Steam boat "Pharos" was one of a number of steam boats used by the Melbourne Harbour Trust to tow and push larger vessels in and out of Port Melbourne and the Docks.
"Pharos", weighing 164 tons, was built in 1864 in Melbourne for the Victorian Government. She was hulked in 1917 and broken up in 1934.
This photograph is from the early 20th century, actual date unknown, although probably between 1900 and 1910. It is possible that the well-dressed elderly gentleman in the group of three men is James Paterson, owner of the "James Paterson" vessel, which is tied up next to the "Pharos". James Paterson was born in Scotland in 1826 and arrived in Melbourne in 1852 to try his hand on the goldfields. With a degree of success he started on a bountiful career as a businessman, importing coal and establishing a towage business in Port Phillip Bay. He was a member of the Melbourne City Council, serving as Mayor from 1876 to 1877. He was also a commissioner of the Melbourne Harbour Trust in its formative years. His sporting love was thoroughbred horse racing and he also served on the Victorian Racing Club committee. He passed away in 1906, so if that is him in the photo, it was taken between 1900 (early motor car visible in the photo) and 1906.
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