All aboard for Yon­gala tribute din­ner

Townsville Bulletin - - News - Ryan Mathe­son

DROP AN AN­CHOR: Yon­gala Lodge man­ager Natalie Flecker and Yon­gala tragic Steve Price pre­pare for the com­mem­o­ra­tive din­ner to be held on March 26 HIS­TORY buffs will re­ceive a rare in­sight into a valu­able piece of Townsville’s past dur­ing a tribute din­ner mark­ing the 100th an­niver­sary of the sink­ing of the SS Yon­gala.

North Ward’s Yon­gala Lodge will be trans­formed into the his­toric ves­sel to com­mem­o­rate the ship­ping tragedy that left the Townsville re­gion in mourn­ing more than a cen­tury ago.

The Yon­gala sank in Cape Bowl­ing Green Bay, just south of Townsville, on March 23, 1911.

It re­mains 16m un­der the sea af­ter go­ing to ground in cy­clonic con­di­tions 100 years ago.

Din­ers are set to be treated to a four­course re­cre­ation of the of­fi­cial SS Yon­gala cap­tain’s din­ner menu.

More than 20 di­rect de­scen­dants of the 122 pas­sen­gers who lost their lives dur­ing the tragedy are tipped to be among the 150 guests ex­pected to at­tend the din­ner.

Yon­gala Lodge man­ager Natalie Flecker said the din­ner was a tribute to the Yon­gala in shap­ing lo­cal his­tory, and its on­go­ing im­pact as one of our lead­ing tourist at­trac­tions.

‘‘ The evening is a fit­ting com­mem­o­ra­tion of the an­niver­sary, but it will also cel­e­brate the lives of the men and women who died and re­mem­ber them in a pos­i­tive way,’’ she said.

The 106m-long ves­sel was launched on April 29, 1903, com­plete with state rooms and a prom­e­nade deck.

The ves­sel en­coun­tered cy­clonic con­di­tions dur­ing the 208-nau­ti­calmile trip be­tween Mackay and Townsville on the way to Cairns from Mel­bourne.

The din­ner forms part of a se­ries of events to pay homage to the lives of those lost in the tragedy.

The evening will in­clude a char­ity auc­tion with pro­ceeds go­ing to the vol­un­teer-based Townsville Mar­itime Mu­seum, which holds the largest col­lec­tion of Yon­gala arte­facts in the world.

Yon­gala tragic Steve Price will lead the jour­ney through­out the evening to be held on Satur­day. March 26.

Tick­ets can be booked by call­ing the Yon­gala Lodge on 4772 4633.

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