Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Ride-By Historical Site

In the early hours of Sunday morning (6.15 am) I rode down along the bay area on my own. When you ride alone, you get to think, take in the environment around you. I often think that I must stop and take a few photos (but no camera with me) - there is so much material to post that I might think could be interesting to readers. I'm the same - I like to read about where people live, their local areas and lifestyle particularly in other parts of the world.

Riding from our suburb of Mentone, passing Parkdale and then Mordialloc, before  crossing the Mordialloc Creek, I passed by an iconic boat building business to my left - the creek stretched to the bay to the right. It was around 14 degrees, no clouds and the two blues of sky and sea morphed into one.

To my left were the old buildings of Jack Pompei's boat building business - the new bridge I crossed was named in his memory. A metal sculpture of the framework of a rowboat sits beside the bridge also remembering the boat building and repairs that Jack Pompei offered to the local fishermen in those early years. Here is a little background from our local council.

From the local council archives:

Jack Pompei, boat builder, fisherman and non swimmer is unsure where he was born but the year was 1924. He thinks his elder brother, Salvatore, was born in Sicily and perhaps he was born there too. His own earliest recollections are of being a toddler in Williams Street, Mordialloc. The second child of Salvatore and Edna Pompei, Jack had three brothers, Salvatore, John, and Joseph, and two sister; Maria and Rene.

Jack’s father was a sailor on sailing ships and later steamers. "An orphan, he could neither read nor write," said Jack. "He was married in Sicily. He was torpedoed twice by the Germans during the First World War. He went right around the world and always wanted to go to New York but he never got there. Eventually he decided to settle with mum and the family in Mordialloc. Dad was a professional fisherman. When I was 14, 15 and 16 I would go out on his boat called Peter Pan, although it had a different name before that. Later he had the Victoria. which they started to build at Frankston and I finished at Mordialloc." 

In 1987 Jack Pompei was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to marine search and rescue in Port Phillip Bay. 
(Jack Pompei OAM died of a heart attack on Tuesday 30 December 2008.)

Further down the road, maybe 20 kms I passed by Frankston where there is an exhibition of sand sculptures is currently in operation - Sue and I must take the time to visit it soon.

All of the above photos were lifted from the Internet as I was rising without my camera.


  1. Hi there, I cannot read the last bit but this looks interesting. (Print is almost the same colour as the background). I often leave my camera behind when cycling as I would never get any exercise if I keep stopping. On the other hand, when I see things I then mutter I should have brought the camera. Which ever you do is wrong!! Guess you are almost back to work while we still have most of Sunday to go. :-) Have a good week Diane

    1. Correct about the last paragraph, but run the cursor over it and all the typing will stand out.

      I am delighted that Pompei was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to marine search and rescue in Port Phillip Bay. I often feel that the ordinary citizen gets overlooked in favour of the rich and famous.

    2. Diane, yes - after time out with friends on the bike and time socialising the weekends go so fast and then back to work. I shall look forward to a slower pace an a few years.

    3. Hels,
      I agree - sometimes those ordinary citizens aren't so ordinary and their driven by passion rather than fame.

  2. Hi there,

    Just a query to ask whether you monitor the email address attached to this blog? I emailed on 31 Jan about a documentary filming opportunity and was wondering whether you received it. Is there a better way to contact you?

    Many thanks,

    Cath Bennett

    1. sorry cath - we get a bit of spam.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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