|VOYAGE OF THE PRIAM 1852 continued|
It seems that seven babies were born during the voyage including unnamed infants LESTER, PERRY and WORTHY. Three newborns, Emma Priam SATCHELL and twins Samuel Priam NORMAN and Thomas Priam NORMAN, were named after the ship. Another newborn was Melinda BUSH. Her mother had chosen this name for her firstborn because Melinda SMITH had acted as the midwife at the birth. In Ballarat, more than a decade later, Melinda was still attending the confinements of her friends from Somerset and her name appears on the birth certificates of their children as the accoucheur or nurse.
At sea it was customary to 'speak' to other ships as they passed. The Priam spoke to several ships - French, German and English. One vessel from India to Britain reported having seen a barque off the Cape of Good Hope go down stern foremost in a gale. People in Australia anxiously awaited any news from home and newspapers extensively reported details from incoming ships.
GEELONG ADVERTISER REPORT
While the Priam was on the high seas, several other emigrant ships were making the same journey. The Geelong Advertiser reported in August of 1852 that:
"The tide of emigration from Britain to Australia has begun to flow in a solid volume. No less than nine thousand emigrants were to leave Britain for Australia in the month of June last. The gold magic is working and the people are rushing, irresistibly drawn onward. No fear for want of labour now."
ARRIVAL AT PORTLAND BAY
On Wednesday 25th August 1852, having scarcely sighted land for three months, George and Melinda SMITH and their small daughter disembarked at Portland Bay. After the seemingly interminable motion of the ship and its creaking and thumping, the sudden stillness must have felt very strange for the new arrivals. Within 6 months of their arrival on 7 February of 1853 another daughter, Georgina, was born at Portland on the 7 of February 1853. She was baptised on the 27 of February 1853 by a Minister of the United Church of England and Ireland in the Division of Melbourne. The civil registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Victoria began on the 1st of July 1853.