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LAUNCH OF THE HARRIET McGREGOR.
From five to six hundred of the citizens of Hobart Town, including several ladies and most of our principal merchants and shipowners, as- sembled at McGregor's ship-building yard at the Domain, on Saturday afternoon, to witness the launch of the large vessel, which for the past fifteen months has been on the stocks in course of construction. The hull of the vessel, and the internal arrangements having been completed, it has been deemed advisable to launch her at once, so that while she is being rigged, the tim- bers may have ample time to swell before copper- ing the bottom. The masts and rigging are now in course of preparation, and it is expected that the rigging and coppering will be completed before the end of the present year, and that she will be ready to be placed on the berth by the 1st of January next, for London, whither she will make her maiden trip, to be classified at Lloyd's under the command of Mr. Richard Copping, captain of the Bella Mary. The dimensions of the vessel, which will be barque rigged, with double top- sail yards, are length of keel 121 feet ; length of keel between the perpendiculars 131 feet ; the main breadth 27 feet ; and the depth of the hold 16 feet. Her tonnage is 450 tons according to builder's measurement, and 350 tons N.N.W. measurement. The material used in building the vessel is of the best description, having been carefully selected by the designer and builder, Mr. John McGregor, who has con- structed the vessel to the order of his brother, Mr. Alexander McGregor. The keel, stem, sternpost, framework, keelson, clamps, beams, and outside and inside planking are all of blue gum, some of the planking being 120 feet long. The decks are made of Kauri pine, and the upper deck beams are secured by lodging knees of wood and hanging knees of iron, while every alternate upper deck beam has an iron staple knee which connects it with the corresponding lower deck beam. The beams of the lower deck are secured by iron staple knees, and hanging knees also of iron. The bow is secured by iron and wooden breasthooks and remarkably strong pointers, and the stern by iron and wooden transoms. The frame beneath the in-
side planking is secured by strong iron diagonal bracings, and all through the vessel the fasten- ings from keel to rail are of copper, no iron bolts having been used. The workmanship throughout reflects credit on the shipwrights, joiners, blacksmiths, and other artisans employed in the construction of the vessel. She is a
beautiful model of a clipper barque, having moderate rise and length of floor, and a very clean run. She has an oval stem, which has a remarkably light appearance, and will be appro- priately ornamented with carved work, which is being prepared by Mr. Henniker, of Hobart Town. The barque has a neat and sharp cut- water, surmounted by an admirably carved figure head, representing a young and handsome female. In the outfit, we learn that the latest improvements will be adopted including Skinner's patent vertical steering apparatus, which was imported by the Ethel, Captain Harmsworth.
All the necessary preparations for the launch were completed at seventeen minutes past four o'clock, and on a signal given the shores were cut ; and as the vessel began to move towards her future element the christening ceremony was performed by Mrs. Alexander McGregor, who gracefully and dexterously cracked a bottle of champagne on the vessel's bows, at the same time naming the vessel after herself, Harriet McGregor. A second bottle, as if to make security doubly sure, was smashed on the bows by Mr. McGregor. As the vessel reached the water three lusty cheers, and "one more" were given for her future success. The Harriet McGregor was immediately afterwards anchored in deep water, and was found to have a draught of 6 feet 8 inches at the bows, and 7 feet 8 inches aft. The Harriet McGregor and the whaler Runnymede, which had been repairing at the yards, were gaily dressed with bunting, the ensign, jack, and pendant, according to in- variable custom, being hoisted on staffs set in the deck of the new barque.
After the launch Mr. McGregor and about 100 ladies and gentlemen adjourned to a large room in the workshop, where a champagne lunch was partaken, and the usual toast of success
proposed and responded to.
Mr. TONKIN, Warden of the Marine Board, proposed the first toast, "Success to the Harriet McGregor, and the health of her owner, Mr. Alexander McGregor." He had formed, he said, a high opinion of the way in which the vessel was constructed, and considered that when she arrived in London, she would give thorough satisfaction to Lloyd's agents. He had written to Lloyd's by the last mail, and in his letter he told them that this vessel was going to London to be classified, and that he was convinced they would find nothing superior to her, whether as regards material or workmanship. He wished her success, and her owner long life and health to enjoy her success.
Mr. A. MCGREGOR briefly returned thanks.
Captain FISHER proposed the "health of the builder, Mr. John McGregor," remarking that this big vessel did great credit to his skill as a shipbuilder, as did the small schooner Halley Bayley, which he had launched about 18 months ago,and which had proved herself capable of hold- ing her own with any vessel in the Australian waters. The Rachel, a vessel recently built in New South Wales, had been classified A1 for twelve years at Lloyd's when she went to England, the highest classification that had yet been obtained by colonial built vessels ; and he felt thoroughly convinced that the Harriet McGregor would not, at all events, be anything behind her. He had known Mr. John McGregor since he was a boy, and he could say of him that he would do good by stealth, and be ashamed to own it. He wished Mr. John McGregor every prosperity. (Cheers.)
Tho subsequent toasts were "Mrs. McGregor and the Ladies," proposed by Mr. Chas. CROSBY, and responded to by Alderman RISBY ; "Health to Capt. Bayley," proposedby Mr. C. DOWDELL, and responded to by Mr. BAYLEY, and " the health of the artizans", proposed, by Mr. McMILLAN, after which the company dispersed.
CITY COUNCIL.-The Council will hold its usual meeting this afternoon at four o'clock.
HOBART TOWN BATHING ASSOCIATION.-The
prospectus of this Association appears in another column, and we have no doubt that it will com- mend itself to public support as it ought to do.
ST. JOHN'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.-The Rev. James Scott, of Bacchus Marsh, the new pastor of the above church, has been presented by his congregation at Bacchus Marsh with a handsome gold watch and other valuable testimonials of regard. Mr. Scott will, we understand, leave for Hobart Town by the next trip of the T.S.N. Co.'s steamer Southern Cross, and will be prepared to immediately enter on the duties of his new pastorate.
THE REV. J. SERVICE.-The Glasgow Herald of the 4th August, in reporting the proceedings of the ordinary monthly meeting of the estab- lished Presbytery of Glasgow, states :-" The Rev. J. Service having demitted his charge in St. John, Hobart Town, Tasmania, in which he has laboured for four years, and having returned to this country in order to occupy an extended field of usefulness, was cordially welcomed by the Presbytery, of which he is a licentiate. The Moderator expressed a hope that God would bless the labours of Mr. Service here as He seemed to have blessed them in a far-distant country."