"A meeting for the purpose of considering the best means of estabishing an Institution of this kind, at the above place was held at the Ship Inn on Monday evening. Charles Ferguson, Esq, being voted to the Chair, briefly stated the intention of the present meeting, and that all must concur as to the necessity of founding same Institution for the relief of the numerous cases daily occuring in this port, amongst so great a number of ships, large at present but small in comparison to what may be expected in a short time. For the last five months ending May 31st, five hundred and eleven vessels en-tered Hobson's Bay, amounting to a tonnage of ninety-five thousand three hundred and seventy-two tons, which, in tho same proportion for twelve months, would give two hundred thousand tons annually and, calculating four men for each one hundred tons, shows that eight thou-sand sailors arrive at this port in the space of a year, for whom, at present, there is no provision made for either sickness or accidents.
A lengthened conversation ensued, in th» course of which several instances were pointed out of he great benefit conferred upon the ship ping interest, by the establishment of an hospital at various ports named, and all agreed that such would be a great boon here. After some further discussion as to the wording of the re solution, the following was proposed by Captain Beaseley, and seconded by Captain Goss, «That this meeting is convinced of the necessity exist ing for a Seaman's Hospital, at Williams Town; and that a committee be appointed to draw up a menorial to His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, respectfully praying, that a sum of money be placed on the Estimate for the en suing year, fur this purposoe ; and that the memorial be given to William Westgarth, Esq. M.L.C. in order to its presentation, -and that the committee accompany Mr Westgarth at the presenting of the said memorial. This proposi tion was carried unanimously, and the following gentlemen were appointed a committee to draw up the memorial: Captain Berzeley (Clifton), Captain Ross (Kashemy), Captain Baker (City of Manchester), Captain Goss (Candahar), Capt Luke (Diana), Captain Nicholson (Calphurnia), Captain Hammach (Cambodia); and for carrying out the above, a meeting is appointed to take place on board the Clifton, this day, at four p.m.
A vote of thanks to the Chairman being proposed by Thomas Hunt, Esq, and seconded by A. A. Broadfoot, Esq. the meeting adjourned."
With the increase of commercial and migrant shipping, it was made obvious that seamen needed specific attention. The hospital in Williamstown was the first attempt to provide such service.
argus, seaman's hospital, williamstown, the ship inn, welfare, captain charles ferguson (1813-1868)