Maritime legacy finds safe haven in Yanchep

Ted Dowling with the dioramas. Picture: Martin Kennealey   d458028
Ted Dowling with the dioramas. Picture: Martin Kennealey d458028

A COLLECTION of maritime dioramas were returned to Yanchep recently for touching up before being shipped back to Shark Bay.

Atlantis Productions founder Ted Dowling said the dioramas would form part of the Dirk Hartog 400-year commemoration later this month.

The exhibition, which has about 30 dioramas of Australia’s maritime history from the early 1600s to Federation, first opened in 2002 in Two Rocks Tavern.

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It later moved to the marina, then went into storage before being set up in a vacant part of Two Rocks shopping centre from 2011 to 2014.

“It was a temporary anchorage and we raised the anchor to wander, seeking a safe port or Tamala Park (rubbish tip),” Mr Dowling said.

“Trish Cox, of the Blue Dolphin restaurant, rescued it and we relocated to her historic Old Telegraph Station museum at Hamelin Pool (in Shark Bay), where Trish has a caravan park.

“Here it waited to be involved in the 400-year anniversary celebrations marking the first recorded discovery and landing in Australia on October 23, 1616, by Captain Dirk Hartog, a Dutch seafarer.

“Our exhibition spans the 400 years and aroused interest with the Shark Bay Tourism Association.

“It will feature at this time at Hamelin Pool and remain there as a permanent tourism attraction for the Gascoyne Region.”

Mr Dowling said the dioramas needed refurbishment, so he brought them back to Yanchep for a few weeks.

“Its legacy lies here,” he said.

“I’m sad to see it go but at least it has survived and will entertain the tourist from afar.”

The Dirk Hartog Voyage of Discovery Shark Bay 1616 event from October 21-25 will commemorate the first landing.