AUSTRALIA-WIDE HERO IN 1905: William John Ferrier of Warrnambool, Queenscliff and Rosebud.
William John Ferrier was a hero. Apparently suffering with an injured arm and conditions so bad that he had to lash himself to his mast, he performed a heroic rescue when the La Bella was wrecked near Warrnambool in 1905. He was a fisherman at this stage and was awarded the Humane Society's gold medal for his bravery. Between 1905 and 1915, he was the lighthouse keeper of the South Pile Lighthouse in Port Phillip Bay. During his time there, he owned the historic house at 858 Pt Nepean Rd on crown allotment 7 of the Rosebud Fishing Village, which had been granted to Thomas Coppard, a member of the Queenscliff Fishing Co. It is probable that the Government had given him this job as a reward for his heroism. While at the lighthouse, he painted ships on the timber interior which are shown on the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum website. Both Warrnambool and Queenscliff have a continuing Ferrier presence. William and his wife seem to have retained an affection for Rosebud as they gave this name to their house in Beach St, Queenscliff. Lew Ferrier's fishing boat was also given this name and played a prominent role in the opening of the renewed harbour in recent years.
When William (having gone back to fishing) died in 1937, all the flags in Queenscliff flew at half-mast.
Ferrier, a great name in Victoria's maritime history!
on 2011-08-20 09:26:32
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.