According to the Flotilla Australia website ( the "White Heather" was built in 1886. It was a wooden steamboat, measuring 23 gross tons. Lbd: 45'8" x 13'4" x 5'4", built by Rock Davis at Blackwall, New South Wales as the Nimrod. It was acquired by Adelaide Steamship Co from Askin M. Foster in 1902 and utilised as a steam tender on Sydney Harbour. Service speed of 10 knots. November 8th 1908 it sank after a collision with the paddle steamer 'Newcastle' off Morts Dock Sydney'.

Askin M. Foster was a wealthy property-owner and businessman who lived at Boisdale Estate near Maffra in Gippsland. He was the son of John Foster, an early European settler in Gippsland. Askin M. Foster was associated with the Closer Settlement Scheme at Boisdale and established the Boisdale cheese factory. In addition to owning race horses, he acquired the "White Heather' which was apparently used as a pleasure craft. It is not clear when he acquired the vessel but there is a reference to "White Heather" at Metung in the 5 January 1900 edition of the newspaper 'The Raleigh Sun' on page 4 and, as noted above, it was then sold to the Adelaide Steamship Co. in 1902. Askin M. Foster died in November 1916 on board the steamer RMS Otway while returning to Australia from the United Kingdom and an obituary is printed on page 6 of the Argus newspaper of 20 November 1916. (

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The launch "White Heather" proceeding under power on the Gippsland Lakes. As evidenced by the bow wave and wake the vessel appears to be making several knots. There is a small group of passengers on the foredeck and further people (possibly crew) standing on the bridge. In the background is a low wooded ridge (possibly coastal sand dunes between the Lakes and he sea). At the extreme left in the background is a small structure (such as a jetty) or vessel with a narrow cabin attached.

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