Naval miniatures on display in new exhibition

Gerry Westenberg (model maker volunteer in residence) with one of his models ahead of his exhibition at the WA Shipwrecks Musuem. Photo: Andrew Ritchie. d494018 communitypix.com.au.
Gerry Westenberg (model maker volunteer in residence) with one of his models ahead of his exhibition at the WA Shipwrecks Musuem. Photo: Andrew Ritchie. d494018 communitypix.com.au.

GIVING context to children about historical events is one of Gerry Westenberg’s biggest goals.

Mr Westenberg will be exhibiting a range of his model naval ships at the WA Shipwrecks Museum.

A volunteer at the WA Maritime Museum, he said he was approached by David Nicolson while he was photographing his ships and asked if he ever considered holding an exhibition.

It was from that meeting the exhibition came to fruition.

Mr Westenberg said he had always been interested in naval history.

“I always loved HMAS Perth so I made an airfix model,” he said.

“Working with plastics was hard, so I started working with wood which was amazing.

“I started building ships to scale when I was 20 and I’ve been building ever since, I normally do British or Australian naval ships.”

He said it was always a hobby but he enjoyed showcasing parts of Australia’s history.

“World War II had a huge impact on everybody, a lot of people died so that we could have this discussion today,” he said.

“It gives context to museum displays when children see a coral incrusted port hole, the model ship puts it into perspective.

“I hope it’s the hook that gets children interested in history.

“When I do my volunteering sometimes you get people stopping and looking at ships saying ‘that was the ship that saved my dad’ or ‘my mothers husband was on it’, it jogs someone’s memory.”

THE ESSENTIALS:

WHAT: Naval Seapower in Miniature

WHEN: Friday June 28 to Monday July 1 from 9am to 5.30pm

WHERE: WA Shipwrecks Museum