Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Melbourne's Own Cruiser

On 26 March 1913, the new RAN cruiser HMAS Melbourne sailed gloriously into Port Phillip Bay, 'Single Line Ahead' leading HMS Encounter, Torpedo Boat Destroyers Warrego, Parramatta and Yarra.  She was later to receive the insignia of the City of Melbourne, which is included in the current RHSV exhibition, on loan from the Australian War Memorial.

On the exact anniversary of that triumphal entry into the port of Melbourne, the RHSV exhibition was launched, and at the same time a new history of the working life of HMAS Melbourne was launched.

L-R:  Andrew Lemon, President RHSV; Captain Mike Harris, RAN; Andrew Kilsby; Commander Greg Swinden, RAN.
The authors of the new book, Andrew Kilsby, left, and Commander Greg Swinden.

The official guest to launch the exhibition and book was Captain Mike Harris, left, with Andrew Kilsby.
 Captain Mike Harris, RAN, has a double connection with the story of the Melbourne.  He captained its namesake, HMAS Melbourne (2) until 2011, and his great-grandparents were among the passengers rescued in from a stricken vessel, the Helen B Sterling in very heavy seas in 1922.   A descendant of one of the seamen who manned a small cutter to affect the rescue was also present for the launch.

The Melbourne entering Port Phillip Bay, 'Single Line Ahead', leading HMS Encounter, and Torpedo Boat Destroyers Warrego, Parramatta and Yarra.  From The Argus, 27 March, 1913, p5.

 The Exhibition is open until 1 May, open weekdays from 10 till 4, at the RHSV, 239 A'Beckett St, Melbourne (near the corner of William St.)       

Friday, 22 March 2013

The Tree Project

The Tree Project was mentioned in a recent Plenty Historical Society Newsletter.  The link provided  reveals a truly heartwarming project to support the fire-ravaged communities of Victoria.

We look forward to hearing more about the installation of The Tree Project.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Picture of the Month - March 2013

Capital Melbourne Parliament House
Parliament House and Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne, c. 1900: once Federal and State Houses of Parliament [RHSV Collection : PC-0341]

Canberra, Australia’s ‘National Capital’, celebrates its centenary on 12 March. On that day in 1913, the foundation stones were laid for a ‘Commencement Column’ and the new Australian capital was officially named ‘Canberra’ by Lady Denman, wife of the then Governor-General.

 It would be remiss not to point out that Melbourne was the seat of Australia’s Federal government for over a quarter of a century.     Read more...

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Enjoyable Day at Euroa

The historic flour mill at Euroa where we held our Seminar today.

Kate Prinsley, RHSV Executive Officer, gives important advice about applying for grants.

Over 60 participants attended, some of them seen here enjoying lunch.  Our thanks to our hosts, Euroa Historical Society.  We highly recommend a visit to their museum.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Like the RHSV on Facebook

Like the RHSV on Facebook for a chance to win a RHSV address book

Sunday, 3 March 2013

HMAS Melbourne (1) Centenary Exhibition

Life Buoy of the Melbourne, 1920s, AWM REL 12103

Fear God and Honour the King:  HMAS Melbourne (1) 1913-1928

Exhibition date:   18 February  – 1 May

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria, an official supporter of the Military History and Heritage Victoria (MHHV), is pleased to host a major exhibition presented by MHHV to commemorate the centenary of the arrival of Australia’s first light cruiser, HMAS Melbourne, in Port Phillip Bay on 26 March 1913. The ship took the name and crest of the City of Melbourne and its credo ‘Gather Strength as She Goes’.

The Melbourne, a 5,600 ton ship with eight 6-inch guns, served the Royal Australian Navy from its commissioning in England in 1912 until its decommissioning, also in England in 1928. She saw war service in the operations against the German colonies in the SW Pacific in 1914, escorted the 1st AIF fleet from Albany, WA; saw service with the West Indies Squadron in 1915-1916; then served with the North Sea Fleet from 1916-1918. In 1922 the Melbourne was involved in a dramatic rescue of the crew of an American schooner in the Tasman Sea, at the height of a hurricane.

The exhibition, which takes its name from the scroll donated to the ship by the City of Melbourne in 1913, will feature the ship’s original crest, memorabilia, photographs and documents kindly lent by the Australian War Memorial, the Australian National Maritime Museum, Museum Victoria, Monash University, the Museum of HMAS Cerberus, State Library of South Australia and from individual donations. HMAS Melbourne on patrol in the Caribbean. The exhibition examines the ship’s war service as well as the crew who served her.

Sponsors of the exhibition include the Port of Melbourne Corporation, Navy Health, the Melbourne Naval Centre and Cooee History and Heritage.

To book or find out more ring 9326 9288 or email

The exhibition ends 1 May.