The song 'David Lowston' is based on a real incident, when a group of sealers were rescued from the coast of south Westland in 1813. The David Lowrieston mentioned in the article became the David Lowston of the song. Shipping records show that the Active left Sydney in December 1809, rather than 1808 as stated in the story. The sealers were left on Open Bay Island in February 1810, but their ship, the Active, disappeared at sea. The song is believed to have been composed in Sydney around 1814.
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Reference: The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 18 December 1813, p. 2
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Sound file from Bach Choir of Wellington