Chairman’s message – July 2018

Now that we are past the shortest day of the year, I know all boat owners, and their crews, will be thinking about getting their boats ready for the coming season, and of course, the next MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival!  It is great to hear that we have already received more than 120 expressions of interest for boats afloat, which is keeping the selection panel very busy.  Do not forget – lodge your expression of interest without delay!


Whilst many of us are planning when we are going to start wielding the varnish brush or paintbrush (or both), of course our AWBF team is about to get underway supporting the Australian Antarctic Festival, which is being held from 2-5 August inclusive, providing it with production services and our expertise.  Our great team will no doubt ensure that it is a wonderful festival, and I encourage everybody to attend.


Looking further ahead, the Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin will be abuzz with boat building activity from December, with our friends from the USA arriving to build two Haven 12.5 sailing dinghies, and also a Redfish Kayak, all of which will be on proud display at our festival.  I am sure our American friends would welcome a visit from any readers of this newsletter; the workmanship that I have seen from this US team is excellent, and I am looking forward to seeing the finished products, with great interest.


Finally, I should record the very sad passing of two great supporters of our organisation and event.  Firstly, Alistair Martin passed away a few months ago, after a short illness. Alastair was a warm engaging and passionate person, with an enormous passion for wooden boats.  He was responsible for the restoration of the old fishing boat Matilda – now on display in Constitution Dock – and later, the lovely little gaff yacht Maggie.  For a number of years, he was also the custodian of the former ferry Reemere, and later spent many years introducing children to the delights of wooden dinghies, and the sea.


We have also lost Lawrence Bergin of Franklin Marine, also a long-term friend and supporter of our festival.  Lawrence was a real sailor, and a valued teacher, and admired by many.


Both will be sadly missed at the next festival.  Our best wishes and condolences to their families, and friends.


Steve Knight

Chairman AWBF


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