The Jervis Bay Maritime Museum will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday, December 8 with a fun, family-friendly evening.
(min cost $8)
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The event will also and pay tribute to the volunteers and community members who shaped the museum over the years.
This twilight event will feature an Aboriginal smoking ceremony, live music, food stalls, children’s entertainment and craft, lawn games, plus free entry to the museum after hours to see the new exhibitions.
The Navigators, Kay Cottee Solo: Endurance and the Sea, and a possum skin cloak from the Freeman family among the new exhibits.
The fleet restoration crew will also be hosting a live art auction to raise money for the restoration of the fishing vessel, the Crest.
The event runs 5pm to 8.30pm on December 8 but celebrations will continue early 2019 with a live performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Essential Theatre on Friday, January 11 plus a program of other exciting events.
For more information visit www.jervisbaymaritimemuseum.com.au or call 4441 5675.
The museum boasts a proud and wonderful tradition.
The museum was formally opened on December 3 1988, by Australian swimming legend Dawn Fraser AO MBE, solo yachtswoman Kay Cottee AO and Aboriginal elder Marjorie Timbery.
Dawn Fraser will be returning this year as a special guest to mark the anniversary.
The museum was originally built to house the Lady Denman ferry (built in Huskisson in 1911), local history and the Halloran Collection of maritime and surveying instruments gifted to the museum by Warren Halloran.
READ MORE: Collection to feature in celebrations
Over the years, native gardens, a pond and other buildings were added to accommodate a growing collection of local history exhibits and to meet the community’s need for exhibition areas.
The museum now has several gallery spaces, including the Vera Hatton and the Kingfisher galleries, which showcase the work of local artists and craftspeople, as well as hosting travelling exhibitions.
The museum also plays an important role in the local indigenous community, hosting the Laddie Timbery Aboriginal gallery onsite and the presentation of indigenous exhibitions.
The Jervis Bay Maritime Museum is a not-for-profit community organisation begun and run largely by a dedicated group of volunteers.
The 30th-anniversary celebration provides the museum with the opportunity to recognise the vision of those whose imagination knew no bounds and the substantial contribution of the many volunteers over the past thirty years.
The museum has developed into a significant cultural, social and economic asset to Jervis Bay and the Shoalhaven region and looks forward to celebrating with the community.
A STORY about the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum would be incomplete without mentioning the brazen story of its return, led by John Hatton and crew.
In the early hours of Sunday May 31 1981, a local fishing boat towed her from Sydney Harbour and straight into more problems.
On entering the Shoalhaven Bight, the Lady encountered stiff northerly winds and began to wallow in three-metre waves.
The lives of the four men on board, Neil Gage, Les Phillips, Ab Mehmet and Ian Ellis were at risk and the RAN was called in to assist.
A helicopter from HMAS Albatross hovered over the Lady until the HMAS Tobruk came to the ferry’s aid.
The Tobruk kept watch until the Lady was successfully towed into Jervis Bay.
She managed to get 200 metres up Currambene Creek before coming to rest on her side.
Despite the risk and the cost, the then State Member for the South Coast John Hatton said at the time the ferry was worth saving.
“It’s always a battle to save something worthwhile,” Mr Hatton said.
“The Denman is a benchmark, a romantic link to the past for hundreds of thousands of people who travelled in the Lady series of ferries on Sydney Harbour.”
Mr Hatton’s dream was to help build a unique maritime museum, which we have today.
While she waited for a permanent home, the Lady was vandalised and was half submerged.
In 1983 she was floated to a permanent dry land site close to where the Lady Denman Heritage Complex was to be built.
The complex was opened in 1988 and thanks to a Federal Government Federation grant of $1.4 million the ferry was saved.
In 2001, the Lady, even though it was a small journey, was sailing again.
She was floated from her dry dock home and came to berth inside the Heritage Complex where she can be seen today.
READ MORE: Craft group’s wonderful donation
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