Rebuilt in 1777, Old Kirk Braddan, in the header phooto, contains its original box pews, gallery and a "three-decker" pulpit, with a lectern, minister's pew and pulpit above. It now houses several Celtic and Norse crosses from the period 800-1265, which were found in the parish. The church is still used occasionally for worship. It is entered in the Protected Buildings Register, and maintained by the Friends of Old Kirk Braddan.
CAPTAIN THOMAS EDWARD CREER
Thomas Edward Creer was educated at St Peters College in Watsons Bay, Sydney,** where his father, Joseph Creer, was pilot. Thomas spent 4 years working for the Black Diamond line of sailing ships under Captain Henry Simpson.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 beach rangers. 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 home port so tired of being at sea that his desire to be an engineer ended in him 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 inter-colonial 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.”
Captain Thomas Edward Creer was also mentioned in a publication by Ronald Parson “Steam Tugs in South Australia”.
“George Willmott retired from the twin role of Manager and Secretary in 1890 and was succeeded by Captain T.E.Creer. (in passing it may be of interest that shortly after his appointment to the position of manager of the Steam Tug Company, Captain Creer married a daughter of John Neill, the man who had arranged the final details of the recent amalgamation. Thomas was a well know Pt Adelaide shipping man and had been well connected with the Adelaide Steamship Company when is had absorbed the Gulf Company. He was also associated with numerous delivery voyages of ships from England to absorbed Australian colonies. He was also experienced inn salvage work.
Captain Creer's association with the Steam Tug Company was to span thirty six
years...a remarkable period of service directing the day to day affairs of a company!
Above. Captain Thomas Edward Creer.
In 1848, three of Edward's sons, Joseph (b 1826), Edward (b 1832)and Henry (b 1834) sailed to Australia to seek their fortune. Joseph and Henry followed in their fathers footsteps and became sea captains also, and Edward became a ships engineer.-
Captain Joseph Creer appeared to be the most prominent of the three brothers and a number of newspaper articles reported about him:- A description of the work of the Sydney Pilots Contemporary report of a shipwreck where Capt Joseph Creer tried to give assistance.Another Rescue at Sea His life and achievements are well described in these two obituaries All of Edward Creer's (d 1838) children ultimately settled and married in Australia. Joseph for example fathered 15 children and there are many descendants of this line still living in Australia today. The maritime tradition was carried on within the family. One
of Joseph's sons, Thomas Edward Creer, became later Manager of the Adelaide Tug Company for
example and several descendants served in the Royal Australian Navy. The most notable
subsequent nautical exploits of one of Edward Creer descendants were those of his great grandson
Henty Henty-Creer. He was a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War
II and was mentioned in dispatches for his involvement in the miniature submarine attack on the
German Battleship "Tirpitz" in a Norwegian fjord in 1943 and where he tragically lost his life. The
family of Lt Henty-Creer still disagree with the official RN version of his death and the fate of the
submarine X-5 that he commanded. This is covered in a Sydney Morning Herald report of 1974
and his sister Pamela Mellor (nee Henty-Creer) has co-authored a book
on the subject. Last updated 08/01/2009 © Copyright 2009 by John A Creer