Sunday, 22 January 2017

From sinking ship to hope

University of Tasmania Family History course - Writing family history

Week 5 e-tivity - A whole new world
Write a narrative based on a moment when one of your ancestors arrived in a new place. What has brought them to this whole new world? What are they hoping to achieve and how did they feel?
Word limit 250 words.

From sinking ship to hope

As the Dubuc, laden with whale oil, sailed down the Derwent River to return to England the ship began to leak. Returning to Hobart Town, the precious cargo was off-loaded until another ship could be found to take the whale oil to England.

Thomas William Birch, the ship’s surgeon, had visited ports in many countries but had never seen one quite like this. The small settlement of roughly built huts haphazardly occupied land around the cove. The dock area where a few vessels were moored was noisy, smelly and dirty but the same could be said for other ports.

Looking around him, the landscape was very different from the landscape of England. The trees, in particular, were the wrong green and the general vegetation was far from lush. Hobart Town, settled four years previously, was a convict settlement. However there were some free settlers and attempts were being made to grow crops on small parcels of land.

Thomas knew that this settlement was on a large island waiting to be explored. Already whaling, fishing and sealing ships docked at Hobart Town. The new colony relied on trade with Sydney and the outside world for its supplies.  Timber was required to make a proper town with laid out streets and shops.

There was so much potential.

It was time to settle down.

This was the place to make a new life and, in time, possibly a fortune. Thomas William Birch therefore decided to make a new life in Hobart Town.

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