To commemorate the memory of early Rhyll pioneer and master mariner John Barnard Lock 1833-1908 and his wife Elizabeth Woodward Cavell 1834-1912
A native of Middle Barton, Oxfordshire, Lock’s first association with Rhyll was with an ill- fated oystering venture begun here in the early 1850s and lasting to the early 1860s. He was employed to carry the oysters in his boat the Gannet to Geelong from where they were
destined for the gold fields. A small settlement was built for the the oystermen along the eastern shore of Rhyll. The Locks must have lived there in the early 1860s as their first child was born on Phillip Island in 1861. The family moved back permanently to Rhyll soon after subdivision and settlement of Phillip Island in 1868 living in the house still standing in Zelma Drive.
Most trade was by sea during the 19th century due to lack of road and rail transport. A number of small craft known as the ‘Mosquito Fleet’ worked along the Victorian coast carrying cargo to and from Little Dock on the Yarra River. Captain Lock’s boats were part of
this fleet. He owned some ten ketches and cutters over the years, right up to the time of his death in 1908. He traded mainly to the various towns around Western Port and also to Anderson’s Inlet. He occasionally visited Corner Inlet for J. D. McHaffie who had a cattle run at Yanakie.
The shallow draft Foam and Lizzie were used for carrying cargo between Rhyll and the shallow parts of Western Port and also Anderson’s Inlet where there is a shallow entrance. Captain Lock’s brother George ran the Lizzie.
Captain Lock’s vessels were, in approximate order;
Gannet; 10 tons, 1850’s
Dundee; cutter, 23 tons, 1862-1866
Redcliffe; schooner, 22 tons, 1864-1866
Land o’ Cakes; cutter, 1864 -1868
Hazard; ketch, 25 tons, 1866-1872
Swan; ketch, 23 tons, 1867-1890
Lizzie; cutter, 13 tons, 1875-1908
John and Elizabeth; 40 tons, ketch, 1877-1888
Trucanini; ketch, 48 tons, 1888-1908