The Gig Rescue Boat (c1900)
Memorial Park, Railway St
Lowood district flood prone
There were several major Brisbane River floods in the 1880s and '90s. The worst, and still the highest recorded (including 1974 and 2011), occurred in February 1893.
On 12 February 1893 at the height of the flood, four local men led by Major (later Colonel) Frank Flewell-Smith risked their lives in two small dinghys to rescue the Vernor family who had been stranded for over 24 hours in trees in the raging floodwaters between Lowood and Fernvale.
For their bravery the Lowood heroes were presented with Royal Humane Society Bronze Medals by Sir Henry Norman, Governor of Queensland, at a special ceremony in Lowood.
Specialised rescue craft needed
The need for a suitably robust rescue craft prompted the citizens of Lowood to raise funds to purchase this rescue boat, known as The Gig.
Custom-built in Brisbane about 1900, it is 16 feet long and made of riveted steel with floatation tanks, four oars and a rudder. It was used to rescue flood victims and ferry supplies to isolated homes, until it was replaced by power boats.
This display to preserve The Gig was created by Lowood Lions Club in 1980 in memory of the district's pioneers.