Local MP Suggests Ferry Naming Honour

The Member for South Perth, John McGrath MLA, has called for the proposed new ferry on the Mends Street run to be named the ‘Phillip Pendal’ in memory of the recently deceased former Member for South Perth.

The new ferry, which the Public Transport Authority expects to be in operation by next April, will replace the 38-year old MV Countess.  The other ferry is named after former long distance swimming champion Shelley Taylor-Smith.

Mr Pendal, a Member of Parliament for 25 years, represented the South East Metropolitan Region, which included South Perth, in the Legislative Council from 1980 to 1993.  He moved to the Legislative Assembly in 1993, representing the electorate of South Perth until his retirement in 2005.  

Mr McGrath said that naming the new ferry after his predecessor would be a fitting tribute to a person whose work in public life had made his name synonymous with South Perth.  “Phillip made a great contribution to both South Perth and Western Australia during his long career in parliament”, said Mr McGrath.

“A long-time resident of South Perth, he had a passionate interest in the South Perth foreshore, particularly the black swans, the heritage listed Mends Street Jetty and the ferry service, which has been used to transport people across the river  for more than 100 years

“Phillip was the Foundation President of the South Perth Historical Society, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2009.  He was also an Honorary Freeman of the City of South Perth”.

Mr McGrath said that he had written to Hon Simon O’Brien about the matter.

Ferry services were introduced to South Perth in the late 1890’s when two small ferry boats, “Princess” and “Queen”, commenced a regular service from the old William St Jetty to Queen Street Jetty South Perth.  The service was subsequently extended to   Mends St where day workers and Zoo patrons supported the facility to the extent that a new big ferry was commissioned.

In 1898 CY O’Connor took steps to have the  Mends St Jetty widened to improve the existing service as the population of South Perth grew, as did the number of visitors to the Zoo.

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