The Abbott Family

1898 Edgar Joseph Abbott arrived on a ship having worked his passage as a “Pantryman”

9th November 1903 Gertrude May Julius married Edgar Joseph Abbott and they were living in Ballarat in 1905. Living at 4 Cove Street Watsons Bay by 1910-17

Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 – 1954), Sunday 6 February 1949, page 33 Now the baby lisped “Fish’ Today’s Sydney Office © For brothers Ned and David Abbott life offered only one attractive profession— deep-sea fishing. When they were children at Watson’s Bay Public School they spent every free moment on the pier, watching the small fishing craft come and go. Open-mouthed and goggle-eyed , they often saw tough sporting fishermen arrive back with huge sharks and struggle to suspend them from the weighing “gallows.” The brothers soon became Well known to all the professional fishermen, and most of the amateurs, who encouraged their interest in boats and fishing.  At weekends and during holidays the Abbotts went out with the hard-working professionals, learnt fishing, seamanship, and the care of small boats the hard way.  They made up their minds that definitely they would become fishermen. When the time came to leave school and start work, they automatically approached people they knew in their native Watson’s Bay, automatically went to, sea in trawlers. As if they hadn’t arranged it all along before! They fished happily in good and bad weather, saved money to buy and equip their own trawler. . . Then came the war. Ned joined the Navy, David the AIF (later he became a commando). They, served in the Southwest Pacific area, believed that after the war they would be able to realise their dreams.  Dark, lean Ned (6ft. lin.). was now 31 fair, lean David (6ft. 5in.) 27.

They were both married, still lived in their mother’s eight-roomed Watson’s Bay. house. Ned and wife Jan had a four-month-old son, John; , David and wife Billie had 12-month-old Peter. The brothers – also had a boat —the 37ft. seine trawler Viking.’ They were sub-contractors to the State Fisheries Department.  Their mission:  To keep the surfing beaches clear of sharks. They laid shark-meshing nets 150 yards to 200 yards from the shore between Palm Beach and Manly.  Since they started 18 months’ ago they had caught more than 500 sharks— the biggest measured 13ft., weighed 1300lb. Said Ned: “With all its dangers we love our job. “We saved hard, sacrificed many pleasures, for the Viking. “We keep it in good trim, look after it like a mother. “By owning one boat we have achieved part of our ambition. “Now we are saving to buy another boat — then we will buy a third, and so on till we have a fleet.” Said David: “While we love fishing and would undertake no other job, we don’t intend to bring our sons up to be fishermen. “My year-old boy is only happy when his mother brings him down to the pier among the fishing craft.  He already lisps the word fish. I’ll have to watch that.”

Warwick Daily News (Qld. : 1919 -1954), Monday 31 March 1947, page 3 With the Best Mrs Venour Nathan with the 1451b. black marlln she caught on a fishing expedition’

More Australian women should take up big game fishing, says M!rs Venour Nathan, of Burradoo, near Bowral.

Mrs Nathan was -the only woman to take part In the first post-war big game fishing expedition off the Heads- recently, organised by the NSW Big Game Fishing Association.

She had no luck—but then only one man caught fish that day.

Trolling off South Head recently, Mrs. Nathan took a 1451b. marlin, her first since the war.

Jack McGann and Dave Abbott, of Watson’s Bay, from whose boat Mrs. Nathan fishes, say she is ,no novice at big game fishing.

(Mrs Nathan has been fishing for some year’s and Is the keenest of the association’s few active women members.

She Is out to scotch the Idea that It’s all n matter of. brute strength.

“I’m not a big, strong woman,” she said, “but I’ve handled most of the big fish.

‘I’d like to bag. a really big marlin, or a shark, but I’m afraid It’s getting late in the season.”

Mrs Nathan travels from Bowral whenever there Is a chance to do big game fishing from Sydney.

21 December 1944

MORE-ABBOTT.-December 8, at St. Peter’s Church of England, Watson’s Bay, by the Rev. R. F. Bradley, Joyce May, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. Abbott, of Watson’s Bay, to Leading Seaman R.A.N. Stephen S. L. More, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. T. A. More, Neutral Bay.

Evening Advocate (Innisfail, Qld. : 1941 – 1954), Thursday 24 January 1952, page 1


SYDNEY. — An unidentified man stripped to the waist and swam through heavy seas today to help a fisherman whose launch was drifting on to rocks at Watsons Bay.

An 18ft. launch, owned by fisherman Ned Abbott, 22, of Watson’s Bay, capsized and was threatened with destruction on. nearby rocks. ‘ TRIED IN VAIN Abbott tried vainly to release the anchor of the craft to hold the boat away from the shore. The unknown man gashed his right leg when scrambling down rocks to the sea where he dived in the water and swam to the disabled boat 30 yards from the shore. He helped Abbott release the anchor, and then swam back to land. The police launch Nemesis arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and took the helpless fishing boat in tow. RECOGNITION . . Abbott said later: “Only for the man’s courageous action I would net have made it.”

Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 – 1954), Thursday 24 January 1952, page 5


A man stripped to his shorts and swam 30 yards in shark-infested waters to rescue a fisherman clinging to a cap-sized launch outside the Heads at 7.30 am today.

The man, stockily built and from Coogee, who declined to give his name, gashed his right leg in scrambling 50ft down rocks and in later scaling them. The fisherman, Ned

Abbott, 22, of Watsons Bay, was taken aboard the police launch Nemesis and later helped police right the 18ft launch. Abbott said he was cruising close to South Reef, outside the heads, when the launch was caught side on by a wave and capsized. Abbott said he had been making a good catch of fish near a pot hole, and was not aware he was so close to the rocks. The launch drifted to-ward the rocks with Ab-bott clinging to the keel. Then, disregarding warnings of shark from other men on the cliff-top a man stripped off his shirt and climbed down to the water. He swam out to Abbott, and assisted water police to secure lines to the capsised launch before re-turning to shore. Praising the man’s deed, Abbott later said, “I still don’t know who he is, but he was very decent.” Abbott also thanked the water police for assisting him to recover the launch.

Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), Friday 25 January 1952, page 3


Sydney, Thursday

A YOUNG soldier, who was in the right place at the wrong time, helped to rescue a fisherman off South Head today. The soldier, attached to South Head barracks, would not give police his name “because my C.O. would go mad at me.”

“1 was supposed to be doing something else some-where else,” he said.

He told Constable Abbott, of the water police, that “just for curiosity” he walked along the cliffs to above the “Pot Hole,” near Hornby light.

He saw a wave overturn a small launch from which Edward Abbott, 34, of Cove st. Watson’s Bay, was fishing.

As Abbott clung to the capsized boat only 30 yards from dangerous rocks the soldier climbed down the cliff, stripped, and dived in.

When Constable Abbott arrived in the police launch Nemesis, the soldier was helping Abbott to keep the launch off the rocks. Nemesis towed it to Wat-son’s Bay.

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Wednesday 18 May 1949, page 5

Charged Over Shark Meshing

A former fisheries inspector, David Julius Abbott, appeared at the Central Court yesterday on 20 charges of having made false entries in weekly statements to the Department of Local Government between September 5 and October October 3 last year.

Abbott, the charges alleged, falsely reported that certain ships, under a contract between Captain C. R. Stuart Pty. Ltd. and the Department of Local Government, hauled shark-mesh- ing nets and caught sharks be-tween Palm Beach and Cronulla.

The hearing will be resumed on May 30.

Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 – 1954), Tuesday 31 May 1949, page 9

Shark-meshing official for trial

Former shark-meshing inspector David Julius Abbott, 27, Cove Street, Watson’s Bay, was committed, at Central Court today, for trial on five charges of making false en tries on log-sheets of vessels used for shark-meshing. Vessels concerned in the case were used by Captain C. R. Stuart Pty. Ltd., who had a Government contract for shark-meshing. Mr. Hodgson, SM, fixed bail at £100.

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), Saturday 1 October 1949, page 13

Two Gaoled Over Shark Contract SYDNEY, Friday. – Two men charged with having attempted fraudulently to obtain £1000 from the Government over a shark meshing contract, were sentenced at the Quarter Sessions to-day to imprisonment. A shark meshing inspector. David Julius Abbott, 27, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment after the jury had recommended mercy. Thurston Armiger Bowring, 56, company director, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.

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