Dinner card for Mark Foy's farewell


Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum
Sydney, Australia

This dinner card is illustrated with the image of a mermaid with two tails raising a glass of champagne to a seahorse with the Sydney Flying Squadron pennant flying beside her. The reverse lists the series of toasts for the evening.

The card reads:
Season 1910 - 11. Dinner to Mark Foy Esq. Patron, Commodore, and Jolly Good Fellow. Prior to his departure for Europe.

Businessman Mark Foy was founding Commodore of the Sydney Flying Squadron in 1890. A flamboyant character, Foy made a major contribution to the sport of sailing in Australia and especially the complexion of racing on Sydney Harbour from the 1890s. In the early years he antagonised the yachting establishment to make regattas a public spectacle on the harbour by promoting the beamy heavily-canvassed open boats, the 24, 22 and 18-footers. In character they were working men's craft. With an eye for drama Foy introduced new rules to make the sport more lively, with rules adapted from horse racing – coloured sails, a short triangular course with handicapped start, large prize money, and spectator ferries following the races.

This card records the farewell dinner celebrating Mark Foy's departure to Europe to challenge the Medway Yacht Club with his new vessel the SOUTHERLY BUSTER after almost a decade of petitioning. In 1898 Foy had challenged and lost to Marion Wyllie, when he pitted his big open boat against her lighter skimming dish craft. Tenacious, Foy spent years lobbying for a rematch to win the shield which he named The Anglo-Irish Shield and those in the UK named the Medway Shield. After three months waiting for a challenger in the UK, and no-one coming forward, the Medway Yacht eventually surrendered the shield to Foy for Australia.


  • Title: Dinner card for Mark Foy's farewell
  • Date: 1910, 1910
  • Type: Card
  • See institution's online collections: http://www.anmm.gov.au/collections
  • Medium: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 170 x 115 mm
  • Credit line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mary Shaw

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