Rockhampton, Qld.

The smart and spruce gunboat Gayundah, whose arrival here on Friday was chronicled in Saturday’s issue of this paper, ends her visit today, being supposed to sail for Bundaberg at 11 o’clock this morning. On Saturday afternoon the members of the Rockhampton Naval Defence Force, under Lieutenants Bowker and Spiers, went on board the vessel, where they underwent a lecture of an hour’s duration on practical torpedo defence work, by Torpedo-gunner H. B. Miles. The Gayundah has not been in any way altered since her last trip to this port. She is still armed, fore and aft, with long-necked breech- loading guns, having a range of about 7 miles, two 3lb Nordenfeldts on the superstructure deck, and with two Nordenfeldt four-barrelled guns, the mechanism of which Captain Taylor is never weary of explaining to his visitors, albeit he must be pretty tired of impersonating the naval ???erone  by this time., The Gayundah’s crew number about 50 men, about one-half of whom have served in the Royal Navy, including their very popular captain, Captain Taylor, whom not a few remember as a lieutenant of H.M.S. Wolverine, when that vessel was on the Australian squadron. Next to Captain Taylor is Navigating Lieutenant Smith, who is well known in Rockhampton as a former officer of the S.S. Eurimbla.  Together with these gentlemen are Lieutenant Russell, Torpedo Engineer, an Engineer C.Bennett, who make up the complement of the crew’s officers. Torpedo Gunner Miles is the latest of the Gayundah’s acquisitions. He belongs to Plymouth, where he was attached to H.M. torpedo ship Defiance, on which he passed the examinations that have qualified him to instruct. He is under a three years’ engagement to the Government as Torpedo Defence Instructor, and joined the Gayundah six months ago.  His lectures are said to be very interesting as well as instructive.

The Gayundah left Brisbane on November 5 for Townsville, ostensibly to serve ammunition where it was required; but Captain Taylor decided to make his trip up the coast as serviceable as possible to the respective Naval Defence Corps, and it is thus that both the Townsville and Rockhampton Corps have been able to take advantage of Gunner Miles’ experience.  The Gayundah reached Townsville on the 9th, and remained there till Wednesday, (the 13th.), where she sailed for this port. On the way, however, she encountered very heavy weather, and was for three days under the islands between Townsville and Mackay, which latter port she was eventually compelled to enter. This being the first occasion of the Gayundah’s visit to Mackay, the vessel was well-nigh rushed by visitors. The gunboat remained at Mackay two days, and left there on Thursday Morning, reaching Rockhampton on Friday at 1 p.m. Upon the Argus representative boarding the vessel on both Friday and Saturday, he was most courteously received by Captain Taylor and his officers, who did their utmost to make him comfortable on board, at the same time giving him a good idea of the ship’s armament.  It were futile to add another to the many descriptions of the Gayundah which have from time to time appeared in these columns.  We cannot, however, refrain from testifying to the clean and neat state in which the gunboat is kept. On boarding the vessel the impression is at once gathered from the appearance of the decks and all that is upon them, that the same spirit is there that has conduced to make the British navy what it is.  The Gayundah’s appearance, inside and out, reflects the greatest credit on Captain Taylor and on those who are in charge of the various departments of the ship.  The gunboat should leave at 4 o’clock this morning for Bundaberg; thence to Maryborough, when the local naval corps will attend Gunner Mille’s (sic) lecture, and she then returns to Brisbane. It is probable that the Gayundah will again visit Rockhampton in May 1890, or some time after the Lytton encampment.   

The Daily Northern Argus (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 – 1896)  Mon 25 Nov 1889  Page 3