The Solglyt

​The Solglyt (artefact pictured) was a vessel built by M. Svensen in Grimstad, Norway in 1888. The Solglyt was owned by Captain A. Ramssmussen and on the 18th of May in 1901 it had docked in Koombana Bay, Bunbury for a cargo of Jarrah bound for Durban, South Africa. On the 13th of July a ‘tempestuous wind was blowing accompanied by heavy rains ‘ and at about midnight the vessel began to fill with water (Bunbury Herald July 1902 p.2). The Herald reported, ‘It is with regret tha...t we record the fact that the barque Solglyt, which has been loading timber at Bunbury for South Africa, has been wrecked at the mouth of the estuary, almost within a stone's throw of the railway station’ (Bunbury Herald July 1902 p.2).
During the late 19th and early 20th Centuries the Norwegian merchant navy was large and traded in all parts of the world. The Ships frequently visited Bunbury to load cargoes of timber and wheat in general. The link to Australia was considerable during these times and Norway was represented by a consul in Bunbury. The role of the consul was to keep control of seafaring matters related to Norwegian vessels and sailors; these matters often related to the harsh living conditions of seafarers. With no cool rooms for meat and vegetables, confined living conditions and medical attention often limited to a tumbler of rum to act as an anaesthetic life could be severe.
The current shipwreck exhibition ‘Submerged’ that is being held at the Museum has a rare artefact from the Solglyt that can be viewed as a part of this event.