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Thomas Edward Creer


Thomas Edward Creer



Thomas Edward Creer was educated at St Peters College in Watsons Bay, Sydney, where Joseph Creer was pilot. Thomas spent 4 years working for the Black Diamond line of sailing ships under Captain Henry Simpson, when he was interested in becoming an engineer, but decided he was more interested in navigation, when he travelled to England.

After returning to Sydney as second officer, he completed his examinations to become chief officer, and moved to Adelaide, where he joined the barque Kalahome, belonging to Captain Simpson. He was then appointed master of the Floral Star, a barquette, in 1875, which was owned by Messrs. W.R Cave, Grierson & Wells, trading to New Zealand and interstate ports.


He then took command of the steamship Euro, and Emu, owned by the Euro Steamship Company.  After trading in the gulf for about seven years, he joined the Spencer Gulf and Adelaide Steamship Company, trading in command of the Franklin, South Australian and Victorian. In 1883 he inaugurated the trade to Western Australia for the Adelaide Steamship Company.


In January 1890, Thomas Creer became Secretary and Manager of the Adelaide Steam Tug Company. The company had five tugs, seven launches and nineteen hulks and barges as lighters, continually in operation. Thomas Creer lived at the Mail Station, Semaphore, where numerous telephones were installed to facilitate ready communication with all parts of the port. He was married at the semaphore to Catherine, daughter of John Neill.  They did not have any children.


This newspaper article gives a good description of Thomas Creers maritime career.


 Captain Thomas Edward Creer


“We present our readers with a portrait of Captain Thomas E Creer, a shipmaster whose association with South Australia dates from his birth, having been born in Currie-street, Adelaide, on March 17, 1850. His father following the sea faring pursuit…. as the Port brought young Creer in touch with ships and sailors, and when the older Creer was appointed chief pilot the son nourished his imagination on the sea yarns of beachrangers. He finished his education at St.Peters College. In 1862 he was sent away for cruise in the barque Fanny Fuller under Captain and Mrs Blanch, two very kind people who exercised parental care over the youth. At the end of 1864 he returned to homeport so tired of being at sea that his desire to be an engineer ended in his being started to work in the blacksmith’s shop of Messrs. Bennett & Son at the Port. That, however, only represented a brief interlude, and the father being appointed to the barque Kohinoor took the boy on his articles for a couple of years, when he was transferred as ordinary seaman to the Kadina, of which Captain Blanch was master, and when discharged in 1868 he was able seaman.

Later on he rejoined his father as second officer of the s.s. Platypus, where he served for a term with much credit, but the desire to extend his sphere of knowledge induced him to ship again as able seaman on the barque, Queen of Nations. Subsequently he served on board the s.s Medway, the s.s Sampson, the s.s. London, all hailing from London, and in 1870 joined the ship Centurion as third officer. Afterwards he was transferred to the ship Cairnsmore, and in 1872 joined the ship Rajah as second officer. The desire to return home after three years roving induced him to rejoin his old ship the Centurion, in which he returned to Sydney, where his father had definitely settled as master of the pilot steamer. Being promoted to be chief officer if the barque Kalahome, he had a couple of years varied experience in the intercolonial trade before being appointed to the Floral Star as Master.

He so far distinguished himself that on arrival of the s.s. Euro he was put in charge, and in 1881 transferred to the s.s. Emu. where he acquired knowledge of all the corners of the coastline, and continued sailing about without accidents for some considerable time. . In 1882 the Adelaide S.S. Company selected Captain Creer for the Franklin, and he there proved such a success that he remained for five years in her, when he changed to the South Australian. From 1887 to 1890 he navigated the Victorian, then one of the finest steamers in the intercolonial trade. During the time he was master there were many changes in the constitution of the Company, but Captain Creer was always in request. In 1890 he was selected to fill the important post of Secretary and Manager to the Tug Company, in which position he displays considerable ability and tact.”

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