A MOUNTED photograph of Carlton’s 1928 touring team to Hobart, signed by all members of the party, is one of a number of glorious photographs forwarded to the club by the wife of the late Carlton Football Club director John Perriam.
The image, captured by local photographer Joseph James Barnett, features the captain-coach Ray Brew fronting the playing group, with vice-captain Horrie Clover – considered Carlton’s greatest player between the wars, standing immediately behind.
The touring party was transported across Bass Strait by the Nairana - a passenger ferry originally requisitioned by the Royal Navy as a seaplane carrier in 1917.
The Nairana is a story in itself. She saw service during the war with the Grand Fleet, and in 1918–19 supported the British intervention in the Russian Civil War.
Returned to her owners in 1921 and refitted in her original planned configuration, the Nairana ferried passengers and cargo between Melbourne and Tasmania for the next 27 years. She was twice struck by rogue waves in the Strait and nearly capsized on both occasions.
The Nairana was laid up in 1948, wrecked in a storm three years later and scrapped through 1953 and ’54.
In the 1928 Carlton Football Club Annual Report, Secretary PJ Cain noted that on Wednesday, October 3 of that year a party of 40 consisting of officials, players and trainers, left for Tasmania on a holiday trip aboard the Nairana “ . . . but not until after some anxiety, caused by the strike on the waterfront existing at that time”.
“The trip over found the waters of Bass Strait in angry mood, and the majority of the party experienced the discomfort of sea sickness for the first time, an experience which they are not likely to forget,” Cain wrote.
“Hobart was reached by train from Launceston, and on arrival at the Southern city we found that Mount Wellington was wearing its white cap, and, just for our benefit, more snow fell during our stay.
“Unfortunately, some of our party fell victims to the influenza, prevalent in Hobart, and had to lay up most of the time. The uncertainty of the strike compelled us to curtail our trip by three days, and we returned to Melbourne on Saturday, October 13, 1928, after seeing most of the sites for which Tasmania is renowned.”
For the record, Carlton’s touring team defeated a Southern Tasmanian combine on Saturday, October 6, 1928 – 15.13 (103)-13.9 (87).
Other items included in the Perriam collection are a Barroni and Co. mounted portait of the 1911 team, a Henry Krischock mounted image of Carlton’s Victorian representatives of the 1911 National Carnival in Adelaide, and a mounted image of the Carlton team which met Collingwood at Victoria Park on Saturday, May 17, 1913.
The images were passed on to the club by John Perriam’s wife Nanette via John’s long-time friend the former Carlton Premiership player, CEO and President Ian Collins.
To quote Collins: “When John died, Nanette Perriam mentioned that these photos were in his keep. I said to her ‘Give them to me and I’ll make sure they get to the club”.
And to quote Nanette: “It’s nice to know that these images will find a home”