This is a photo of a rare original watercolor painting of the mailboat LADY DUNDAS built and owned by Sir George William Kelly Roberts of Harbour Island. It was kindly shared by Mrs. Susan Roberts, widow of Noel Roberts and daughter in law of Sir George, in March 2016.
MAILBOAT NAME: M/V Lady Dundas
PAST NAMES: none
DIMENSIONS: 92′ long (also described as 82.7” long, perhaps on the waterline), 19.5′ wide, 9.3 deep, 97 net tons, 115 gross tons, two-spar rig (schooner?), Fairbanks-Morse engine of 150 hp, 10 knots, capacity of 80 tons of freight, official # 159985,
YEAR BUILT: spring 1939
BUILDER: designed by Harbour Island resident, American ship designer Lawrence Huntington, built in Dunmore Town, Harbour Island, Eleuthera – believed by Berlin T. & Harry Albury
OWNER: Harbour Island Steamship Company Limited, Harbour Island, Eleuthera, later, in the 1970s owned by the Lady Dundas Limited, of which Mr. Basil Butler was a shareholder in 1974 (see below)
EARLY CAREER: replaced M/V Endion and S/V Dart, both of which Captain Harris had commanded. Serviced Dunmore Town, Harbour Island, North Eleuthera, from Nassau, but also plied the route to Cat Island and perhaps other islands, according to Benedict Thielen, December 1964
BAHAMAS CAREER: serviced Harbour Island with passengers and freight
CAPTAINS: William G. Harris and Roy William Smith, Esq.
FATE: In June 1974 M/V Lady Dundas was arrested by Haitian authorities on suspicion of smuggling
NOTE 1: Her namesake, Lady Dundas was instrumental in establishing the first Bahamas Red Cross organization in Nassau, a role taken over by Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor soon thereafter. The Dundas’ were “pushed out” by London to make room for the Windsors in August 1940 and sent to Kampala, Uganda during the height of World War II…. She was the wife of Sir Charles Cecil Farquharson Dundas (1884–1956)
NOTE 2: Designer Huntington’s descendant Lawrence Huntington from Long Island, New York, went on to become a distinguished Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, climb Mount Everest, and win innumerable yaching regattas globally.