Newsletter #211, March 2016

(Note: This is a text excerpt. Refer to the newsletter PDF for the complete newsletter including images)

Office Bearer Changes

We learned at the meeting that our Treasurer Liz Catt would be retiring. Liz continues to be treated for a serious illness, her husband Gordon is also unwell, therefore Liz said she wished to leave that position. Liz has been Treasurer since August 2008, nearly eight years. She has kept the financial records with meticulous care throughout that time, and has reported the condition of our finances regularly to Committee and General Meetings. Liz has helped organise and conduct fund raisers each year, also, she has organised activities for the enjoyment of members at our end of year Christmas meeting. We thank Liz for her constant contribution to the Historical Society and wish her well in the years ahead.

When President Vern asked the members if anyone would be willing to take the position of Treasurer, we were very pleased when Rosemary Hutchinson volunteered. Many thanks Rosemary for accepting this important position in the Society.

Guest Speaker – Stuart Longley

Guest Speaker at our February meeting was Stuart Longley of Inverloch.  Stuart’s wooden boat was on display at the recent Inverloch Classic Wooden Boat Regatta. The boat known as the “Old 1870” was originally built in the 1800’s and launched for the first time at Hobart in 1870. It was one of the first commercial vessels in Australia and was used as a river taxi between Bellerive and Hobart. It was rowed by six convicts back and forth across the Derwent River.

Stuart said that the boat was built of Huon Pine and that it had a sister boat “Admiral” which was built in 1865. This boat was larger than the 24 feet long Old 1870. Admiral was rowed by eight convicts.

Both Admiral and Old 1870 are almost 150 years old which he said was quite a feat as most timber boats last 50 years To have a boat almost 150 years old was quite remarkable.

The boat was discovered by Stuart and his wife at Metung on the Gippsland Lakes while on a holiday.

His wife saw the “Boat for Sale” sign in a Shop window. He followed it up and found the boat, it had been modified and neglected over the past 30 years.

Image: Preparing to launch ‘Old 1870’ in Anderson Inlet 

Stuart made an offer for the boat which was accepted. He has now had the boat for 18 months.

When the boat arrived home Stuart said that it looked very large, especially out of the water. He also had to modify a trailer to accommodate the boat. He then began the big task of restoring the vessel to its original form The propeller was completely encased in clams, mussels and seaweed, and the paint had deteriorated. The Holden 161 engine needed a lot of tender loving care. Stuart himself restored the engine and a picture of the engine looked impressive when he had finished working on it, compared with an earlier picture taken before he started. He spent the next eight months on his back removing the anti fouling material and the paintwork. He burnt out seven Orbital Sanders along the way. Once the outside restoration was completed, Stuart worked on the inside, putting in new bearers and supports and cleaning away the grime from the floor.

Stuart agreed to a request from Andrew Chapman to use Old 1870 as the Flagship for the forthcoming Regatta. At this point, Stuart acknowledged the very valuable assistance he had from Leo Lebransky and David Brewster to restore the boat.

Stuart mentioned that the restoration took 18 months and many coats of paint were needed to have the best effect.

Images:  Stuart Longley. Lunawarra on the Inlet

Other details about the restoration Stuart told us were: He used all native timber for the flooring including Tasmanian Oak.

He also used blue gum because it is very durable.

The vessel has been renamed the Lunawarra  which is an Aboriginal name for “Quiet Water”.

Following a large number of questions, Stuart was thanked by Shirley Burchett and a presentation made in appreciation of Stuart’s very interesting talk today.

Inverloch Gun Club

Can You Help? Daryl Cameron spoke at the meeting regarding the lack of historical detail known about the Gun Club from the late 1940’s when it faded out due to the War effort, and the club restarting again in the late 1950,s Daryl is keen to receive any information about the Gun Club anyone can supply about that grey area in the club’s history.

It is believed that the Gun Club was formed in October 1896 behind the race track which was South of the Tarwin Rd. and on the eastern side of Cuttriss Street. The Club as it is known today, restarted in the late 1950, at the Wilkinsons in Wonthaggi.

Membership cost was one fox skin. Clay traps came from Lunawarra on the Inlet the 1956 Olympics. The gun club remained at the Wilkinsons until it found a new home at Inverloch at the Wetheralls. It then moved to the McGarvey property where it became incorporated in 1988 as the Inverloch Sporting Shooters and Clay Target Club. It stayed there until the property was sold in 1996. It then moved to its current location in Howards lane in 1996 on the property of Jeff Wallis. Jeff no longer owns the property and the Club has been told to have the premises vacated by October 2016, the 120th year of the Club which at the moment has 200 members.

If you have any information which would be of assistance towards Daryl’s research he can be contacted on 0427 643 350 or his email address

(Editor: Ian Mc Burnie)