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Solomon, Maurice (1875–1905)

Our Yamba correspondent writes: A sad drowning fatality occurred on the ocean beach at Yamba, just below Anderson's boarding house, at about five o'clock on Christmas afternoon, whereby Mr. Maurice Solomon[s], of the Grafton Lands Office, lost his life. Messrs. Solomon[s], Wyatt, and others had been bathing frequently during the day, and at about half-past four went for another dip. They were the only pair in the water at the time, and apparently were enjoying their bath, when suddenly Mr. Solomon[s] was soon to be in trouble. Mr. Wyatt, who is an old friend of the deceased, at once went to his assistance, but unaided was not able to keep his friend afloat. As soon as he lost hold of Mr Solomon[s] he dived to the bottom and brought the body up, but was again compelled to relieve his hold, when the body sank, deceased having evidently been seized with cramps. At this time Miss Eva Schaumann, of Yamba, brought word to the pilot station that two men were drowning on the beach, and the pilot staff immediately ran to the scene with heaving cranes, lifebuoy, etc, but on arrival no sign of the body could be seen from the beach, so it was decided to try and find it by using a whaleboat, which was launched from the boatshed and pulled around to the spot, but after searching all along the beach for some time it was evident the body had been carried away, so the boat's crew had to reluctantly return. A search was made along the rocks and beach early next morning, but without result, and it is doubtful if the body will be found.

News of the fatality was sent on Monday evening to Mr. Sam See, of Grafton, who is a very old friend of Mr. Solomon[s], asking him to break the sad news to the deceased's mother and sister, who live at Cooma. General regret is expressed at the sad occurrence among the residents and visitors, the deceased having been a general favourite with all, and was well-known locally. Deep sympathy is felt for Mrs. and Miss Solomon[s], and also for Mr. Wyatt, who was deceased's chum and office mate.

Mr. Wyatt had a very narrow escape himself, and was suffering much from shock on Monday evening.

Mr. George Hockey, who was at the boarding house when the accident occurred, rushed to the scene, entered the breakers, and made an attempt to find the body, but was too late, it having by this time been swept to sea.

Mr. H. Jordan, who was at Yamba, speaks in the highest terms of the work done by Pilot Lucas, and his men in searching for the body. He says the pilot boat was pulled over every portion of the sea front, working along in the breakers. Mr. Wallace, a local resident, who was sailing outside, also rendered splendid service, by assisting to thoroughly search the breakers for the body.

The fatality caused widespread regret in Grafton,where deceased was well-known to a large circle of friends. Mr. Solomon[s], who would have been 31 years of age next month, and was unmarried, was a native of Cooma, and was employed in the survey branch of the Lands Departmcnt as a draughtsman. He came to Grafton from Dubbo about eight years ago.

Original publication

Citation details

'Solomon, Maurice (1875–1905)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/solomon-maurice-20385/text31366, accessed 23 April 2018.

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