Michael Veitch’s story of the Ticonderoga delves into our Australian emigrant history, explores the themes of unimaginable courage, of family, and shines the light on a monumental, but almost forgotten, human story. This one, his own.
In 1852, the emigrant ship Ticonderoga struggled into Port Melbourne after a nightmare voyage from England in which nearly 200 of her passengers had died of typhus. Her saga of tragedy, loss and heroism gripped the people of our young nation like nothing before.
The ship’s surgeon, whose voyage on the Ticonderoga was his first – as well as his last – time at sea, takes us on what was meant to be a grand adventure from the shores of England, but ended in makeshift quarantine at Port Nepean.
Why this story? The surgeon was actually Michael’s great-great-grandfather - James William Henry Veitch. A story repeatedly told to Michael all his young life by his own father he has carried it and explored it all these years. With pieces of music from the era performed by Michael’s son, there will be the web of four generations of Veitch on stage. This is truly a family story.