FROM THE BOOK "WHITE WINGS"
The Lady Jocelyn was originally built for the East India trade, and was fitted with auxiliary steam engines, but when the Suez Canal was opened the engines were dispensed with, and under sail in her early days she made some very fast passages to Australia. The Lady Jocelyn, in addition to having one of those musical names that cling to the memory, was notable for other reasons.
Up to the years 1878, when she sailed for the second time into the Waitemata, she was the biggest immigrant ship trading to these shores, and she was also the boat that brought out a large number of the Katikati and Te Puke settlers — two of the special settlements organised by Mr Vesey Stewart. The Vesey Stewart settlers were men and women in prosperous circumstances, and their arrival was regarded as a distinct forward step in the settlements of the colony.
A POPULAR SHIP
The Lady Jocelyn was built in 1852 by Mare, of London. Some years later she was bought by the Shaw, Savill Company, and under the well-known flag — which by the way was originally the design for the national flag of New Zealand — she made several successful voyages to Auckland, Wellington, Lyttlelton and Port Chalmers. She was one of the most comfortable passenger ships in the run, and was always very popular with the travelling public. Captain Jenkins was in command for about seventeen years, from the early sixties until the end of 1881, when he was succeeded by Captain Watt, who was formerly in command of the Wanganui. When the frozen meat trade between the Dominion and the Old Country was being developed, the Lady Jocelyn was fitted with refrigerating machinery and carried cargoes between this country and London.
TO TAURANGA DIRECT
The Lady Jocelyn brought out another large batch of settlers in 1881, and proceeded direct to Tauranga. It was the day after New Year’s Day that the Lady Jocelyn arrived off Tauranga, 95 days out from Gravesend, and as the wind was not favourable for making port, she tacked between Mayor Island and the Mount (the high headland at the entrance to Tauranga harbour). She made a magnificent sight standing across the bay, and there was quite a flutter in the rather sleepy little township, particularly among the Maoris, who were much more numerous in this district forty years ago than they are to-day. The Lady Jocelyn was the first immigrant ship to make a call at Tauranga, and seeing that in addition to the rarity of the occasion she was also a vessel of 2138 tons, it is no wonder that those who saw her standing on and off remembered it as one of the sights of their lives.
During the seventies the Lady Jocelyn made some rapid passages from the English Channel to Melbourne. In 1877 she is credited with having made the passage in 67 days, the best day’s run being 358 miles. She is also credited with having in 1889 made the passage from Lyttelton to London in 78 days.
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