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December 2010 January February 2011 Number 93

December 2010 to February 2011 Number 93

Sail with us as HMB Endeavour makes its first-ever circumnavigation of Australia.


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2 Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition They’re feared and misunderstood. This summer get the facts about these extraordinary creatures

4 A strange history of shark stomachs

Australian archives reveal our ongoing obsession with what sharks eat – understandable, since it’s sometimes us!

14 Tragedy: Rabaul and Montevideo Maru The little-known story of Australia’s worst maritime disaster in the dark, early days of WWII in the Pacific

22 HM Bark Endeavour gets a clear signal A digital communications upgrade connects the acclaimed 18th-century replica with 21st-century media Thursday Island

27 What’s on for Members and visitors



Cairns Townsville

Broome Exmouth







Geraldton Fremantle Bunbury

Port Lincoln Albany

Adelaide Melbourne


The summer calendar of tours, talks, seminars, activities afloat, exhibitions, school-term and vacation programs

38 National Historic Ships – the UK experience How the UK developed its heritage ship register, compared with our own Australian Register of Historic Vessels


43 On their own – child migrants message board



From April 2011 to May 2012 the magnificent replica of James Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour will follow in the wake of our earliest European explorers, visiting major and regional ports right around Australia. Applications are now open for voyage crew and supernumerary berths – numbers are strictly limited – book your place now! Bookings & information Telephone 02 9298 3859 Freecall 1800 720 577

cover: This wide-screen presentation is just one feature of our summer attraction Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition. It joins specimens, fossils, full-size reproductions, artefacts and enthralling imagery to delve into the history, habits, beauty, dangers and the future of these extraordinary creatures that have been on earth for 450 million years. Only now is their position at the top of the oceanic food chain threatened by another creature – us. The exhibition and the cover photograph have been made available by Grande Exhibitions Australia.

Signals magazine is printed in Australia on CPI Paper Silk Matt 250gsm (Cover) and 130gsm (Text) using vegetable-based inks on paper produced from environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable forestry sources.

An online meeting place adds to our new exhibition about the migration schemes for waifs and orphans from the UK

46 Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 2010 Photographic round-up of the year’s liveliest weekend


48 Australian Register of Historic Vessels New additions to this important national database

50 Tales from the Welcome Wall Eleven nuns migrated ‘to the end of the world’ in 1882

52 Collections Diving history – the Ron and Valerie Taylor collection


54 Readings & Viewings Maritime art-book odyssey; pearling history DVD

56 Currents Frank Broeze maritime history book prize; Dutch artefacts handed over; World Maritime Day; Blue Star Line 100th

60 Bearings From the director Cert no. SGS-COC-006189

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This summer the Australian National Maritime Museum delivers a unique perspective on the shark, in a dramatic new attraction that’s called Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition. This illuminating exhibition has been made available by Grande Exhibitions of Australia.


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Developed in Australia by Melbournebased exhibition specialist Grande Exhibitions, with expert contribution from the New Zealand-based curators Ocean Zoo, Planet Shark is the only comprehensive, out-of-water shark exhibition to tour the world. Making its debut at Georgia Aquarium in 2009, this travelling exhibition was three years in the planning and takes guests on an educational journey of discovery. With the 500-squaremetre display broken into eight sections, guests explore the history, habits, beauty, danger and future of the shark. Starting at the beginning, the History and Evolution section surveys the past 450 million years of shark existence. Guided by touch screens and fossil cabinets, visitors learn the ancient secrets of the shark. Top of the Food Chain features 10 shark models and eight jaw spheres, and enlightens visitors on the vital role sharks play in the underwater ecosystem. Shark Attack reveals the horrifying reality of these incidents – including the amazing survival story of one Australian spear fisherman – while it puts the likelihood and frequency of attacks into perspective. Fears and Phobias probes the psychology behind humanity’s fear of sharks and looks at the nature of recent attacks and movies like Jaws for the answer. This gallery displays original Jaws memorabilia, two dive cages and a model Jackie Chan shark. The Big Picture is an oversize screening area aimed at creating empathy for the underwater beast as we see vision of its grace, speed and power projected onto a huge screen. Prey, Sharks Under Attack is a confronting look at how human persecution of sharks is born out of ignorance and fear. A shark tangled

in a fishing net suspended from the ceiling and cabinets of shark products help explain that the slaughter of these creatures – particularly for the use of their fins in food and medicine – is reducing some species to near extinction. Protection and Observation reveals how scientists and filmmakers observe sharks from the safety of Lexan and steel dive cages, and how they use chain-mail gloves and other safety equipment to carefully interact with the sharks in their natural environment. The final section, Shark Tagging and Conservation, tracks the journey of a Great White shark called Bruce as it travels the coastline of Australia. Guests can trace the shark’s movements on an LCD TV screen, and admire the five-metre-long long replica on display. The Australian National Maritime Museum will host Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition from 26 November 2010 till 27 February 2011 daily from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm (6.00 pm in January). See our program pages 28–33 for this summer’s educational and entertaining shark-themed lectures, activities and films for young and old. Visit 

clockwise from top left: Display model cast from a Great White shark caught off Streaky Bay, South Australia, on 27 April 1990. It was 5.2 metres (17 feet) long and weighed 1,520 kilograms (3,351 pounds). Grande Exhibitions Young visitors try on a protective chain-mail glove, part of a full-body protective outfit developed for divers. Grande Exhibitions Exhibition visitors inspect a showcase devoted to the shark’s front-line weapon, its teeth. Grande Exhibitions The prehistoric Megalodon was the largest shark and the largest carnivorous fish ever to have roamed the oceans. This reconstruction represents an average-sized Megalodon jaw. Grande Exhibitions

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A strange history of shark stomachs Research by curator Dr Stephen Gapps revealed a grim human obsession – cutting open shark stomachs to reveal their astounding contents, which have included bibles, bombs and ticking watches. He was part of the museum team preparing for our summer attraction Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition, made available by Grande Exhibitions of Australia.

Shark tales have long been the stuff of maritime legend, folklore and history. Sharks have been feared as ‘terrible monsters of the ocean’ far out of proportion to the actual number of deaths they have caused. Still, our morbid fascination with these creatures clearly derives from the gruesome end that some unfortunate people have met in the jaws of sharks. That fascination is fed by stories of sharks – some fact, some fiction. Sometimes the facts are stranger than fiction. When returning to England in 1792 on HMS Gorgon after four years serving with the NSW Corps of Marines, FirstFleet veteran Lieutenant Ralph Clark noted a strange occurrence. After leaving the Cape of Good Hope, as Clark writes in his idiosyncratic style: … two sharks were caught the morning – in the Belly of one of them was found a Prayer Book Quite fresh not a leaf of it defaced on one of the leaves was wrote ‘Francis Carthy – cast for death in the Year 1786 and Repreaved the Same day at four oClock in the afternoon’ – as the book Seemed Quite fresh I think Some Ship must be near us now going out to Botany Bay. (The Journal and Letters of Lt Ralph Clark 1787–1792 Tuesday 1 May 1792 p 233, State Library of NSW)

opposite: Engraving titled Fight with a shark in Geelong Bay from The Australasian Sketcher, No 136, Vol IX Saturday 5 November 1881. ANMM Collection


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What Clark didn’t know was that Francis Carty had in fact been transported to New South Wales on the First Fleet five years earlier, in 1787–88. The mystery of Carty’s bible turning up in a shark stomach in 1792 is deepened by the fact that we have no record of his death or disappearance. Carty was shown on the Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


victualling lists when the First Fleet was at the Cape of Good Hope but after the 1788–1800 Convict Indents he does not appear in any NSW records. He may have been one of those convicts who tried to escape into the bush and did not return, and this was somehow not recorded. Could his bible have gone overboard back in 1787 and been in the shark’s stomach, somehow preserved, ever since? Or had someone on the Gorgon come into its possession in Port Jackson and lost it overboard in 1792? Whatever the case, the fact that a bible had been found intact in the stomach of a shark was something of an omen not lost on the crew and passengers of the Gorgon. It was also part of a long tradition of curiosity over the surprising things that a shark’s stomach may contain. In looking at the history of shark attacks as part of my research for the visiting exhibition Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition, I was struck by the number of stories about what people have found in a shark’s stomach. Probably the most familiar for local readers is the famous ‘shark-arm case’, where a tattooed arm was regurgitated by a recently captured shark swimming in the Coogee aquarium in 1935. The arm had been severed by a blade and not bitten off. A tattoo and fingerprints identified it as belonging to a Cronulla boxer and small-time criminal called James Smith, who had been missing for two weeks. Police were led on a trail of underworld murder and intrigue that implicated a successful though crooked Sydney boatbuilder called Reginald William Lloyd Holmes – who was himself found shot dead a short time later. Long before this famous case, however, there were many other stories of body parts, animals and all sorts of objects that had been found in the stomachs of sharks. Shark stories have long been part of postcolonisation Australian myths about the ocean, and fears of it, well before Australians began to flock to their beaches (and the number of shark attacks began to rise accordingly). However, many of the shark stories circulating in the 19th and 20th centuries were not about shark attacks on people. They were often about the amazing discoveries that could be found inside a shark’s stomach. This immediately raises the question, why did people so fervently wish to see what was inside a shark? Was it just voyeurism – the morbid hope that there may be human remains in there? Or was it genuine curiosity about what else might be in a shark’s stomach, 6

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given the often-incredible objects that people had already found, or claimed to have found, inside sharks? At least from the 18th century, if not earlier, it was commonly accepted that the shark was fair game. If caught in fishing nets or on a line, there was no thought that a shark might be returned to the ocean. The shark was to be killed, often after first being mutilated for souvenir jaws and teeth, sometimes after torturing them as some sort of revenge upon these ‘avaricious monsters’. They were regarded as a bad omen by superstitious sailors, who saw a shark in the wake of a ship as a harbinger of death. Sefarers often had an aversion to eating sharks, probably due to the fact that sharks sometimes fed on human flesh. Shark autopsies, whether amateur or scientific, form part of a long history of the mutilation of these creatures, recorded increasingly from the 19th century. Whenever a shark was caught the contents of its stomach were investigated. There was a semblance of scientific practice, as naturalists suggested that the findings could provide information on the underwater life and eating habits of the infamous predator. Charles Darwin joined in these observations, noting in his 1839 Voyage of the Beagle his correspondence with another naturalist who performed autopsies on sharks and had found porcupine fish alive in their stomachs. In 1858 the English naturalist George Bennett carefully recorded the stomach contents of a 12-foot (3.65-metre) shark caught in Port Jackson. It included several legs of mutton, the hindquarters of a pig, a quantity of horse flesh, a scraper, and the head and forelegs of a bulldog with a rope around its neck! In Australia, early stories about the strange eating habits of sharks were circulating in print just a year after the first issue of the Sydney Gazette newspaper. In 1804 it reported a shark attack and noted with some surprise that the shark had swallowed an iron anchor: Some days since an angling party consisting of three men, one of whom had a young daughter in the boat, which was moored off George’s Head about 150 yards from the shore, were surprised with a visit from a shark, of such enormous size as to be mistaken for the head of a sunk rock, whose summit rose nearly to the surface of the water; but terror and trepidation were aroused when the voracious monster, whose bulk was probably magnified by fear, appeared

Why did people so fervently wish to see what was inside a shark? Was it the voyeuristic hope that there may be human remains?

above: The popular illustrated newspapers of the 19th century used wood engravings to add a new dimension to the news. ANMM Collection top right: Engraving titled Capture of a large shark, at Brighton, Victoria from The Illustrated Adelaide News, about 1877. ANMM Collection bottom right: Engraving titled Devoured by a shark: sketch of the shark, from The Australasian Sketcher, 14 January 1886. The shark contained the remains of yachtsmen drowned in an accident on Port Phillip Bay. ANMM Collection

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close along-side the little boat, and eagerly seizing the baited hooks, plunged and darted with a strength and velocity that threatened momentarily to dislodge the tremblers, who had no other expectation than to be hurled out to the mercy of the furious assailant. The formidable creature at length seized the kellock rope within his ponderous jaw, and forced the bow down even with, if not below the water’s edge, but happily the line snapped, the boat recoiled, and for several seconds continued to vibrate, as if conscious of the threatened danger. The little girl clung to her father for protection, and the poignant sensation that he endured must with difficulty come within the reach of conception. The author of their apprehension was however seen no more; and this latter circumstance, which was far from being unwelcome or unpleasant, one of the SURVIVORS gladly attributes to his having SWALLOWED an IRON 56lb weight by which the little shell was moored, and which the aquatic spoiler required time to digest. (Sydney Gazette 26 February 1804 p 4) This was just the first in a long tradition of Australian news reports on the contents of shark stomachs. Some were indeed bizarre and obviously entertaining. During the First World War, a Melbourne newspaper reported a ‘large Tiger shark’ caught at Coogee, its stomach found to contain ‘an unexploded Pom Pom shell, half a crown, one penny and a silver medal’. (The Argus 1 January 1917 p 4) In 1930, a fisherman at Watsons Bay in Sydney Harbour recovered a woman’s handbag from the belly of a shark. It contained ‘a comb, a pencil, a powder puff and a wristlet watch’ that was still ticking the minutes away. (Sydney Morning Herald 18 December 1930 p 11) Australian newspapers also reported strange tales from overseas. In 1868 Jonathan Couch noted in his History of the Fishes of the British Islands that a man in a full suit of armour had been found in the belly of a Great White shark. A 1907 report from the United States described the ‘articles taken from the stomach of a shark’ as including ‘a piece of granite, a ship's hammer made of iron, a revolver, several boots, and a piece of plate glass’. (Brisbane Courier 28 November 1907 p 5) In 1930 a 16-foot-long (4.87-metre) shark was caught in New Zealand just after a horse was thrown overboard from a ship. The shark was duly cut open and contained ‘several pieces of corned beef and a moderate-sized stingray’ as well 8

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The belly of one shark contained a woman’s handbag with a comb, a powder puff and a wristlet watch that was still ticking the minutes away

Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley (oil painting, 1778) records the rescue of 14-yearold Brook Watson from a shark in Havana Harbour in 1749. The boy lost a leg but survived to become the Lord Mayor of London. The painting is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

as ‘three large tins of red herrings, two tins of bad soup and bully, each with the jagged, open top still adhering’. This was in addition to the horse’s tail and legs ‘with the heavy cart horse shoes still on’. (Brisbane Courier 17 April 1930 p 14) Perhaps due to their seemingly farfetched nature, such shark stomach stories seemed to have generated a degree of amusement as well. Obviously satirical news stories from the early 19th century recount finding a dog still alive in its kennel inside one shark, and a church steeple sticking out of a giant shark’s mouth – with church congregation still at prayers within. The curious habit of inspecting the shark’s stomach continued well into the 20th century. The Hobart press summed up the shark’s strange appetite in this 1950s report: Surely the shark must rank with the goat and the ostrich when it comes to eating peculiar objects. This was borne out recently when a shark caught in South Australian waters was opened, and inside its stomach was found a pair of sea boots. … Closer to home, and probably more interesting, is the fact that recently a Tasmanian fisherman caught a shark, and found in its stomach a ringtail opossum intact. A not well-known fact is that opossums sometimes take to the water. (The Mercury 4 December 1953 p 4) Although it’s only in more recent years that sharks have come under drastic pressure from overfishing, the poor old shark has had a hard time of it since the earliest days of fishing in the colonies. As a regional Victorian newspaper noted in 1881, sharks were caught for two reasons – as a resource, and out of spite: Mr Langdon informs us that, as is his usual custom, before leaving the vessel at night for the shore, he puts out two shark hooks, well baited and securely

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The exhibition tells the story of South Australian spear fisherman Rodney Fox’s amazing survival of a Great White shark attack, when he was literally held together by his wetsuit. He went from hunting them to running an eco-business taking tourists to view sharks in their natural habitat, even submerging with them from the safety of shark cages. Grande Exhibitions

fastened, one on each side of the ship. The oil extracted from sharks is extremely valuable, so that the nightly baiting of the hooks is quite a part of the fishing business, not to mention the love that sailors have of destroying at every chance these terrible monsters of the ocean. (Camperdown Chronicle 29 October 1881 p 4) It was still the case in the 1960s and 70s that revenge killing and shark hunts were common. After being attacked and severely mauled by a shark in December 1963, champion spear fisherman Rodney Fox loaded his spear gun with a powerhead (a device that fires a shotgun shell) and set out ‘hunting and destroying the monsters in their own domain’. Fox went scouring the waters of South Australia killing sharks in the hope he would eventually get the one that bit him. Rodney Fox has moved on from his former vendetta and now sees sharks as ‘beautiful animals’, strongly supporting the protection of the Great White shark. His story appears in the exhibition we are hosting, and relates how he went on to develop an eco-tourism venture taking people to view sharks in their natural habitat from the safety of cages. Despite his example, the visceral urge to retaliate resurfaces in the media whenever another human is taken – for example after a swimmer was taken in the ocean off Margaret River, Western Australia, in 2004, when there were calls to hunt down the ‘rogue killer’. Sailors’ and others’ fears of sharks were no doubt fuelled by shark autopsies. Periodically since Australian newspapers began in 1803, human remains were identified inside a shark. In June 1807 the Sydney Gazette reported that a human hand found in a shark’s stomach was presumably that of a man who had been swept overboard off Howes Point. In another case in 1840, a piece of clothing provided a clue to the identity of human remains found inside the stomach of a shark: A large shark was taken on Friday last, by a man in the employment of Mr Fitzherbert on the North Shore. When it was dragged to the beach and cut open, there were found in his stomach two human feet, and a shirt marked CR No. 6. The feet were in a state of decomposition. It is supposed from the initials on the shirt, that the feet are part of the body of Mr Charles Rogers, who was drowned by the capsizing of the Haidee some time since. The shark is one


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of the largest ever caught in the cove, measuring 30 feet 2 inches [9.12 metres]. We understand an inquest on the remains of the body will sit this day. (Sydney Gazette 4 February 1840 p 2) In December 1885 three men, including the brothers Hugh and William Browne, were drowned in a yachting accident at Picnic Point in Port Phillip Bay and some of their remains were later recovered from a shark caught off Frankston. In this museum’s collection is an illustration of the shark published by The Australasian Sketcher (see page 7). According to Melbourne’s Argus newspaper of 29 December 1885: ‘The shark measured 14ft [4.27 m] … Mr Coxall cut the fish open, and in the stomach found the lower part of a human arm (the right), with hand complete; a coat with a wooden pipe and meerschaum stem in the pocket; a vest, having a gold watch attached to it by a chain, and pair of trousers wanting one leg, with a bunch of keys and 10s 6d in silver in the pocket.’ Historians have noted that the frequency of shark attacks increased as more Australians took to swimming and surf bathing from the late 19th century. Yet swimming in harbours had been a common pastime since the early days of British settlement and the fear of shark attacks had always been present. The Sydney Gazette noted the prevalence of sharks in Port Jackson in 1814: ‘Some days since a shark, 12 feet 4 inches [3.76 metres] in length, was caught in the cove, in a spot where several men and boys had been swimming scarcely half an hour before.’ (Sydney Gazette 5 February 1814 p 2) Before the First Fleet’s arrival, coastal Aboriginal people had lived and fished for millennia in the constant presence of sharks. Despite their apparent acceptance of sharks in north-west Australia – where Europeans noted that Aboriginal people regularly swam in shark-infested waters – sharks were generally treated with a healthy respect. First Fleet Marine Lieutenant Watkin Tench noted in 1788 that the Aboriginal inhabitants of Sydney showed the ‘utmost horror on seeing the terrible fish’. Tench was to later meet the Gadigal orphan Bondel, whose mother had been bitten in two by a shark. Ten-yearold Bondel was the first reported Aboriginal person to sail overseas, going with Captain William Hill to Norfolk Island in 1791.

Our morbid fascination with these creatures clearly derives from the gruesome end that some unfortunate people have met in the jaws of sharks

In Sydney in 1805, a report of an Aboriginal man’s close encounter with a shark, although somewhat patronising in tone, shows something of the terror with which sharks must have been held by people fishing in small, open canoes: A few days ago some people who were at work in North Harbour were suddenly surprised by the shouts of terrible distress vocifered by a native, whom they observed to be paddling for the shore with every exertion of which the human frame can be conceived capable. The author of his terrors was a prodigious shark, which escorted him with voracious attention, and had once struck the little wretched vehicle that scarcely separated him from his apparently devoted prey. The poor fellow had fortunately been successful in collecting a little pile of fish: and these he one by one administered to the appetite of his pursuer by which happy art he reached the shore at the very instant that his whole stock was expended. He appeared thoroughly sensible of his obligation to the providence that had preserved him and declared in amusement that ten yards must have sacrificed him. (Sydney Gazette Sunday 13 October 1805 p 2) But it was the Europeans who delighted in capturing and killing these prodigious terrors of the deep, and the process of catching and cutting open large sharks became part of a pageant of display. In 1842 in Victoria for example, even a nine-foot shark could make an interesting dock-side spectacle: ‘Sea-monster. An enormous shark was captured in Corio Bay on Thursday last, and afterwards exhibited to an admiring public. It certainly was a formidable monster measuring as it did nine feet in length and four in circumference [2.74 x 1.2 metres]. (Sydney Gazette

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top to bottom: A major threat to shark populations is the trade in shark fins and tails, prized by some cultures for their medicinal and gourmet qualities. In unregulated fisheries the sharks are thrown back into the sea to die after their fins are removed. Grande Exhibitions Shed in their tens of thousands over a shark’s life, its teeth are among the most commonly found fossils. Now used to identify extinct species, fossil shark teeth were once called glossopetrae and were thought to have curative powers. ANMM Collection opposite: The Bull shark is one of several species known to be responsible for attacks on humans, including incidents in recent years on Sydney beaches and in the harbour. Grande Exhibitions

Sharks in fact have very strong stomach acids and enzymes that dissolve most of what they eat into a gooey liquid that then enters the intestine


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20 January 1842 p 4). So too the shark caught in Sydney in 1858, described above as containing ‘the head and forelegs of a bulldog’ along with prodigious quantities of mutton, pig and horse, was subsequently displayed at Circular Quay in a canvas tent for public viewing for a small fee. Some sharks were too big to be landed and displayed – although the following report from South Australia added to what was known about their eating habits: ‘A shark, measuring 16 ft [4.87 metres], was caught yesterday by Mr F Ventura, of Carcas Rock. The monster measured 9 ft [2.74 metres] round the girth, and gave the fisherman and his comrades much trouble in capturing him. The shark was too large to be taken on board, so his head and tail were cut off. It was discovered that the monster had swallowed another shark

7 ft [2.13 metres] long.’ (The Advertiser 3 June 1910 p 10) So why was it that parts of humans or animals could still be found, often days after an attack, in a ‘state of perfect preservation’ and not have been at least partially digested? Recent studies have found that many of the more aggressive sharks may go for extended periods between feeding. To deal with this they have evolved various ways of regulating their stomach’s food breakdown process. Sharks in fact have very strong stomach acids and enzymes that dissolve most of what they eat into a gooey liquid that then enters the intestine where it is absorbed. A valve between the stomach and intestines – the pyloric valve – is small, limiting indigestible material (such as large bones and strange objects) from entering the intestine. These are later regurgitated.

During extended periods without anything in their stomach, digestive enzymes and acids are shut down to avoid a buildup of potentially damaging acids. Thus a difficult-to-digest object might remain for many days in the shark’s stomach without further deterioration. But this also means that a shark can override its stomach’s food breakdown process in order to store food for months at a time. For a Great White shark that travels thousands of kilometres a year, this is an excellent adaptation. The fact that large and strange objects could survive long periods in a shark’s stomach led one commentator to wonder if perhaps the biblical Jonah had actually been swallowed by a giant shark rather than a whale! The shark’s habit of eating its prey as whole as possible had often been noted:

Its teeth are only incisive. It has no power of holding. It can snap and sever limb, or trunk, or head, sheer and certainly as though its jaws were a guillotine. But in that case it secures only what is within its jaws. The rest is apt to be lost. Its habit, therefore, is to swallow the prey alive that it may lose nothing. (The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser 9 February 1867 p 6) Because sharks need to consume bulky foods quickly, the stomach is also quite muscular and elastic. It has an inner lining with longitudinal folds called rugae that permit accordion-like expansion of the stomach to accommodate a particularly large meal. But perhaps the strangest thing about a shark’s stomach is the way it can be hung out and washed clean in the sea! Some sharks can evert the stomach

at will by turning it out through the mouth. This rinses the stomach lining in sea water, and the organ is then retracted and returned to the inside of the body – a handy way to get rid of any unwanted bibles, wrist-watches or unexploded bombs. Our fascination with the contents of a shark’s stomach can be seen as something that has arisen from humanity’s age-old fear of sharks, while at the same time it has compounded those fears. It has all the hallmarks of an obsession. Certainly it helped to generate the attitude that sharks were dangerous menaces – objects that deserved to be destroyed and dissected. But the examination of the contents and workings of a shark’s stomach has in many ways become a window into a little-known – and still terrifying – deep-ocean world that has only recently begun to be better understood.  Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


Tragedy Rabaul and Montevideo Maru

It was the worst maritime disaster in Australia’s history. More than 1,100 Australian soldiers and civilians, prisoners of the Japanese after the fall of Rabaul, died when a US submarine sank the Japanese ship that was transporting them to prisoner-of-war camps. Keith Jackson am relates this tragic yet little-known story.

above: Lieutenant D M Selby, commander of the anti-aircraft battery at Rabaul, and driver Lance Bombardier B R Hartigan in the battery’s Ford utility truck at Malaguna Camp. Selby survived the retreat from Rabaul in 1942, but Hartigan was captured and lost at sea on Montevideo Maru. Reproduced courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, AWM P02312.002, donor D Bloomfield left: Montevideo Maru at Capetown, South Africa, in 1926, shortly after the vessel was launched. The 7,267-ton ship was built to carry Japanese migrants to South America. Maxwell R Hayes collection reproduced courtesy of M R Hayes


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The story of the sinking of Montevideo Maru in 1942 is one of the lesser known of Australia’s wartime tragedies – yet it represents by far Australia’s largest catastrophe at sea. It was a disaster in which over a thousand civilians and servicemen, captives of the Japanese, died in the space of 11 minutes when the ship carrying them to prisoner-of-war camps in Hainan was torpedoed by an American submarine. Perhaps the obscurity of this story came about because the tragedy took so long to come to public attention. Lost in the ‘fog of war’, it was over three years before the victims’ relatives were told of the fate of their missing loved ones. Perhaps it was due to the tragedy’s revelation in the months after World War II, when Australians were trying to put their grief and anxiety behind them and embrace a new and better life. Or perhaps it was because the men who died had been stationed in the faraway town of Rabaul in the Bismarck Archipelago in north-east New Guinea, victims of a futile defence that even their commanders knew was a hopeless cause.

It had not been Australia’s finest hour. There was nothing to feel good about. The story of Montevideo Maru is, in reality, many stories. It is the story of Australian settlers in New Guinea who, having farewelled their wives and children in a last-minute evacuation, became helpless prisoners of the Japanese. It is the story of a small force of poorly armed young soldiers who found themselves defending a tropical township against a far superior enemy force that dominated the sea and sky around them. And it is the story of a new Australian government, under the leadership of John Curtin, confronting a series of strategic crises and making the hardest decision any government can be called upon to make: the decision to leave its citizens in harm’s way. It is nearly 70 years since that great Australian tragedy unfolded in the New Guinea islands in the first half of 1942. But only now has there been the national recognition that was due to those who were caught up in it, and paid the price of their lives. Rabaul (meaning a mangrove swamp in the local Kuanua language) is located in a volcanic area at the north-eastern tip of the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. Its magnificent deep-water harbour is a flooded caldera three kilometres wide. In 1884 Germany claimed the New Guinea islands during its late rush to join the established European colonial powers and stake out a far-flung empire. Rabaul developed into a fine town with elegant colonial buildings, wide, tree-lined avenues, tramways – and a strategically important wireless station at nearby Bitapaka. In 1914 after the outbreak of World War I, an Australian expeditionary force of 1,500 men was despatched to capture Rabaul and occupy German New Guinea. It was the first-ever force to leave Australia under the command of Australian officers and on board its own ships. Troops landed at Herbertshohe (now Kokopo) to capture the Bitapaka wireless station. In the ensuing battle, Able Seaman W G V Williams ran became the first Australian to die in action in World War I. Australian troops hoisted the British flag in Rabaul on 13 September 1914.

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In 1920 when the victors of the war were carving up the globe – and at the insistence of Prime Minister William Morris ‘Billy’ Hughes – Australia was granted a mandate over the Territory of New Guinea. Rabaul was its administrative centre. A civil administration was installed, German plantations and assets were expropriated and war reparations were levied. In the years that followed, many Australians went to the islands, with exservicemen a dominant presence both on plantations and within the administration. They were so numerous that Rabaul was sometimes called ‘a suburb of Anzac’. The settlers saw themselves as permanent residents intent on forging a life in New Guinea, and Rabaul prospered as its vibrant headquarters and largest town. By the late 1930s its population numbered 5,000 – 800 Europeans, 1,000 Asians and 3,000 Indigenous workers who were employed as police, in government and as labourers and servants. The town boasted every civil and social amenity during a period one writer termed ‘a brotherhood of whiteness’. On 1 July 1937, Territories Minister and former Prime Minister Hughes, reacting to suggestions that Hitler might be appeased by the return of former German colonies, told an audience in Rabaul that New Guinea was Australia’s and ‘all hell is not going to take it away’. The Japanese military had other ideas. Japan’s interest in New Guinea grew during the 1930s as a doctrine called Nanshin-Ron (southward advancement) gained momentum among Japanese intellectuals. In the event of war, the Imperial Japanese Navy, aware of its relative inferiority, planned to weaken the US Pacific Fleet before engaging in a decisive battle in waters near Japan. Its preferred arena for this contest was between the Mariana and Marshall Islands. Truk Atoll in the Carolines became the main advance base for the Japanese fleet. The Australian-administered deepwater port of Rabaul was seen by the Japanese as a threat to these ambitions. The Japanese Imperial Command used visits by merchant vessels to source intelligence. By 1939, for example, the 2,000-ton passenger and cargo vessel Takaichiko Maru was running four trips a year from the Marshall Islands to Rabaul and other island ports. It carried little cargo and the Japanese on board had a particular penchant for photography. As tensions grew between Japan and the Allies, the Japanese decided to initiate 16

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Lost in the ‘fog of war’, it was over three years before the victims’ relatives were told of the fate of their missing loved ones

Officers and senior NCOs from the Rabaul antiaircraft battery just before the Japanese attack. L to R: Sergeant B M Gilchrist, Lieutenant P W Fisher, second in command Chaplain J L May, Lieutenant Selby, Commanding Officer, Sergeant E Green and Sergeant H J F Peters. Gilchrist and Peters were captured and lost on Montevideo Maru; Chaplain May survived the war as a POW in Japan; Lieutenants Fisher and Selby survived the retreat from Rabaul. Sergeant Green was probably executed at Tol. Reproduced courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, AWM P02312.004, donor D Bloomfield

military action against the USA, UK and Holland in early December 1941. After Pearl Harbor, the prime targets would be Rabaul and Kavieng in the Bismarck Islands, and south-east Asian cities as far west as Malaya. These would be attacked at the same time as, or very soon after, the surprise attack on Hawaii. Until 1939, no plans for the defence of New Guinea had been implemented by its Australian administrators. The preparations eventually made were minimal and designed to delay rather than thwart an invading force. In early 1941, as the threat from Japan emerged with greater clarity, the Australian War Cabinet authorised the despatch of troops to garrison Rabaul. The defence of New Britain, a front of more than 1,600 kilometres of coastline, was to be the responsibility of 1,400 Australian troops known as Lark Force. It was based around the 2/22nd Battalion, raised in Trawool, Victoria, and arriving in Rabaul by April 1941. Among them was a Salvation Army band from Brunswick in Melbourne, whose members had enlisted en masse to rally to the national flag at a time of great threat to their country. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the Japanese ordered an invasion fleet to take Rabaul. On 12 December the Australian War Cabinet decided to compulsorily evacuate Australian women and children. Evacuation orders were broadcast over Rabaul radio on 16, 18 and 20 December. Males over 16 were to remain with their fathers, but in a few cases younger boys stayed. Ivor Gascoigne was 15 and had recently started work. He pleaded to remain with his father, Cyril, a motor fitter. Acting Administrator Harold Page said it should be his mother’s decision. Ivor and his father died aboard Montevideo Maru. Ivor’s mother lived

with the pain of that decision for the rest of her life. His sister still does. The liners Neptuna and Macdhui arrived in Rabaul on the evening of 21 December and the evacuees boarded next day, as heavy rain fell. The ships steamed south, the women and children mourning the separation from their men and regarding the future with deep uncertainty. The civilians who remained were mainly government officers, planters, businessmen, traders and missionaries. Most were settlers – ‘Territorians’ as they called themselves – and their livelihoods were in New Britain. Many were World War I veterans. The first bombs fell on 4 January and bombing continued for three weeks until Rabaul was invaded. Lark Force was poorly equipped to repel an invasion. It had no sea support, poor air support and little artillery. The infantry units were lightly armed and possessed few mortars or machine guns. The view of the Australian Chiefs of Staff was that, at best, this force could no more than briefly delay a Japanese advance. The Army admitted as early as August 1941 that to secure Rabaul against attack would require a scale of defence beyond its resources. Lark Force would be tasked to impede the Japanese advance and the administration would be assigned to maintain civil order. Lark Force commander Colonel Scanlan had made no plans for retreat or withdrawal. Indeed, on Christmas Day 1941, he issued the grim order that ‘there shall be no faint hearts, no thought of surrender, every man shall die in his pit’. These were circumstances that ultimately led to the deaths of about 1,500 people. A decision on 19 January 1942 to evacuate unnecessary civilian personnel came too late to be put into effect.

The Salvation Army Brunswick Citadel Band, shown in about 1938, enlisted en masse in 1940 and were posted to Rabaul with the 2/22nd Battalion, both as a band and to assist as stretcher bearers. Most were lost on Montevideo Maru; only one survived the war.

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top left: Packed with evacuees, channel patrol vessel HMAS Laurabada arrives in Port Moresby on 12 April 1942 after a desperate escape from New Britain. Reproduced courtesy of the Australian War memorial, AWM P69370.


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top right: Australian army medical women’s service (AAMWS) nurses from the 118th Australian general hospital inspect the wreaths at the conclusion of a memorial service held at Rabaul in 1946 to mark the fourth anniversary of the sinking of the transport Montevideo Maru. Photographer B A Harding. Reproduced courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, AWM P124109.

above: The Japanese surrender at Rabaul in 1945 on board the British aircraft carrier HMS Glory. General Hitoshi Imamura and Vice-Admiral Jinichi Kusaka, Commander in Chief of the Japanese South-Eastern Fleet, hand over their swords to Lieutenant-General V A H Sturdee of the 1st Australian Army. Reproduced courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, AWM P0001/418/207

Soon after midnight on Friday 23 January, the 5,300-strong Japanese South Seas Force invaded Rabaul. Before midday, the Australian military commander, Colonel Scanlan, ordered ‘every man for himself’ as Lark Force was overwhelmed. And so Rabaul fell. ‘The fighting was effectively over within a few hours,’ says Australian historian, Emeritus Professor Hank Nelson. ‘Probably less than 100 Japanese and Australians died in battle. The Australians were too few to oppose most landings, they were quickly divided, communications between companies and headquarters were lost early.’ Australian forces withdrew and broke into small parties. Men tried to escape to New Britain’s north and south coasts, struggling through unknown country without maps, medicines or stores. In all, 450 soldiers and civilians from a total of about 2,000 men did manage to escape in various craft to nearby, as-yet-unoccupied parts of New Guinea. One such rescue was by the yacht-like, 150-ton HMAS Laurabada, previously an administrator’s touring vessel. It was commanded by a courageous patrol officer, Sub-Lieutenant Ivan Champion, who evaded Japanese aircraft to take off 157 men. Most of the Australian soldiers remained at large in the interior of New Britain for some time. But Lark Force had not planned for guerrilla warfare and without supplies, the health and effectiveness of those who had escaped declined. Upon capture, most of the men were interned in a camp outside Rabaul. Some met with great brutality. On 4 February 1942, about 160 were shot or bayoneted at Tol and Waitavalo plantations. Six men miraculously survived. Colonel Masao Kusunose, the officer responsible, later committed suicide rather than face trial for his war crimes. A contrasting act of kindness by the Japanese also occurred. Many of the captives in Rabaul were allowed to write letters home, and these were dropped over Port Moresby in mailbags from Japanese aircraft during a bombing raid on 28 April 1942. The letters reached families in Australia, creating a ray of hope for the men’s loved ones – although most of those who wrote them were lost with Montevideo Maru in the middle of that year. One of them was Gunner Les Lyons, whose letter to his mother in Junee, NSW, survives and was reproduced in the Australian War Memorial’s latest journal Wartime (No 52 October 2010, page 48). This article attributes the

Montevideo Maru listed and sank so quickly in the pre-dawn darkness of 1 July 1942 there was no time to radio a distress message

Japanese gesture of dropping the letters to the fact that the Australians had given a proper burial to two Japanese aviators who crashed at Rabaul immediately before the Japanese invasion. For the Japanese invaders, the conquest of Rabaul had been an uncomplicated operation. To Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the Japanese air assault, it was a waste of the talents of Nagumo Force: ‘If ever a sledgehammer had been used to crack an egg, this was the time,’ he observed. Rabaul became a key Japanese staging and supply centre, headquarters of the Japanese South East Fleet. In 1945, when Japan surrendered, there were nearly 100,000 Japanese troops and auxiliaries in this part of New Britain. The Japanese merchant ship Montevideo Maru, built in 1926 to carry emigrants from Japan to South America, was deployed as a troopship in World War II. On 28 May 1942 it departed Surabaya under the command of Captain Kazuichi Kasahara carrying personnel for Rabaul, arriving on 9 June. There were frequent Allied air raids while the ship was in port but it sustained no damage. On 22 June, 845 prisoners of war from Lark Force and 208 interned civilian men were marched from their camps to board the vessel. Escorting the men on the voyage, in addition to the ship’s crew, was a naval guard comprising an ensign, a medical orderly and 63 ratings. After embarkation, the ship set sail for Hainan Island off the southeast of China. The US submarine Sturgeon, operating out of Fremantle under the command of Lieutenant Commander William ‘Bull’ Wright, was on patrol west of Luzon in the northern Philippines on the night of 30 June when he encountered the westward-bound Montevideo Maru. Like all Japanese and Allied ships carrying prisoners of war, this one bore no special markings.

Lt Cdr Wright’s log entry reads: 30 June 1942: Patrolling northwest of Bojeador as before. Dove at dawn, surfaced at dusk. At 2216 sighted a darkened ship to southwest… Put on all engines and worked up to full power, proceeding to westward in an attempt to get ahead of him. For an hour and a half we couldn’t make a nickel. This fellow was really going, making at least 17 knots, and probably a bit more, as he appeared to be zig-zagging. At this time it looked a bit hopeless, but determined to hang on in the hope he would slow or change course toward us. His range at this time was estimated at around 18,000 yards. Sure enough, about midnight he slowed to about 12 knots. After that it was easy… At 0225 fired four-torpedo spread, range 4,000 yards, from after tubes. At 0229 heard and observed explosion about 75– 100 ft abaft stack. At 0240 observed ship sink stern first. 0250 surfaced, proceeded to eastward, completing battery charge. Ship believed to be Rio de Janeiro Maru, or very similar type, although it is possible it was a larger ship, he was a big one. A few lights were observed on deck just after the explosion, but there was apparently no power available, and his bow was well up in the air in six minutes. Dove at dawn. No further contacts. Montevideo Maru listed and sank so quickly in the pre-dawn darkness of 1 July 1942 – in just 11 minutes according to Lt Cdr Wright’s log – there was no time to radio a distress message. Wright, of course, was unaware that the ship carried Allied prisoners. It is believed all 1,053 prisoners perished along with most of the crew and guards. The last resting place of Montevideo Maru is on the ocean floor of the South China Sea, probably at a depth of about 4,200 metres, about 110 kilometres north-west of Cape Bojeador on Luzon’s north-western tip. A subsequent Japanese report to the owners of Montevideo Maru said three lifeboats were launched, one severely damaged. Some crew and guards got away in the other two and, the following day at 7 pm, made landfall near a lighthouse at Cape Bojeador. In seeking safety in Manila, however, only a small number of them survived conflict with Filipino guerrillas. The fall of Rabaul had contributed well over 1,000 of the 8,031 Australians who died as prisoners of war of the Japanese during World War II. But this terrible tragedy did not become clear to the

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‘It’s time to fill a huge gap in our history... The sinking of the Montevideo Maru was one of the most significant events of World War II but is still relatively little known. It is an important part of Australia’s history’

‘Getting this story more firmly into the national consciousness is a noble effort’ Hon Kim Beazley ac, Ambassador to the United States, whose uncle died on Montevideo Maru

Hon Peter Garrett am mp, then Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, whose grandfather died on Montevideo Maru

families of victims until after the war ended. There had been some news of the fall of Rabaul, limited by wartime censorship. However details of the Montevideo Maru sinking would not emerge until the Allies were able to access war records from the defeated Japanese. A Japanese roll thought to contain the names of the prisoners on Montevideo Maru was found in Tokyo and subsequently brought to Australia by the Army, but was lost in mysterious circumstances and has never been found again. There remained so many doubts about who had died at sea, who had died on land and how they died. The Australian government chose not to hold a postwar enquiry into the fall of Rabaul. Until recently, most relatives felt no sense of certainty and no sense of closure. They believed there had been no appropriate national recognition of the sacrifice their men had made in those desperate early days of the Pacific war, in the defence of the first Australian territory to fall to the Japanese. Most had the view that successive Australian governments had taken that sacrifice for granted. Then, just this year, recognition came. It came after the intense efforts and lobbying of the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society, established to gain national recognition of these tragedies. On Monday 21 June 2010, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel in Kevin Rudd’s government, Alan Griffin mp, spoke in Parliament House on a Matter of Public Importance before 350 veterans, relatives and friends who crowded the galleries of the House of Representatives. ‘I would like to express our sincere regret and sorrow for the tragedy that occurred with the sinking of the Montevideo Maru on 1 July 1942,’ Mr Griffin said. ‘I would especially like 20

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to acknowledge the great emotional suffering of the families and friends they left behind. These people endured many long and painful years waiting for news of their loved ones and they deserve to be remembered.’ Mr Griffin said the Australian Government will work to ensure that the Montevideo Maru story remains a part of the nation’s living history, pledging a grant of $100,000 to assist in building a memorial at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The shadow minister, Louise Markus mp, said it was an ‘important day, tinged with sadness for survivors and families of the lost. Equally, it is a day for Australia to remember and commemorate those who gave their lives and who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Sixty-eight years is a long time to wait for such a moment,’ she said. Monday 21 June 2010 was a day of recognition and resolution. It was a day that had been awaited so long – a day that some had given up hope of ever seeing. That day had finally arrived. People who deserved recognition were honoured by their nation. It was a significant day for them, and it was an important day for Australia. 

The Parliamentary Resolution in the Senate and House of Representatives, Monday 21 June 2010 1 expresses: a the gratitude of the Australian nation to the service personnel and civilians in Rabaul and the New Guinea Islands for their services in the defence of Australia during World War II; and

new series coming soon

b its regret and sorrow for the sacrifices that were made in the defence of Rabaul and the New Guinea Islands and in the subsequent sinking of the Montevideo Maru on 1 July 1942; and 2 conveys its: a condolences to the relatives and loved ones of the people who died in this conflict; and b thanks to the relatives for their forbearance and efforts in ensuring that the nation remembers the sacrifices made.

The author of this article, Keith Jackson am, is president of the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society, established to gain national recognition of the tragedy. The society is planning to build a memorial at the Australian War Memorial. They can be contacted at PO Box 1743, Neutral Bay NSW 2089.

Lecture: ‘The sinking of Montevideo Maru – Australia’s worst maritime disaster’ 3–5 pm Sunday 20 February, museum theatre Presented by Rodney Miller of the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society. The society’s patron is the Hon Peter Garrett am mp.

above: The present memorial to those lost on Montevideo Maru, photographed in Rabaul in 2002. It replaced an earlier memorial damaged by a tsunami in 1971. Reproduced courtesy of the photographer, Maxwell R Hayes

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HM Bark Endeavour gets a clear signal

right: Hidden behind this very 18th-century-looking pantry door attended by shipkeeper Amy Spett is the replica’s modern navigation station where TC Communications has installed its new satellite and 3G voice and data connection. opposite: HM Bark Endeavour replica off James Cook’s landing place at Kurnell in Botany Bay. Photography J Mellefont/ANMM

The Australian replica of Cook’s ship has been fitted with state-of-the-art satellite and 3G communications systems, bringing a touch of the 21st century to the 18th-century technology that the ship represents. The upgrade not only ensures the safety and amenity of all on board, but links them to a worldwide audience through modern digital media.


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As part of the extensive preparations for the 2011–2012 Australian circumnavigation by the Australian National Maritime Museum’s replica of James Cook’s famous ship, the vessel has been fitted with a state-of-the-art satellite communications system. The new technology was installed for the museum by TC Communications, a company with a broad range of experience working with seacraft from military vessels to maxi yachts sailing in the Sydney–Hobart race. The Western-Australian-built replica of His Majesty’s Bark Endeavour is regarded as one of the world’s most accurate maritime reproductions. Built over five years, beginning in 1988, the ship sailed over 170,000 nautical miles, twice around the world, and visited 29 countries under the management of the HM Bark Endeavour Foundation, before being transferred to the Australian National Maritime Museum in 2005. It has become a must-see attraction at the museum in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, with guided tours above and below its authentically fitted-out 18thcentury decks attracting hundreds of school groups and more than 100,000 visitors each year. Moreover, as a vital part of the museum’s outreach program, the Endeavour replica has been kept in survey for voyaging to other ports in Australia each year. While the ship is navigated between ports by a core crew of experienced square-rig sailors, each voyage allows the museum to offer sailing adventures to paying passengers who can experience 18th-century seamanship as they take part in handling the ship and its sails. To ensure the safety and welfare of all on board, the replica was cleverly designed with engines and generators, a modern galley and mess, showers and toilets all hidden deep in the hold, below two decks of

authentic 18th-century accommodations. The lower level has been called Endeavour’s ‘20th-century deck’. Day-to-day management of Endeavour and safety regulations have always required that the ship is fitted with modern communications. The new systems installed this year have updated the 20th-century communications electronics that the ship came with when it was transferred to the museum, bringing these crucial facilities into the 21st century. They provide simultaneous voice, data and fax applications that ensure the captain has modern, reliable communications anywhere, anytime. This is not just for safety, weather and positioning but to link into the rapidly expanding new spectrum of digital communications, including the ‘social media’ (see panel on following pages). Karen Holt, who was appointed head of information services at this museum in time to oversee these enhancements, says that over the years the ship has tried various communications options, but none of them had the bandwidth capability or reliability demanded by these more recent developments. ‘We needed a solution that would provide reliable communications and enough bandwidth to allow rich media content to be sent from ship to shore and vice-versa,’ says Karen. ‘Trying to get data through the radio in the past was difficult and frustrating but now it works well and saves time too.’ The Endeavour replica is now permanently connected to the modern world with both a satellite and 3G voice and data connection. 3G (ie 3rdgeneration) is a generation of standards for mobile phone and telecommunications services, including mobile broadband access to laptop computers and smart phones. When in a harbour or in close proximity to land the ship can communicate through a mobile phone

We needed a solution that would provide reliable communications and enough bandwidth to allow rich media content to be sent from ship to shore and vice-versa

signal, far more economical than the satellite connection. But when Endeavour sails out of 3G range, she will switch automatically and seamlessly to a satellite broadband connection via a Thrane & Thrane FleetBroadband 500 terminal, which transmits via the Inmarsat-4 network. Inmarsat is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, offering reliable voice and high-speed data communications that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. The Endeavour’s communication system has a third connection option, via a wireless local area network (LAN). The system also provides a network access storage (NAS) device, to hold the ship’s documentation in digital form and make it accessible to the crew. This enables the Endeavour’s captain to carry out the day-to-day management of the ship more efficiently. ‘Captain and crew can access documentation wirelessly from their laptops anywhere on board,’ says Karen Holt. ‘We also migrated to a new email system that the crew can now access to stay in touch a lot more easily. They can make blog postings, post photos via Flickr and use Twitter and Facebook to stay in touch with interested parties, and Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


Social media reach new and wider audiences

The new systems installed this year have brought Endeavour’s communications electronics into the 21st century We hope to use YouTube as a central place for our audio-visual recordings when HM Bark Endeavour is completing the circumnavigation of Australia, ensuring we reach as many Australians as possible with educational information, wherever they happen to be.

Spot the satellite antenna dome among the replica’s 18th-century rigging.

to keep in touch with family, which is great from a crew welfare point of view. It could also provide paying voyagers with these amenities by purchasing blocks of bandwidth so they can communicate their excitement and adventures to their family and friends ashore.’ This is a far cry from James Cook’s ink journals, or letters home exchanged with passing ships that could take years to reach their destination! And while the original Endeavour crew would find their position with a chart and a sextant and write it in the ship’s log, today’s crew can use FleetBroadband to plot it on Google and share it with the world on Facebook. The Endeavour is an important part of the education program for schools and communities that the Australian National Maritime Museum runs throughout Australia as part of its charter. ‘With more reliable communications,’ says Karen Holt, ‘we can reach out to these schools and communities no matter if the ship is out to sea or docked at Darling Harbour. Fostering an environment of two-way communication is important to us. The communications equipment will enable us to network with remote schools and special-interest groups.’ The Australian-owned and managed company that installed the new systems, TC Communications, is a leader in satellite communications in the SouthEast Asian region. Its client base includes the Royal Australian Navy, the ADF, major Federal Government departments, key media players and major mining, resources and construction companies. It was also familiar with the Endeavour replica, having installed the ship’s earliergeneration Inmarsat M terminal in the 1990s, which provided basic voice and data services. Karen Holt says that TC Communications was chosen for its known ability to provide a solution. 24

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‘We also needed a company that could install the equipment in a short time frame, and that knew how sensitive the ship is – it’s a working museum so we had to ensure the authenticity was maintained,’ she says. The communications systems that TC Communications installed are located and operated from the on-board space that in Cook’s day was the dry store and pantry. Access for the team at TC Communications was severely restricted, and cabling had to be passed through the keel-way, engine room and even behind the toilets – while the ship was open to the public seven hours a day, which made access all the more difficult. Much consideration has been given to the appearance and positioning of the antenna dome. The intention of the museum is to keep the replica HMB Endeavour as close to the original as possible but as a working ship the antenna dome was one of several modifications needed to meet contemporary safety standards. The dome has been positioned midway up the main mast. Tests conducted by TC Communications showed that this was the best position to get the most consistent signal giving consideration to interference from the masts and rigging, as well as the pitching of the ship. The dome was painted with a dark coloured hardening gel that helps to hide it as well as providing extra protection. The several voyages taken by the ship in April this year allowed us to test the new systems and processes in a live environment. There were some teething issues as expected but the results were positive. The ship can embark on next year’s epic circumnavigation of the Australian island-continent confident in its communications. 

Upgrading the electronic communications systems on the museum’s replica of HM Bark Endeavour goes well beyond the needs for prudent seamanship and safety, such as the normal functions of obtaining weather data and being able to communicate with other ships and ports. Endeavour’s newfound ability to stream all sorts of data ashore to update the museum’s – and the ship’s own – websites is part of the museum’s rapidly developing use of what’s come to be called ‘digital social media’ to reach new and wider audiences. These social media include online blogs, Facebook and Tweets, and sites such as Flickr and YouTube where voyage images and video can be posted. So just what are these emerging social networking tools, and why is the museum using them as part of its overall communications strategy? Social networking channels or, collectively, ‘social media’, are used to foster two-way, collaborative communication between the museum and the outside world, rather than the traditional one-way content broadcast from the museum only, for example in print and advertising media. Even the earlier versions of the museum’s website provided an essentially one-way flow of information, with little interactivity possible. A blog is an online site that not only enables the rapid posting of information, but allows and indeed encourages readers to respond to it by posting their own comments or information. A stream of ‘posts’ appears in reversechronological order so the most recent posts display first. The museum uses a blog of its own to report on current topical events such as vessel repairs, new collection acquisitions and interesting stories from around the museum. You can see it (and participate in an online conversation with us) at We intend to post regular blogs from HM Bark Endeavour during the replica’s

2011–2012 circumnavigation voyage, with a ‘Captain’s log’ style of journal published daily. Flickr is one of several online photo repositories that anyone with an internet-enabled computer can access, upload their own photos, and discuss and comment on others. Endeavour already has its own Flickr site,, recording its voyages. Now the ship will be able to upload images to its Flickr site while it’s still at sea. They will be integrated into the new HM Bark Endeavour website in the form of a slideshow of images. The museum is also participating in a Flickr project called The Commons. It’s a name that refers to the concept of ‘common property’, in this case, photographs whose copyright protection has lapsed and that are therefore in the public domain. We have posted a selection of one of our most important photographic collections, the Samuel J Hood Studio Collection. Sam Hood (1870–1956) was a Sydney photographer with a passion for ships, whose 72-year career spanned the romantic age of sail and two world wars. When acquired, very few of the collection’s 11,000 negatives and prints were labelled. While the museum has made great progress in identifying the images, one reason to post them on Flickr Commons is to encourage people to tell us anything they might know about a particular scene. Have a look at anmm_thecommons. YouTube is an online community where users can upload, share and watch short video clips. The museum is increasing its involvement in the YouTube community by posting recorded footage of guest speaker discussions and talks, video of our vessels at sea and interviews with maritime craftspeople. These can be found at

Facebook is an online gathering place, accessible by internetenabled computer or mobile phone. It allows you to make connections with friends or people who share a common interest, expanding your personal network. Crew aboard Endeavour, as well as staff from ANMM, maintain a Facebook ‘page’ at Facebook users can connect or affiliate with us and share this new connection with their own network of friends. It’s another way of staying in touch with the museum and what’s happening here. The most recent social medium, Twitter, has been called a ‘micro-blogging’ platform. A tweet is a short message of no more than 140 characters including spaces. For example: ‘HMB Endeavour is approaching The Heads, we expect to berth at 1600 hrs’ (70 characters). Followers can reply to these tweets with a message of their own, and an entire conversation can be conducted within this platform. Again accessible by internet connection or mobile phone, it provides a constant stream of communication to an audience that is interested in following the doings of a particular person or organisation. Those interested in hearing more from HM Bark Endeavour can join at, or the museum itself at anmmuseum. By discussing and sharing online content such as photos and comments on these social networking channels in real time, we can extend the reach of HM Bark Endeavour’s communications efforts by the in-house public relations and marketing teams. This social media interaction also enables crew and passengers to share their experiences with their friends and families at home, and with followers of the ship including the many thousands of former crew and passengers all around the world.  Emily Breen (pictured above) Web content development officer

Jeffrey Mellefont

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Members News below: Members cruised the Hawkesbury River with the Riverboat Postman in November. Photographer Andrew Davey


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below right: Our well-attended symposium ‘Flinders’ return – 200th anniversary’ was introduced by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW with speakers (L to R) Paul Brunton, Mitchell Library; author Miriam Estensen: Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM; and museum director Mary-Louise Williams. Photographer Zara Collins/ANMM below: Author and journalist Rob Mundle at a Members event with yachtsman and former ANMM councillor Sir James Hardy. Photographer A Adam/ANMM


Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

Improving your museum When you next visit the museum you’ll see that we have embarked on a major construction project along the eastern (city-facing) facade of the building, to greatly improve our amenities for all visitors, Members, volunteers and staff. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience, but assure you that our ‘eastern improvements’ will make a great difference when completed.

The Members Lounge is unaffected, so pop in whenever you visit, put your feet up and enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee for you and your guests, or cordial for the kids. Our volunteer hosts will make you most welcome and if you visit during December you will receive a sweet Christmas treat! The popular waterside Yots Café is under reconstruction but will continue café and coffee-cart service on the Terrace Balcony overlooking the water. You’ll still enjoy those wonderful views over a gourmet sandwich and glass of wine – and you will still receive your Members 10% discount. With summer approaching we’ve lined up a whole host of on-the-water activities for you. There’s a special Christmas sunset sail on the visiting tall ship One & All, our annual Boxing Day cruise on board MV Seivadis to view the Sydney–Hobart race-start, and an Australia Day cruise on the luxury MV Bennelong to take in all the on-water activities. In February we’ll cruise out to welcome the new Cunard ship Queen Elizabeth, which will rendezvous with Queen Mary 2. For details see the following

pages of Members events and our other activities. They’re on our website too. Due to the building works we are unable to offer the popular children’s outdoors summer activity WetWorld, but will be offering lots of activities inside the museum themed around our summer attraction Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition. Made available by Grande Exhibitions of Australia, this is a journey into the world of the shark – one of the most feared and misunderstood animals on earth. Visitors are guided through the murky myths and fascinating facts that have surrounded sharks for centuries. Full-scale specimen models, original items from the 1975 movie Jaws and interviews with shark attack survivors are just part of the exhibition. We’re holding a Members shopping evening for some last-minute discount Christmas shopping at The Store. And speaking of Christmas gifts, why not give someone a museum membership? It lasts all year and is a great gift idea for friends or family. We can send it direct to the recipient with a gift card. You will find a gift membership application included in this issue. Contact the Members office but please, no later than 23 December. Thank you for your continued support throughout the year and I look forward to seeing you at the museum in 2010. On behalf of all of us in the Members office, please have a safe and happy Christmas and a terrific New Year. Adrian Adam, Members manager

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


Calendar Summer 2010/11 December Sunday 12

On the water: Cruise on Waratah

Sunday 12

Xmas special: Champagne shopping night & kids tour

Wednesday 22

On the water: Xmas sail on tall ship STV One & All

Sunday 26

On the water: Sydney-Hobart race-start cruise

January Thursday 13

For kids: Sharks, pizza and pyjama night!

Sunday 16

Day tour: Exploration & Endeavour at the National Museum

Saturday 22

On the water: Cruise on Lady Hopetoun

On the water Cruise on Waratah with Greg Blaxall

Tuesday 25

For kids: Fishing 4 Kids

10 am–2 pm Sunday 12 December on the harbour

Wednesday 26

Australia Day: Luxury ferry cruise and Family ferry cruise

Wednesday 26

Australia Day: Family fireworks & BYO picnic

February Sunday 6

Special: Planet Shark – Predator or Prey

Saturday 12

Tour: Chowder Bay Boatshed

Sunday 20

Talk: The sinking of Montevideo Maru

Tuesday 22

On the water: Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2

Wednesday 23

On the water: Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2

Sunday 27

Talk: Dampier’s Monkey: The south seas voyages

March Thursday 3

Lecture: 9th Phil Renouf Memorial Lecture

Coal-fired tug Waratah

Owned and operated by the Sydney Heritage Fleet, the coal-fired tug Waratah is the oldest tug in working order in Australia and has the graceful proportions of a vessel of the era. Built at Cockatoo Island and launched on 21 May 1902 as the Burunda, her primary role was to tow dredges and barges between ports along the NSW coast. Take a cruise back in time on this old steamer as we head up towards the Parramatta River where historian and author Greg Blaxall will talk about the history of the river and its environs. Members $60, general $70. Includes refreshments and light lunch on board. Meet at Sydney Heritage Fleet Shipyard, James Craig Road, Rozelle Bay

Christmas special Champagne shopping & kids tour 5.15–7.30 pm Sunday 12 December at the museum

How to book

Booked out?

It’s easy to book for these Members events… have your credit card details handy:

We always try to repeat the event.

• book online at membersevents • phone (02) 9298 3644 (business hours) or email Bookings strictly in order of receipt • if paying by mail after making a reservation, please include a completed booking form (on reverse of your Signals mail-out address sheet) with a cheque made out to the Australian National Maritime Museum • if payment is not received 7 days before the event your booking may be cancelled


Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

Cancellations If you can’t attend a booked event, please notify us at least five days before the function for a refund. Otherwise, we regret a refund cannot be made. Events and dates are correct at the time of printing but these may change…if so, we’ll be sure to inform you. Parking Wilson Parking offers Members discount parking at Harbourside Carpark, Murray Street, Darling Harbour. You must have your ticket validated at the museum ticket desk.

Kick off your Christmas celebrations early at our special Members shopping evening. Enjoy complimentary champagne and a whopping 20% discount at The Store. Our exhibitions will stay open late for you to wander. Send the kids on our special ‘Merritime museum message in a bottle’ tour with Stormy Grey the Stowaway – free gift for every child! Free for Members, but please RSVP for kids tour (starts at 6 pm)

right: courtesy of One & All Centre: Captain James Cook, Nathaniel Dance, 1795–96, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

left: courtesy Sydney Heritage Fleet

Members events

Tall ship STV One & All

Exploration & Endeavour at the National Museum

Fishing on our wharves

On the water Xmas sail on tall ship One & All

For kids Sharks, pizza and pyjama night!

3–6 pm Wednesday 22 December on the harbour

5.30–9 pm Thursday 13 January at the museum

Cook and Joseph Banks, and discover the key role the Society played in exploration of the Pacific and the development of Australia.

STV One & All was built by W G Porter & Son and an enthusiastic team of volunteers at North Haven, South Australia, and launched in 1985. Based on classic 1850s brigantines, this timber tall ship has been constructed to modern Australian Maritime Safety Authority standards. One of its first major voyages was the 1987–88 First Fleet Re-enactment, joining the fleet at Rio de Janeiro. Don’t miss your opportunity for a Xmas sunset cruise on this classic tall ship during its all-too-rare visit to Sydney.

Take a well-earned night off while the kids take a tour of our ghostly ships HMAS Vampire and HMB Endeavour led by longtime museum caretaker Spanka Boom. They’ll find out what really happens in the museum after dark! There’ll be fun, stories, songs and activities, and pizza for dinner. Then they can roll out a sleepingbag, grab a pillow and lie back in our Terrace Room to watch the fabulous family movie Shark Tale on the big screen, complete with a choc-top and popcorn!

Members: adult $40, child $25. General: adult $50, child $30. Includes finger food and refreshments on board

On the water Sydney–Hobart race-start cruise 11 am–2.30 pm Sunday 26 December on the harbour Farewell this year’s Sydney-Hobart fleet this Boxing Day on board luxury ferry MV Seivadis. Take in all the colour, excitement and salt spray of our harbour’s most spectacular, bluest blue-ribbon day. Picnic on your leftover Christmas dinner as we follow the fleet to the Heads. Members: adult $65, child $30. General: adult $75, child $40. BYO picnic. Cash bar on board. Meet next to Vampire

Members child $25, general $35. Includes pizza, refreshments, movie and craft. Bring a torch, pillow and sleeping-bag. Children will be fully supervised (parents/ carers not required to stay). Ages 5–12

Day tour Exploration & Endeavour at the National Museum of Australia 7 am–7 pm Sunday 16 January at the NMA Canberra Exploration & Endeavour commemorates the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. The exhibition (on show at NMA until 6 February 2011) brings together unique treasures associated with voyages of scientific discovery to the South Seas in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. See navigational instruments from the Endeavour, Resolution and Adventure, letters from James Cook and Matthew Flinders, and the intriguing Transit of Venus model, made in about 1760. Learn about the Society’s Fellows, including

Members $85, general $99. Includes return luxury coach to Canberra, lunch at the museum and refreshments on board

For kids Fishing 4 Kids 10 am–12 noon OR 11 am–1 pm Tuesday 25 January at the museum This workshop teaches children responsible fishing practices and will include a segment on sharks and sustainability. Learn about conservation of fish habitats, sustainable fishing, knot-tying, line-rigging and baiting, casting techniques and handling fish. Find out about the fish that live in and around Darling Harbour – and what they eat. Each child receives a prize and fishing tackle to take home, plus a certificate of achievement. Members $25, general $30. Ages 5–12 years. Includes morning tea and refreshments. Children fully supervised by RFT education officers

EMAIL BULLETINS Have you subscribed to our email bulletins yet? Email your address to to ensure that you’ll always be advised of activities that have been organised at short notice in response to special opportunities.

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


Classic vessel Lady Hopetoun

Australia Day ferry cruise

Simon Sadubin and Taipan at Chowder Bay

Contemporary Montevideo Maru postcard

Queen Elizabeth cruise liner

Dampier’s Monkey: The south seas voyages

On the water Cruise on Lady Hopetoun

Australia Day Family ferry cruise

Special Planet Shark – Predator or Prey

10 am–11.30 am OR 12 noon–1.30 pm Saturday 22 January on the harbour

10 am–1 pm Wednesday 26 January on the harbour

1.30–4.30 pm Sunday 6 February at the museum

Talk The sinking of Montevideo Maru – Australia’s worst maritime disaster

On the water Royal rendezvous ferry cruise – Queen Elizabeth & Queen Mary 2

Talk Dampier's Monkey: The south seas voyages of William Dampier

Named for the wife of the First Governor General of Australia, Lady Hopetoun was built in Berrys Bay and launched on 10 April 1902. She served as the NSW Government’s VIP launch for many years, and she is now owned and operated by Sydney Heritage Fleet. Don’t miss your chance to take a short cruise on this classic vessel and hear about her fascinating history and restoration from SHF representatives.

Come out on this shorter kids-friendly cruise on MV Radar to take in all the on-water activity. There will be activities for the kids and an entertainer on board.

Sharks have been predators in our oceans for more than 450 million years, but now for the first time they are under threat. In the last 50 years, humankind has driven some species to the brink of extinction. Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition is a fascinating journey into the world of the shark. Hear experts from the Rodney Fox Shark Research Foundation, Surf Life Saving NSW, NSW Fisheries and others explore the myths about sharks and learn about the research that has helped to reveal the truth about this most misunderstood creature of the deep.

5.30–8.30 am Tuesday 22 February on the harbour*

3–5 pm Sunday 27 February at the museum

Wake up early and enjoy front row seats as Queen Mary 2 – the largest passenger ship ever to visit Australia – returns to Sydney Harbour for a royal rendezvous with the brand new Queen Elizabeth, a recent addition to the Cunard fleet in October 2010. Recalling the elegant glamour of the first Cunard liner to bear her name, Queen Elizabeth echoes in modern luxury the legendary high society cruising of the 1930s and 40s.

William Dampier – dubbed the ‘devil's mariner’ – was a far voyager and traveller extraordinaire. He lived in an era when, more truly than any other period of history, the past was dismissed in favour of everything new – a new world rocked by the first stirrings of the new science, and under a new political and economic formation. Author Adrian Mitchell talks about his latest book Dampier’s Monkey and examines late-17th-century ways of comprehending an expanding world through a re-evaluation of the travel narratives of this buccaneer adventurer. Introduced by ANMM curator of exploration Dr Nigel Erskine.

Members $55, general $65 (limited places available). Includes refreshments on board. Meet on the Performance Platform

Australia Day Luxury ferry cruise 10.30 am–2.30 pm Wednesday 26 January on the harbour Enjoy Australia Day harbour festivities on luxury cruiser MV Bennelong. Get stirred up in the wash of the famous Ferrython, the spectator fleet, the tall ships, Navy and Air Force flyovers, and lots more. Members: adult $55, child $30. General: adult $65, child $45. BYO picnic. Cash bar and canapés on board. Meet next to HMAS Vampire

Members: adult $35, child $20, family of 4 $100. General: adult $40, child $25, family of 4 $120. BYO picnic and refreshments. Meet next to HMAS Vampire

Australia Day Family fireworks & BYO picnic 7–10 pm Wednesday 26 January museum forecourt and Vampire Celebrate Australia’s national day and watch the magnificent Darling Harbour fireworks at our family-friendly location, with entertainment by our roving jazz band. View the 9 pm Cockle Bay fireworks from the museum forecourt or the decks of Vampire. BYO picnic and we’ll provide chairs, face-painting – and a great view! Rain, hail or moonshine. Members: adults $15, child (16 & under) $10, family of 4 $40. General: adults $20, child $15, family of 4 $55. Snacks and refreshments on sale

Members $20, general $30. Includes afternoon tea, reception, Coral Sea wines

Tour Chowder Bay Boatshed with shipwright Simon Sadubin 10 am–1.30 pm Saturday 12 February on the harbour and Chowder Bay Sydney Harbour Wooden Boats is a specialist timber boatbuilding and restoration yard operating out of the historic Chowder Bay Boatshed at Mosman. The business was established by shipwright Simon Sadubin, who served his time at one of the last traditional boatyards in Balmain and trained under ex-Cockatoo Island shipwrights Richard Wood and Nigel Shannon. Simon has restored the museum’s Taipan, the 18-foot skiff designed by a young Ben Lexcen. Tour this treasure trove of Sydney’s boat-building past. Members $50 general $60 Includes return ferry trip to Chowder Bay, light lunch and refreshments at Chowder Bay


right: collected by James Hook

left: photographer J Mellefont/ANMM

Members events

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

3–5 pm Sunday 20 February at the museum Just before dawn on 1 July 1942, a few weeks after the fall to the Japanese of Rabaul in Australianadministered New Guinea, the Japanese ship Montevideo Maru was torpedoed and sunk by an American submarine while carrying 1,140 Australian soldiers and civilians to prisoner-of-war camps. All of them died, in the worst maritime disaster in Australia’s history. How much did the Australian Government know about this tragic incident before the war ended? Why did it take until last year for their sacrifice to be publicly acknowledged by the Australian government? Rod Miller from the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Foundation, who has been researching the subject for 16 years, relates this tragic story and the shocking reasons why it is so little known. Members $20, general $25. Includes Coral Sea wine and cheese

Members $35 general $45. Includes ferry trip, light breakfast on board and commentary. Meet at Pyrmont Bay Wharf

On the water Royal Departure ferry cruise – Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 10.30 am–1.30 pm Wednesday 23 February on the harbour* Enjoy front row seats on the harbour as the Queen Elizabeth – the newest ship to join the Cunard line, evoking all the elegant glamour of the first Cunard liner to bear her name – departs Sydney harbour following her maiden visit. We will also see Queen Mary 2 docked at Garden Island and welcome in the cruise ship Balmoral, owned and operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. Members $35 general $45. Includes ferry trip, light lunch and refreshments on board and commentary. Meet at Pyrmont Bay Wharf next to the museum.

Members $20, general $25. Includes Coral Sea wine and cheese

Lecture 9th Phil Renouf Memorial Lecture 6.15–8.30 pm Thursday 3 March at the museum The museum and Sydney Heritage Fleet join forces again to present this annual lecture in honour of the late president of SHF, Phil Renouf. This year’s speaker is Jessica Watson, the 16-year-old solo sailor who this year sailed the S&S 34 yacht Ella’s Pink Lady around the world and into everybody’s heart. ANMM and SHF members $25, guests $35. Includes Coral Sea win and cheese

*Cruise time and duration may vary with changes to the liners’ schedules.

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


What’s on summer 2010/11 Events

First party to Fairbridge Farm School, 1938

Photography on Vampire

International Day of People with Disability Flags ahoy!

Kids events

Tue 30 November–Fri 10 December Celebrating International Day of People with Disability, the museum will be flying the colours of artworks painted on flags by members of community and disability groups from around New South Wales.

Summer school holidays 27 December 2010 –30 January 2011

Youth program TV presenting with NIDA Planet Shark – Predator or Prey

Sharks – predator or prey? 10 am–12 noon Thursday 9 December Journey into the world of the shark – one of the most misunderstood animals on earth, and for the first time in 450 million years, under threat. Amy Wilkes (aquarist, Sydney Aquarium) talks about shark reproduction, and Professor Robert Harcourt (Macquarie University), discusses the ecology of sharks common in Australian waters. Then view Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition, featuring two giant screens projecting some of the most stunning sequences of sharks ever filmed. This exhibition has been made available by Grande Exhibitions of Australia. $45. Includes morning tea. Bookings essential WEA 9264 2781

Researching your family history 10 am–12.30 pm Thursday 24 February Join genealogist Heather Garnsey of the Society of Australian Genealogists for an illustrated lecture on researching your family history. Then take a guided tour of On their own: Britain’s child migrants with the curators, and view the opening episode of the BBC series The Leaving of Liverpool. $45. Includes morning tea. Bookings essential WEA 9264 2781 32

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

See the museum’s fleet Buy a Big Ticket, see our fleet, enjoy all kids’ daily activities!

Kids on Deck Sharkzone Ages 5–12 years 10 am–4 pm hourly sessions daily during holidays Delve down deep into the world of sharks. Construct a shark model, make a shark head-dress, find out about different kinds of sharks’ teeth, and design a postcard promoting shark conservation. $7/child or FREE with any purchased ticket. Adults/Members FREE

Youth program Photography on HMAS Vampire

Ages 10–15 years 10 am–4 pm Wednesday 5–Thursday 6 January Design and film a television documentary set at the National Maritime Museum in this two-day course. Develop skills in TV presenting and reporting as you learn how to enhance your onscreen presence and increase your confidence. Includes admission to the thrilling Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition plus a DVD of your documentary. Presented in collaboration with NIDA. $250 (Earlybird by 3 Dec $220). Bookings essential NIDA Open Program (02) 9697 7626 or

Youth program Adventures with NIDA Planet Shark – Predator or Prey Ages 7–9 years 10 am–4 pm Wednesday 12–Thursday 13 January

Ages 8–14 years 10 am–1 pm or 2–5 pm Monday 3 or Friday 7 January

Explore the fascinating world of sharks in this two-day drama workshop. Develop drama skills as you save the sharks and help find the illegal shark finners.

Explore our destroyer HMAS Vampire in a themed photo shoot. Learn how to use professional photographic equipment and have your best shot framed to take home.

Presented in collaboration with NIDA. $220 (Earlybird by 3 Dec $220). Bookings essential NIDA Open Program (02) 9697 7626 or

$45/Members $40 (includes framed print and a CD of all your photos). Bookings essential 9298 3655

right: Courtesy Grande Exhibitions

far left: Courtesy Grande Exhibitions centre: Reproduced courtesy Molong Historical Society

Planet Shark – Predator or Prey?

Kids events

Planet Shark – Predator or Prey

Kids on Deck

Captain Bandanna Ahoy there!

Free school holiday activities!

During school term

Shark Files Activity Trail

Kids on Deck Sharkzone

Mini Mariners end-of-year concert Captain Bandanna’s Ahoy there! show

Ages 7–12 years Collect an Activity Trail from the information desk so you can dive in and explore the mysterious world of the shark in Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition.

Family fun Sundays!

Ages 5–12 years 11 am–3 pm (hourly sessions) every Sunday during term

Storytelling Shark Stories

Delve deep into the world of sharks. Construct a shark model and head-dress, find out about different sharks’ teeth, and design a postcard for shark conservation.

11 am and 12 noon (30 mins) Mon, Tue and Sat in January

$7 per child or FREE with any purchased ticket. Adults/Members FREE

Character tours of Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition

Free family movie! 1.30 pm every Sunday during term See for full program

11 am, 12 noon and 1 pm (40 mins) Wed, Thu, Fri and Sun in January (except Australia Day) Join a fun and fact-filled tour with our Planet Shark character who will lead you into the underwater domain of sharks and help debunk the myths.

Free family movie! 2 pm daily during holidays See for full program

Special group rate for school holiday activities For 10 or more children, $7/child for a fully organised program of activities including: • all museum exhibitions • all children’s daily activities • entry to destroyer HMAS Vampire, submarine HMAS Onslow and tall ship HMB Endeavour replica • FREE entry for 2 adults/10 children • FREE bus parking Note $4 extra/child for 1874 tall ship James Craig Bookings essential. Book early to ensure your space! Ph 9298 3655 Fax 9298 3660 Email

Ages 2–5 years + carers 10.30–11.15 am Tuesday 7 December Join Captain Bandanna and her friend Splash for a magical adventure as they perform their new eco-friendly interactive show. $7 per child/adult, Members $5, babies on laps FREE. Bookings essential online at Enquiries 9298 3655

Mini Mariners Ages 2–5 + carers 10–10.45 am and 11–11.45 am (2 sessions) every Tuesday during term Note: not offered in December February – Under the Sea Featuring Planet Shark – Predator or Prey $7 per child. First adult & Members FREE. Booked playgroups welcome. Bookings essential 9298 3655. Please note this program is not offered during the school holidays and for safety reasons is held inside the museum.

Program times and venues are correct at time of going to press. To check programs before your museum visit call 02 9298 3777.

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition

On their own – Britain’s child migrants

Freshwater Saltwater – Indigenous prints

Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition

On their own – Britain’s child migrants

Freshwater Saltwater – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prints

Until 27 February 2011 Gallery One and North Gallery

Until 15 May 2011 South Gallery

Until 20 February 2011 Tasman Light

Journey into the world of the shark, one of the most successful and misunderstood species on earth. Sharks have been predators in our oceans for more than 450 million years, and they have played a crucial role in maintaining the health of our ocean ecosystem. Today there are more than 350 species of shark. For the first time, however, some of these species are under threat from human activities. The exhibition features full-scale specimen models, fossils, real teeth and jaws. There are original items from the 1975 blockbuster movie Jaws and interviews with survivors of terrifying shark attacks. Discover for yourself the fascinating facts about sharks, and explore the shadowy myths that have surrounded these creatures for centuries.

From the 1860s onwards more than 100,000 British children were sent to Australia, Canada and other Commonwealth countries through child migration schemes that separated them from family and homeland. Few were orphans – the majority came from families who were unable to care for them – and most embarked on the long sea voyage alone. The lives of these children changed dramatically and their fortunes varied. Some successfully forged new futures, others suffered lonely, brutal childhoods. All experienced dislocation and separation from family and homeland. The exhibition has created opportunities for some of them to reunite – see the article beginning on page 43 about the exhibition’s online message board.

A selection of 10 prints from our Sail Away travelling exhibition program. Vivid representations of marine life and environments celebrate Indigenous culture and the struggle of these communities for justice and land and sea rights.

This exhibition has been made available by Grande Exhibitions of Australia

A collaboration between the ANMM and National Museums Liverpool, UK

David Moore – Portraits of a shipping company In the USA Gallery World-renowned Australian photographer David Moore was commissioned by Columbus Line to create photographic portraits of their shipping activities. The company began operations between North America and Australia/New Zealand in 1959 and was the first company to regularly schedule a containerised shipping service.

David Moore – Portraits of a shipping company


Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

centre: Castanospermum australe © Natural History Museum London far right: Triumph of Righteousness, courtesy National Maritime Museum Greenwich UK below right: Seaman with a cat and kitten. Samuel J Hood ANMM Collection

Exhibitions far left: Courtesy Grande Exhibitions centre: Stewart Lee, 1955. Reproduced courtesy Sydney Lee left: Naath (Dugong hunting platform) 1993. Dennis Nona bottom left: Courtesy Hamburg Süd


HM Bark Endeavour replica

Joseph Banks and Australian east coast flora

Sons of Sindbad – the photographs

HMB Endeavour replica

ANMM travelling exhibitions

Open daily 10 am–4 pm until the end of January

Sail Away program Joseph Banks and the flora of the Australian east coast

Sons of Sindbad – the photographs of Alan Villiers

Experience 18th-century life in the Royal Navy on board the museum’s magnificent Australian-built replica of James Cook’s ship. Adults $18, child/concession $9, family $38. Members FREE. Other ticket combinations available. Enquiries 9298 3777

8 December 2010–27 February 2011 Redcliffe Museum QLD

From April 2011, HMB Endeavour will embark on an historic circumnavigation of Australia. See our ad for more information on the Voyage of a Lifetime!

It took more than two centuries to publish the exquisite botanical watercolours of artist Sydney Parkinson, engaged by Joseph Banks for James Cook’s first Pacific voyage (1768–1770). The museum’s copies of these wonderful coloured engravings from Banks’ Florilegium are now touring the country.

Barque James Craig (1874)

Little Shipmates – seafaring pets

Daily Wharf 7 (except when sailing)

Until 23 January 2011 Eden Killer Whale Museum NSW

Sydney Heritage Fleet’s magnificent iron-hulled barque is the result of an award-winning 30-year restoration. Tour the ship with various museum ticket packages (discount for Members). The ship sails alternate Saturdays and Sundays. Check for details

1874 tall ship James Craig, Sydney Heritage Fleet

27 January–27 February 2011 Carnegie Gallery Hobart TAS Alan Villiers’ photographs of his voyages aboard Arabian dhows in 1938–39 capture age-old Indian Ocean sailing traditions, the skills of the sailors and pearl divers and the great hardships they endured, and what he thought were the ‘last days of sail’ in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the coasts of Arabia and east Africa. In collaboration with the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK with the assistance of William Facey and Grace Pundyk

1 February –1 May 2011 Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum Warrnambool VIC Cats, dogs, monkeys and birds – these delightful images taken by Sydney photographer Sam Hood over 50 years show how much shipboard pets meant to seafarers on long voyages.

Little Shipmates – seafaring pets

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


far left: reproduced courtesy State Library of Western Australia

For schools

Bound for Fairbridge Farm School 1950

Planet Shark – Predator or Prey

Planet Shark – Predator or Prey

Over 30 programs are available for students K–12 across a range of syllabus areas. Options include extension workshops, hands-on sessions, tours with museum teacher-guides and harbour cruises. Programs link to both core and temporary exhibitions. See the Schools link on our website ( for details of all programs. Bookings essential 02 9298 3655 fax 02 9298 3660 or email

Planet Shark – Predator or Prey

Pirate school

Years 4–12 Science, HSIE

Years K–4 English, Maths, HSIE, Creative Arts

On their own – Britain’s child migrants

Guided tour $6 per student

Years 6–12 History, English

Core programs

Follow the journeys of Britain’s child migrants as they leave their country and family and face the new life that awaits them in Australia. Trace their stories and experiences through primary source material, artefacts and interactive exhibits. These programs link to Stages 4 and 5 History and Stage 6 English and can be taken in conjunction with core programs such as What is History?, Dipping into History, and Belonging.

Transport Years K–2 HSIE, Science Students tour the museum identifying various forms of transport connected with water – sailing ships, row-boats, ferries, tugs, a Navy destroyer, water traffic and even a helicopter! An optional cruise by heritage ferry takes in industrial, commercial and passenger transport systems on Sydney Harbour.

Guided tour $6 per student

$6 per student (cruise extra)

Workshop and tour $10 per student

Pyrmont walk Years 9–12 History, Geography Explore this inner city suburb from the perspective of changing demographics, construction, planning and development. Led by a teacher-guide, tshis program is suitable as a site study for History and Geography. A harbour cruise examining change and development along the waterfront is also available.

Join the pirate school for lessons in treasure counting, speaking like a pirate, map reading and more! Then join a treasure hunt through the museum and board tall ship James Craig.

On the Terrace at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour Bookings [02] 9211 5144

$10 per student (James Craig $2 extra)

Shipwrecks, conservation and corrosion Years 11–12 Chemistry This 4-hour program relates to the NSW Stage 6 Chemistry syllabus, and includes a talk on metals conservation, an experiment-based workshop and a tour of related shipwreck material in the museum’s galleries. Students can also visit our Navy destroyer HMAS Vampire and submarine HMAS Onslow and view tall ship James Craig from the wharf. $20 per student (minimum numbers apply)

Maritime archaeology Years 5–11 History, Science Explore the nature and practice of underwater archaeology, research the past through shipwrecks, and discover the role of archaeologists, curators and conservators through a hands-on workshop and a tour of archaeological displays in the museum. Programs are available for primary, junior secondary and senior secondary students. Prices vary according to age group – please call for details

Photos: bottom Blumenthal Photography; centre and top Wyatt Song, Moments in Time

Temporary programs

Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition is a journey into the world of the shark – one of the most misunderstood species on earth. Visitors are guided through the shadowy myths and fascinating facts that have surrounded sharks for centuries. Full-scale models, fossils, actual teeth and jaws, original items from the 1975 blockbuster movie Jaws and interviews with survivors of shark attacks are all part of the story of the world’s oldest and most successful ocean predator.

Enjoy your wedding ceremony or reception at our unique waterfront setting. Located on the western shore of Darling Harbour, the venues have splendid city skyline and harbour views.

Bayleaf Catering – The Fine Food Company, renowned for their innovative cuisine, along with delivering service of the highest standard, are the venue’s exclusive caterers.

Enjoy pre-dinner drinks on the decks of the HMAS Vampire before moving into the glassed Terrace Room.

T +61 2 9298 3625

$12 per student (cruise extra) 36

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


National Historic Ships the UK experience National Historic Ships is a public body that was set up in 2006 with funding from the UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport. With its governing Advisory Committee, it acts as a focus for ship conservation projects in the UK, giving advice to the Secretary of State, the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding bodies, as well as providing guidance through publications for vessel owners and all those with an interest in the sector. National Historic Ships operates the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV). It recently introduced the National Archive of Historic Vessels (NAHV), for vessels previously on the NRHV but which have been destroyed, and the Overseas Watch List (OWL) to track vessels of outstanding UK significance outside the UK. National Historic Ships also runs a small grants scheme to help owners of registered vessels. Once a vessel has been on the NRHV for six months or more, it becomes eligible to apply for one of these grants which are divided into three categories covering training, conference attendance or works to the vessel itself. Over £250,000 (about A$400,000) has been awarded to date through this scheme, which has proved very popular, particularly with private owners who have difficulty obtaining funding from other sources. To be eligible for entry on the NRHV, vessels have to meet certain criteria. Vessels should be at least 33 feet (10.05 metres) length overall excluding spars, over 50 years old, and built in the UK or with significant and verified UK historical 38

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

associations. They have to be lying in this country and be substantially intact. If the vessel is of prime significance, she may also be considered for inclusion in the National Historic Fleet (NHF). This lists some 200 vessels of pre-eminent significance that merit the highest priority for conservation and investment. If the vessel does not fit these criteria, National Historic Ships may still be able to keep a record of her details on the National Archive of Historic Vessels or the Overseas Watch List. These databases presently cover some 450 vessels, with the NAHV listing those that have been disposed of, sunk, deconstructed or lost so that a record is kept for future generations. It also includes vessels that have been highlighted as having historical potential, but do not yet meet the criteria for registration, usually because of age. The Overseas Watch List allows National Historic Ships to monitor vessels of interest abroad. This includes vessels that were previously on the NRHV but have now migrated, as well as those that have been based overseas for many years but would be eligible for registration if they returned. In 2009, National Historic Ships created a special award – Flagship of the Year – highlighting a vessel listed on the NRHV that is still operational and involved in programs that encourage the public to visit and enjoy it. This year the accolade went to Sheemaun, a 75-yearold motor yacht based in Ramsgate, in recognition of her extensive public cruising program taking place on both sides of the Channel.

Developed to meet similar needs, and with methodologies evolving from their respective environments, the national registers of historic vessels of Australia and the United Kingdom are worthy of comparison. This overview of the British approach comes from Hannah Cunliffe, policy and project manager, National Historic Ships in the UK.

National Historic Ships has also designed house flags for vessels on the NRHV that mark them as a recognised historic vessel, helping to publicise maritime heritage and the NRHV to a wider audience. A flag featuring a golden coronet can be flown by vessels in the National Historic Fleet. National Historic Ships hopes to see many vessels proudly flying this flag in coming years. Seeking to promote maritime heritage to a wider audience, National Historic Ships launched a photography competition this year. Over 350 images were entered in a wide range of categories, including vessels from the NRHV, traditional skills in action, the Classic Boat ‘favourite’ as well as entries from primary and secondary school children. The overall winner received £1,000 (about A$1,600) towards an activity involving an historic vessel. National Historic Ships has highlighted the decline in traditional skills relating to historic vessel conservation and maintenance as a key area for concern. In 2007, National Historic Ships carried out an infrastructure audit, surveying the facilities, maritime projects and traditional techniques still surviving in the UK, and the need for support work in this area. One outcome was the development of the national Directory of Skills and Services. This is a database of contacts for all vessel owners, linking them to craftsmen, practitioners and facilities across the UK. The Shipshape Network is a new initiative launched by National Historic Ships in June this year. It offers a UKwide network for ship conservation,

HMS Belfast, veteran of World War II convoys to Russia, is owned by the Imperial War Museum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Vessels as one of the vessels of pre-eminent significance, the National Historic Fleet. Photograph courtesy of Christian Topf Design Ltd

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


ARHV the Australian experience

The UK’s National Historic Fleet lists some 200 vessels of pre-eminent significance that merit the highest priority for conservation and investment

with its dedicated website offering a communications portal for all those with an interest in maritime heritage, allowing users to access the Directory of Skills and Services, learn more about current ship conservation projects, potential funding opportunities and skills training. Both the Directory of Skills and Services and the NRHV are growing, with four to six new vessel registrations each month. National Historic Ships has obtained funding for a number of projects that are being promoted through the Shipshape Network. These include a £126,000 (about A$200,000) partnership project with the Waterways Trust to fund three training placements in historic vessel conservation through the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Skills for the Future’ scheme. Funding from the Headley Trust has also allowed National Historic Ships to set up a number of pilot training schemes, such as that involving City College Southampton and historic vessel SS Shieldhall. The latter project will see 10 students from the college spend up to four days onboard the ship, learning about the operation and handling of triple-expansion steam engines first hand. There have been a number of changes in government and funding structures in recent times. There has been a clear endorsement of the value of the work we carry out, and we work closely within the cultural and heritage sector to ensure that there continues to be an official voice for historic vessels in the UK.  You can learn more about these organisations and initiatives at www.nationalhistoricships. and 40

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

Curator of the Australian Register of Historic Ships, David Payne, reflects on the different ways that national heritage vessel databases can work to meet the needs of their heritage environment. He comments too on the UK organisation’s latest publication.

top: Jhelum, a merchant sailing ship built in 1849, was abandoned in the Falklands in 1870. Preservation is impractical, so the hull was stabilised to enable its full recording. Photograph courtesy of National Museums Liverpool.

above: Acquired by the Lakelands Arts Trust in 2007, the 1896 pleasure steam yacht Otto was assessed by National Historic Ships to be of national significance. Photograph courtesy of Lakeland Arts Trust

The Australian register of Historic Vessels (ARHV) was set up by the Australian National Maritime Museum and Sydney Heritage Fleet and launched in 2007, and is now managed by this museum. During the ARHV’s development the project team looked closely at the model provided by the wellestablished National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV) in the UK. The ARHV’s aims are very similar and the key elements of assembling a list of existing historic vessels and publishing it online were followed, but many detail differences exist that set the two apart. One notable point of difference is Australia’s lack of anything similar to the UK Heritage Lottery and its pool of funds to disperse on worthy projects. However many readers will be familiar with the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPSS), administered by our museum and jointly funded by us and the Australian Government. Last year we disbursed nearly $100,000 to 21 organisations. Every year the grants include projects to conserve or record historic vessels, and those listed on the ARHV will often quote the text from the ARHV database as their statement of significance in the MMAPSS application. This helps us to prioritise the distribution of MMAPSS funds.

The criteria for accepting a vessel into the ARHV is wide-ranging, based on four areas of significance cited by the Burra Charter, the document that provides guidance for the conservation and management of places of cultural significance in Australia. These have been rewritten to be easily understood by vessel owners who might not be familiar with the charter. Does the vessel have an association with historical events? Is it a rare or important example of its type? Can it teach us anything about technology? Does it have important community associations? This creates a wide net to capture craft. If an Australian vessel can fulfil one or more of these criteria it is considered for listing. The result is the broad base of very diverse vessels already listed on the ARHV. Unlike the UK’s NRHV we impose no lower size limit, so our register includes small craft such as dinghies, kayaks, canoes and a strong representation of Indigenous watercraft. Many dinghies represent the variety of craft that were produced by well-known builders or designers; kayaks and canoes represent sporting or recreational pursuits and extreme adventures; while the rare Indigenous watercraft drawn from institutions around the country highlight a diverse range of examples.

Owners of vessels listed on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels were acknowledged at the 2010 Classic & Wooden Boat Festival held at the museum in October. In a ceremony chaired by John Jeremy, former CEO of Cockatoo Island Dockyard, ANMM director Mary-Louise Williams presented each owner with a certificate and a pennant to fly on their ARHV-listed vessel. Photographer A Frolows/ANMM

The ARHV in general sets 1965 as the cutoff for construction, but we have allowed some flexibility to include later craft such as the world’s fastest boat Spirit of Australia from the 1970s, and the 1983 America’s Cup winner Australia II. The ARHV accepts vessels from outside Australia if they fit the criteria. Many that worked in Australian waters were designed and/or built overseas; James Craig is one. Often it’s the social history they represent that allows them to be nominated, or a strong commerce and immigration connection. There is no separate Overseas Watch Scheme either; some of the craft listed on ARHV were built here but are now overseas. Star of Australia from 1863 is a rowing scull, built at Milsons Point NSW and probably trialled on Sydney Harbour, but was sent to England for champion Sydney rower Richard Green to row. It has remained there and is a remarkable survivor.

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


The ARHV has a more rigorous nomination structure than its UK counterpart, with two committees that meet regularly to review applications in batches of about 25 at a time. The ARHV Steering Committee is the first stage, and much time is spent ensuring that application statements match the vessel’s true significance before they are passed on to the ARHV Council for a final review. The representatives of both groups are well-versed in different aspects of maritime history, and are often able to provide additional detail that is added to a vessel’s data on the register. In the longer term we aim to look at additional tiers of significance and then highlight some particular craft because of the breadth and depth of criteria they fulfil, or perhaps their particular rarity and integrity. This would be similar to the NRHV’s National Historic Fleet which lists UK craft of ‘pre-eminent significance’. Another achievement of the UK body that the ARHV hopes to emulate is its publication of Conserving Historic Vessels, a richly detailed and illustrated online resource commissioned by the National Historic Ships Advisory Committee. Volume 3, Understanding Historic Vessels has been published in print recently and is a wide-ranging management text looking at the issues of vessel conservation and management. It covers the conservation needs of operational craft in the water, as our museum has to, and those of static craft that also need major conservation programs to stabilise them for display or storage.

Unlike the UK’s NRHV we impose no lower size limit, so our register includes small craft such as dinghies, kayaks, canoes and Indigenous watercraft

While these are subjects increasingly understood by maritime museums, private owners often do not have the benefit of the expertise, background and network of advice available to a larger institution. Until the publication of Understanding Historic Vessels they have been left to try and source their answers as best they can, assuming they knew what questions they should be asking in the first place. The book prompts those questions and gives the answers in a series of chapters organised in a logical progression. This route begins after a discussion of conservation principles and history. Along the way are simple, bullet point review pages that summarise the main points. It shows how to evaluate a vessel and how to understand what its condition, integrity and significance are. It then puts the owner at the ‘conservation gateway’ helping them to determine what conservation option to

follow, and identifying risks that might affect the vessel’s significance. It looks at the options of preservation and restoration weighed against reconstruction and adaptation. These are big issues faced by everyone who owns a heritage vessel, museums included, and the writers are able to explain the options working from a strong foundation of practical experience, brought together by the National Historic Ships initiative. Replication is given its own chapter, noting the value of such projects when they are backed by rigorous research that attempts to recreate the vessel along with the contemporary skills, materials and techniques for construction and operation. The museum’s HM Bark Endeavour replica is one of the craft featured. I was fortunate to meet with National Historic ships director Martyn Heighton at Greenwich in July this year. Martyn pointed out that the publication (then in draft form) concentrates on those questions and considerations that are always present, but the variables of who can help in terms of trades and materials are covered by their national Directory of Skills and Services online database, easily updated as firms come and go. Conserving Historic Vessels is a beacon for those navigating the conservation of historic vessels. Both National Historic Ships and the ARHV are committed to promoting the interests of, and acting as a voice for, the preservation of existing historic vessels in their respective countries. The latest vessels inducted into the ARHV appear on pages 48–49. 

On their own Child migration message board

On their own – Britain’s child migrants, more than three years in development in partnership with National Museums Liverpool, opened at the museum on 10 November. But its online message board has been busy for six months gathering memories and reuniting those affected, says curator of 20th century immigration Kim Tao. Fairbridge party at Knockholt reception centre, Kent, UK 1955. Nigel Owen (front row far right) and Stewart Lee (front row third from right) attended the exhibition opening (see overleaf) Reproduced courtesy Ian Bayliff

The photos on the pages 38–40 all appear in this new publication by National Historic Ships. Its sophisticated analysis of the issues of managing historic vessels include the flow chart to aid decision-making that appears below.


Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


‘It was scarring and emotionally harsh. And yet surviving that isolation has left me with fortitude and a strength of character’

their families and even those who lived near the farm schools and institutions to which children were taken. It shows how many people were – and still are – affected by the government-sponsored schemes. The messages reveal the loneliness and dislocation endured by children who were removed from their families and homelands. They reflect the geographical spread of the schemes – from Britain to Canada, Australia, Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia) and New Zealand – the myriad experiences of child migrants, both positive and negative, and the long journey towards self-acceptance. As Anthony Chambers, who was sent to New Zealand in 1952, writes: it took me a lifetime to come to terms that my country fractured me from my birth roots.

I was four years old when I was sent to Fairbridge Home in Knockholt Kent with my brother Clive and sister Wendy and shipped out in 1955 to Northcote Farm School, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. There was regular physical and sexual abuse. If you had wet the bed you would be beaten with a strap and had your face rubbed in it. I had a teddy with me, ‘Hector’, I hid where I could and that became my comfort blanket. I still have him today and told the story to [British Prime Minister] Gordon Brown. When I was six I sewed a smile on his face to try and make me happy.

Former child migrant Nigel Owen recently posted this heartbreaking story on the online message board for our new travelling exhibition On their own – Britain’s child migrants. The message board, at, was launched in June to collect memories, photographs and comments about the legacy of the child migration schemes, which resulted in nearly 110,000 children being sent from Britain to Commonwealth countries from the late 1860s until 1967. Children were sent by charitable and religious organisations, in the belief that their lives would improve, and that they would provide much-needed labour and increase the population in the colonies. Few were orphans; many came from families who were unable to care for them. The lives of these children changed dramatically and their fortunes varied. Some succeeded in creating new futures. Others, like Nigel, suffered lonely, brutal childhoods. In the six months since its launch the message board has generated a range of responses from former child migrants,


Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

Child migrants were separated from their country but some were also separated from siblings after arriving in their new land. One of the most moving stories on the message board, from Doris Robbins-Sliwowski, tells of lost opportunities for her father Richard Robbins and his older brother Evelyn, who went to Canada in 1922. They spent over a year in Canada not knowing where the other one was, only a half hour’s drive away. They spent the rest of their adult lives living within twenty minutes of each other.

Many messages have referred to the damage caused by loss of family, personal history and identity, and the impact on adult lives. Carole K writes: My first husband was a Barnardo’s boy, unwillingly placed there by his grandmother and sent to Picton 1950 where he had a relatively good life until age 15. However, he never learnt any family values, a common trait I was told by social workers. His mother didn’t want to know him when we got in touch and this and her news his grandmother had died caused a nervous breakdown and a divorce.

But there are also poignant expressions of resilience. Rhodesian child migrant Gillian Hand says: It was definitely not a positive experience in itself. In fact was scarring and emotionally harsh. And yet surviving that isolation has left me with fortitude and a strength of character which has been of great benefit during times of hardship and difficulty in adult life.

Similarly, messages from descendants convey empathy for, and pride in, their child migrant forebears who endured such hardships and difficulties. Jenny Callaghan’s grandmother and her brother were sent to Canada in 1900 ... to provide cheap – free, in fact – labour to farms. It’s hard to imagine losing both parents and then being shipped to this cold country to be used as child labour. I have been searching for many years to find what happened to them.

Many researchers have expressed frustration at the lack of records pertaining to child migrants after their arrival, particularly in Canada, which received 100,000 children between 1869 and 1948. It is estimated that 12% of Canada’s population is descended from child migrants, and this is reflected in the number of posts from Canadians seeking information about their ancestors. Margaret Newell, researching her grandmother Margaret Moody, asks: Why does Canada make it so hard to find any information? If it’s not a dirty secret release the information so we could possibly find our families.

Today the first stop for many people researching their family history is the internet, where genealogy websites such as and facilitate access to digitised records, ship passenger lists and government archives in the UK, Canada and Australia. During the Australian Government apology to Forgotten Australians and former child migrants on 16 November 2009, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the establishment of a Find and Connect service to offer a single online access point to government and organisational records, linked to state and territory indexes. Find and Connect will also provide a national network of specialised case managers to assist people to locate and access personal records and where possible reunite with family members. Sadly it comes too late for many families. Christina Gabriel, whose grandmother Gwen Allcock migrated to Australia after World War II, writes:

Child migrants were separated from their country but some were also separated from siblings after arriving in their new land. Curator and author of this article Kim Tao (left) with former child migrant Stewart Lee (centre), and senior curator Daina Fletcher, at the opening of the exhibition. The image at left is of Stewart aged four, migrating on SS Strathnaver in 1955. Stewart also appears in the group photograph on page 43. Photographer A Frolows/ANMM Nigel Owen with teddy Hector in London for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s apology to former child migrants on 24 February 2010. Reproduced courtesy Nigel Owen

to reconnect families, but it also reveals how many have missed the opportunity for reunion. Perry Snow’s father Frederick was sent to Canada in 1925 by the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society. Perry says he spent 50 years unsuccessfully trying to find his English family. He died in 1994 not knowing who he was. For Perry and for other former child migrants and their families, the On their own message board creates a sense of community among those who often suffered alone. By sharing their memories and exchanging information, they are able to reflect, remember and in the process reclaim the identities that were lost to Britain’s child migration schemes.  Visit and share your memories on our message board. On their own – Britain’s child migrants is a collaboration between the Australian National Maritime Museum and National Museums Liverpool, UK. You can visit it at this museum until 15 May 2011. From June 2011 the exhibition will begin a national tour at the Migration Museum South Australia and then go to Western Australia, Victoria and other states. This exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring & Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

It’s lovely to see this collection and these people recognised. I only wish both my grandparents had lived to see this.

The message board highlights the enticing potential for the internet, and new media,

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


clockwise from right: Festival artist-in-residence Jane Bennett recorded the colours of our springtime festival. Innovative Inigo Wijnen and Gaiasdream, a 21st-century interpretation of a Pacific proa. A show for all the family – in the model pavilion. Museum volunteer model maker Col Simpson. Birthday celebrations for the Stoner family, owners of yacht Weenè that turned 100 at the festival. Photographers Andrew Frolows, Jeffrey Mellefont

In October we welcomed back our big, bright, biennial Classic & Wooden Boat Festival, presenting well over 100 visiting vessels: sport boats, pleasure boats and work boats… all in great shape, clearly enjoying the love and affection of their private owners.

Our theme this year was ‘Old is New – recycle, restore, reuse.’ We were honoured to have, as Festival Ambassador, the distinguished environmentalist and yachtsman Ian Kiernan ao, Chairman of Clean Up Australia, Chairman of Clean Up The World and a former Councillor of this museum. Two vessels celebrated turning a century old this year. One was Red Handed Lil, a 23-ft (7-m) motor launch. The other, the beautiful 36-ft (11-m) racing yacht Weenè, was launched in Hobart one century earlier to the day… on 17 October 1910. She was the first One-Design fixed keel yacht built in Australia. A unique contributor to the festival theme was Gaiasdream, a sail-driven proa inspired by Micronesian design with an engine that runs on vegetable oil and solar power – tomorrow’s technology in a vessel of ancient heritage. And four tall ships open for display represented a span of three hundred years in the age of sail.  46

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


Historic Australian Register of Historic Vessels

From mini skiffs to a paddlewheel riverboat These 12 vessels accepted recently into the Australian Register of Historic Vessels range from 12-Foot skiffs to an ex-RAN vessel. They highlight the diversity of craft entering this online database of heritage vessels, says ARHV curator David Payne. The Australian Register of Historic Vessels was increased by 25 craft when the ARHV Council met in June this year. Thirteen were introduced in Signals No 92 September 2010. The remaining 12 vessels accepted for the register this year are just as diverse. The 12-Foot Skiff class is a pocket-sized version of the iconic 18-Footers, and still races in NSW, Queensland and New Zealand. It shares the same traditions of oversized rig plans and highperformance as the larger Eighteens, and shares as well many historic details in the evolution of their design and construction. Nike and Hurricane represent the 1930s period, when the craft were still quite large with long bowsprits, equipped with three or four big gaff rigs to suit the wind conditions of the particular day. The big-volume hulls were relatively lightly built using Australian cedar and similar lightweight timbers, but robust enough to last many seasons; both of these examples kept sailing well after World War II.


Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

Not so lightly built are the two yachts Maid Marian and Elizabeth from Western Australia. They represent some of the output of Perth builder Arthur Bishop, well known in that region. His craft were strongly built, largely using timbers such as jarrah, and Maid Marian has additional significance in being the first yacht Bishop was ever commissioned to build. Maid Marian was also a winner in the inaugural ocean race from Fremantle to Bunbury and back. Both craft share a long association with their region. Another craft with a lifelong association to a particular waterway is the PS Adelaide, a paddle steamer from the Murray River that is well known to visitors to Echuca. After almost 100 years as a commercial vessel on the Murray, it was retired and ended up on dry land, surrounded by roses in a public park, before being restored and refloated to work the river once again, this time in a charter capacity. And in all of this time it has only ever had one engine. By contrast, the ambulance launch Krawarree that is now on display at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast is preserved far away from its intended theatre of operations, the island groups north of Australia where the Pacific battles were fought during World War II. In fact the records show that it probably did not see active service as the logbooks of its operations begin just after the war’s end. Remarkably this craft has survived as the only example of its type, along with its unusual raised stern arrangement, and is once again fitted out and on display as an ambulance launch by its owner Krawarree Project Inc.

Two other military vessels represent what appears to be a relatively small number of surviving ex-RAN craft. Most of the Navy’s large vessels were decommissioned and many ended up scrapped. Ex-HMAS Curlew is a rare survivor from among the cohorts of the larger craft. It was one of Australia’s first minesweepers and then became our first minehunter, as the task of locating the different types of mines became more sophisticated than just trawling minefields to isolate the deadly devices. It had a colourful life after the 1953-built vessel left the RAN, including a stint as a floating casino and brothel in Rockhampton, Queensland. Samantha is one of the many launches used by the RAN in various capacities; once decommissioned she and many others found their way into a new life under private ownership. Consequently it is anticipated that more of these formerly military launches and workboats will be located and considered for the ARHV. Samantha had been a survey motorboat, and was often taken aboard a much larger survey ship and used to carry out detailed work close to shore. It now spends its retirement as a recreational fishing launch. Private motor launches never retire, they grow old gracefully and the four craft listed cover a range built over many decades in Sydney. Dolphin built by Pritchard Bros and Francesca from A G Williams are both typical examples of these builders’ work. The Pritchards were among the first builders to concentrate on ‘oil launches’ as these early motorised craft were known in the early 1900s, while A G Williams built up a reputation for fine craft during the 1930s through to the 1950s. However, it’s the name Halvorsen that has become the premier brand in the public’s eye. The two Halvorsens listed in June this year have both been restored. Salamander is an example of a customised craft that originally cruised the freshwater lake at Eildon in Victoria. Silver Cloud is the epitome of elegance and luxury, with a proud history as a flagship for the Halvorsen fleet over many decades on Sydney Harbour. It was also pressed into war service as one of the ‘Hollywood Fleet’ of luxury motor yachts patrolling the harbour during World War II. Silver Cloud was highlighted in an article in Signals No 90 March 2010.  This online, national heritage project devised and coordinated by the Australian National Maritime Museum reaches across Australia to collate data about the nation’s extant historic vessels, their designers, builders and their stories. opposite: Nike represents the 1930s period in the development of the historic 12-Foot Skiff class, sharing many attributes of their better known ‘big brother’ the Eighteens. Reproduced courtesy of the current owner

Ex-HMAS Curlew

Maid Marian






Montrose Shipyard UK


Arthur Bishop


Minesweeper then minehunter


Racing and cruising yacht








Pritchard Bros


Tom Phillips


Motor launch


12-Foot Skiff class racing dinghy

PS Adelaide

Elizabeth 1951





Arthur Bishop


George Linklater


Racing and cruising yacht


Murray River paddle steamer








A G Williams


Lars Halvorsen Sons


Motor launch


Motor cruiser

Hurricane 1937






Watts and Wright


Royal Australian Navy


12-Foot Skiff class racing dinghy


RAN survey motorboat


Silver Cloud








Lars Halvorsen Sons


WW II Australian Army ambulance launch


Bridge-deck luxury motor cruiser

All photographs are reproduced courtesy of the vessel owner

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


Welcome Tales from the wall

The museum’s tribute to migrants, The Welcome Wall, encourages people to recall and record their stories of coming to live in Australia

Here at the end of the world* Unusual additions to the names on the Welcome Wall are eleven brave Ursuline nuns who helped to pioneer religious education for Catholic girls in rural New South Wales after voyaging from Europe in 1882. Welcome Wall coordinator Veronica Kooyman researched their story.

Mother Bernard Wippern (1824–95), first mother superior of the Order of St Ursula in Australia. Born Auguste Wippern in Hildesheim, Hannover. Artist unknown. All images courtesy of OSU


Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

On a dreary day in May 1882 a group of nuns, postulants and an aspirant of the Order of St Ursula boarded a sailing ship in Greenwich, England, bound for Armidale in New South Wales to establish a college for rural Catholic girls. The day was auspicious: it was 24 May, the feast day of Our Lady Help of Christians, the patroness of Australia. The women had already spent five years in exile in England, forced from their cloister in Hannover by the policies of Prussia’s ‘Iron Chancellor’ Otto von Bismarck. How different their lives would be in faraway rural New South Wales where, at the invitation of the Bishop of Armidale, they would establish the Order of St Ursula and begin a vocation for education in Australia. Now, 128 years later, the Ursuline order is celebrating the lives of the women who sailed here by placing the names of 11 of these nuns on the Welcome Wall. The order originated in a lay organisation founded in 1535 by Angela Merici in northern Italy under the banner of Saint Ursula, a patron of youth and learning. Saint Ursula was a martyr of popular myth, said to have been a fourthcentury princess of south-west England betrothed to the pagan governor of Brittany. Sailing to him with an entourage of 11,000 virginal handmaidens, she diverted them on a long European pilgrimage before her wedding. Sadly they reached Cologne as it was being sacked by the Huns, who massacred them all. The Company of St Ursula developed in a time of unparalleled flowering of literature, art, music and the sciences in Renaissance Italy. Its members were devoted to living a consecrated spiritual life and tending to the needs of others, and teaching catechism to children. By the 17th century the company had spread throughout Italy and to France, where it began educating girls. By 1612 the company had become a teaching order whose members wore a habit, adopted a cloistered life and took solemn vows – one of which was the instruction of girls. It was this vocation that was

to send those women on the long journey to Australia 270 years later. The order spread further across Europe and in 1700 opened a convent and girls school in Duderstadt, Hannover. During the Napoleonic wars the sisters were forced to leave, but they returned and rebuilt from virtual ruins. Later in the 19th century when Bismarck was unifying Germany, he passed laws that bolstered the power of the secular state at the expense of the Roman Catholic Church. The Ursulines dispersed in 1877, some to England where the order continued the education of girls. In London some of the nuns met a priest who was to turn the course of these women’s lives. Father Elzear Torreggiani from the order of Friars Minor Capuchin, a branch of the Franciscans, was greatly taken by their fate and their devotion to education. Just two years later he was made Bishop of Armidale in New South Wales with a diocese that covered 46,000 square miles. The colony of New South Wales and its New England region had boomed from the 1850s following discoveries of gold, increased agriculture, industry and migration, but educational opportunities lagged in rural areas. Since the state had suspended funding for religious schools, Bishop Torreggiani turned to religious orders to provide for his largely IrishCatholic diocese. While the Irishoriginated Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of St Joseph were already established in the diocese, it was the Ursulines whom he invited to begin a college there. Thirteen women of the order offered to voyage over 10,000 nautical miles to a foreign land they knew almost nothing about, knowing they were unlikely ever to see their homeland again. They were Mother Bernard Wippern, Sr Xavier Graën, Sr Hildegard von Hagen, Sr Ignatius Crone, Sr Cecilia Strohmeyer, Sr Cordula Rowland, Sr Elizabeth Heumann (Kirschenbaur), Sr Agnes Paasch, Sr Thekla Frechmann, Sr Monica Baumann, Sr Joseph Montag, Elise Rhodes and Madame Cecile de Percevale.

The sisters whose names will be inscribed on the Welcome Wall. Back row from left: Sr Thekla, Sr Joseph (as a novice), Sr Elizabeth, Sr Cordula, Sr Xavier, Sr Monica, Sr Agnes. Front row from left: Sr Hildegard, Mother Bernard, Sr Ignatius, and Sr Cecilia. Tapestry of Duchess of Edinburgh made by Sr Mary (Imelda) Carroll in 2001, after an 1882 painting by Sr Cordula Rowland. Sr Carroll researched the ship’s flags here at the museum.

In their writings they referred to their ship Duchess of Edinburgh as the ‘ark that conveyed the Order to Australia’. The voyage of 14 weeks included three severe storms. Sister Ignatius Crone wrote of ‘waves raised mountains high in one part, in another the waters torn asunder like formidable abysses’. Surrounded ‘by the grandeurs of the sea and the terrors of the deep… we were hanging, as it were, between two eternities, the Ocean and the Heavens’. Nevertheless they arrived safely. Sr Ignatius wrote that ‘we felt instinctively that our feet were about to tread strange new paths; that a future lay before us more wondrous than we ever dreamed of when we pronounced our vows in the quaint old city of Duderstadt, expecting to live and die within the seclusion of the convent walls’. In Sydney the women attended the opening ceremony of St Mary’s Cathedral, had replaced the original building destroyed by fire in 1865. An overnight steamship passage, a train journey and a very uncomfortable stagecoach ride brought them to the remote town of Armidale, where they began teaching their first classes a week later. The College of St Ursula, Armidale, became renowned for the rounded education it afforded to young women, with a strong emphasis on cultural activities such as languages, music, art and needlework alongside reading, writing, mathematics and natural

sciences. The school quickly became the cultural centre of Armidale, with evening musical and dramatic performances, recitals and art shows. By 1883 the sisters were also responsible for the parish school of nearly 200 boys and girls, while the college was accepting both day students and boarders of all denominations. There was naturally a cultural divide between the mainly German sisters and the Irish families of the area whom they served. Sister Cordula Rowland, an English woman who had joined the order while it was still in Duderstadt, helped to bridge this divide. Over the following century the Order of St Ursula branched out to other locations around New South Wales, the ACT and Queensland such as Tweed Heads, Guyra, Dutton Park, Oxley, Ashbury, Toowoomba, Kingsgrove, Macedon, and Canberra. They adapted

The Welcome Wall It costs just $105 to register a name and honour your family’s arrival in this great country! We’d love to add your family’s name to The Welcome Wall, cast in bronze, and place your story on the online database at So please don’t hesitate to call our staff during business hours with any enquiries on 02 9298 3667.

to the development of state-based education systems and rode the waves of changes to curricula, funding levels and the debates about public, private and religious education. The sisters still work in education but have diversified their activities to include providing services to refugees, migrants and working in parishes. For the 450th anniversary of the Company of St Ursula, a new breed of rose was propagated in Belgium and named after the founder Angela Merici. It is a beautiful, large, pink rose with a sweet fragrance. Samples were sent to the Australian Ursulines from Rome but were attacked by a fungus while in quarantine. Only one survived – the ‘mother rose’ from which all the Angela Merici roses in Australia have been cultivated, wherever the Order of St Ursula is to be found. The mother rose still exists in the garden at Ashbury.  *The title of Sr Mary Kneipp’s history of Ursulines in Australia; with thanks to Sr Mary and Sr Colleen Foley for their patient assistance.

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The Ron and Valerie Taylor Collection With Planet Shark – Predator or Prey – The Exhibition opening for summer, curator of underwater archaeology and technology Kieran Hosty highlights a collection of supreme significance, used by an eminent Australian diving couple to record and understand sharks and their underwater realm.


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Some time ago I received an email from a couple who were moving house, offering the museum a collection of ‘old stuff’. Were we interested in some of their diving and photographic equipment? As a museum curator I receive many offers of donations. On occasions the museum already has an example of that particular item in its collection, or the material on offer falls outside our collection’s scope, or it presents legal, logistical or conservation problems that make it unsuitable. This email, however, was from Ron and Valerie Taylor, who were household names in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s for their dramatic and beautiful underwater photography and film. Their work was seen on movies such as Shark Hunters, Jaws, Orca, Blue Water White Death, Age of Consent and Blue Lagoon, and they had their own television shows. This was a collection so wonderful and so significant that it just had to be acquired! After terrifying thousands of divers and swimmers with their unbelievable camera work on sharks, the Taylors went on to become leading figures in what we now call the conservation movement, drawing world attention to the plight of the marine environment in general and the shark in particular. They were

instrumental in having the Grey Nurse, Great White shark and Potato Cod protected in Australian waters. Both Ron Taylor and Valerie Taylor (née Heighes) were pioneers in Australian skindiving. Ron took up the sport in 1952 and Valerie in 1956; they met as members of St George Spearfishing Club in Sydney and were married in 1963. At this period there was little awareness of marine conservation and both Ron and Valerie excelled at the sport of competitive spearfishing. Valerie won the Ladies National Spearfishing Championships three years in a row in the early 1960s, and Ron took out the World Spearfishing Championships in Tahiti in 1965. The Taylors’ underwater interests grew to encompass scuba diving and underwater photography. Ron built the first of many underwater housings to take land cameras beneath the sea in 1953. When television came to Australia in 1956 he saw the potential for making underwater news stories and with the help of a friend, who lent him a Bell & Howell 16 mm movie camera, Ron built an acrylic housing for the camera and started selling underwater footage to television and to the cinema newsreel producer Movietone News. In 1962 Ron Taylor received his first award for underwater photography, for a news film called Playing With Sharks. In 1963 Ron and Valerie made their first underwater film Shark Hunter which was sold to enthusiastic television networks in Australia and the USA. The Taylors quickly gained a reputation for cutting-edge underwater photography and more awards followed, including top honours at the International Underwater Film Festival at Santa Monica, California, and an Underwater Society of America award, the NOGI statuette for Education and Sports, in 1966. Giving up competitive spearfishing in 1969, the Taylors devoted themselves full-time to shark research and

Passionate and vocal defenders of sharks and the marine environment, the Taylors have been recognised for their work all over the globe underwater photography. They filmed many of the scenes in the American feature film Blue Water, White Death, playing two of the four main characters in the film. Shortly afterwards the Taylors spent nine months filming and directing a 39-episode television series called Barrier Reef which they quickly followed up with another television series called Taylors’ Inner Space, featuring their encounters with the marine life of the east coast of Australia and the Western Pacific. As their reputation grew, other underwater filming opportunities presented themselves: Jaws (1974) for Universal Pictures; Sharks for Timelife Television (1975); Orca (1976) for Dino De Laurentis; Peter Weir’s The Last Wave (1977); The Blue Lagoon (1979) for Columbia Pictures, featuring Brooke Shields. The titles proliferated: Gallipoli (1981), The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), In the Realm of the Shark (1988), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1990) and The Island of Dr Moreau (1995) among others. The Taylors were also engaged in underwater research into shark behaviour. This led to the development of stainless steel chain mail diving suits (Operation Shark Bite, 1982, in which Valerie is bitten on the hand), and electronic shark deterrent equipment that allowed the Taylors to become the first divers ever to film Great White sharks underwater without a cage (Blue Wilderness, 1992 and Shark Pod, 1996). Passionate and vocal defenders of sharks and the marine environment, the Taylors’ have been recognised for their work all over the globe. Valerie received the NOGI award for Arts in 1981. In 1986 she was appointed Rider of the Order of the Golden Ark by his Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands for her work in marine conservation, and in 1997 Valerie won the prestigious American Nature Photographer of the Year award for a picture of a whale shark swimming with a boy in Ningaloo Marine

opposite: Ron Taylor today with one of his historic underwater camera housings. below: Valerie Taylor skindiving at Norfolk Island on the site where First Fleet flagship HMS Sirius sank in 1790. Photographs courtesy of Ron and Valerie Taylor

Park. In 1998 Ron and Valerie’s book Blue Wilderness won the Gold Palm Award at the World Festival of Underwater Pictures in France and in October 2000 Ron and Valerie were inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame on the Cayman Islands. In Australia, Ron and Valerie have received the Serventy Conservation Medal from the Australian Wildlife Preservation Society and the Lifetime of Conservation Medal from the Australian Geographic Society. In 2003 Ron became a Member of the Order of Australia, joined by Valerie in 2010 for their work in conserving marine animals and habitat. Among the items in this collection are Valerie’s trademark blue-rubber face mask which featured in many of her underwater adventures, an early 1950s John Lawson scuba cylinder and an assortment of late 1950s–mid 1980s diving equipment as well as a variety

of spear guns, many of which were made by Ron in his home workshop. Of considerable significance is the first acrylic 35 mm underwater camera housing made by Ron in 1956, a Rollei marine camera and housing used by the world-famous diver Hans Hass when he visited Australia in 1960s, and the underwater camera housing used in the production of Jaws in 1974. Representing their work in research are the chain mail suits worn by Ron and Valerie during their filming of Operation Shark Bite; protective deterrent devices or Sharkpods; and a banded lycra suit used by Valerie during scientific research into shark deterrents, based upon sharks’ apparent dislike of sea snakes. There is also shark-tagging equipment used by the Taylors during research into the migration habits of Port Jackson Sharks in the early 1960s, and during tagging operations on Great White sharks in the 1980s.  Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011


Readings Maritime odyssey or self-indulgence?

A pearl of maritime history

A Nautical Odyssey – an illustrated maritime history from Cook to Shackleton

DVD: Australia’s Deadliest Catch: The pearl shell divers of Torres Strait

by David C Bell. Allen & Unwin, 2010, hardcover, 168 pp. ISBN 9781846890819 RRP $65.00

an oral history on film produced by Garry Kerr, 2010. Available from The Store $39.95

The Signals Editor saw the attractive depiction of Cook’s Endeavour on the frontispiece of this book and asked me if I’d like to review it, not long after I started working here as project coordinator for the replica. As I turned the pages, it quickly became apparent this was a must for any tall ship enthusiast. Inside there are no fewer than 16 different depictions of the original HM Bark Endeavour and her modern namesake. She’s shown both at sea and in places like Deptford dockyard where the sturdy collier Earl of Pembroke was converted by the British Admiralty into the ship that would carry Lieutenant James Cook on his first world voyage of 1768–71. As well as Endeavour, Bell focuses on important Cook ships such as Resolution and Discovery, Bligh’s Bounty and Flinders’ Investigator, all having a role in Australia’s maritime history. He touches on Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar, interspersing black and white sketches with dramatic watercolours of the battle. One chapter covers the clipper ships and the China trade. The ships of Scott and Shackleton – with a particularly arresting view of Endurance in frigid conditions off South Georgia – bring the reader into the 20th century. Not just a ship portraitist, Bell creates very attractive scenes that give context to each vessel’s story. The conjunction of paintings and his early sketches provide an insight into the artistic process that Bell utilises. Having spent his formative years as a merchant marine navigator, Bell is renowned in the field of maritime art for the stylish flair he brings to his subjects. He acknowledges his fascination for maritime subjects in the preface to this his third book. ‘A sailing ship at sea in any weather will always inspire and motivate me to put brush to paper,’ says Bell.



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Enthusiasm and professional sailing knowledge inform his work. While he paints without plans or blueprints, his works are both artistic representations and historically accurate depictions. The calibre is high and Bell employs a mixture of media – watercolour, pencil sketches and sepia tones. Unusually, they sometimes morph from drawings into watercolours in the one work which is quite evocative and gives the vessel a rather ghost-like quality, reinforcing its place in the history of bygone times. Throughout, there are lovely details such as rope borders and small black and white drawings which act as signposts, adding order to what could otherwise be construed as a bit of a mess. Bell has a tendency to disregard chronology and we jump from Deptford in 1768 to Hull in 2003 within the space of two pages, before the narrative has even allowed the Earl of Pembroke to become Endeavour and embark on her maiden voyage to observe the Transit of Venus. Bell happily confesses to collating a stash of paintings as homage to his career. ‘This self-indulgent book does give me the opportunity to show many works that would otherwise remain unseen in forgotten studio drawers,’ he tells us. This is certainly not unjustified, for while his work may not be in the very first rank of modern maritime art, he has certainly been prolific and successful. A career pinnacle was the inclusion of one of his paintings, Humber Heritage, in the personal collection of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

The title invokes an odyssey and Bell does relate a journey of sorts through a series of milestones of maritime history. Unfortunately it comes across more as reminiscences of his own navigational exploits than the illustrated history covering the exploits of history’s greatest seafarers that it purports to be. We are first offered a potted history of seafaring from the Silk Road to 1800, with random, often distracting anecdotes thrown in. Bell races through early 18th-century discovery, arguably a subject that should have been fleshed out to contextualise Cook’s voyages. He can’t resist adding his own seafaring history to Cook’s, describing his own arrival in Botany Bay in 1974. Later on, he compares his path in life to that of Shackleton. Perhaps this book should be titled David C Bell’s nautical odyssey. Other reviewers have also found the writing wanting, but have largely enjoyed the book, as I did. This handsome hardcover would make a nice addition to a beachside coffee table. The artworks are lovely, although purists may see something of the graphic-art studio in them. Nonetheless this is a good art book, although not a great work of maritime history. Bell is not a scholar; he is an artist who has spent a lot of time at sea. The marriage of these two things could have resulted in something exceptional, but unfortunately a noticeable lack of editorial rigour has let it down.  Holly Shalders, project coordinator, Endeavour unit

People often focus on preserving the fabric of Australia’s maritime heritage – vessels and artefacts in particular – while the less tangible but vital memories of the people who worked them so quickly disappear. That’s why, in a time of great transformation in commercial maritime industries, we value the work of the prolific historian Garry Kerr who has produced yet another DVD of oral history interviews capturing the voices and stories of surviving workers from maritime industries that have faded away. Garry has worked for more than 40 years as a professional cray fisherman, from his home port of Portland, Victoria. He is also a long-standing ‘out-of-port’ Member of this museum. His remarkable achievements as a maritime historian began when he wrote Australian and New Zealand Sail Traders (Lynton Publications 1974). As he watched those traders disappearing he felt that something was being lost. But equally perishable were the memories and stories that circulated among the old hands, and Garry began to record them. His earlier books included his self-published Craft and Craftsmen of Australian Fishing 1879–1970: An illustrated oral history (Mains’l Books 1985) and Tasmanian Trading Ketch: An illustrated oral history (Mains’l Books 1987). They were tremendous and timely contributions to Australian maritime history. But as he worked he found that filmed oral histories captured far more than sound recordings, and that has led him to produce several DVDs including The Huon Pine Story (also a fine hardcover book), The Couta Boat – return of a classic, Trading out of Hobart, The Last Cape Horners and The Trading Ketches of South Australia. In his latest DVD, Garry leaves his cooler home waters and heads north to look at one of the most fascinating – and the deadliest – of all our maritime

industries: the pearling industry in northern Australia between the 1870s and 1970s. This industry was the stuff of many legends and many books, but not until now oral histories on film. Garry brings together 80 minutes of interviews, interspersed with archival footage and video from Torres Strait Island today, photographs and even Island music performed by some of his interviewees. It’s narrated by Rod Mullinar and includes commentary and background from historian Tony Hunt. It’s a very good overview of the history of pearling in general, and Torres Strait in particular. This remarkably multicultural industry has employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Indonesian, Malaysian and Japanese workers along with European Australians. In Torres Strait many Islanders purchased boats and established fleets for themselves, at times more successfully than competing companies such as Burns Philp. An oil spill from the tanker Oceanic Grandeur near Thursday Island in 1970 caused huge mortalities on the pearl farms and beds, ending the local industry. Many of the divers then dispersed to other islands and parts of Australia looking for work. The interviewees in Kerr’s DVD worked on luggers from the late 1940s and 1950s to the 1970s. They started when pearling was the only decent job going. They describe how they lived and worked on Badu Island, Murray Island and Thursday Island, recounting the sailing and navigating, the duties of the cabin boys and the deckhands, and the intricacies of diving for pearl shell. Most were helmeted ‘dress’ divers and they relate how dangerous it was, with the high rates of injury and mortality from the bends, sharks, snakes and cyclones. Some of the divers interviewed showed the permanent effects of the bends. The divers talk about life on board – how they supplemented their tinned and salted beef with sea turtle and dugong, taking fruit, coconuts and papayas from the islands. One section includes interviews with the Singing Mills Sisters who once toured nationally performing

island songs, and were partners of pearling industry workers. Another short section introduces trochus shell diving – free-diving without air from larger vessels with crews often of 20 or more. The interviewees included Dick Sonners, Omar Bin Awell, Bill Anderson, Wrench Mills, Hismile ‘Izzy’ Shibasaki, Henry ‘Seaman’ Dan, Bua Mabo, Richard Bowie, Victor Nona, Ron Namoa, Tom Foster and Budden Ahmat. As their names reveal they were a cosmopolitan workforce. One diver said they called themselves ‘Company rice’ after the food issued to the pearling crews – rice, fruit, vegetables, meat and whatever else mixed up in a stew. Garry Kerr has contributed another thoughtful record of a maritime industry that is quickly fading from living memory, producing a DVD about an incredible and often overlooked multiculturalism that thrived even while the White Australia Policy was in full sway.  Stephen Gapps, curator of environment, industry and shipping

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011




Expanded maritime history book prize announced The biennial maritime history book prize that is sponsored jointly by the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) and the Australian Association for Maritime History (AAMH) has been expanded with the addition of a new category for community historians. This brings the total amounts awarded to $4000. Writers, publishers and readers of maritime history are invited to nominate works by 31 March 2011. The 2011 Frank Broeze Memorial Maritime History Prize of $3,500 will be awarded for a book treating any aspects of maritime history relating to or impacting on Australia, written or co-authored by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and published between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010. The books should be published in Australia, but titles written by Australians and published overseas may be considered at the discretion of the judges. The prize is for Australian authors or co-authors of a book-length monograph or a compilation of their own works. Edited collections of essays by multiple contributors are not eligible. The Australian Community Maritime History Prize of $500 will be awarded to a regional or local museum or historical society for a publication – book, booklet, educational resource kit or other media – that relates to an aspect of maritime history of that region or community, and published between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010. The prizes reflect the two sponsoring organisations’ wish to promote a broad view of maritime history showing how the sea and maritime influences have been more central to the making of Australia, its people and culture than has commonly been believed. The major prize is named in honour of the late Professor Frank Broeze (1945–2001) of the University of Western Australia, who has been called the pre-eminent maritime historian of his generation. Professor Broeze was a founding member of the Australian Association for Maritime History, 56

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inaugural editor of its scholarly journal The Great Circle, and introduced Australia’s first university course on maritime history. He was the author of many works on Australian maritime history including the landmark Island Nation (1997), helping to redefine the field in broader terms than ships, sailors and sea power. He reached into economic, business, social and urban histories to make maritime history truly multidisciplinary. This will be the sixth award for a maritime history book by the two organisations. The first prize was won by Marsden Hordern for Mariners are Warned (Melbourne University Press, 1989), a study of the explorer of Australian coasts John Lort Stokes. A reinvigorated prize was inaugurated in 2002 and awarded to Dr Leone Huntsman for her social history Sand in our Souls: the beach in Australian history (Melbourne University Press, 2001). In 2004 the award went to Encountering Terra Australis: the Australian voyages of Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders, by Jean Fornasiero, Peter Monteath and John West-Sooby (published by Wakefield Press, Kent Town SA, 2004). In 2007, Dr Edward Duyker oam won the prize for his work François Péron – An Impetuous Life: naturalist and voyager (Miegunyah Press, 2006).

Dutch shipwreck artefacts transferred to Australia The most recent winner was John Gascoigne for Captain Cook: Voyager Between Worlds (published by Hambledon Continuum, London 2007).  How to nominate a book Nominations must include photocopies of the dust-jacket or end covers, title page, imprint and contents pages (including an ISBN number), plus a short synopsis of the book (minimum 300-word). Copies of any published book reviews of the nominated publication should also be included. The publication itself may be submitted (recommended for nominations for Australian Community Maritime History Prize). After an initial assessment of nominations, shortlisted authors or publishers will be invited to submit three copies of their publication. These will be judged by a committee consisting of the president of the Australian Association for Maritime History, the director of the Australian National Maritime Museum, and one independent nominee. Written nominations should be sent to: Jeffrey Mellefont, publications manager, Australian National Maritime Museum, GPO Box 5131 Sydney NSW 2001 email JM Professor John Gascoigne of the University of New South Wales, whose book Captain Cook: Voyager Between Worlds won the prize in 2009. Photographer J Mellefont/ANMM

left to right: His Excellency Mr Willem Andreae, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and museum director Mary-Louise Williams inspect some of the artefacts being transferred. Photographer J Mellefont/ANMM Dutch-built replica of the VOC ship Batavia sailing off Sydney during its year-long visit to the museum in 2000. Photographer Jaap Roskam Beard man jug, wine bottle, fragments of glass tumbler and wine glass.

On Tuesday 9 November a unique collection of maritime archeological material, recovered from 17th and 18th-century shipwrecks and held in Dutch museums, was transferred from the Government of the Netherlands to the Australian Government. The artefacts were handed over by His Excellency Mr Willem Andreae, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water. The collection is referred to as the Dutch ANCODS collection, taking its name from the 1972 Agreement between the Netherlands and Australia Concerning Old Dutch Shipwrecks. The ANCODS material came from four Dutch shipwrecks that were found off the coast of Western Australian. All belonged to the Dutch East India Company or Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), which had come to dominate the lucrative trade in spices that were endemic to several island of the East

Indies. These ships sank while making the voyage out to the Indies from Europe. Owing to the difficulty in determining longitude at the time, the ships sailed too far east before turning north for Java and the VOC headquarters in Batavia (today’s Jakarta, capital of Indonesia). In order of discovery they are Zuytdorp (1712), Batavia (1629), Vergulde Draeck (1656 – more commonly known as the Gilt Dragon) and Zeewyk (1727). Three other Dutch ships disappeared between the Cape of Good Hope and Batavia and have not been located; they could possibly be in Australian waters. These ships are Aagtekerke (1726), Fortuyn (1724) and Ridderschap van Holland (1694). The four shipwrecks were located in shallow waters by divers in the decades after World War II as skindiving and scuba diving developed. Artefacts recovered from the four shipwrecks include coins, bricks, pottery, elephant tusks, cannon, cannon balls and anchors. They also include relatively rare and even

unique artefacts, for example, objects possessed by crew members or passengers such as barber’s instruments, navigational instruments, ornaments and jewelry. The Agreement between the Netherlands and Australia Concerning Old Dutch Shipwrecks (ANCODS) found off the Western Australian coast was signed on 6 November 1972 and was included as a schedule to the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act, 1976. The Act protects all shipwrecks in Australian waters older than 75 years. ANCODS was established to determine the ownership and distribution of the artefacts between the Netherlands, Australia and the State of Western Australia. The material covered by the agreement has been housed in four main collecting institutions, the Western Australian Museum and the Australian National Maritime Museum in Australia, the Netherlands Maritime Museum in Amsterdam and the Geldmuseum (Money Museum) in Utrecht, Netherlands. JM  Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011




World Maritime Day at Vernon Anchors Seafarers Memorial At the annual World Maritime Day celebrations on 28 September this year – held since 1992 at the museum’s Vernon Anchors Seafarers Memorial – a plaque was unveiled to commemorate seafarer Alan Oliver (1930–2009) who was a driving force in dedicating the anchors as a memorial to the sacrifices that merchant seafarers have made for the nation’s security and prosperity. Each year on World Maritime Day members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) march across Pyrmont Bridge to the museum for a ceremony to honour the many merchant mariners lost during warfare, and also those who have contributed to the development of Australia in peace as well as war. The 19th-century mooring anchors were originally given to the museum by the MUA’s predecessor, the Seamen’s Union of Australia. In 1992, after conservation by museum specialists, they were installed on their present plinth with financial assistance from BHP, for many years one of the nation’s largest ship owners, and were dedicated as a memorial. Retired seaman Alan Oliver worked tirelessly as its proponent, with Pat Geraghty of the Seamen’s Union, ANMM councillor Captain John Evans and John Prescott, managing director of BHP. Mr Oliver is remembered, in the plaque dedicated to him this year, as ‘a proud seaman who was a pilot, a soldier, an author, a historian, but most of all a seafarer, an internationalist and a humanitarian.’ The Admiralty-pattern anchors were originally from the 1839 merchant ship Vernon. They were modified as mooring anchors some time after 1867 when the ship was moored permanently off Cockatoo Island on Sydney Harbour and converted into a nautical school ship. The anchors, both over five tonnes, had one fluke bent flat to avoid damaging the hulls of ships passing over them. The Vernon was destroyed by fire in 1893 but the anchors remained in use as moorings. The present timber stocks


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– which keep the anchor from rolling on its side – were installed in 1905. At an unknown date, however, the anchors were taken out of use and moved close to the shore of the Maritime Service Board’s Goat Island depot, where they were washed by the tides. The Seamen’s Union, nurturing the idea of turning them into a memorial, kept them from the scrap heap, and they were moved to the museum during the period of its construction in 1986–1991. JM 

Blue Star Line born 100 years ago A poster showing the Blue Star Line’s shipping routes and some of its ships, about 1990. ANMM Collection

below: Members past and present of the Maritime Union of Australia marching off Pyrmont Bridge to the museum, on World Maritime Day this year. Photographer M Campbell/ANMM bottom left: The Vernon Anchors Seafarer’s Memorial, located between Pyrmont Bridge the museum building. Photographer J Mellefont/ANMM bottom right: Silver gelatin print of Nautical Training Ship Vernon, 1876. The ship functioned as a reformatory to provide naval discipline and training to youths. ANMM Collection.

Next year marks the centenary of the formation of the Blue Star Line, registered in London on 28 July 1911. A loosely knit group of ex-Blue Star Line staff, both shore-based and sea-going, have for some time been organising biennial reunions. For the centennial year they plan an extended program in Darling Harbour over three days from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 February 2011. This will include a grand dinner on Manly ferry South Steyne and a harbour cruise on MV Captain Cook II. Readers of Signals with links to the Blue Star Line are invited to attend. In its first decade Blue Star Line built up a fleet of refrigerated steamers. The first of these to visit Australia was

Brodmount arriving in Darwin on 29 October 1919 to load frozen meat for London from the Vestey cattle stations, covering 36,000 square miles in the Northern Territory. Frozen meat became a staple of the Blue Star Line ships, particularly after Great Britain undertook to accept more produce from British Empire countries at the Imperial Government Conference of 1932. In 1934 the group purchased an Australian meat processing company that owned meat works at Townsville, Rockhampton and Brisbane in Australia. Despite the difficulties of breaking into trades dominated by existing British shipping companies, and the so-called

Museum sponsors Founding patrons


Alcatel Australia ANL Limited Ansett Airfreight Bovis Lend Lease BP Australia Bruce & Joy Reid Foundation Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant Howard Smith Limited James Hardie Industries National Australia Bank PG, TG & MG Kailis P&O Nedlloyd Ltd Telstra Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Westpac Banking Corporation Zim Shipping Australasia

Austereo Blackmores Ltd Channel Nine Lloyd’s Register Asia SBS Olbia Pty Ltd

Project sponsors Akzo Nobel APN Outdoor Carnival Australia Coral Sea Wines Defence Maritime Services Pty Ltd Silentworld Foundation Sydney by Sail Thales

More details of the Blue Star Line centenary reunion are on the web site www.bslreunion. net or contact

Corporate Members

Foundation sponsor Major sponsors

shipping Conferences that allocated cargoes among themselves, Blue Star Line prospered by offering Australian shippers reduced freight rates. It subsequently built a series of eight large, fast, refrigerated motor ships for the Australasian trades. Its Australian Head Office was established in Scottish House, Bridge Street, Sydney. The Blue Star Line funnel remained a familiar sight in ports until the sale of the remnants of the fleet to P&O Nedlloyd in 1998. JM 

The program provides corporate Members privileged entry to the museum’s unique environment for corporate hospitality. Three membership levels each provide a range of benfits and services: Admiral three-year membership $10,000 one-year membership $4,000 Commodore three-year membership $5,000 one-year membership $1,850 Captain three-year membership $1,800 one-year membership $700

Captain Memberships Asiaworld Shipping Services Pty Ltd Australia Japan Cable Ltd Defence National Storage-RPA HMAS Creswell HMAS Kuttabul HMAS Newcastle HMAS Vampire Association Maritime Union of Australia (NSW Branch) Maritime Workers Credit Union Maruschka Loupis & Associates Penrith Returned Services League Portsd Corporation Regimental Trust Fund, Victoria Barracks Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises Svitzer Australasia Sydney Pilot Service Pty Ltd

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011



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from the director, Mary-Louise Williams

Hundreds of books something for everyone from key rings to ship models and boating clothes friendly service mail order Members discounts! Open 9.30 am to 5 pm seven days a week Phone 02 9298 3698 or fax orders to 02 9298 3675 or email

On Remembrance Day 2010 Mr Horrie Young (centre), veteran of the famous Operation Jaywick during World War II, joined Year 9 and 10 history students of Amaroo School, ACT, for a Question & Answer session about the successful commando raid on occupied Singapore that was carried out on the small timber fishing boat Krait. Mr Young was the radio operator. He and the 50 highschool students then joined more than 40 ex-commandos in a special Remembrance Day ceremony held at the museum alongside the celebrated Krait, which has been displayed here since 1991. Photographer A Frolows/ANMM

Here at the museum we are embarking on a major construction project along the eastern facade of the building, facing the city. The work, which will be starting as you read this, will improve amenities for all our visitors, and will also make our facilities work better for those who work here, both staff and volunteers. Of course construction on this scale will create disruptions for visitors and staff, but we are working hard to manage and minimise these and to relocate the services – such as our popular waterfront Yots Café – that are most affected by the eastern improvements work program. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience, especially over the coming summer; it’s all in the interests of delivering better programs and services. One of our longest-serving volunteers, Jack McBurney, reminded me recently of a milestone that we have just passed. In October 1990, eight volunteers began donating their time and services to work for the museum, a year before it opened its doors to the public. Jack was one of them. He and Victor Chiang were assigned to help in the conservation laboratory – and both of them are still doing so, 20 years on. They were recruited after the museum held its first public education program, beginning in August 1990, in conjunction with the adult education organisation WEA. The subject of the education program was the 60

Signals 93 December 2010 to february 2011

museum itself – how we were developing the National Maritime Collection, how we were building museum facilities and what kind of exhibitions and services the public could expect when we opened. The course was held at WEA headquarters in Bathurst Street, since our own building was still incomplete. It was delivered by museum staff – including me – and at the end of the program, we invited the audience to become founding volunteers at the museum. Eight of them signed up. We’re still working with WEA – running our popular Cruise Forums in our quarterly programs – while Jack and Victor are still working in the conservation laboratory, donating their time and skills. The volunteer corps, though, has grown from those first eight to well over 800, helping us in many different areas of work both public and behind the scenes. Jack told me of the pleasure and purpose he has derived from being a volunteer, and particularly how he enjoyed being welcomed and accepted as part of the museum team. That’s true of all of our volunteers – they are a vital and much-appreciated sector of our organisation. Speaking of anniversaries, it’s also 20 years since the museum held its firstever exhibition, which opened while that WEA education course was still running back in the spring of 1990. It was because of the delays we had experienced with the completion of the museum building

at Darling Harbour that we decided to showcase a selection of the collection that staff had been assembling. The exhibition was called Painted Ships, Painted Oceans – art and artefacts from the Australian National Maritime Museum, and it was held at the National Trust’s S H Ervin Gallery on Sydney’s Observatory Hill. It was a real morale boost for staff who had been working behind the scenes, to give the public a glimpse of what was to come. The museum did finally open its doors to the public, on 31 November 1991. And that’s an anniversary we will be marking one year from now, when we have been officially open for business, as it were, for 20 years. Federal elections often bring changes to the way that national cultural institutions – among them the Australian National Maritime Museum – report to the government that funds them. Re-election of the Labor Government resulted in a change of the minister responsible for us through the Arts portfolio. The new Minister for the Arts is the Hon Simon Crean mp, and we look forward to welcoming him here at a future event. Mr Crean carries two ministerial titles; he is also Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government. The Arts and Culture Group that administers our national cultural institutions has moved into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 

Sydney Ferries cushions, five varieties $59.95 Members $53.95

Instant boat in bottle $26 Members $23.40 Why knot learn the ropes? $22.95 Members $20.66

Pusser’s Navy Rum commemorates Sydney-Hobart race Decanter $270 flask $59.95 Members $243 and $53.95

Copper and brass bugle, blow your own reveille $49.95 Members $44.95

Gallipoli medallions and real Gallipoli beach sand Left to right $30, $60, $35 Members $27, $54, $31.50

HMAS Onslow mounted model to patrol your desk Approx 30 cm long $370 Members $333

Pocket Compass $60 Members $54 Trade winds compass $85 Members $76.50

HMAS Vampire model $25 each Members $22.50 HMAS Vampire mug $15 Members $13.50

Nautical cap to identify your role on board $22 Members $19.80

The world in 1745, globe in box Medium $60 small $25 Members $54 and $22.50

Mini sextant in handsome case height 12 cm $190 Members $171

Signal flag cushion Z for Zulu calls for a tug $79.95 Members $71.95

Australian National Maritime Museum Open daily except Christmas Day 9.30 am to 5 pm (6 pm in January) Darling Harbour Sydney NSW Australia Phone 02 9298 3777 Facsimile 02 9298 3780 ANMM council Chairman Mr Peter Dexter am Director Ms Mary-Louise Williams Councillors Rear Admiral Stephen Gilmore am csc ran Mr Peter Harvie Ms Robyn Holt Dr Julia Horne Ms Ann Sherry ao Mr Shane Simpson Mr Neville Stevens ao Signals ISSN 1033-4688 Editor Jeffrey Mellefont 02 9298 3647 Assistant editor Penny Crino Staff photographer Andrew Frolows Design and production Austen Kaupe Printed in Australia by Pegasus Print Group Advertising enquiries Jeffrey Mellefont 02 9298 3647 Deadline end of January, April, July, October for issues March, June, September, December Signals back issues Back issues $4 10 back issues $30 Extra copies of current issue $4.95 Call Matt Lee at The Store 02 9298 3698 Material from Signals may be reproduced only with the editor’s permission 02 9298 3647 The Australian National Maritime Museum is a statutory authority of the Australian Government Contact us at GPO Box 5131 Sydney NSW 2001 Australia

Signals, Issue 93  

The Australian National Maritime Museum's quarterly journal Signals.

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