Resort’s maritime history refloated

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Big project: Wakatipu Community Maritime Preservation Society members, from left, chairman Tony Butson, Russell Carr, Jay Cassells and Jeff Williams

A group dedicated to preserving Queenstown’s maritime history is steaming ahead with its latest project.

The Wakatipu Community Maritime Preservation Society is creating an annex to The Boat Shed cafe, where it will display items from Queenstown’s maritime history.

The society was responsible for the $800,000 restoration of The Boat Shed, after the historic building fell into disrepair.

Society member Jeff Williams says the district is “sadly missing” a display of its nautical past.

The money’s been raised and the plans drawn up, he says.

“We’re very close to starting to build it.”

And at the society’s upcoming AGM, a new addition to the treasure trove of memorabilia will be handed over.

Aucklander Bruce Tantrum spent hundreds of hours over about 10 months painstakingly putting together a model of Queenstown’s historic TSS Earnslaw steamer.

The model is incredibly detailed, right down to the little plaque Tantrum engraved that says how many people the ship could carry – and how many sheep.

“It was a very attractive vessel, and I made it and I thought ‘now that I’ve made it, what do I do with it?’,” he tells Scene.

“A fitting home for the Earnslaw will be in this wonderful little boat shed in Queenstown.”

He and his wife will be travelling to the resort to present the model to the society.

The society’s also keen to hear from anyone who may have memorabilia floating around that could be housed in the new area.

All are welcome at the AGM, which will take place at The Boat Shed, 6pm, next Tuesday.

Speaking of historic buildings, Queenstown’s council will consider two funding applications tomorrow.

The first is for $3000 for an internal pergola structure to prevent slumping at Frankton’s Brunswick Mill. The mill, constructed in 1867 by Bendix Hallenstein, was the first flour mill built in Central Otago.

The second is for $4000 for professional services fees to undertake earthquake strength-ening in Williams Cottage, on Marine Parade.