The Cubbin family, born on the Isle of Man, embarked for Brisbane, Australia on the sailing ship Netherby in April 1866. On July 16th 1866, their daughter Netherby (Nettie) was born in the midst of a shipwreck on an uninhabited beach of King Island; in the depths of a bleak winter with few dry clothes and little food. Having survived the ordeal, the Cubbin family decided to settle in Melbourne.
James Cannell, another Manxman, grew up in a family of fishermen. He loved the sea and the Isle of Man and became an exceptional fisherman and sailor. Sadly however, at a young age, he lost his father to the sea, and his mother soon afterwards. New sailing ships beckoned so he left his beloved Isle in 1888 to sail the world. The port of Melbourne caught his fancy. He decided to stay and see what it had to offer ...well, Nettie Cubbin was on offer, so he married Nettie in 1891 and swapped the tall masts of his ships for five floors of stairs, as caretaker in Winfield House, Collins Street Melbourne.
These were interesting, exceptional people who accepted events as they presented and lived long, fulfilling lives. They are worth knowing about and honouring.
Joyce Hammond (née Cannell), Nettie's grand-daughter, also accepted life as it presented. With little formal education she became a published author of fiction and history. Her story about her Manx heritage is full of wonderful snippets of intriguing information, not only about Nettie, her family, the Netherby shipwreck and her husband's family, but also about the Isle of Man. Joyce's fascinating story, together with family photographs, is now available as Cradled by Man: A family history by Joyce Hammond (née Cannell), a book edited and published in 2016 by her daughter Jennifer Cover (Nettie's great-granddaughter).