18 Jun 2020
By definition a Requiem is a final mass, a prayer for the dead, a final tribute. Each expression of Requiem is a tribute to a ship, wrecked or lost at sea and to the seafarers who sailed in those ships.
The first expression of Requiem is named after the SS FERRET.
Built of iron in 1871 in Glasgow, this 170.9’ long, 450 ton steam ship was owned by the Highland Railway Co when in 1880 the ship was stolen as part of a conspiracy in which it disappeared from its home in Scotland and mysteriously reappeared several months later in Australia under the new name of “India”.
"Constable James Davidson, who had recently arrived from Scotland, was at his post on the pier at Queenscliff as the India steamed past. At the time, he happened to be reading a copy of The Scotsman newspaper which included an article taken from the Glasgow Evening Citizen and which described the mysterious disappearance of the Ferret from the Clyde". The thieves were arrested, convicted and imprisoned.
The Ferret remained in Australia for the remainder of its working life owned and operated by the Adelaide Steamship Company, engaged in the Gulf trade in SA waters.
Almost 100 years ago, the Ferret was wrecked on 14 November 1920 after running onto a beach during a storm at Reef Head (pictured right) near Cape Spencer on the south coast of Yorke Peninsular. All 21 crew were rescued after walking 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) overland to Stenhouse Bay. The ship was under the command of a Captain Blair.
Coincidentally, the same beach had been the site of a wreck in January 1904, 17 years previous. A stricken Norwegian barque, Ethel, had run onto the beach and the SS Ferret had been the first vessel to arrive to report and assist with the rescue of its crew and passengers.
Source - wikipedia