Millstone and pulley from L’Astrolabe



WEB Millstone

WEB Wheel






L’Astrolabe was under the command of Langle.  In addition to fresh drinking water………………..”another of Langle’s concerns was a workable windmill to provide the flour needed daily for the crews.  Flour perished quickly in the hold and it was soon attacked by rats;  and when the French called at ports run by Europeans, they expected to buy mostly wheat and other grain, and not much flour.   Grinding wheat was a a slow and cumbersome task, difficult to carry out at all when the weather was bad.  Langle saw to the installation of windmills on the poop-deck of each ship. (from Journal of La Perouse trans. John Dunmore, Vol 1:xcviii).

WEB Millstone from L'AstrolabeMillstone from L’Astrolabe, Stone, Retrieved from the shipwreck of L’Astrolabe in Vanikoro by Reece Discombe, 1958.  Weighing approximately 80 kilograms, this stone is the bottom half of the mill which was used for grinding grain to make bread.  The wheel was driven by a windmill on the stern of the boat as the ship sailed.  An iron peg engaged the windmill’s driving mechanism, the rusted remains of which can still be seen on the outside of the wheel.   Donanted by Reece Discombe, 1993.  Acc No. 93.2

Laperouse Expedition in Carmel, California

 The women are largely employed in household tasks, looking after their children, and roasting and crushing the grain, a very slow, laborious task because their only method is crushing it on a stone with a roller, more or less as is done with chocolate in Europe.  Mr de Langle who witnessed this operation gave his mill to the missionaries, and it would be difficult to render them a greater service;  four women will now do the work of a hundred, and there will be time left to spin the wool of their flocks and manufacture some rough cloth;  but until now the religious, more concerned with the interests of Heaven than with temporal matters, have been very neglectful of the need to introduce the more common crafts;  they are so austere in respect of themselves that they not have a single room with a fireplace even though the winter is quite severe, and the greatest saints have not led a more edifying life.  (from Journal of La Perouse trans. John Dunmore, Vol 1:182)

Lapérouse Day celebrated with launch of Lapérouse Sailing Through the Enlightenment



WEB Nicole and book

On Friday 13th March at the Lapérouse Museum, Randwick City Council hosted dignitaries and Friends for a very special occasion. Lapérouse Day celebrated in March of each year, remembers an extraordinary man and navigator Jean Francois de Galaup, le Comte de Lapérouse. After a 6 week stay in Botany Bay which began on January 26, 1788 Lapérouse left our fateful shore never to be heard of again. We now know that his ships met with a cyclone off the Santa Cruz archipelago, in particular the Island of Vanikoro – modern day Solomon Islands – where the wreckage of ‘La Boussole’ and ‘L’Astrolabe’ have since been found, following a series of French and international expeditions since the 19th century.

In attendance Friday evening were, Deputy Mayor of Randwick City, Councillor Anthony Andrews and Mrs. Samia Andrews, Randwick Councillor Greg Moore,  Councillor Philip Sansom (Hurstville Council), French Consul General to Sydney Mr Eric Berti and Mrs Madaleine Berti, President of the Friends of the Lapérouse Museum Dr William Land AM, Mrs Petula Samios, Member of the La Pérouse Museum & Headland Trust, and representing Thales Group Australia in his capacity as a Member of their Advisory Board, Mr Stephen Loosley AM.

BookThe evening offered the perfect occasion to present to the Museum a booklet entitled Lapérouse Sailing Through the Enlightenment written originally in French by the Parisian novelist Anne Pons, edited by Friends of the Lapérouse Museum Committee Member, Nicole Forrest Green(above).  It depicts the life and journey of Lapérouse and will be offered for sale at 10 a copy. Its publication was made possible due to the generous support of Thales Group Australia, as they celebrate a long tradition of French-Australian maritime history.  The book will be offered for sale at the Museum.
WEB Stephen Loosley  WEB Bill Nicole Eric Anthony WEB Carol Dawn Phillip Abelas WEB Carol WEB Group 3Eric NicoleWEB Councillor Greg Moore WEB Eric and staff WEB Eric Cam Carol WEB Eric Tony WEB Gail and group WEB Greg and MadeleineWEB Eric and children WEB Guests 2WEB Cliff Dawn Phillip WEB Guests WEB Madeleine WEB Tony Eric Ted

Receveur Mass 2015



Over 200 attended the Annual Receveur Mass, celebrated by St. Andrews, Malabar with Rev. Dr Chris Shorrock from Melbourne officiating.  Randwick City Council sponsored the marquee and a Sausage Sizzle was provided by the Sydney Seaside Lions Club with drinks from Friends of the Laperouse Museum.

The Mayor Ted Seng, and the Consul General for France, Eric Berti joined by the Commander of La Glorieuse, Lieutenant Ghislain Deleplanque  laid wreaths on the tomb. Also in attendance were Matt Thistlethwaite, the member for Kingsford Smith, Michael Daley the Member for Maroubra and Councillors Brendan Roberts and Geoff Stevenson.

WEB WreathsWEB Will and wreathsWEB Procession

WEB  At Grave cropped
WEB Communion Priests

WEB Crowd at Grave

WEB Grave Procession

WEB Marquee
WEB Museum close shot WEB Museum wide shot WEB Musicians at Grave WEB Singers
WEB Singers 2
WEB MusiciansWEB Navy Eric Musicians Brendan
WEB At Grave

From Frank Carleton on the 8am Mass

MassMass in the traditional Latin rite of the Catholic Church, so ancient as to have been the only Mass rite known to St. Francis of Assisi (ca. 1181 – 1226) was celebrated on the verandah of the Laperouse Museum on Sunday, February 15th at 8am. The celebrant here shown
in the Laperouse Monument enclosure on another day before the Commemoration is Father Raphael du Chazaud SSPX who is the same age as was Père Receveur at Botany Bay in 1788.

Born in Versailles Fr. du Chazaud is a native of Paris who arrived in Australia in 2011 and is stationed at Corpus Christi Church, Tynong, Victoria. His grandfather was a French naval doctor in Indo China.

The occasional sermon in French and English, which focused on the inception of the traditional Mass rite by the two priests of the Laperouse Expedition at Botany Bay in 1788, included the following observations:

“… nous sommes ici pour témoigner de notre amour pour la Sainte Messe, dans ce rite venerable que les aumoniers de La Perouse utilise ici-même, il y a 222 ans”.
“When we are at Mass we are outside of History. Holy Mass is indeed the intrusion and irruption of God into time.”