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REPORT BY SURGEON SUPERINTENDENT SHIP BLAIRGOWRIE
London to Lyttleton 1875

Herewith I beg to hand you my report of the Ship Blairgowrie, which left Plymouth May 19th. London on May 23rd 1875, and arrived Lyttleton Harbour on August 22nd.

The passengers were embarked at Plymouth, after a most careful inspection by myself. The immigrants in all numbered 430 souls and taken as a whole were far above the average of immigrants sent to the colony. I might mention especially the single girls. They were remarkably good and their conduct on board was unexceptionable.

The health of all on board during the voyage was remarkably good and the death rate remarkably low as will be shown by the absence of cases to be reported by me in the medical journal provided for that purpose. All the instruction as to keeping the people in good health have been faithfully carried out. I might mention the issuing of soft bread daily has been a wonderful improvements in the health of the immigrants, this and the

The health of all on board during the voyage was remarkably good and the death rate remarkably low as will be shown by the absence of cases to be reported by me in the medical journal provided for that purpose. All the instruction as to keeping the people in good health have been faithfully carried out. I might mention the issuing of soft bread daily has been a wonderful improvements in the health of the immigrants, this and the abundant supply of milk had a most decided effect in keeping disease such as Diarrhoea from the Immigrants. In fact I might state that the voyage has been peculiarly free from disease. This I attribute to the liberal scale of diet – condensed water and full medical stores. I may state the condensed water was equal to that on board from Loch Katrine and quite equal to the artesian water of Christchurch. The water closets in the single girls’ section acted well. I would wish to come to the attention of the Commissioners to a person whose occupation on board during the voyage has been that of Lamp Lighter, and would draw the Governments attention to the necessity of having on every Immigrant ship, a man, whose sole duty should be the officer of taking all lamps into his charge, lighting them at sundown and seeing all extinguished at 10p.m. And that the customary lamps be placed in positions for the night thus providing for safety and comfort of the ship and sea. I would further call the attention of the Immigration Commissioners to the cleaning of utensils, which are put on board the Immigrant ships; they are not sufficient, were of the commonest description and were very scarce. I would suggest that twice the quantity now supplied should be put on board, and that at least three (3) tons of sand and double the quantity of lime should be put on board. The same not to be accessible to the crews, but placed entirely under the Surgeon Superintendents hands as he may deem fit, the cause for the remark is simple. The Officers and crew purloin these things and for the welfare of the ship they are involved.

I regret to say to say that the matron Mrs. Dryhurst, on leaving the land became very ill and that I had to appoint another matron. I am pleased to state that the ventilation of the ship was perfect indeed, so much so that the wind-sails in the tropics were dispensed with, indeed my opinion is that every ship should have a proper ventilation system, up and down cast, the latter to be carried within 6 inches of the ships deck, and thereby producing a thorough current of air this would flush the ‘tween decks before and aft.

In conclusion I would state that the Ship "Blairgowrie" is a very well adapted ship for Immigrants, that the stores were of very best description and were abundantly supplied.

Signed E Husband - Surgeon Superintendent