Monument to commemorate drowning of nuns and rescuer at Trigg


In Memoriam card probably compiled by St John of God Convent some time after the tragedy.  The card clearly shows Sister Mary Chrysostom and Frederick Charles Floyd.

Mike Deephouse with Don Floyd, whose father was involved in a tragedy 70 years ago when he drowned while trying to rescue nuns at Trigg Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d474906
In Memoriam card probably compiled by St John of God Convent some time after the tragedy. The card clearly shows Sister Mary Chrysostom and Frederick Charles Floyd. Mike Deephouse with Don Floyd, whose father was involved in a tragedy 70 years ago when he drowned while trying to rescue nuns at Trigg Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d474906

SEVENTY years on, a monument on the Trigg coastline will commemorate the brave actions of Frederick Charles Floyd, who lost his life trying to save an Irish nun in July 1947.

Frederick’s son Don Floyd clearly remembers the day when he dragged his dead father from the north Trigg beach surf after his unsuccessful attempt to rescue Sister Mary Chrysostom.

“I remember it vividly; I remember every bit of it,” Don Floyd said.

“I was 13 years old at the time.

“Obviously it was quite a nice day to start with because the nuns went swimming and we came out to fish but there was a sudden storm.

“It all happened very quickly; two or three nuns were calling for help and one was out in the water screaming and going under.

“My dad galloped down the hill and into the water.

“He was nearly washed in on a nearby beach; when I jumped in the water he was already deceased.

“I helped drag his body in to shore.”

Since 2014, amateur historian and Trigg Island Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) member Mike Deephouse has pushed for the relocation of an original plaque dedicated to Mr Floyd to honour and remember the story.

Mr Deephouse said the drownings were a major instigator for the establishment of a surf life saving club at Trigg and made contact with Frederick’s sons Don and Brian when researching the history of the area.

“It is a story that everyone in Trigg knows but it is being lost over time and needs to be preserved,” he said.

“We want our history remembered and brought back to this area.”

Mr Deephouse said although a plaque stood on Trigg Beach for a time after the incident, there had been no information along the coastline since it was stolen.

The original plaque is now inside the Trigg Island SLSC after it was later recovered.

“I’ve now realised we need to move the monument because it needs to be in a place where people can remember and reflect,” he said.

Mr Floyd said his father would always be remembered as a brave and popular family man who loved fishing and he was determined that a plaque be installed at a small lookout overlooking ‘Nuns Pool’.

“I couldn’t come here for years afterwards,” he said.

“I still get tears coming here.”

City of Stirling recreation and leisure manager Cheyne Cameron said the City had been working with the Floyd family and Mr Deephouse to investigate relocating the plaque from Trigg Beach to a more suitable location this financial year.

“While the events leading towards the original memorial are tragic, the relocation of the memorial to a more historically accurate location will be a positive outcome for both the Floyd family as well as residents and visitors to the area,” she said.

“While acknowledging the brave acts of Fred Floyd and the terrible loss of life it will also remind beach goers of the dangerous conditions that can occur along the coastline at Trigg.”

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