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Photographs supplied by Peter Williams

The gates commemorate those who lost their lives in the Greycliffe ferry disaster of 1927. 

The Greycliffe disaster occurred in Sydney Harbour on 3 November 1927 when the harbour ferry Greycliffe and the Union Steamship Company mail steamer Tahiti collided. The smaller ferry was cut in two and sank with the loss of 40 lives, the deadliest incident on Sydney Harbour.

Many residents of the district gathered in the grounds of St. Peter's Church of England, Watson's Bay, on Saturday afternoon, when the imposing gates which have been erected as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Greycliffe disaster were dedicated. The Right Rev. D'Arcy Irvine, Bishop-Coadjutor, who performed the dedication ceremony, said that the spot which had been chosen for the site of the gates was itself a very familiar one to all to whom the gates would be a remembrance. The parishioners had done well in putting up such a tangible memorial, although it was not necessary to have some outward token of their remembrance, for the memory of those who had gone was enshrined in their hearts. There were occasions, said the bishop, when we were ready to say, with Tennyson: "Break, break, break on thy cold grey stones, O sea! And I would that my tongue could utter the thoughts that arise in me."

But even in the stress of great sorrow the dignity and responsibility of life might not be forgotten. The rector, the Rev. J. F. Cherry, said that the gates had been erected as a public memorial, not only in memory of those who had lived in the district, but of whoever had met death in that tragedy. He expressed thanks to Colonel Hurst, who had given his services in designing the gates and superintending the work, and to members of the municipal council for additional work on the roadway. There still remained the sum of £166 owing on the cost of construction. The gates were officially declared open by the Mayor of Vaucluse, Alderman C. A. Samuel. The service was continued in the grounds, despite a sprinkling of rain. The Rev. M. Garbutt, of Rose Bay, assisted. Later in the afternoon the visitors were entertained at tea in the school hall.
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 27 May 1929.


Address:331 Old South Head Road, St Peter`s Anglican Church, Watsons Bay, 2030
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.846895
Long: 151.284808
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Gates
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:03-November-1927
Actual Event End Date:03-November-1927
Designer:Colonel Hurst


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 25th May, 1929
Left Side Inscription

Greycliffe Memorial Gates

Erected To The Memory Of Those Who Lost Their Lives In The Greycliffe Disaster 

Sydney Harbour

3rd Nov. 1927.

Right Side Inscription

Greycliffe Memorial Gates

Erected By Public Subscription And Dedicated By THE RIGHT REVEREND  BISHOP DARCY IRVINE 

11th May, 1929. 

J. F. Cherry, Rector. 

Source: H, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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