Pilot Harbour Master Title


 

The Pilot or Harbour Master lived close to the Harbour and was responsible for managing the port and its ships. Therefore he was important to the industry of the region.

The first official Pilot was Alexander McPherson appointed in 1840 but he was not provided with a boat. The Pilot was responsible for two boatmen and occasional labourers. His duties grew to include the maintenance and operation of the Pilots station, lighthouse, signal mast, cranes, slipways, winches, lights and the leading light. The pilot was also responsible for recording a daily log of all shipping and port activities. An indication of the difficulties of the Pilots work is the tragic drowning of Pilot William Edwards on 21st June 1867, in the harbour whilst attempting to moor a vessel during a storm. He is buried in the Wollongong Pioneer Cemetery.