Open day for maritime museum anniversary

Whyalla is gearing up for a big anniversary event this month at the Maritime Museum.

The acclaimed museum will be marking its 30th anniversary with a celebration on Sunday, October 28, 2018. The day will feature the Maritime Museum on the Lincoln Highway and the iconic HMAS Whyalla Bathurst-class corvette that has watched over the site for the past 30 years.

The Museum is throwing open the doors with an open invitation to visit the amazing gardens and museum, and explore the HMAS Whyalla free of charge. It will be a fair-type atmosphere with a vintage car display, TS Navy cadets on display, jumping castle, roving clowns and face painters, giant games, food, coffee and music.

Another highlight will be the "How to bring a warship into your backyard" exhibition on board the ship consisting of cartoons produced by Stephen Stanley.

Stephen, or “Stan” as he is probably better known for his cartoons in the Whyalla News, will have more than 50 cartoons on display revolving around the ship and Whyalla in the exhibition. With the ship becoming synonymous with Whyalla, Stan has taken delight in including it in many of his cartoons that have documented the last 30 years of news history in Whyalla.

“The HMAS Whyalla has featured large in my cartoons, it’s always been there for the last 30 years,” Stephen said.

“There’s many opportunities to use it in cartoons … if we get a deluge of rain we can have Noah on board or even the debate about having a big snapper as an icon compared to the ship.

“The ship has always been a big deal for Whyalla and it is very much woven into our history.”

PROUD HISTORY: The Whyalla Maritime Museum is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

A former Maritime Museum Curator, Paul Mazourek was the prime architect of the museum’s redevelopment in 2002 and is a key figure in the anniversary celebrations with his new role as Tourism Assets Development Officer for Council.

“This anniversary is about the Maritime Museum but the ship has also played a key role in the visitor experience for 30 years,” Paul said.

“Our facility is rated among the best maritime museums in Australia and it will continue to be that way with plans to improve it with more interactive displays and features in the future.”

ICONIC: The HMAs Whyalla which stands proudly as a beacon for the Maritime Museum.

Visitor Centre manager Teresa Coles said the anniversary celebration was a chance for the community, and visitors, to celebrate a museum that has been part of the Whyalla fabric for three decades.

“The museum and ship are major drawcards for visitors and they continue to attract people from all over Australia and overseas,” Teresa said.

“This anniversary is a great opportunity for Whyalla locals to reconnect with this unique facility and see everything else we’ve got to offer.”

The 30th Anniversary of the Maritime Museum will run from 10am to 4pm on Sunday, October 28 with an official ceremony at 11am followed by the opening of the ship for people to explore. There will be another official opening on Friday 26th Oct at 11am for the Stan exhibition with special commemorative books featuring all the cartoons available to purchase.

The Maritime Museum is on Lincoln Highway part of the Visitor Centre precinct. For further information call the Visitor Centre on 1800 088 589.

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