WITH Jervis Bay in the media so much this week for the International Fleet Review, debate has been rekindled about the true pronunciation of the name Jervis Bay.
Is it “Jervis” or “Jarvis”?
The fact is Jervis Bay was named in 1791 by Lt Richard Bowen of the transport “Atlantic” after the British Admiral, Sir John Jervis (1735-1823).
Commanding Officer of HMAS Creswell, Captain Brett Chandler said the Bay’s pronunciation was a contentious issue.
“A century of tradition and training of navy has it pronounced as Jarvis Bay,” Captain Chandler said.
“The debate will no doubt rage on.
“We have a series of divisions at Creswell and one is Jervis, but pronounced Jarvis.
“I personally came through that division and I cannot break that tradition or habit, nor do I intend to.
“So for me it is pronounced Jarvis,” he said.
True local Lee Duncan said it was most definitely pronounced Jervis Bay and it was obvious that people who pronounce it otherwise are either from out of town or heavily influenced by the navy.
“My father was part of the committee at the Naval Men’s Club (The White Ensign Club) on Bridge Road, Nowra and he told me, in the ’70s the great great, great grandson of Admiral, Sir John Jervis was in attendance,” said Ms Duncan.
“My father asked him how he pronounces his surname and he said they have always pronounced it Jervis.
“In Britain the name can be pronounced Jarvis and at one point I understand the navy gave John Jervis the nickname “Jarvy” - I suppose that is where the navy has got on to it, but to me this is the slang/colloquial way of saying Jervis,” she said.
The latest Macquarie Dictionary Sixth Edition states there is some debate about the pronunciation of Jervis but, the preferred choice is “Jervis”.
In 2009 ABC Illawarra also investigated the issue, finding in their pronunciation guide, the Standing Committee on Spoken English said it was pronounced Jervis Bay.
Needless to say, the debate is likely to go on.