Lit­tle Dove gets the shove

SAD­NESS AS THE DUYFKEN SETS SAIL FOR SYD­NEY.

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Smith and Char­lotte El­ton

A LONG-time Fre­man­tle mar­itime vol­un­teer says the im­pend­ing loss of the Duyfken is a crush­ing blow as the replica ship gets ready to sail into the sun­set and leave Fre­man­tle for Syd­ney.

The replica of the Dutch ves­sel that landed on Aus­tralian shores in 1606, the first Euro­pean ves­sel to do so — a full 154 years be­fore Cap­tain Cook — will set sail in Novem­ber af­ter los­ing fund­ing from the State Gov­ern­ment.

The ship was built in Fre­man­tle in 1999 be­fore sail­ing across the world and re­turn­ing to the Fre­man­tle Fish­ing Boat Har­bour in 2012.

Since then the State Gov­ern­ment has contribute­d about $2.5 mil­lion to the ship’s on­go­ing main­te­nance, re­fur­bish­ment and staffing but made its fi­nal pay­ment to its up­keep in July last year.

Fac­ing costs of more than $450,000 a year, the ship’s cus­to­di­ans have made the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to move it to the Aus­tralian Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum on the east coast. Deb­bie Gibson, who was a vol­un­teer with the Duyfken as well as the En­deav­our replica pre­vi­ously moored in Fre­man­tle, said the ship’s im­mi­nent de­par­ture was sad news.

“I was shocked, dis­mayed and as­ton­ished be­cause al­ready Fre­man­tle has lost the En­deav­our and this was an­other nail in the cof­fin,” she said.

“This is our Dutch history, not the east coast’s.”

Duyfken 1606 Replica Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Bow­man said they had looked for al­ter­nate fund­ing in WA but to no avail.

While it has sailed all over the world, Mr Bow­man be­lieves that its most pro­found im­pact was home in WA.

“A lot of peo­ple are very con­nected to this ship here in WA,” he said.

“You should see the let­ters we get back from the kids af­ter their ex­cur­sions. They just love it.”

A State Gov­ern­ment spokes­woman wel­comed news of the ship’s new home in the Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum.

“This will give other States the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­encethis na­tional as­set,” she said.

The Duyfken replica has found a new home in Syd­ney af­ter fund­ing from the WA Gov­ern­ment dried up.

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