Image: Shirase expedition, Sydney, 1911 #21
Supporter in Sydney, Mr Silva's family.
- © Penguin Do Pharmacy/ Kazuyuki Miisho
There were two unrelated Silva families living in Vaucluse in 1911, but both had originated in Portugal from seafaring backgrounds, and it is unclear which of the two families is photographed here.
William James Silva was a master mariner, captain of the "Vaucluse" ferry in 1908 and later Master of the Watson's Bay ferry "Woollahra" up until the 1930's. The Watsons Bay Ferry company ran a half hourly steamer to the city. William and his wife Jane lived at 4 Parsley Road, near Fitzwilliam Road in Parsley Bay, very close to the camp, and the Japanese would have got to know him on their ferry trips to the city and back. Unfortunately no record of any children born has been found as yet.
The other Silva family had a lifelong association with the Macquarie Lighthouse, which the Japanese would have visited in their walks around the area. The Sydney Sands Directory for 1910 lists Frederick Silva as 1st assistant at the lighthouse, the son of Emmanuel Silva, who had worked there for 42 years before him. Frederick himself had a son James (aged 20 in 1911), who became signal master at South Head Signal Station.