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LOSS OP A PLEASURE PARTY IN ST. VINCENT'S GULF.
We have this month to record one of the saddest event3 which it has been our lot to chronicle for many years past in the loss of five voune men residing in Adelaide, and two boat
men who accompanied them in a cruise across St. Vincent's Gulf. On Sunday, the 23rd June, a party, consisting of Messrs. R. B. and H. White, sons of Mr. G. White, of the Adelaide Assembly Room, R. Monteith, son of Mr. T. F, Monteith, F. Heydecke, a well-known musician, and C. W. Primrose, son of Mr. John Primrose, with Messrs. Haynes and Sugars, as boatmen, left Glenelg intending to go across to Yorke's Peninsula for a few days' kangarooing, and to return on Friday, June 28. There now remains no doubt that the boat was swamped during the heavy squall which occurred the same night, and that the whole of the members of the party as well as the boatmen have lost their lives. Of course, although there was some anxiety on the part of the friends ef the excursionists, owing to the rough weather in which they had ventured out, days elapsed before any real alarm was ' felt, but when their protracted absence had begun to excite lively fears for their safety, arrangements were made for a thorough search of the shores of St. Vincent's Gulf and the ? coast of Kangaroo Island, to see if there were j any traces of a wreck. At midnight on July 4 the Eleanor, chartered by Mr. Primrose, left on a cruise of observation, taking with her, besides Captain Wells himself, Mr. Sawers, Mr. Primrose's eldest son, and Mr. George James, of the Norfolk Arms. Setting out from Holdfast Bay, the steamer shaped . a course to the other side of the Gulf, and j followed the coast-line as far as Surveyor's Bay — \ an inlet lying considerably to the north of Oyster j Bay. It was this point that the pleasure party on leaving intended to make; but no trace , of them could be discovered. Whilst the j Eleanor lay here Shephard's boat, which had been dispatched from Glenelg on Thursday, hove in sight. Instructions having been given that it should proceed southward, the steamer went on to Black Point, and com munication was had with Messrs. Goldsworthy and Buttfield, and the latter promised to ride for some distance down the coast, and to send his boys further northward. Arrangements were made for forwarding to Adelaide by the. earliest possible opportunity any news that might be procured. The Eleanor, which in returning carefully examined the coast between Porte Wakefield and Gawler, reached Port Adelaide on Friday night, July 5, at half -past 11, having obtained not the slightest particle of information respecting the missing party. The following letter, which we received on Saturday morning from Mr. Alfred Hack, of Aldinga, seemed to convey a more probable clue to the fate of the missing boat than anything which had hitherto reached us in an authenticated form. The facts were therefore at once communicated to the relatives of the men who formed the pleasure party, and they forthwith acted upon the infor mation supplied. Our correspondent said:— 'Several articles, evidently belonging to a boat, have come ashore here within the last few days, and from seeing that a boat is missing it is thought that they may belong to it, and may lead to some trace of the missing one* being discovered. The articles are as follows :— One 18-foot oar, one large basket, and a five* gallon keg with a leathern lip to pour the contents out. It was full of fresh water and securely corked when found. Should anything further be found I will at once forward particulars.' Acting upon this information Mr. G. White, father of Messrs. R. B. and H. White, started from Rosefield at 2 p.m. on Saturday for Port Willunga, with his son Charles, his son-in-law Mr. Charles Pearce of Kent Town, and Mr. W. Phillis, of Mount Pleasant. They arrived at Aldinga Bay just before dark, and got a good deal of information there. On Sunday morning they went in different directions for the various articles which had been found on the- beach. Mr. Phillis then went down the shore about five miles towards Rapid Bay, but saw no wreckage whatever. At the same time Messrs. Charles White and Pearce proceeded from Aldinga Jetty to the mouth of theOnkparinga, examiBing care fully the beach and the caves, but without effect. In the meantime the recovered articles had been collected, and the party started for Glenelg with them. [We may here mention that the things cast up on the beach were— a cask, corked, and full of fresh water, which was discovered close to the jetty ; a new oar without any marks ; a deal pump painted black, and measuring 4 ft. 6 inches long ; a basket ; a piece of deal boarding marked VT. and vn., also several other pieces of wood. All except the cask were found at varying distances, covering a space of about six miles in the direction of Rapid Bay.] On reaching the Bay the articles were shown to persons who were in a position to identify them with the following result :— Mrs. Sugars, the wife of one of the boatmen, recognised the basket, as did also several residents of the Bay. Mrs. Haines, the wife of the other boatman, identified an eight-gallon keg with leather lip at the bunghole, and painted black; she also recognised a wap-hatch out of the sternsheets. Mr. lYates, the owner of the Colleen Bawd, recognised a piece of the hatch with the numbers vi. and vil An old hat was also found, but it was not known by any person there, and from its appearance it had been in the water a long while. Other fittings of a boat have been found upon the Aldinga coast, but they have not been recognised as be longing to the missing boat. We learn also that a3 two young men were out fishing on Monday, the day after the party sailed, they saw what appeared to them a tub or some floating substance about three miles distant, but paid no further attention to it; but now they are inclined to believe it was a boat bottom upwards, floating southwards. A pair of elastic side boots were washed ashore during Thursday on Aldinga beach, but it was ascertained that they did not belong to the missing party. The Prima Donna, Edith Alice, Adonis, Sultana (with Messrs. R. F. Burton and C. H. Oldham on board, with Mr. Manton in charge of the boat), and Mr. Shephard's putter the Intrepid, and other craft, whose ordinary busi ness required them to cruise in the Gulf, have made a most thorough search, while the police and many private person have been indefa tigable in their efforts; but with the exception of the articles discovered upon the Aldinga beach no traces have been found. In several of the city Churches on Sunday the state of terrible suspense in which relatives and friends of the mi&sing ones have been was touch ingly referred to during the devotional exercises. The deep anxiety has in the case of Mrs. R. B. White, we are told, caused a somewhat prema ture confinement, but mother and child are alike doing well. Intense sympathy is felt for the weary watchers and the sad at heart who have been hoping on amid agonizing mental torture. It may be interesting to our readers to be with a few particulars of the career of the gifted gentleman, Mr. R. B. White, whom the most hopeful must now conclude to be undoubtedly lost:— Mr. Richard Baxter White was born at Adelaide on August 26, 1839. At a very early age— between eight and nine years having shown a great ability for music, he was placed under Mrs. Murray for tuition on the pianoforte, and directly after, hearing the late Mr. Wallace play a violin solo, he seemed struck with that instrument, and said he should like to learn it. He then became a pupil of Mr. Wallace, and after the second lesson was able to tune his instrument and play ' God Save the Queen' perfectly. He was under the instruc tions of Mrs. Murray and Mr. Wallace for about four years, and played the piano and violin several times in public. He afterwards became himself a teacher of both instruments, but find ing there was no one here able to give him further instruction, his father sent him to the Royal Academy of Music in London, and being introduced to that institution by Miss Hart, the sister of the Hon. John Hart, C.M.G., of Adelaide, he was examined by the Doctors of
Music on both instruments, who pronounced that he had all the natural talent aecessary to form a first-class musician. He was therefore at once placed under M. Sarton for the violin, Mr. Brinley Richards, Professor of Music, for the piano. Aftera timehe showed greatabilitiea at the Academy's and Students' Concerts, at which he received great applause, and notices appeared in the London papers speaking very highly of his performances. As showing the generous spirit of Mr. White, it may be mentioned that at the end of his last year the contest for a King's Scholarship lay between him and a fellow-student, an orphan named Isaacs, and he gave up all claim in favour of the other com petitor. He remained in London about five years, and then returned to Adelaide, where he followed his profession for tho last 14 years, besides giving instruction on the two instruments of which he was master. He has been leader cf the Philharmonic Society since its establish ment, and also of the Ladies and Gentlemen Glee Club, as well as conductor at the Catholic Cathedral Choir. For some time he was leader in Lyster's Opera Company, and had attained to the height of his profession when the sad catas trophe, which it is now almost certain must have occurred, deprived him of his life. He was of a kind, gentle disposition, very much beloved by his pupils, and generally esteemed by all who knew him. The conductor, the band, and the other members of the Philharmonic Society speak in very high terms of his ability as their leader, and exceedingly deplore his loss.