MELBOURNE BRINDLE, FERRIER, LACCO AND McLEAR SAVE ERNIE RUDDUCK'S LIFE, DROMANA, VIC., AUST.
It's not often that I base a new journal on just one incident. There are six people mentioned in this story, an Australia-wide hero in 1905, a renowned wooden boat builder, an un-named Greek fisherman, the son of a circa 1871 Dromana pioneer, a boy who saved a life shortly before leaving for America (1918) and achieving fame and the son of one of the PIONEERING NEIGHBOURS NEAR CARRIGG ST,DROMANA.
The funny thing is that I would never have found this story if I had not been contacted by Shah about her ancestors who arrived in Rosebud in about 1938. Her father had not known Bill Chatfield of Rosebud West to be a fisherman and I told her that Bill's fishing operation was taken over by a Swede,but like Vin Burnham in his memoirs of life in early Rosebud,I couldn't remember his name. (I just remembered that it was Axel Vincent!)
In the hope of finding it,I did a search for "Rosebud, fisherman" on trove.
DRIFTING TOWARDS HEADS
MOTOR BOAT IN DIFFICULTIES.
A strong easterly wind, a choppy sea, A motor engine in need of repair, and a lucky escape were the chief features of an unpleasant experience which befell Mr Ernest Rudduck, a well-known grocer of Dromana, on the Bay last evening. Intending to have the engine repaired at Rosebud Mr Rudduck arranged with an elderly Greek fisherman to tow the boat, but he started from the Dromana pier alone shortly before 6 p.m., presumably
through a misunderstanding. The Greek failed to overtake the boat, and as the wind increased in force, Mr Rudduck was soon in difficulties. A return to Dromana was impossible, and to continue to drift meant increasing the danger of his already perilous position.
Observing Mr Rudduck's plight from the pier, Ewart Brindle, a lad of about 12, rode to Rosebud on a bicycle to seek assistance. A few minute after his arrival William Ferrier and Mitchell Lacco, well-known fishermen, John McLear, grocer, and Brindle were facing the gale in a fishing boat, and being drenched to the skin as the waves dashed over the vessel.
When the motor boat was reached it was drifting rapidly in the direction ofthe Heads, and had the rescue been delayed the incident might have been attended by still more unpleasant effects. The fishing boat, however, towed it safely to the Rosebud jetty, where the little group of watchers congratulated Mr Rudduck on his escape, and warmly commended the rescuers on their skilful handling of the boat in the trying circumstances.
Ferrier and Lacco are noted for their fearlessness at sea. Some years ago when the barque La Bella was wrecked offWarrnambool, and when all others considered it suicidal to attempt a rescue, Ferrier rowed to the scene of the disaster in a dinghy saving three of those on board. For his courage the citizens presented him with a purse of sovereigns.
(P.4,The Ballarat Courier, 24-1-1916.)
Ewart Brindle was more likely on the pier to sketch vessels sailing past rather than fishing. It hardly seems to have been a day for fishing. Twenty or so years after leaving Dromana,he produced a fabulous map of Dromana that is a history on its own. This map is available from the Dromana Historical Society. With such fabulous recall,his omission of his heroic deed from his recollections of his days as a schoolboy at Dromana, must have been due to modesty. See my journal THE FAMED MELBOURNE BRINDLE.
FREDERICK VINE (VEAN)THE UN-NAMED GREEK FISHERMAN.
Much information about Fred and his stepdaughter Mary B.Stone (a.k.a. Polly Vine)is given in Peter Wilson's ON THE ROAD TO ROSEBUD. Fred was one of the original grantees in the Rosebud Fishing Village but was associated with Dromana from early days,Vine being one of the original names on the Dromana State School roll in 1873,the Rosebud school opening a decade later. Fred later lived in a hut on the Dromana foreshore,roughly opposite Seacombe St. How would I know this? Melbourne Brindle's map,of course! There is a photo of Mary in Peter's book and one of Fred on page 73 of Colin McLear's A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.
Son of Nelson and Jane Sophia Rudduck, Ernie expanded the family business to Rosebud and when the shop was burnt in a bushfire, he soon replaced it. He leased the shop to Rosebud residents. Nelson was the grantee of two Rosebud Fishing Village blocks and donated one of them for the Methodist Church. Three reminders of the Rudduck family in Dromana are the beautiful two-storey Piawola, on the highway just east of Arthur St, Karadoc St on "Karadoc" (as is also the vacant paddock donated by the family for the Dromana Bush Nursing Hospital) and Ruddock Square on the foreshorejust east of the Pier.
See my journal WILLIAM FERRIER: AUSTRALIA-WIDE HERO IN 1905. William sailed out to the wreck with his disabled arm strapped to the mast. Despite this error,the article does credit to the journalist.
I've written a journal about the Laccos. Fort Lacco married a King girl whose sister married a Greek fisherman who probably died after their son, Tony, was born. His mother, Emily, later became Mrs Durham and Tony adopted this surname. Emily later owned Fort's Rosebud Fishing Village block on the east side of Durham Place. Tony's grand daughter was Judith Mavis Cock,better known as Judith Durham of The Seekers. The Laccos are revered as builders of wooden boats and the Rosebud Chamber of Commerce has installed a wooden statue of Mitch Lacco on the Murray-Anderson Rd corner, just across that road from thesite of his boat building premises. Mitchell St may have been named after Mitch.
John McLear married Janet Cairns of Boneo and settled just east of the Dromana Hotel. With Harry Copp and Dohn Griffith,he was one of Dromana's professional fishermen. As he was about 70 at the time of this incident,and died in 1918,it was more likely his son, John (Nip), aged 32, who took part in the rescue. I quote from page 104 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.
John (Nip) lived out his life at his father's home.He was Ern Rudduck's right-hand man in the (Dromana) Jetty Store for forty years or more and roved to him in the local football team.... In earlier days he had fished with his father. At one stage he drove Rudduck's grocery cart around the mountain bringing supplies to customers.
As Ernie Rudduck's wife's family seems to have arrived in Dromana not long before W.W.1, the four heroes probably also ensured the lives of Ernie's three children: Rene (Mrs King)who died at Mt Martha in 1988, Grenfell, a very prominent architect honoured by a plaque near Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, and Jack, who starred in sport and academics at Wesley College and was the school captain before becoming a pioneer of the great Australian outback. Jack was killed in 1956 while accompanying his sick youngest daughter on a Flying Doctor plane; it crashed in a violent storm and all aboard were killed.(A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA.)
on 2013-09-30 04:32:24
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.