Reunited at last

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Today, October 26, 2010, the axe arrived in Curaçao. With The Axe I mean the axe that in 1872 was used to launch the SS Dahlia, later renamed SS Mediator.  About a year ago my wife and I met Dr Tom Clark and Mrs Elizabeth Clark from Scotland who had found the axe in their home. It was mounted in a wall, apparently meant not to be found.  The exact history how and why the axe was hidden there will probably never be known. The couple promised us to send the axe to Curaçao so that the ship (wreck) and the axe would be in the same place. For several reasons it took a year before it was actually sent. But here it is:


The text on the card reads:
Dear John + Frances,
at last we have found time to send you the axe which launched the SS Dahlia/Mediator so that it can at last be reunited with the ship which is sunk off your island. I hope your visitors enjoy.
Elizabeth + Tom

We will display the axe with a proper text in the archaeological museum in the dive shop Trunkdivers at Landhuis Daniel. Afterwards we will investigate the option to display the axe in the Maritime Museum together with other artifacts from the Mediator.

The axe that launched the ss Mediator continued

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

By an unimaginable coincidence my wife and I happened to be in Aruba for a short vacation at exact the same day that the owners of the axe that was used to launch the ss Dahlia (original name of the ss Mediator) visited Aruba on board of a cruise ship. So when we found this out during our mail conversations an appointment was made to meet at the cruise terminal. My wife and I were waiting at the gate of the cruise terminal at 9 AM; I was wearing my Alphen / Mediator T-shirt to be recognizable and I was holding a picture of them that I got from Elizabeth via e-mail.

A great find - the axe that launched the SS Mediator

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

On October 19, 2009 I got an unexpected e-mail from Scotland from Dr Tom Clark and Mrs Elizabeth Clark. The message in that mail was as follows:

I picked up your e-mail address when I tried to find out more about the SS Dahlia - renamed SS Mediator - on the Internet. We have the axe which was used at the launch in May 8th 1872 by Miss Hargrove. Our house was built in 1887 and I think the axe was in the house when we bought it 30 years ago. The handle of the axe is engraved with the details of the launch.

The last voyage of the Mediator in 1884.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The next excerpt is from a publication in the Antillean Navigator of February 1999


Under command of captain R. Ellis the S.S. Mediator left on June 14, 1884 for the West Indies with on board 1,158 ton general cargo. After a successful trip across the Atlantic Ocean, the ship arrived on June 30 in Barbados, unloaded 91 ton cargo and left for Trinidad.