The appearance of the Queensland Government gunboat Gayundah steaming up the river and anchoring abreast the town of Maryborough furnished an event in our local history, the Gayuudah being the first vessel of war which has visited this town. The Gayundah is one of the two gunboats obtained by the Queensland Government for defence purposes, on the suggestion of Sir W. Jervois and Colonel Scratchley. She arrived in the colony in the early part of this year, and in her share of the military and naval evolutions at Brisbane last Easter proved herself a very handy vessel of war, and useful defender.
Her armament consists of a long 8-inch Armstrong breech-loading gun, projecting from a turret forward; a 6-inch gun of the same class at the stern, but fixed on a vavasour carriage which permits it to be fired in any direction. Both those guns and their gunners are protected by heavy iron shields. On the quarter-deck aft are two Nordenfeldt guns, and on the hurricane deck forward are two more of those terrible modern implements of destruction. The vessel’s fore-top mast has been taken down since the Gayundah’s arrival in the colony, and on the masthead is erected a small pivot-turret containing a five-barrel Nordenfeldt, with an all-round fire, and protected by a strong shield.
The powerful propelling machinery of the Gayundah, which gives her a speed of 10 knots, is, with the officers’ and crew’s quarters, located below the waterline; in fact, the vessel is designed to do as much damage to an enemy, and incur as little herself, as possible.
The Gayundah is at present under the sway of Commander Wright, R.N., who has charge of the Queensland Naval Forces. His officers are— Mr. Hesketh, lieutenant ; Mr. C. E. Wilson, first engin-eer, Mr. J. Richardson, second engineer, and that old friend of the colonial travel ling public, Captain N. G. Buttrey, as navigating officer. The vessel carries a crew of 40 men.
Commander Wright is now returning to Brisbane from his first annual cruise of inspection. He has visited the northern ports with the Gayundah, and reviewed the naval brigade forces at Rockhampton and Townsville. The vessel left Brisbane on 16th November. She left Townsville on 10th December on her return, and reached Woody Island on the morning of the 14th, arriving at Maryborough at 6 p.m.
As the Gayundah is decidedly an object of interest to many of our citizens, we trust she will remain a day or two and be thrown open for inspection.
Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser. 15 Dec 1885. Page 3