Jack Pompei: Boat Builder and Advocate for Mordialloc Creek.
Jack worked tirelessly over the years to protect the Mordialloc Creek. "Take the creek out of Mordialloc and there would be nothing here," is how he expressed it.
"A few years back you couldn’t get a mooring for your boat, now there are 80 moorings vacant because the creek is silting up and we have the problem of the reeds. They stop the flow of water and collect rubbish but some people like them."
There is also the problem of vandalism. "There was a time when you could leave things in a boat with no worries. Everyone helped one another, there was community spirit amongst the fishermen. Now boats are damaged and graffiti scrawled across other people’s property." "At one time", he said "the Pompeis had 44 boats on the creek for hire, and three people were employed full time but the vandals made short work of them." They now have six boats.
Jack rescued many people stranded on the bay and although the water police took over this task in the 1970’s Jack continued to provide assistance when necessary. Over the years he has rescued more than 600 people. He became involved in rescue work because locals valued his knowledge of the bay and because he was willing to take his boat out day or night, no matter what the weather. He commented, "People just started calling me whenever there was someone overdue or there had been an accident. The bay can be treacherous to those who don’t know it and very unpredictable."
In 1987 Jack Pompei was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to marine search and rescue in Port Phillip Bay.
Jack Pompei OAM died of a heart attack on Tuesday 30 December 2008.
Thursday, 5 February 2009 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr DREYFUS (Isaacs) — I rise today to speak about Jack Pompei OAM—a man who touched many lives and helped shape our local community. Jack was born in Italy and came to Australia with his family at a very young age. They settled in Mordialloc in the 1920s and Jack never left the town until his death on 30 December last year.
I feel it is important to talk about Jack today in this place for two reasons: to recognise his hard work in making our area a better place and to discuss why it is important that the campaign to rename Mordialloc Bridge in his honour is successful.
Jack used to be called ‘Mr Mordialloc’, and I can think of no better honour for Jack than that the newly renovated Mordialloc Bridge be renamed ‘Pompei’s Bridge’. .
The Mordialloc Bridge over Mordialloc Creek was renamed Pompei Bridge in 2009.
An area outside Pompei’s Nepean Highway boatworks was named Pompeis Landing in 2007.
The rescue boats of Jacks in the creek are named "Patrol" & "Shannon".
By Julie Squires (2010)
Pompeis Landing, Mordialloc
Artist, Julie Squires, spent considerable time consulting with brothers Joe and the late Jack Pompei regarding the style of boat building that has become synonymous with the Pompei style of hand-made boat construction.
The work has become an iconic landmark in Mordialloc at the gateway to the southern bayside suburbs of Melbourne.