Sunday, November 1, 2009


During the 1860s Captain John Austen made several trips to Fiji in the Aquila. At first the reports were glowing - "The ' Aquila' brings us late news from these islands in addition to her cargo of tropical fruit. In all probability the year 1860 will be the point of departure in the future history of the colonization of the Fijis by the Anglo-Saxon race. The islands are already favourably known to old South-sea travellers, but the inducement which has been held out to settlers, by the steps recently taken by the British Government towards making them an integral part of her Majesty's dominions, will soon render them a fair field for immigration both from the Mother Country and the Australasian Colonies. Captain Austin of the 'Aquila' gives a most glowing description of the capabilities, of the islands"
Quick Passage. — The cutter 'Aquila,' arrived at Levuka, Ovalau, Fiji Islands, on July 25th, having accomplished the quickest passage on record from Melbourne — viz , I7 1/2 days from Port Phillip Heads, and 13 days from Twofold Bay.— Extract from a letter by a passenger.
But by September 1861 - " Captain Austin reports that there is no business doing, and that all the Europeans in the Fijis would willingly leave it if they could pay their passages thence."

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I've been writing about my great grandfather William McGowan and his wife Geraldine for some time now. He was a ships captain out of the port of Levuka on various small inter island craft... Marie Louise, Mable and several others.
    Just recently I found a Captain McGowan on the Aquila arriving NZ from the Fijis Oct 28, 1870...this could help me pinpoint his actual arrival in the Fijis, but I have no further info on the Aquila.
    Any snippets would be appreciated,