The Enduring Rip

Barry Hill
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The Enduring Rip

Subjects

History

Published

1 December 2004

ISBN

9780522876215

Ebook File Size

25.3MB

Subjects

History

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

The Enduring Rip

Barry Hill
From the beginning the beautiful promontory of Queenscliff played a unique role in colonial history. Its local legend of William Buckley, 'the wild white man', who lived with the Wathaurong people for 32 years, is a seminal story of first contact between Aborigines and Europeans. White settlement in Queenscliff was essential to the navigation of the treacherous heads of Port Phillip Bay. In 1838 the first pilots operated in whale boats from Queenscliff, and by the time gold was discovered in the 1850s they were joined by a Health Officer and Customs Officer. By 1863 this maritime settlement was proudly respectable municipality, and soon afterwards a resort declared to be 'the Queen of the Watering Places', to which large steam ferries transported hundreds of people to the town's grand hotels. As a seaside resort Queenscliff was the compliment to the 'Marvellous Melbourne' of the booming 1880s. It also boasted of…
From the beginning the beautiful promontory of Queenscliff played a unique role in colonial history. Its local legend of William Buckley, 'the wild white man', who lived with the Wathaurong people for 32 years, is a seminal story of first contact between Aborigines and Europeans. White settlement in Queenscliff was essential to the navigation of the treacherous heads of Port Phillip Bay. In 1838 the first pilots operated in whale boats from Queenscliff, and by the time gold was discovered in the 1850s they were joined by a Health Officer and Customs Officer. By 1863 this maritime settlement was proudly respectable municipality, and soon afterwards a resort declared to be 'the Queen of the Watering Places', to which large steam ferries transported hundreds of people to the town's grand hotels. As a seaside resort Queenscliff was the compliment to the 'Marvellous Melbourne' of the booming 1880s. It also boasted of Fort Queenscliff as a key to colonial defences. And it had a vigorous fishing community that were the ballast of the town.

This first official history vividly weaves these threads. It breaks new ground on William Buckley as a go-between; Queenscliff's 'aristocracies' of pilots, lifeboat men and First World War soldiers; the rise and fall of the fishing industry; and the untold troubles of early Fort Queenscliff. Most of all it essays—with Barry Hill's touch as a poet—upon the resonance of Queenscliff as a place. It concludes with a challenging account of how the community of Queenscliff successfully campaigned in 1993 to remain an autonomous municipality, a political state of affairs that makes its historical identity a living issue.

Barry Hill

Barry Hill Barry Hill has lived in Queenscliff since 1975, from where he has been writing poetry, fiction, history, essays, radio works and libretti. His narrative poem Ghosting William Buckley won a NSW Premier’s Award, as did his labour history, Sitting In, which was partly a memoir of growing up in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. His most recent work, Broken Song, a biography of the Central Australian linguist T. G .H. Strehlow, won Premier’s Awards in Victoria and NSW, the National Biography…

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