Brisbane, Qld. (Lytton)

Doings of the Gayundah.

In accordance with the wish of the Government that a joint camp should be held by the Naval Brigade, one portion of which was to be afloat while the other remained on shore, the men in the brigade were divided into two divisions, the shore division under the command of Captain Walton Drake, R.N., and the sailing division under the command of Captain Taylor, R.N., senior naval officer. To enable the Maryborough men to participate in the “camp,” the Gayundah left Brisbane on May 20, and arrived at Maryborough on the following Thursday night. The local brigade and their field gun were taken on board, and the return voyage commenced, the local brigade being put to drill as soon as they were on board. Brisbane was reached on Friday, and the next day the Gayundah, with the Otter and Bonito attached, lay at Lytton, all ships being dressed with flags in honour of the Queen’s Birthday. At noon a salute of 21 guns was fired, and the brigade landed to take part in the feu de joie and parade held at the encampment. After the march past, the brigade again embarked, and the squadron proceeded to the bay. On Sunday, service was read by the commander on board the Otter, where all the men were mustered and inspected. After this ceremony, the fleet got under weigh, the Otter and Gayundah proceeding round Bribie Island, and thence by the north-west passage to Cowan Cowan, the Bonito steaming direct and meeting the other ships there. In the evening the Otter was despatched to town to coal and on Monday morning the other two ships returned to Lytton where they were joined by the Otter, and the men landed for the Governor’s inspection. All Monday the fleet remained at Lytton, and on Tuesday morning the Gayundah proceeded to Brisbane for water, the two other ships going outside the bay, where they were joined by the Gayundah later in the day. Steam tactics, that is working the three ships by signal, occupied the rest of the day, a boatrace, won by the Maryborough crew, completing the day’s work. On Wednesday the ship returned to Lytton to change crews, the Rockhampton men going on board, and those lately on board landing for shore drill under Captain Drake. On Thursday the fleet sailed for Peel Island, anchoring between that and Bird Island, and experiencing a high wind during the night. The men engaged at big gun drill and target practice, firing both the big guns, the Nordenfeldts, and rifles, good work being done with all weapons. The following day the fleet came direct up to town, as there were several severe cases of influenza on board. The commander speaks highly of the generally excellent conduct of all on board. The work carried out entailed six hours a day of drill at the heavy guns, and the ordinary man-o’-war routine. The work done during the week was of such a quality as to be exceedingly gratifying to the commander. On Saturday morning Major-general Downes and his aide-de-camp, Captain Tomkinson, visited the Gayundah, and expressed himself very well pleased with all he saw, especially as he had taken the vessel unawares.

The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 – 1934)  Sat 7 Jun 1890   Page 8