Sav­ing the relics

Boating NZ - - From The Editor -

Ar­chi­tects, his­to­ri­ans and art cu­ra­tors of­ten be­moan the de­ci­sions town plan­ners make in the name of progress. Non­de­script, derelict build­ings no one has glanced at for years sud­denly be­come head­line news when de­mo­li­tion is pro­posed to make way for a modern re­place­ment.

I’m ill-qual­i­fied to com­ment on the artis­tic (or oth­er­wise) wis­dom of pre­serv­ing crum­bling, di­shev­elled ed­i­fices – but I sym­pa­thise with the sen­ti­ment. How is a nation to un­der­stand its place in the world if it’s legacy and his­tor­i­cal con­text is con­stantly eroded?

So it’s with an el­e­ment of sat­is­fac­tion that I can cel­e­brate the pow­er­ful legacy of preser­va­tion that per­me­ates our mar­itime in­dus­try. There is rarely any ar­gu­ment about the wis­dom (or oth­er­wise) of restor­ing a di­lap­i­dated old hulk some­one found rot­ting in a field. On the con­trary, such de­ci­sions are al­ways greeted with over­whelm­ing en­thu­si­asm and sup­port.

This is­sue cov­ers two such restora­tion projects – both in­trigu­ing in dif­fer­ent ways. The res­ur­rec­tion of Malolo – a game-fish­ing clas­sic that prob­a­bly hosted the leg­endary writer/an­gler Zane Grey on a few oc­ca­sions – and Ton­nant, a David­son 31 with a fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory.

Both qual­ify as a labour of love – and it’s prob­a­bly safe to say that, as projects, nei­ther would stand the scru­tiny of a sen­si­ble ac­coun­tant’s com­mer­cial as­sess­ment. But then, that’s not the point. Sur­vival is. Both are small but im­por­tant chap­ters in New Zealand’s over­all mar­itime nar­ra­tive.

For me, one of the most in­ter­est­ing as­pects of the David­son restora­tion is the her­itage of the re­storer. Boris the Bul­gar­ian is a re­mark­ably in­ven­tive crafts­man and pas­sion­ate about preser­va­tion. As he says – “one doesn’t have be in­sane to take on projects like Ton­nant, but it helps.”

But I sus­pect his pas­sion is less about in­san­ity and more about rel­ish­ing a life­style/her­itage/tra­di­tion that was very ab­sent in his na­tive coun­try. It’s good to have him aboard.

Happy boat­ing.

Lawrence Schäf­fler Ed­i­tor

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.