!

mcewen said...

Newbie visiting from Q of D. Certainly sounds like an attractive option - sitting and enjoying the view with a coffee. You're right, there is a lot of associative romance, or maybe it's just the sea.
Best wishes

Rosanna said...

Honestly, you really do learn something new every day. Thanks Cazzie!

general_boy said...

Cazzie it makes me laugh whenever I watch Kath and Kim, you can always tell it's windy outside!!!